Wondering which tasks will help protect your Perth rental for winter?
To help prepare your Perth rental from the next few months of windy weather, here’s our top five maintenance tasks to attend to.
In our experience, keeping on top of these tasks can prevent 80% of the common maintenance requests our property managers deal with each winter – especially task #1. So, you and your tenant can feel prepared for the harsher weather.
Attending to these tasks yearly will also protect your Perth rental against bigger (and more expensive) maintenance issues down the track, including:
- Cracked foundations
- Wood rot
- Mould infestations
- Water damage
- Roof leaks or collapse
So, here’s our top five maintenance tasks to protect your Perth rental this winter…
Clean Your Gutters
Estimated cost: $150 – $250 (+GST)
This is hands down the most important task to prepare your Perth rental for winter.
Full gutters can cause very expensive problems, like mouldy eaves, flooded ceilings, and in extreme cases water pooling near your foundation (which can crack the foundation of your rental – no thanks)!
If your gutters are too full of leaves, twigs, dirt and water it can cause them to rust, leak, and even fall off (if they’re too full and worn).
But here’s the real kicker – if you don’t tend to your gutters regularly and any damage is caused as a result of a gradual leak, it can void your home building insurance. So, if any of the damage listed above happens your claim may be rejected, and you could end up paying for the damages out of your own pocket.
Getting your handyman to clean your gutters before winter hits can add years onto your gutter’s lifespan, and will help protect your Perth rental from expensive rust, mould, and roof damage.
If you’re looking to get your gutters cleaned, we regularly use David from Forward Maintenance in Perth.
Check for Loose or Cracked Roof Tiles
Estimated cost: Depends on your circumstances.
Loose, cracked, or broken tiles or shingles can let water inside your roof, causing water damage, mould, and – in extreme cases – a collapsed ceiling.
Roof tile leaks can also cause structural damage to your rental, once rot sets in it can quickly deteriorate internal structures, staining ceilings, and walls. And if water leaks around electrical appliances and outlets, it introduces the risk of electrocution and a fire hazard for the tenant.
The mould and mildew can also cause health hazards for your tenants, and be tricky, time consuming, and costly to get rid of.
Having your handyman inspect the roof tiles on your Perth rental can help you catch any potential roof leaks early. Often, they can gauge the ‘health’ of your roof tiles while they’re cleaning the gutters, and indicate to you whether they need a closer inspection.
Service and CO2 Test Your Inbuilt Gas Heater
Estimated Cost: $158 – $165 (+GST) for a service
$85 (+GST) for a carbon monoxide test
Did you know 40% of all deaths from fire happen during winter?
Unsurprisingly, gas heaters typically get used more during winter, so it’s a good idea to service them beforehand to catch any potential faults.
Some can be life threatening, like a carbon monoxide leak, which can poison your tenants and also pose a fire hazard.
Generally, your gas heater will only need to be serviced once per year if it’s over 10 years old, or once every two years if it’s less than 10 years old (unless your tenant reports one or more of the following signs there is a fault) …
- Pilot light frequently going out.
- Pilot light popping or banging when they light the heater.
- Heater flame is burning bright yellow instead of blue.
- The walls are too hot to touch.
- It’s starting to smell different.
- The gas lead looks corroded.
If your tenant does report any of these issues, your property manager will let you know and suggest a service asap.
If your gas heater is due for a service, we highly recommend Marcos from Quality Plumbing & Gas. And if you’re a first-time customer through We Love Rentals, he’ll complete your first carbon monoxide test for free (worth $85+GST).
Trim Overhanging Tree Branches
Estimated Cost: Depends on your circumstances.
Tree branches overhanging your fence, roof, or especially power supply lines can wreak havoc in winter and be a very expensive repair (ranging from between $500 – $5,000 depending on your insurance premiums).
And here’s something most Perth landlords may not be aware of – if there are strong winds and the tree branches from your rental are in the vicinity of the power supply wires, Western Power will not cover or contribute to the repair costs (think $1,500 upwards).
Impact damage from fallen tree branches is also one of the most common causes of roofing tile failure and cracking, which can cause water damage, mould, or a collapsed roof (like we mentioned in task #2).
Be sure to trim tree branches that come within 6 feet of your roof, fence, and power lines to prevent them from falling or blowing into things. It can certainly save you an expensive headache later on.
Check and/or Replace Bathroom Exhaust Fans
Estimated Cost: $180 (+GST) to replace
Poor ventilation in bathrooms can cause mouldy ceilings, which are unsightly to looks at, expensive to fix and can also pose a health risk to your tenants. Particularly during colder months, when tenants are likely to take hotter, longer showers.
This small but important maintenance task can sometimes get overlooked, so checking in on it before winter hits is a good way to keep your rental mould-free, and your tenant happy.
If you need to replace the exhaust fan in your Perth rental, we highly recommend Response Electrical in Perth.
Thinking of renting your Perth home out this winter, but not sure where to start? Ask us a question here. We’d love to help you prepare your Perth home for rent.