Routine maintenance, the ongoing preservation process of your rental unit, is fundamental in ensuring your investment is kept in the best state possible.
Seasonal maintenance, on the other hand, aims at a more thorough inspection of elements during set times of the year. But how will you know what needs to be fixed, repaired, or upgraded without a comprehensive property inspection?
Well, one key resource that landlords rely upon to give an accurate assessment of their investment unit is an inspection report.
What is an Inspection Report?
An inspection report is a detailed document containing information about the condition of a property. Inspection reports are sometimes referred to as inspection checklists.
Each seasonal inspection report provides a concise and factual account of the state of your property. Inspections can be done before a tenant moves in and when a tenant moves out.
For insurance purposes, inspection reports are great at exposing the dangers associated with a property and pinpointing prospective risk factors. All of this information is then used to issue recommendations regarding risk management.
So, now that we know what a seasonal inspection report is, here are the things you can learn from it.
Top 5 Things to Learn From a Seasonal Inspection Report
Most property managers conduct a fall and spring inspection and then generate inspection reports. From these reports, you’re most likely to learn about the following things.
1. The State of the Foundation, Masonry, Exterior
It’s imperative to know the integrity of the foundation walls as well as the floors each year. This means having the masonry checked for deterioration, heaving, and or cracking.
An exterior inspection will often include the chimney if your property has one. Sometimes bricks come loose and need to be replaced or mortar re-applied.
No seasonal inspection report would be complete without mention of the condition of the basement, attic, and crawl space. These areas must be assessed for moisture and leakages, particularly after rains or cold weather.
2. The State of the Roof, Ceiling, Sidewalls
The roof is often an afterthought for most homeowners and yet left unchecked has the potential to cause thousands of dollars worth of damage.
A seasonal inspection will ensure that the tiles, fascia, soffits, and flashing are all checked for evidence of damage which may allow water to seep into the sidewalls, ceilings, and attic.
The report will also highlight any vegetation such as overgrown tree branches that need to be trimmed.
3. The State of Doors and Windows
Depending on where your property is located and what material your doors are made of, it’s vital that their weather-stripping is closely inspected for damage and deterioration.
Caulking which is found on wood and masonry joints, hinges, and openings must be shown to still be intact. If not, you will need to re-caulk these areas.
Alongside the caulking, the inspection report must provide information about the glazing putty, i.e. if it’s missing or loose.
4. The State of the Plumbing Systems
Does your rental property have a septic tank? Then it’s going to need to be cleaned and checked by professionals at least once every two years.
In addition, the home inspector should look at the showers/tub, sinks, faucets, dishwasher, toilet to make sure that there aren’t any loose ends that will lead to leaking. If you’ve been noticing a high water bill, you might have a plumbing problem on your hands
The state of your lawn sprinklers must also be included in the report if you have sprinklers installed.
5. The State of the Heating and Cooling Systems
Heating systems (e.g. forced air systems, electric, geothermal, steam radiant, etc.) must all be inspected, evaluated, and checked that they are working as they should.
The inspector may wish to point out what needs to be serviced ahead of the hot and cool seasons. At times it’s something small like needing to change filters. However, sometimes there might be a need for a complete system overhaul.
Do You Need Someone Else to Be In Charge of Your Property Management?
Property management can be difficult. Fortunately, you don’t have to be in charge all the time. You can outsource some of your duties to qualified property managers or even give them full reign to oversee the entire property.
Contact us to discuss your property management options.