Alex Haslam is a freelance writer who focuses on connectivity — finding ways to use technology to enhance the beauty and convenience of our entertainment, relationships, and living spaces. She spends her free time playing music, watching movies, and traveling anywhere she can.
The bustling months of summer are peak season for many vacation rentals, but as colder weather sets in and bookings slow down, and the weather becomes a little less favorable, it’s imperative to secure your vacation rental and conduct necessary repairs to reduce the risk of property damage.
Insurance companies report a majority of their property damage claims come from storm-related water or fire damage. The good news: you can take some steps to reduce risk, save money, and increase the security and comfort of your vacation rental property.
Batten down the hatches
Weatherproofing windows is one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to prevent water damage and conserve energy. Sealing gaps in windows or doors with weather stripping can reduce heating costs by as much as 15%. Install storm windows, upgrade to waterproof pipes, and get a smart thermostat to reap additional savings from your energy bill and still create a cozy, warm home for your guests to enjoy.
Service major appliances
Your AC unit may have been working overtime this summer, so give it a quick service and a clean filter before next season. Your heating system and fireplaces require the same attention before winter from a qualified technician who can conduct regular service, clean ducts, and replace filters. Fall is also an excellent time to service all the major appliances in your vacation rental, including washing machines, dishwashers, and ovens.
Test your security system
If you don’t have a security system in place, now is a good time to have one installed. A comprehensive security system not only helps keep a closer eye on your rental property but also provides the comfort of safety to your guests. If you do have a security system, check to make sure the cameras are functional, clean the lenses, and replace batteries in any components like door locks or smoke detectors.
Get up on the roof
Before winter comes, it’s a good time to get up on the roof or hire a professional to inspect it. Fall brings an increased risk of water damage from heavy rain, storms, wind, or even early snowfall. While you’re up there, clean out leaves and any obstructions that might be clogging gutters and impeding drainage. In colder climates, consider installing heating cables to avoid ice dams that could cause structural damage to the roof.
Trim trees and landscaping
Overhanging limbs and overgrown shrubbery may be problems when heavy winds arrive, causing property damage and becoming potential safety hazards for your guests. Get the trees around your vacation rental trimmed and tame any overgrown hedges or plants to keep sidewalks unobstructed and safe to walk. You’ll want to pay attention to anything that is dangling directly above the roof, driveway, or yard that might fall and result in potential injury.
Break out the blankets
Last but not least, it’s the details that make a difference. Survey your vacation rental to make sure you’re offering cozy, comfortable perks for your guests. Change the bed linens to warmer, winter versions and toss wool blankets or knitted afghans around the house so there’s always something to snuggle up with close at hand. Put hot cocoa mix out and leave an umbrella for rainy fall weather. Careful consideration for the comfort of your guests is what will keep your vacation rental property popular no matter the season.