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Managing Property Repairs: Keeping Molehills from Turning into Mountains

by Sharon Vornholt on November 13, 2012 · 8 comments

  
property repairs and maintenance

It doesn’t matter whether you are a homeowner, a landlord, or a property manager, one of the most important things you need to know about making needed repairs on a property is to “do them quickly.” It is not only important to take care of any maintenance and repairs quickly for your tenants’ sake (if you have rental property) but also for the sake of your bank account. Most of the time when that little repair goes unaddressed, it will turn it into a big expensive problem. What once was a “molehill” suddenly becomes a “mountain”.

Property Maintenance Basics

Whether you are a DIY person or you would prefer to hire a contractor or handyman to take care of the repair, you need to budget for these unexpected expenses. Once you get in the habit of setting money aside every month for the “inevitable,” this will allow you to always get the repairs done in a timely manner.

Whether it is a small plumbing leak, a leaky roof or something like piece of deteriorated wood on a window frame, not taking care of these things promptly will inevitably result in you having a big problem to deal with later on. That loose shingle that is letting water seep in can turn into damaged drywall, mold and a mighty big repair bill.

Take Care of Routine Maintenance

When you stay on top of routine maintenance on your property, it can pay big dividends later on. It’s a good idea to have a seasonal maintenance schedule. For instance, when summer is over, get in the habit of having the HVAC system professionally inspected. Not only will the AC be ready for summer next year, but you will be sure your furnace is functioning properly and safely. Once the leaves have fallen off the trees, the gutters should be cleaned every year.

If this is something your tenant is supposed to do according to the terms of the lease, you will still have to check to be sure it has been done. Removing debris and leaves will prevent water from standing in the gutters. Gutters that are not draining properly can cause damage to the wood behind them, allow water to leak into the house, and the gutters themselves can be damaged. A couple of small pieces of exterior wood trim that are beginning to deteriorate will no longer be a simple repair 12 months from now.

Have A Plan For Getting Things Done

If you plan on doing the home repairs and routine maintenance yourself, be sure to keep some basic tools and supplies on hand to take care of the all of the things that are sure to come up. If everything you need is easily accessible, you will be much more likely to take care of those repairs quickly.  It’s important that you always have a list of trusted professionals you can call when something big comes up rather than trying to find someone in an emergency.

Repairs to your property don’t have to be a big deal if they are taken care of promptly especially if you have a plan of action or a procedure in place before they are needed. Not only will you save yourself time and a lot of frustration, you will save a lot of money in the long run.

Photo: djlicious

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Dale Osborn November 13, 2012 at 11:43 am

Doing a little preventative maintenance now can prevent the expensive reactive maintenance down the road.

Reply

Sharon Vornholt November 13, 2012 at 12:47 pm

It absolutely can Dale.

All small problems tend to grow if they are not remedied as they occur. And, you can do them on YOUR timetable not someone elses.

Reply

Al Williamson November 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm

At this time of year, I carry a little tube of graphite and puff some into all my locks. Keeps them opening smoothly.

What are your Fall time tasks?

Reply

Sharon Vornholt November 13, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Great idea Al.

One thing you can do is visit your properties at this time of year to “change the furnace filter”. You can get a good idea of how your tenants are treating your property from this one visit.

Reply

Terry November 13, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Great article.

One thing I do every summer is to check the roofs on my properties.

It’s a lot easier to do those repairs before the rainy season starts.

Reply

Sharon Vornholt November 13, 2012 at 6:11 pm

Hi Terry –

Great idea. I’m sure you probably walk the property and check the exterior of the house too.

Reply

Mike Butler November 18, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Great article Sharon! now i see why you like Bigger Pockets. Good stuff.
Mike

Reply

Sharon Vornholt November 18, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Thanks Mike. It’s great to see you here.

Reply

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