One of the problems that Santa Rosa rental property owners have to address is water damage. Even when the amount of water is relatively small, it can still be destructive. It could creep into the ceiling joists, walls, floors, and even weaken the very foundation of the building. Just a shallow inch or two of water on the floor can result in damage that would cost tens of thousands of dollars in repairs. While it would be quite impossible to avoid all water-related emergencies, there is are things you can do, as a property owner, to prevent water damage. And, by preventing water damage, you save yourself from the costly repairs that come with it. Below are some tips you can follow to keep your Santa Rosa investment property safe from preventable floods and leaks.
Prepare for Severe Weather
Water damage from severe weather incidents is a common problem. This is especially true in places where storms are a regular part of life. You may experience some water damage if there are strong winds and heavy rain. And if your property is in a flood-prone area, you may need to prepare for the possibility of flash flooding as well.
To prevent water damage, you have to get your rental property ready to face severe weather. For instance, you have to do an annual inspection of your roof and make sure to seal all cracks or gaps you find. If there are any missing shingles, replace them. Then, make sure that your flashing, gutters, and downspouts are installed correctly and in good shape. If there’s a period of heavy rain approaching, improve the drainage around your property’s foundation to help the water flow away from the walls. If your property is located in a flood zone, you’ll need some additional protection. Have sandbags or sandbagging supplies on hand (or nearby) as a precaution. Even during unexpected weather events, preparation is key. With a little preparation, you’re doing a lot to help keep your property safe and dry.
Clean the Gutters
Another usual cause of water damage is having clogged gutters. Sometimes, they may not even be correctly installed. Your rental property’s gutter system is designed to redirect the water away from the structure. The problem comes when your gutters are full of leaves, twigs, and other debris. The water would collect then overflow down the side of the house. When this happens, so many problems can arise– leaking ceilings, wood rot, damaged drywall, and ruined flooring. And, if not addressed quickly enough, leaking gutters can wreak havoc on your landscaping and even erode a cement foundation.
This can easily be prevented by cleaning your rental property’s gutters at least twice a year. Clear out any debris you find and also check for leaks and pooling water in the gutter system. When you get into the practice of cleaning and making small repairs on a gutter system, you’ll be preventing water damage. In addition to that, you’ll also save on repair costs in the long run.
Inspect Your Plumbing (and Water Heater)
The inside of your rental property isn’t exempt. Water damage can also happen because of plumbing issues. Leaking pipes, broken faucets, worn-out washing machine hoses, and old water heaters are the potential causes of water damage. Even something tiny like a slow or blocked drain could potentially cause serious water damage. And that damage may require expensive emergency repairs.
To stop water damage from happening inside your rental home, see to it that your entire plumbing system is inspected at least yearly. A professional plumber will be able to spot developing problems before they become obvious. Then you could have that fixed immediately during an inspection. By fixing the plumbing problems while they’re still small, you can prevent water disasters from happening. And you get the added bonus of saving money on repairs. You also need to keep track of your water heater’s age and condition. Keep having it serviced regularly and, eventually, have it replaced before it fails. A failing water heater may flood a basement or garage, depending on the situation. If this happens, you’d have to pay for clean-up and repairs in addition to the cost of buying a replacement unit. By replacing it before it fails, you’ll be able to better manage your cash flows and save yourself from unnecessary expenses.
Preventing water damage can be difficult. For sure it requires both time and good management. Instead of doing it all yourself, consider hiring one of our professional Santa Rosa property managers to handle your preventive maintenance and inspections. To learn more, contact us online.
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