Summer is fast approaching, and a Florida summer brings its own set of challenges. As a landlord in the Greater Jacksonville area, you’ll need to prepare for some summertime property maintenance pitfalls.
Heat, humidity, and a range of pests might have you a little anxious about this season, but don’t sweat it! We’ll provide you with a helpful list of things to think about when preparing your property for summer.
Start with the Right Paperwork
There are some things that you can do without even having to step foot on the property! If you have multiple properties or are just getting into the swing of your summer routine, begin with the paperwork.
- Keep an eye on your water and electricity bills: this is especially important if you are working with older appliances or cooling systems. If your tenants are responsible for utilities, send them an email or letter letting them know what to look out for.
- Unexpected surges in demand or costs can signal to you that you might have a faulty or malfunctioning unit or another maintenance issue somewhere on the property.
- Consider installing a remote thermostat or a similar system that allows you to monitor the temperature of the property during vacancies.
If you’re conducting regular seasonal inspections, then you probably assess the air conditioner unit fairly often.
- Clean the unit out and replace (or wash) the filter. Be sure to clear away any plant growth that may be encroaching on your AC unit.
- Don’t forget about your furnace! You’ll want to make sure that it is ready for extended periods of dormancy in the summer as well.
- Have a licensed HVAC technician inspect your system. Anyone who has spent a summer here knows Florida can be a very humid place! Ideal humidity levels are somewhere between 30 and 50 percent.
- Consider portable dehumidifiers if necessary: a good rule of thumb is one for every 1,000 square feet of your property.
Give the Exterior Some Love
It’s always a wise idea to do a walk-around of your property every so often. This gives you a general idea of how your exterior fares with each change in the seasons.
- Check on your siding and look for any damage or excessive dirt.
- Clean your siding. If it’s done regularly, can be as simple as employing some mild soap and rinsing with a garden hose.
- To save time, you may find it worthwhile to pressure wash it or call upon a professional.
- Check windows and doors to make sure that everything is sealed as well as possible when closed. Gaps in insulation can have a major impact on how efficiently you can cool your property. Poor seals can also affect humidity levels in the home.
- Check your roof too! Make sure that spring weather didn’t bring any damage to tiles or shingles and clear away any debris or leaves.
Smoke Detectors and Fire Extinguishers
You can never be too careful with fire safety, especially in the summer, so now is a great chance to inspect your smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.
- Test smoke detectors to make sure they’re functional and batteries are up to date.
- Inspect fire extinguishers to make sure that seals are intact, they're correctly pressurized, and they don’t show any signs of visible damage.
- Fire extinguishers also need to be easily accessible in an emergency: they won’t do you (or your tenants) any good if they aren’t easy to find!
Dealing with Pests
No one likes summertime pests, so follow these basic steps to keep common household pests from establishing a foothold on your property this summer.
- Keep clutter such as wood, boxes, or leaves away from the exterior of your property.
- Store garbage and recycling bins away from exterior walls if possible. This will help keep away spiders, ants, roaches, and other small animals.
- Drain any standing water to discourage mosquitoes and take steps to prevent future build up.
- Inspect screens on doors and windows, and replace or repair any that are damaged.
- Seal up any cracks or gaps in plumbing or your property’s foundation that may allow insects to enter.
Work with a Property Manager
Every season brings new management and maintenance challenges. If you’re finding it hard to keep up, remember that you can always turn to a Jacksonville area property management company.
Working with a property manager will give you access to experienced, knowledgeable, and full-time staff who can focus on these tasks, saving you time and money. Get in touch for a free consultation. We're here to take the stress out of summertime!
Are you a DIY landlord looking for resources? Our free Make-Ready Checklist can help with your property maintenance scheduling and organization!