The average cost to repair water damage is $1,200, and taking on this cost will eat into your profits as a property owner. Not only does water damage lead to the need for repairs, but it is also possible for mold to grow when water is left to seep into the walls of your rental property. The best way to avoid costly repairs is by taking preventative measures before you rent the property out. Here are some ideas that will help you lower your ongoing maintenance costs.
Keep an Eye on Water Costs
If you are footing the bill for water, you will be able to examine fluctuations in water bills each month. If a tenant suddenly uses a significantly higher amount of water, there may be a hidden leak that needs to be fixed. As soon as you notice fluctuations, ask your tenant if there is a reason for the spike in the water bill. If there is no known cause, set up a day and time that you can inspect the plumbing in the property to determine why water usage has suddenly gone up.
Check Toilet Performance
When you do not live in a property, it can be difficult to determine whether problems with the toilet exist. When you are doing work on the property before allowing a tenant to move it, be sure to flush the toilet throughout your time in the home. Listen for the sound of continuously running water; if you hear it, there is a problem with the tank. The cut-off valves connected to the toilet should be checked to ensure that they are properly installed.
Check the Pipes
Each time your rental property is vacant, you should check the pipes to determine whether there is any corrosion or warping that needs to be addressed before a new tenant moves in. If you have long-term tenants living in the property, an annual maintenance check that includes an inspection of the pipes is recommended.
Inspect Hidden Areas For Water Damage
Hidden areas that are susceptible to water damage should be inspected on a regular basis. Any time you are in your rental property, ask tenants if you can inspect under sinks, near the refrigerator and near the dishwasher to determine whether leaks may be occurring.
Call in a Professional
While do-it-yourself maintenance could be cheaper, any errors on your part will cost you more money in the future. An annual inspection by an HVAC professional is recommended for your property, and these inspections will review performance related to water heaters and heating and cooling systems to determine whether these appliances may be susceptible to causing leaks.
Open Lines of Communication
The best way to detect a leak before it becomes a major issue is living in the property, but you do not have this luxury. Encourage a positive and open line of communication with your tenants to ensure that they will alert you if there is a problem with leaking pipes. Providing prompt maintenance service not only keeps your tenants happy, but it also cuts down on the costs that you will incur in relation to maintenance issues.
Maintaining a rental property represents a significant expense associated with owning investment properties. Maintenance is one cost that you can keep down by taking preventative steps, and the tips for avoiding leaks that are outlined above could keep you from putting thousands of dollars into damage repair and mold remediation.
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