Avoiding Emergency Maintenance Calls Over the Holidays

Now that Thanksgiving is just around the corner,  it’s time to take a moment and think about how winter may affect your property maintenance calls.

According to HomeAdvisor, the most frequent home emergency repair in 2012 has been for appliance repairs.  These appliance repairs often spike over the holidays and during cold-weather months, when they get heavier usage.

Emergency repairs are usually the most costly, since labor rates skyrocket.

Here are a few suggestions that may help you to reduce the likelihood of emergency repairs:

Kitchen Appliances: Avoid the likelihood of an emergency during a big family feast by asking your tenants to thoroughly clean their oven and grill before throwing that holiday turkey or ham in there. 

Nothing ruins a party or creates damage  faster then a house filled with smoke.

Garbage Disposals: Most garbage disposal repairs can be avoided by never placing coffee grounds, grease, eggshells, bones or potato skins in the garbage disposal.  These are all the things that typically get stuffed down there during holiday dinners, so a friendly reminder to tenants, asking them to not put these items in their garbage disposal could avoid a costly repair call from the local plumber — who will be charging you double wages since you pulled  him away from his family dinner.

Its also important that tenants do not overfill the garbage disposal or use chemical drain cleaners to unclog it.  It is unlikely that chemical cleaners will work completely and they leave the sink full of toxic liquids.

Making the assumption that your tenant is not worried about your repair bills, it might be helpful to suggest that a clogged garbage disposal would ruin their holiday, so it is in their best interests to be thoughtful of what they put down there.

Furnace:  It is easy to forget to replace your furnace filter, since its usually hidden in the deep recesses of your basement.  Be sure to replace furnace filters on an annual basis. Theres no better time than the fall, when it is starting to get used a lot more.  Plus, annual maintenance on a furnace can increase its life expectancy by up to four years.

Yard:  With all the storms and winds that have already hit this season, have you checked your rental property for dead and dying tree branches?  Not only are they unsightly, but they also represent a liability, if they were to fall and damage your property — or worse, injure a tenant.

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