You may have the basics of rental property maintenance down — you remember to check the appliances, inspect floors and walls, and pay special attention to the bathroom. But there’s more to maintenance than meets the eye, and the often-forgotten areas of a rental property still need attention.
Attics and crawl spaces are too often ignored in the grand scheme of property maintenance. If you’re assuming there’s nothing wrong with the attic in your rental property, you could be letting a bad situation get out of hand without even realizing it.
Here’s what to look for when performing routine crawl space and attic maintenance.
What Happens When You Neglect Your Attic Maintenance
It’s understandable that you might not think to prioritize this area of your rental property. After all, the chances of your tenants spending time there are slim. As such, many property owners figure there’s nothing to worry about.
Unfortunately, a lot could be happening behind the scenes that could cost you money and cause you grief if you don’t get a handle on it.
For instance, pests are a property owner’s worst nightmare, and they’re common in unmaintained attics and crawl spaces. Similarly, mold can grow rapidly in these environments. If your building has mold, it could affect the health and well-being of your tenants.
Cracks or damage from weather or other sources could also cause warm or cool air from an HVAC system to leak out of the property. These leaks won’t just make things less comfortable for your tenants — they’ll also cost you a fortune in energy expenses.
These are only some of the liabilities you take on when you decline to invest in attic maintenance. Fortunately, there are some immediate and effective measures you can take to improve the less-used parts of your property.
Check for Water Damage
Attics and crawl spaces are highly susceptible to water damage. If your attic is older or you haven’t been checking on it regularly, there’s a chance that water may be wreaking havoc up there.
Water damage can also be an indication of a roof or exterior leak that needs attention. While no one likes to hear they have water damage and a leaky roof, it’s better to find out while you still have time to get it under control rather than waiting until it’s a bigger, more expensive problem.
Consider Adding Insulation
Most older attics weren’t built with insulation in mind. And if your attic insulation is getting up there in years, it’s time to think about adding to it.
Insufficient attic or crawl space insulation could force you to pay more for your property’s energy needs. Uncomfortable tenants will also be more likely to crank up the heat or air in an attempt to equalize the temperature, which could cost you even more.
While it won’t be a necessity for every property, yearly attic maintenance can give you a good idea of how your insulation is faring.
Check for Signs of Pests
Pests don’t always announce themselves. A rogue squirrel could build a nest high up in an attic, or an unfriendly family of wasps could seek refuge in your property’s crawl space. Pest inspection and control should therefore be a standard part of your attic maintenance.
The sooner you evict these uninvited guests, the better off you and your tenants will be.
Think in Terms of Security
Any risks that may threaten the well-being of your tenants or the property itself should be addressed immediately. Attic and crawl space security could be anything from ensuring the floorboards or stairs are sturdy to checking for faulty wiring that could prove to be a fire hazard.
If your property is older, you should check for security issues more than once a year.
Communicate with Your Tenants
Even if you don’t find any issues, your tenants may notice something you didn’t.
Encourage conversation about these spaces and ask your renters if they’ve noticed anything off. You might also make yourself available to field their concerns and ask them to contact you if they notice something is wrong.
Open communication can help give you a better idea of your building’s overall condition and prepare you for the coming year’s attic maintenance.
Are you overwhelmed by your property’s attic or crawl space needs? Attic Projects is here to help. We offer attic cleaning, insulation installation, rodent removal, and more.
Contact us today to schedule your free inspection with an attic and crawl space expert.