How Delaying Property Management Tasks Can Lead To Big Costs Down The Line

The Duffy'sBlog

Dealing with property management projects can be time consuming and costly. Waiting them out, however, can lead to even larger jobs with higher costs. In and around the Greenwich, CT area the ever-changing weather constantly tests our homes. Fairfield County, CT climates bring heavy rains, heat, cold, snow, ice, and wind. These elements put strain on your HVAC system, erode roofing and siding, etc. Keeping up with maintenance can save you in the long run, whether you do the work yourself or employ a residential property management company. The following projects require attention before they lead to bigger issues. 

Frozen Pipes

You may have had frozen pipe issues in the past that were fixed by simply thawing them with a hair dryer. Some, however, don’t get so lucky and the pipes burst. Frozen water inside of plumbing causes water pressure to build up behind the blockage. That pressure can split the pipe. When this happens rooms can flood, leading to major cleanup and repair costs. 

To avoid this issue make sure that all susceptible plumbing is properly insulated or moved to a different space. Water pipes that run along outside walls are more apt to freeze. Adding rigid foam insulation behind these pipes and/or wrapping the pipe in heating tape is a good preventative measure. And it’s always a good idea to raise the thermostat a bit when long cold spells set in.

HVAC Maintenance 

Regularly maintaining your heating and air conditioning systems is one of the most important maintenance steps to take as a homeowner. Doing so will help you avoid more costly breakdowns later. This type of work typically requires the skill and experience of a residential property management company. Their HVAC professionals are licensed to conduct regular maintenance as well as any repairs. 

Furnaces should be inspected and cleaned once per year in later summer of early fall. Central air conditioning units should be inspected yearly in late winter or early spring. Regular maintenance of HVAC systems can reduce the risk of major, costly breakdowns by as much as 95 percent. In addition it can help extend the life of your equipment and keep the systems running more efficiently. Furthermore, regular maintenance is required by some manufacturers to ensure the equipment remains under warranty. 

Paint and Stain

It’s easy to put house painting or deck staining off. These are big jobs that often come with a hefty price tag. Delaying, however, can lead to a more costly job down the line. And it doesn’t take long for issues to creep up. When paint is peeling or chipping the wood will be exposed. Water can quickly cause rot on siding, decking and trim. 

Keep an eye on your painted and stained surfaces. Although a full paint job may not always be required, it’s best to clean, sand and paint sections that have considerable peeling or fading. For a larger painting project you may want to talk to a property management company. A thorough job completed by a professional should last for several years. 

Damp Basements

If your basement has a musty smell, or you can visibly see water entering the space, it’s best to act fast. Taking care of the issue right away will help you avoid mold and rot. Water can destroy insulation, trim, plaster and sheetrock, flooring, subflooring, and floor joists. To help pinpoint the issue, your home maintenance service should conduct a thorough inspection of the basement interior as well as the property surrounding the foundation. 

Pooling rainwater against the foundation is a typical cause of wet basements. This can occur when the land is not graded properly and/or effective drainage is not in place. Your property management professional will make sure that gutter downspouts are releasing away from the foundation. They will also make sure that land does not slope towards the house. If this is the case you may need to re-grade or add additional ground drains to redirect the water. 

Water Marks on Walls or Ceiling

Water in the walls or ceiling is typically a sign of a leaking roof. Another issue, however, could be siding or window leaks. A third possibility is a leaking pipe in the walls. If the water spots are constant it is likely a plumbing issue. When they are more pronounced during and/or after heavy rains then it’s probably an exterior issue. 

If you suspect an exterior issue your maintenance professional should inspect the roofing material, flashing, and gutters. It’s possible that the roofing is in good shape, but the flashing has been eroded or damage from a storm. It’s also possible that the flashing or gutters were not properly installed, which could lead to issues. 

Interior inspections should be conducted by opening up a small section of the wall or ceiling, where the water mark appears. Look for leaky plumbing, and/or follow the trail of water to identify the source of the leak.

Although it’s never fun to confront a home maintenance issue, waiting to solve the problem can make things worse. Homeowners can handle some of these maintenance tasks, but for the bigger jobs it makes sense to bring in a property management company. This way you know the job will be done the right way using the appropriate materials. And when you’re enrolled in a property management program they’ll keep an eye on your home all year long. 

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