It’s that time of year again! The arctic winds are blowing, and freezing weather is already affecting our country’s northern regions. That means it’s time to take final steps to winterize your real estate IRA properties.
The first step: Educate your tenants.
Your tenants are your most important line of defense in preventing or mitigating damage to your real estate IRA property. They are in a position to directly observe trouble brewing, and to take steps to ensure the damage is minimal. But not every tenant knows how to winterize a home.
Most of them want to save money on utility costs, though, and so will generally be happy to read through a newsletter or pamphlet coaching them on how to winterize their homes. The Landlord Protection Agency has published this handy list of reminders that you can use to remind your tenants of their responsibilities.
Here are a number of measures all self-directed IRA owners in cooler climates should be taking to protect your valuable real estate IRA investment.
1.) Have the furnace and chimney professionally serviced.
2.) Seal windows and doors. Install winter draping, if necessary.
3.) Flush the water heater. Flushing the system every two years at least can help remove mineral buildups that can harm the unit and the pipes.
4.) Inspect your roof. Ensure that there are no missing/damaged tiles or shingles. Remove leaves and other debris from the roof and gutters. This helps prevent excess ice and snow from accumulating and causing damage.
5.) Drain and store garden hoses.
6.) Blow out lawn sprinkler systems. Otherwise the water in your sprinkler pipes could freeze and cause a burst pipe.
7.) Change HVAC filters
8.) Remove window air conditioning units.
9.) Install insulated windows and doors.
10.) Prune trees and shrubs near the house. Snow and ice accumulating on trees can cause branches to collapse, damaging structures, autos and possibly people.
11.) Caulk or cover cracks in exterior walls. Cold air can enter through cracks in drywall, brick or any other material and eventually cause vulnerable pipes to freeze and burst.
12.) Wrap or insulate all pipes you can get at. Again, this step could be crucial in preventing pipes from freezing and bursting. This is important: A burst pipe can cause a lot of water damage in a hurry. Nationwide, the average cost to repair home water damage runs from $1,062 to $4086, according to research from Home Advisor.
Remember, one burst pipe or snow-damaged roof can destroy the profitability of a real estate IRA property for an entire year. Left unchecked, water damage from a burst pipe can cause drywall rot, lead to mold and even render a real estate IRA property uninhabitable.