Winter maintenance tips
It's always a good time to make sure your property is ready for winter. Here are some tips for maintaining and adding value to your properties during the colder months.
Pipes, plumbing and guttering
With winter comes rain, and that can mean overflowing gutters and water coming into the property from leaks and exterior damage.
- Check that your gutters, downpipes and drains are free of leaves and debris, and that nothing needs repairing or cleaning.
- Check flashings and the roof to ensure there are no leaks or worn tiles, so that water can't permeate into the property.
- Consider installing leaf guards on the gutters and extensions on the downspouts to direct water away from the property.
A well-insulated home provides a healthier living environment by reducing dampness and condensation. It also maintains generated heat inside more effectively, helping to reduce heating bills.
From 1 July 2019, ceiling and underfloor insulation will be compulsory in all rental homes where it is reasonably practicable to install. A landlord who fails to comply with this regulation may be liable for a penalty of up to $4,000.
- Look into what insulation your property has, and whether there is enough to provide a comfortable environment.
- Installing insulation can increase the value of your property, making it a more desirable place for tenants and protecting it from moisture damage.
- If you already have your property insulated, it's important to check that it hasn't become compacted by factors like water damage, dampness and compression from storage boxes, which will make it less effective.
Free insulation - do you or your tenants qualify?
Grants are available through 'Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes' for ceiling and underfloor insulation for rental properties occupied by low-income tenants.
A home with effective heating options is always a drawcard for tenants and home buyers alike.
- Good sources include heat pumps, modern wood or wood pellet burners, and flued gas heaters. Avoid unflued gas heaters as they can increase condensation.
- Thick, thermal-backed curtains can be a great way to keep the heat in and the cold out, helping to reduce your tenants' heating bills.
- If you already have a heat pump, make sure you get the filter changed and ensure the exterior unit is free from excess leaves, debris, etc.
Dampness and moisture
Musty smells, mould or water stains on walls, ceilings or under carpets can all be signs of excess dampness.
- Remove any mould before winter begins and consider installing extractor fans into kitchens and bathrooms.
- Consider pruning back trees that block sunlight from the property.
- Check your property for any musty smells or signs of mould, particularly in places such as wardrobes, cupboards and the backs of curtains.
- Check that your extractor fans are in good working order.
- If you have a ventilation system, make sure the filter has been changed in the past 12 months.
If your property has a fireplace, it's important to have it cleaned every year.
- Most insurance policies include a condition that fireplaces must be cleaned annually. If you do not comply, your policy may be deemed to be invalid in the event of a fire.
- If the fireplace doesn't get used, consider blocking it off as this will reduce warm air escaping the house.
Want help with maintenance?
Click here to learn about the benefits of having a property manager arrange maintenance on your investment property.