Even though the UK’s winter weather is difficult to predict, it is worth knowing how to protect rental property from the snow. We don’t always get a lot of the white stuff, but when it does fall it causes schools to close, brings chaos to commutes and can cause damage to properties. For letting agents and landlords, the properties in your portfolio are your livelihood, so you need to know how to prevent snow damage on your lets.
This is why we have collected together some tips to help you be prepared for snowfall. If and when it happens, having the correct procedures in place could save you some hefty repair bills once the thaw begins. Take a look at our advice on how to protect rental property from snow and put it into action. If you need any help with these or any other maintenance issues, talk to Executive Property Management Solutions about our outsourced property management services.
Check the Roof, Gutters and Drains of Your Rental Property
It is always better to take preventative action rather than waiting until something goes wrong to get to work. Before the snow begins to fall, make sure that the roof and gutters of your rental property are up to the task of dealing with a sudden snowstorm.
The weight of fresh snow can expose any weaknesses in the strength or condition of your roof. It may cause bowing or even worse damage if the roof is particularly vulnerable. In addition, blocked gutters and drains can prevent the melting snow from dispersing as it should. When the guttering is jammed with leaves, the water running off might spill over the side, potentially causing damp on walls and maybe spilling onto pathways, where it can freeze again and cause a hazard.
When a sudden deluge of melted snow meets a blocked drain or guttering, it can also cause damage to these items because of the excess weight they have to bear.
Prevent Ice Dams Forming
When the temperature across the roof is not uniform, ice dams can form that prevents the water from running off the roof. The melted snow from an area of the roof where the temperature is above freezing runs down to where there is snow that is below 0 degrees Celsius and freezes into a dam. Eventually, the dam reaches back to the warmer area of the roof and holds the melted snow in place. Because it can’t run down to the guttering, it finds the cracks and gaps in the roof and leaks through.
You can stop this happening by identifying areas of heat loss in your roof. It could be that there isn’t adequate ventilation, there needs to be better insulation or a number of other factors. By sorting these issues before the weather turns, you can protect rental property from the snow.
Don’t Let Snow Build Up on Roofs
In fact, it is good practise to actively deal with the build-up of snow on a rental property roof. If there was a sudden shift and a large amount of snow slipped off and injured a tenant, the landlord or letting agent could face a legal case. Of course, this is the sort of job that should be carried out by experienced contractors. When you outsource your property management duties to Executive Property Management Solutions, you don’t have to worry about completing tasks like this yourself. You can let the professionals take care of it.
Talk to Tenants About Their Duties
It is a tenant’s duty to keep the temperature of the property at a reasonable level. Ensuring that the heating is on regularly during snowy weather helps to protect the heating system and to counter damp caused by that snow.
If the forecast suggests there will be a flurry in the coming days, it doesn’t hurt to have a word with the tenants. Remind them of this requirement and you could help prevent snow damage in the building.
Give Tenants Access to Helpful Items
By supplying items such as rock salt and snow shovels to your tenants, you can encourage them to keep the pathways and driveways clear of snow. This makes it less treacherous for anyone visiting or living in the property. If you don’t want to pass that responsibility to the renters, you can task your maintenance team with the job of clearing routes to and from the home.
Prepare the Garden For Snow
Another way to protect rental property from snow is to tend to the garden before it starts to fall. Once it begins to cover the ground, it can be difficult to see objects that are left out and they can become a hazard to anyone walking through the snow. Make sure all debris is tidied away and that any objects, such as plant pots, rocks and play equipment are stowed safely so that they don’t cause injury when someone accidentally steps on them once the snow has settled.
Check the trees and bushes that surround your rental property. Could any of them cause a problem once the snow is here to weigh them down? If they overhang the building, you can find issues after a snow storm. In this case, trim them down in advance.
Talk to us today about outsourcing your property management duties. We can help you with preparation for upcoming snow, as well as with regular maintenance, tenancy admin, renewals, rent collection and more.