With the change in our season Lava Ridge Property Management would like to provide you with some helpful tips and remind you of some rules and regulations along with a winter preparation checklist. Please understand that the purpose of this letter is to be informational and help us, help you!! Any rule or guideline listed below is subjective to the property and may not be the full extent of the renters’ responsibility and can be changed without notification. As always, if you have any questions regarding this or any other matter, please contact the office.
WINTER PREPERATION CHECKLIST FOR RENTERS
☐Clean out the gutters on first floor of houses only – all 2nd story gutters should be cleaned by a professional and will be handled through Lava Ridge.
☐Remove all hoses from the exterior hose bibs and place a spigot winterization cover over the spigot
☐Place foam vent blocks in all crawl space vents at the base of the house
☐Prepare yard for winter with winter fertilization and trim all landscaping appropriately – irrigation will be winterized through Lava Ridge
☐Test all heat sources, change furnace filters and/or vacuum wall heaters
HEATING YOUR HOME
- Heat in the house should never be less than 50 degrees. Set thermostats to approximately 55 degrees to avoid frozen pipes.
- If your home will be vacant for more than 24 hours or if you live in older homes with sub insulation levels ~ leave all cabinet doors underneath sinks open to expose the pipes to the heat in the house.
- If temperatures outside are continuously below freezing it is always good to leave a cold-water faucet on a slow drip. Running water can’t freeze!
- Make sure pipes to water heaters in garages, basement, exterior closets etc are wrapped, insulated or have heat tape where safe. In some cases, we suggested getting a hot water tank insulation blanket as well.
- Make sure crawl space venting is closed or blocked with vent covers.
- Change your furnace filter - - this is very important!!! If your furnace stops working and a technician is required to reset the system due to a blocked filter, the vendor charge will be passed to you.
- Vacuum any cadet heaters, furnace vents or like items.
- Keep the fireplace clean. You are responsible to light pilot lights – fireplace, water heater etc. If you have difficulty getting your fireplace to draft or are concerned for any reason about the operation of your fireplace, please contact our office. Attempt to see if chimney tops have debris, bird nests or blockages by looking from the ground.
- Many ceiling fans come with a switch that reverses the direction of the blades. Counter clockwise rotation produces cooling breezes while switching to clockwise makes it warmer: air pooled near the ceiling is circulated back into the living space.
- You are responsible for all snow removal at your home. This includes driveways, walkways (public and private) porches, patios etc. Per City regulations: when clearing the sidewalks do not move snow into the streets or gutter. Snow or Ice should not remain on the sidewalk for a period longer than the first 6 hours of daylight after the snow has fallen. You can be issued a citation from the City for not removing your snow promptly.
- When using ice melt, make sure you sweep it up after the ice is melted. Please try using sand or another product as snow melt will deteriorate the drive ways and sidewalks. You will be responsible for damaged concrete for chemical based ice melts - so please be careful.
- Be aware of ice cycles hanging from gutters, balconies or anything above head. Safely remove any when possible.
- If you see any ice damns or a large buildup of snow on any part of your roof, contact the office immediately. Failure to report ice damns or issues with snow melting that causes damage to the unit could be charged back to you. A great indicator of an ice damn are large ice cycles hanging from the roof line or large sections of ice see at the roof line.
GENERAL REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE
Basic maintenance is a renter responsibility. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Light bulbs, tightening screws where needed, adjusting doors, oiling tracks etc
- Garbage disposal and clogged sinks – If your disposal stops working, have you tried to clear the line yourself first. Use a disposal allen wrench on the base of motor to manually move the blades and un-jam it. If we find that the cause for the repair is tenant caused (bottle cap, starch peels, seeds or pits etc), the repair will be charged back to you. Sink clogs – have you tried any liquid plumber, plunger or sorts… again, if the clog is tenant caused (hair, paper etc) the repair will be charged back to the tenants.
- Vacuum and clean under and behind the appliances.
LANDSCAPING AND IRRIGATION
Your lawns and yards must still be taken care of thru the winter months.
- In most cases Lava Ridge will send out a technician to blow out and winterize your irrigation systems. Please make sure the all locks have been removed from the gates and landscapers have full access to your backflow valves to properly winterize any irrigation on the property. Once the system is winterized, unplug any irrigation timer boxes.
- Before the snow falls, give your yard a proper once over cleanup / maintenance and prepare it for winter. There are several winterization fertilizers available at local hardware stores. Mow and edge all lawns one last time for the season.
- Trim and prune shrubs and hedges as needed. Tree trimming will be conducted by Lava Ridge as needed. It is your responsibility to ensure that shrubs and hedges are not touching the house exterior or blocking irrigation from proper coverage.
- Dispose of all grass clipping and trimmings from the property. You CANNOT store or pile this on site.
- It is your responsibility to ensure that all toys, furniture, trash, cigarette butts and feces from your approved pets is removed from the grass areas
- If any irrigation/sprinkler breaks or water is leaking, please contact our office immediately. An irrigation water leak is not only wasteful but can cost your property owner quite a bit of money, which can result in rent increases to cover costs.
- Remove any watering hoses from outside faucets and cover the spigot with a winterization cover.
**** CHANGE YOUR SMOKE DETECTOR BATTERIES!!! *****
Please understand that owners try to minimize costs of their investments so that we can keep rents from rising too much. Multiple requests for basic and simple maintenance items increase expenses and force owners to raise rents. So, if your door bell box falls off the wall and just needs a screw… help yourself out and take a minute to reattach it. In no way are we saying to NOT contact us for repairs… just try to trouble shoot these things yourself and keep costs down for everyone.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR AND REPORT
- Decks and/or fences that are worn and should be re-stained or have nails/screws missing or backing out.
- Loose railings or fence slats etc
- Leaks on any irrigation or around toilets, sinks, hose connectors or any plumbing source
- Caulking at the base of all tubs and showers, around toilets, backsplashes etc.
Again, these are simply guidelines and helpful hints to ensure a smooth and easy fall/winter for us all. Specific details or clarification should be referred to our office. If you have any questions regarding this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.