Owning multiple properties is a big responsibility. You want to ensure you manage them effectively and efficiently, providing a great experience for renters while still turning a profit. One of the biggest aspects of property ownership is repair and maintenance. This can become costly when things start going wrong all at once at multiple locations.
However, with a proactive plan that catches maintenance needs early on, you'll enjoy big savings. If you fail to do routine maintenance or ignore minor issues, then larger problems arise, which are much more costly to repair. Of course, it will cost you something to keep up with maintenance, but the payoff will be worth it. Here are five maintenance tasks that Philadelphia Property Management experts recommend to keep your overall costs down.
Annual maintenance on the HVAC system is essential to keeping it in top operating condition. Your tenants need the furnace to function properly in the colder months, and although air conditioning is an “extra,” it’s almost unheard of not to have it these days.
If you don’t keep up with regular maintenance on the HVAC units, then problems can occur over time that you won’t catch. An annual inspection and cleaning will go a long way in finding issues before they become serious. The average cost to replace an HVAC system is $7,000 and can be more in some locations.
Hot Water Heater Flush
A hot water heater will need to be flushed out every year by a professional who knows what they’re doing. If you ignore this or let it go for a few years, you run the risk of a buildup of sediment, calcium, and minerals in the unit. When this occurs, it makes the water heater work harder, thus shortening its life span.
In addition, when you don’t flush the water heater, it can reduce the amount of hot water available, cause water leakage, and reduce the unit's efficiency. Replacing a new hot water tank can range in price, depending on if you get a standard or tankless one. However, the tank alone costs between $400 - $1,600, and the labor is between $150 - $600.
Check For Water Damage
Water damage is one of those little problems that can turn into something serious in no time at all. Whether it’s structural damage, mold growth, or safety hazards, water is a culprit in many property damage issues. To protect your investment, it’s crucial to periodically check for water damage. Where might water damage come from, and when should you check for it?
For one thing, Philadelphia Property Management experts recommend checking for water damage (and other damage) after a bad storm. Strong winds can blow the roof shingles off and let in the rain over time.
Check under-sink cabinets for leaks, which can be caused by a bad drainpipe, leaky sink drain flange, or loose pipe connection. Finally, if the seals around the windows and doors are not secure and tight, then rainwater and moisture can come in that way.
Maintain the Gutters
When you don’t keep the gutters clean of debris, they quickly become clogged. This means the rainwater won’t be able to flow easily through the drains. Consequently, this can result in water damage around the foundation and in the roof of your property.
Clogged gutters also make an attractive nesting area for pests, which may creep in and cause additional problems. Finally, heavy, sagging gutters may break under the weight and will then have to be replaced. Gutters cost about $1,044 on average to replace, depending on how large the house is. Simply cleaning out the gutters once or twice a year will take care of this issue and ensure your property stays in good shape.
Checking and Unclogging Drains
Sometimes drains can get clogged, leading to further difficulties. A clogged drain may result in slow water drainage, corroded pipes, flooding, and, in severe cases, sewage backup. All of this leads to costly repairs.
Tenants aren’t always careful about keeping the drains in good order, so it’s important that you have them checked periodically. Common things that can clog a drain are hair, soap, dirt, mineral buildup, debris, and more. You don’t want to neglect a clogged drain because hiring a plumber will cost about $175 to $450 for a typical job.
Take charge of your property maintenance needs before they get out of hand and cause more cost in the end. Having regular inspections completed by a property management company will ensure your investment is protected and you see savings. At Rentwell, our Philadelphia Property Management team will perform thorough and frequent inspections of your properties, so you can have peace of mind that your rentals are well-cared for, without adding to your to-do list.