Rental properties can be an amazing source of extra income in the short-term and also help you build wealth in the long-term as the property gains value and equity. Sometimes maintaining a rental property can be a little tricky, however, since you do not see the property every day like you do with your primary residence. One area of maintenance that shouldn't be overlooked is your gutter and roof. Here are five gutter and roof maintenance tips for your rental property:
Clean Gutters Regularly
Depending on how many trees are on your rental property and your regional weather, most experts recommend you clean your gutters once or twice a year. You may need to bump that up to quarterly if you have a lot of trees near the home, especially pine trees, or if you live in an area that receives a lot of storms. Clean gutters help move rainwater, leaves and debris away from the roof and can prevent a great deal of expensive water damage.
Consider Upgrading to Seamless Gutters
One of the reasons some gutters need cleaned much more often than others and do not do their job as effectively as they should is because they have a seam down the middle. These seams easily widen and crack over time, which makes your gutters much less effective. An easy fix for this problem is to replace any gutters at your rental property (as well as at your own home) with seamless gutters, which are made from one piece of metal instead of two pieces that are then fitted together.
Listen to Your Renters
Your renters are the ones who spend the most time in your rental property and in many cases will be the first to notice if there is an obvious problem with the roof or gutters. Aim to foster an open and communicative relationship with your renters, and encourage them to let you know right away if they notice any potential problems at the house.
If your renters mention an issue such as a leaky roof, shingles in the yard after a big storm, or that downspouts seem to be sending water toward the house instead of away from it, take their concerns seriously and get in the habit of being proactive in investigating. If you don't live in the same town as your rental property, you should have a responsive and trustworthy property manager who looks into all rental concerns in a timely manner.
Keep Trees Neatly Trimmed
When you don't live in a home, it's easy to overlook overgrown tree branches. Unfortunately, if your trees are allowed to grow too close to your home, costly damage can ensue. Tree branches can fall off and damage your roof or crash into windows during storms. Close branches also allow squirrels and other pests easy access to your roof. Get in the habit of having your trees trimmed on a routine basis, on a schedule recommended by your local tree trimming expert.
Include a Maintenance Clause in Rental Lease Agreements
Being responsive and proactive concerning your roof and gutters can become a delicate manner when you also want to respect your renters' rights to privacy and reasonable quiet. Be sure to clearly articulate in your lease agreement when you are allowed to access the property and how much notice you are required to give. Include separate clauses for maintenance emergencies and routine maintenance to avoid any misunderstandings with your renters, and to make sure everyone is on the same page and knows what to expect.
By maintaining your rental property's gutters and roof, you will help protect your investment and avoid losing significant money to water damage. Learn more about gutter and roof maintenance by contacting companies like Allstate Gutter & Siding.