Keep your rentals (and your own home) running smoothly and looking great with this simple checklist. Making these repairs and/or additions may also attract possible tenants to that vacancy you have been trying to rent out!
Repair window screens and check screening on porches before bug season arrives. Save old screens for future patches.
Build or repair fences and arbors so they will be ready for planting season.
Repair deck boards as needed; remove protruding nails and replace with coated or galvanized screws. Be sure to check and tighten bolts in deck supports.
Clean and seal wood deck as necessary. Deck stains with at least some pigment last longer than clear sealers.
Reverse ceiling fans —they should have been blowing upward in the winter—and clean the tops of the fan blades.
Check that winter wind hasn't lifted vinyl or aluminum siding, then repair.
Wash black streaks from the roof. Use prepared cleaner or save some extra money and mix your own: Combine one part chlorine bleach with three parts water and a handful of trisodium phosphate. Apply to small section of roof with garden sprayer, let soak 20 minutes, then rinse with a hose.
Wash siding and gutters with a similar solution. You'll have fewer streaks if you start from the bottom. Always be careful with ladders around power lines.
Scrape and touch up exterior paint, paying special attention to window sills, gable vents, and garage doors.
Complete larger exterior painting jobs. Follow the shade — don't paint in direct sun — and quit before dusk so the paint can dry before dew forms. Cheap paint is not a bargain. For most exterior jobs, look for 100% acrylic and buy at least the "better" quality.
Clean gas grill and replace any rusted or damaged parts.
Check crawl space for moisture and remove debris. If signs of termites, call a professional.
Clean concrete drives, walk-ways, and patios and clean as needed.
Reprinted courtesy of the Chicago Area REIA. Visit careia.org