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Preparing Your Rental Property for Winter

The weather may be fairly temperate along the North Coast, but the cold, high humidity and rain can cause damage to your Humboldt County rentals if you aren’t careful. Here is a quick checklist to prep residential rental properties for the winter months.

Pre-Winter Maintenance for Humboldt Rentals

  1. Schedule inspections for all fireplaces. Getting warm by the fireplace feels cozy, but not if the chimney is clogged, which can lead to smoke damage or a fire hazard. Other items to check out are the damper to ensure it can properly open and close and putting a screen on the chimney top.
  2. Ensure roof gutters and downspouts are clear. Have any debris that has accumulated in the gutters removed, then spray the roof with a hose to wash away the remnants. Repair any broken gutters or downspouts.
  3. Inspect the roof to stop leaks before they start. Replace any worn roof tiles or shingles and check flashing.
  4. Change the air filters in central heating systems. This will not only make the heating unit more efficient, but it can help prevent maintenance issues in the future.
  5. Inspect smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and replace batteries.
  6. Insulate water pipes in areas where temperatures are known to drop below freezing. This can help prevent them from bursting during the coldest season.
  7. Ensure there is proper ventilation in bathroom and kitchen areas. Humboldt County is known for its high humidity and problems with mold. Proper ventilation during the wettest months will keep mold damage down.
  8. Trim any tree branches that cross over electrical wires or the roof of your rental.
  9. Schedule an inspection for the furnace and the water heater.

If you are interested in making your Humboldt rentals more heat-efficient, there are also some simple steps you can take to reduce heat leakage during the winter.

Reducing Heat Leakage in Rental Properties


  1. Caulk around windows and apply weatherstripping. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, about 10% of the air leaks from a house through the windows.
  2. Install insulated gaskets for outlets. Not much air leaks through outlets (about 2%), but it is fairly inexpensive to install insulation gaskets.
  3. Fill gaps around pipes with caulking. This is a significant source of heat loss otherwise.
  4. Add insulation to the attic. The recommended depth is 12 inches to prevent significant heat leakage.

If you have questions about preparing your rentals for winter or what you are legally required to maintain, give us a call-(707) 515-7200.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.