Prepare for Winter with These Essential Fall Maintenance Tips

Property Management Tips

By Michael Root


As any Chicago resident knows, we have four distinct seasons—and the toughest season of them all is winter. As the seasons change and the weather gets colder, your real estate properties need to be prepped appropriately to help them handle the temperature fluctuations.

By performing basic annual preventative maintenance in the fall, you can avoid costly repairs and conflict with your tenants during the dead of winter. It’s a win-win!

Spoiler Alert: Don’t rely on your tenants to handle these for you! Even the most accommodating residents may not understand the importance of what you’re asking for. It’s best to either do it yourself or hire a professional, like those on the maintenance team at Root Realty.

Don’t Forget These 8 Fall Maintenance Tips!

1. Every fall, inspect each of your properties. Look for signs of wear or deferred maintenance. Pay close attention to doors, windows (more below on this), and areas prone to allowing cold air to creep in. Get things fixed before winter hits, or it will only get worse!

2. Arrange for annual “tune-ups” on HVAC systems and boilers. This is a must! At Root Realty, we do these twice per year in Spring and Fall. This helps ensure our buildings are heated and cooled appropriately all year round.

3. Keep extra batteries for thermostats and additional filters for the furnace in each unit. Teach your residents how and when to change these.

4. Inspect windows to make sure they all close and seal properly. Top, bottom, and in double-hung windows; the middle. Small drafts can lead to huge heating bills. Whether you or your tenant is paying the heating bills, it’s important not to let that happen.

5. Plan for your snow removal ahead of time. It’s far easier to contract a vendor for snow removal prior to the first big snowfall Chicago sees. Plus, you’ll likely get a better rate when you book early! Look for a reliable snow removal company with good reviews—your tenants will be unhappy if their parking lot or sidewalks are treacherous in the winter. Also, keep a bucket of sidewalk salt on site and let your tenants know they can use it as needed.

6. Make sure your tenants know where the water shutoff is in the building should there ever be an emergency. If someone is home when a pipe bursts, they’ll be the quickest resource for shutting off the water supply. This can help prevent major expenses.

7. Educate tenants about the need to keep heat on even when they are away. You should never have a thermostat set below 60 degrees in the peak of winter.

8. If you are aware of areas around the building that see frequent ice buildup, put up caution signs.

The Bottom Line

By preparing ahead of time, you’re saving yourself many property-related headaches. Your tenants will appreciate your good management of the building as well. If you’re in need of a proactive Chicago property manager, look no further than the team at Root Realty. We’re here to help eliminate your property related headaches.


Keywords: fall maintenance tips, checklist, fix, real estate, house, fall, winter, advice

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