It’s officially autumn, and we’re truly falling for this weather. (Putting that line in the “keeper” folder.)
As nice as it is, we’re less thrilled about the extra maintenance that comes with leafy clutter and pre-winter preparations. But no matter how we feel about it, there’s work to be done!
Here are five important fall maintenance jobs for property managers.
1. Rake those leaves at least once per week
Ah, those golden piles of leaves: fun for kids, not for you. What a mess.
When there’s a lot of raking to be done, you have a few options:
- Hire a professional landscaper
- Put your renters in charge of cleaning around their units (put this in the lease)
- Do it yourself
If you have the time, only a few properties and want to save money, by all means do it yourself. However, this could easily be a weekly job. Plan your workload wisely.
2. Trim overgrown, loose and dangerous tree branches
Branch trimming may need to be done annually. As branches grow in the spring and summer, they can become hazards for residents:
- Snow buildup can make them heavy, causing them to fall
- They’re more likely to snap off in high wind
- Lightning may cause them to catch fire or shatter
- Any of the above can damage property and cause injury
This is not a job to take lightly or attempt to do by yourself, even if you know what you’re doing. Trim branches with at least two people, and let professionals handle larger branches.
3. Spray for bugs & patch holes to keep critters out
There’s nothing like waking up to insects on your stuff and signs of rodents on the floor. When the temperature drops, nature will try to find its way inside.
Time for a little fall maintenance to keep that under control.
A professional will know where to spray for insects and what to use. If you’re getting service requests for rodents, you may have holes that need to be patched up.
Here are some other cost-effective pest control options:
Without seeing the culprit, it can be hard to tell the difference between a mouse and cockroach infestation. If there are any “leave-behinds,” ask tenants to snap a picture. They can send it via their tenant portal, and you can give it to a professional. Easy, breezy!
4. Inspect HVAC systems before it gets cold
HVAC systems tend to be used frequently in cold weather. That makes this is the perfect time of year to do some routine maintenance.
- Replace or clean any dirty filters
- Repair or replace parts that are showing signs of wear
- Schedule this maintenance in advance—don’t wait for a tenant to call about an issue
As managers of older properties know, some furnaces need to have their air bled out each year, which means loosening a release valve. It’s fast, easy and makes the room smell like rotten eggs for a few seconds. Email your tenants if they need to perform this task or if you need to set up a time to do it.
5. Clean those gutters
Gutter cleaning may seem like routine fall maintenance, but it’s potentially dangerous. It’s easy to slip off a ladder, especially when your body is leaning, stretching and straining to push out leaves.
However, gutters need to be kept clean to avoid property water damage caused by heavy rain. Here are some simple ways to make this job safer:
Fall maintenance is best done early
Don’t wait to get started on these jobs. While gutter cleaning and leaf raking may be routine tasks, tree branch trimming, pest control and HVAC inspections only need to be done once. The longer you wait to do your fall maintenance, the more likely you are to run into problems.
Plus, you don’t want to be doing this stuff come winter.