Unexpected weather can happen at a moment's notice and it can have a serious impact on your Austin rental home. While typically we must prepare for things like floods in our area, it’s always a good idea to know how to act if any situation comes up.
In light of the record-setting winter storm we are experiencing across Texas, here are some tips and best practices for Austin property owners and tenants to winterize their Austin rental home.
The first step to take when temperatures are approaching freezing is to turn on the faucets throughout your home and let the water drip. This allows the water to flow through your pipes and helps prevent them from freezing in the cold temperatures. This is important and should be the first step you take as a property owner or a tenant in an Austin rental property. Failure to run water and let it flow can result in burst pipes and leaking water throughout the home.
If your pipes are already frozen it can be a good idea to go ahead and shut off the water to your property to prevent further damage once things are able to thaw out. This will allow you to do a much more controlled restart to your home’s water network once the weather is back to normal.
Once you’ve addressed the water in your home, keep these other tips in mind to help you withstand the winter elements at your Austin property:
Close off any gaps around your doors. This can be important for those of you who experience power loss in a winter storm. You’ll want to make sure you address any insulation leaks so that any warm air remains in the home with you and doesn’t escape. They make products for this, but you can accomplish this same effect with a towel.
Leave the heat on. This should go without saying, but when the temperatures drop below freezing, as long as you have power, be sure to leave your home’s heat on. This will also help prevent your home’s pipes from freezing.
Remove A/C units from windows. At times like right now, you won’t be needing this so remove any A/C units from the window and pull them inside. If you have a wall unit.
Beware of dangerous tree branches. If it is too late and the tree branches are already heavy and weighed down by ice, be sure to stay clear of these for the time being. Once things return to normal it may time for a consultation with a tree removal service if you notice dangerous branches around your property. They can pose a hazard to people, the property, cars, etc.
Be sure to inspect your fireplace before using it. Odds are you don’t use your fireplace a lot here in the Austin area. With snow covering the ground turning on the fireplace can seem like a great idea! Just be sure to check your fireplace and chimney for anything that can cause issues while operating, such as blockages.
Take advantage of your ceiling fan to help disperse heat. Don’t forget, heat rises! Turning on your ceiling fan can help disperse heat around the room.
These are a few quick tips to help you prepare your Austin rental home for any harsh winter weather. Preparation is important as once weather like this happens it can be tough, if not entirely impossible, for maintenance and emergency services to reach you. If you have questions about winterizing your Austin rental home or want to speak with a property manager please don’t hesitate to contact Stone Oak Property Management - 512.617.6766.