Cold weather is not always a factor in sunny South Carolina, however Creekbend Property Management would like to share our tips to stay warm and keep pipes from freezing AND help keep your heat bills down this winter.
Planning ahead can save you money and frustration. As per most rental agreements, any preventable damage (such as a frozen pipe) is the tenant’s responsibility.
1. Make sure the heat never goes below 50 degrees, even when you are not home.
2. Prevent water lines from freezing. Should pipes freeze, don’t use open flames to thaw out lines. This may catch the house on fire, or worse, create an explosion caused by expanding steam between two plugs of ice. Pipes don’t always burst the first time they freeze. However, should a pipe burst, quickly locate and turn off your water at the main valve. (If you don’t know where the shut-off is, inform your landlord or property manager, before any trouble occurs.) If the pipe break is in a hot water line, close the valve on the top of the water heater also. A plumber may need to be called.
3. During periods of cold weather, leave the doors open on kitchen and bathroom sink cabinets that are on exterior walls, so that pipes inside will be exposed to heat. If you will be away for more than two consecutive days this winter, please let us know at least one week in advance so we can check on your rental if a sudden freeze occurs. We also want to be able to reach you in case of an emergency.
4. Change the heating/air filters monthly to make a big difference in your bills.
5. Make sure the attic access door is properly closed and in place.
6. If you have a fireplace or a wood stove, the chimney needs to be cleaned each year. Chimney fires
are common if this is not done. Call a professional who can do a complete job and also check the
safety of the chimney.
7. Test your smoke alarm(s). There are more fires in the winter, and the smoke alarm is one of your best safety features. If you don’t have one, or it doesn’t work, inform your landlord. This is important for your family’s safety. Make sure your smoke alarms have a battery and they are working. You might want to consider buying a small fire extinguisher for your kitchen and garage, too.
1. Check and close all the vents to any crawl spaces under the building, if applicable.
2. Unhook your garden hoses and turn off outside faucets if they are “freeze-proof.” If the faucet is not freeze-proof, leave it open outside and turn off the valve to the supply line inside the house.
3. Check to insure that the caulking around the outside windows and any weather-stripping around door frames is still in place to stop cold air.
4. Don’t forget to close storm windows.
5. Make sure storm chains, if present, are attached on any storm doors. This prevents strong winds from blowing the door off or damaging the door.
6. Keep the gutters cleaned out. If they are clogged with leaves, the water will overflow and cause the house to rot, the basement to get wet or flood, or it will back up under the roof and into the house.
Creekbend Property Management is located in Charleston, SC specializing in rental properties in downtown Charleston, James Island, Isle of Palms, Johns Island, Kiawah, Mt. Pleasant, Summerville, Goose Creek, Moncks Corner, North Charleston, and West Ashley. We are licensed and insured, providing leasing services, management services, maintenance, and most importantly; giving our property investors peace of mind!