Basic Home Maintenance Skills for Landlords

home maintenance tools

A rental property needs proper maintenance to stay in shape and remain attractive to buyers. While you can always call a professional to do property maintenance and repairs, it can be more expensive than doing it yourself. 

Since things can go wrong with a rental unit, knowing the basic home repair skills can help save the day. Keep in mind that as a landlord, repair and maintenance of the property are your responsibilities. 

In this post, we’ll discuss basic home maintenance skills you need to learn as a landlord.

8 Basic Home Maintenance Skills Every Landlord Should Know

1. Cleaning gutters

Clogged gutters can cause water to trickle into the basement and seep under the siding, causing mold formation and rotting. Taking preventive measures, such as cleaning the gutters, can prevent this costly damage from happening. 

Gutter cleaning can be as simple as taking out leaves and other debris and adjusting the hangers. This should be done as part of your regular rental property maintenance. When doing the task, be sure to have someone hold the ladder still to ensure your safety.  

2. Repairing leaking roofs

If you have water stains that run down walls or extend across ceilings, you probably have a leaky roof. The good news is you can stop minor roof leaks yourself with no experience necessary. 

Before starting the repair, make sure that the area you wish to fix is dry and clean. Apply a quick-drying sealant or roof cement on the damaged part of the roofing. Be sure to place a cloth on top of the sealant to prevent it from sticking to your hands. Then leave the fabric on the sealant to reinforce the patch.

If you need to employ a waterproofing contractor to do trickier jobs (such as addressing leaks on tiled and concrete roof decks), be sure to look for one with a good track record. Consider asking around the neighborhood for possible referrals, especially from homeowners with older houses.

3. Check fire extinguishers

According to a survey, 70% of fire incidents were resolved by using extinguishers and didn’t require the assistance of rescue services. Knowing how to inspect and maintain a fire extinguisher can then help ensure that potential fires in your property are immediately contained. 

Check for any damage to the fire extinguisher like cracks, dents, or rust. Also, inspect the hose and nozzle (if the extinguisher is equipped with one) to ensure they are free from any obstructions.

If you notice any damage to the fire extinguisher, contact a licensed fire extinguisher maintenance company for a replacement.

4. Trim trees and shrubs

Regularly trimming trees and shrubs will encourage their growth and increase fruit and flower production. It will also prevent the spread of damage to other parts of the plant. Additionally, it creates a pleasing shape and leaves the plants looking neat, making your property look more attractive. 

The basic procedure involves cutting dead, diseased, or broken branches or stems. Generally, you should prune the tree or shrub before new growth emerges. This allows the plant to put its energy into supporting new growth and prevents it from wasting such energy on damaged areas. 

When pruning a shrub, try to maintain its natural shape by removing individual branches with hand pruners or loppers. Meanwhile, when trimming a tree, cut side branches back to the main trunk. Make sure to leave the collar, as this facilitates proper healing of the wound.

5. Basic plumbing work

Knowing basic plumbing work will enable you to maintain your rental property’s water supply system in case a pipe breaks. A do-it-yourself fix for a drain pipe may involve simply tightening a slip-nut near the P-trap. If the leak comes from a drainpipe inside the wall, it would be best to call a professional plumber as this often involves a complicated repair.

6. Replacing fixtures (knobs, handles, faucets)

If you have the basic know-how on replacing fixtures, you can perform basic fixes without having to spend a substantial amount on a professional repair. The procedure in fixing a leaky faucet includes removing the decorative handle hardware, loosening the packing nut, and then putting in the new O-ring and washer. 

Meanwhile, replacing a door handle requires three simple steps. First, remove the old knob together with the strike plate. Then insert a new latch into the hole in the door’s edge, making sure it matches the direction of the door swing. After which, install the new knob and strike plate, locking the latch mechanism in place.

7. Basic door and window repair

If part of your rental property has a broken door or window, repairing it yourself can save you thousands of pesos. For wood doors and windows, basic repair involves applying liquid epoxy on the rotted areas, filling window trim cracks with epoxy putty, and lubricating locks, latches, and hinges.

For non-wood doors and windows such as those made of metal, fiberglass, vinyl, or composite, you can fix a dent by applying a polyester putty product on the bump and then sanding and painting it afterward. For holes and cracks, using a bonding filler can get the job done right.

Normally, rust damage, delamination, and deformed door or window require replacement as these issues are often hardly fixed by basic repair. However, you may opt to hire a repair service professional to assess if restoration is still possible.

8. Caulking

Basic knowledge of the proper caulking procedure can come in handy in case your rental property’s windows or doors have gaps and openings that need to be fixed. Caulk is appropriate for sealing air leaks in cracks and joints that are less than an inch wide. In addition to keeping moisture out, caulking can also prevent water damage inside and outside of your property when applied around faucets, drains, bathtubs, and other plumbing fixtures.

A good rule of thumb when caulking is to do it in one straight continuous stream. If the caulk shrinks, reapplication is needed to form a smooth bead for sealing the crack completely.

Save on Costs with Basic Maintenance Skills

Knowing basic home maintenance skills can help you avoid costly repairs. Any real estate broker in the Philippines will agree it will also make your property safe and secure and more appealing to potential tenants. When doing a repair task, make sure to take proper steps to ensure your safety.  

If you’re looking to expand your rental property assets, RE/MAX Gold is the perfect option for you! We offer real estate investment opportunities to help you achieve your dream of owning a property. To guide you in your home-buying journey, check out our buyer’s checklist now!