The weather in New York City can be brutal in the Winter. With the below freezing temperature and snow it can cause damage to your property. It also can feel like it is a never ending period of the year. As a New York City property management company we have seen and dealt with many issues that have needed immediate service. Also through trial and error, we have come up with some tips in winterizing your property in order to prevent significant damage through these cold months.
- Clean your gutters- Making sure that water can flow freely through your gutters now will help prevent icicles and ice dams from forming later. The faster that rain can flow away from your drains, the better it will be for the water not being able to freeze up on your roof and shingles.
- Install draft guards underneath all doors- The space under a door is a huge way for heat to escape one room and float into unheated areas where it isn’t necessary. Draft guards are affordable at a price between $9-13 and you can pick many different styles if you are interested.
- Insulate pipes and hot water heaters- nothing is more scary than pipes bursting in the Winter. It can cause severe damage to your property and the property of your tenants. Nothing is more of a worry for a property manager to get a phone call in the night indicating that pipes have burst at a property. It is important to get on top of this before the harsh winter months because once a pipe freeze over, you will have to wait until it thaws before water will be able to move freely again. There would be a need for warmer temperatures for that to occur. If warmer temperatures do not come, the pressure will lead to the pipes bursting and water damaging ceilings, floors and property. It is advisable to use fiberglass insulation around your pipes. Insulating your hot water pipes can help raise the temperature 2 to 4 degrees. This can allow you to get piping hot water on a lower setting, saving you both energy and money.
- Inspect for leaks and holes- As it gets colder, you will probably be able to identify where cold air is seeping through. Walk around your home and inspect and feel around your doors, windows, lights, and switch plates for cold air. You can caulk up places where there are leaks. Caulking usually cost around $20 and lasts over a year. If you find holes, it is advisable to use insulation and drywall the area if necessary.
- Check your Thermostat and Furnace- You should check your furnace filter. Normally they need to be replace every 2-3 months. A clean filter can save you up to 15%o of your heating bill and your furnace runs more efficiently. Programmable thermostats are huge energy savers. The programmable thermostat may be set to allow the temperature in the house to drop when the house is unoccupied during the day and also at night after all occupants have gone to bed, re-heating the house prior to the occupants arriving home in the evening or waking up in the morning. This will put less stress on your furnace and save you up to 8% on your energy bill.