Ward, Hayden

Spring Maintenance Tips for Vacation Rentals

Easy Spring Maintenance Guide for Vacation Rentals

As the warmth of spring approaches, it’s easy to forget the effect that harsh winter weather may have on your vacation rental. A bit of spring maintenance now can prevent costly repair bills later and there is no better time to take a look around and see how best to beautify and protect your property from hazards. With safety not at the top of your guests’ minds, it’s important to take the necessary precautions at your property to ensure they have a safe and easy stay.

Review these tips for spring maintenance to avoid any unwelcome surprises at your vacation rental.

Property Interior

As cliché as it sounds, there is no better time for a deep, spring clean. Conduct a thorough walkthrough of the property, inspecting the bedrooms, shared spaces, bathrooms and kitchen. Watch out for leaks, squeaky floorboards, holes, and mold. Especially common in bathrooms and laundry rooms, mold appears as dark, fuzzy spots with a distinct smell. Leaving it to spread can cause major health and structural problems.

Give your appliances a little love as you walk through the property. Washers and dryers need to be cleaned and checked for leaks. You can use the hose attachment on a vacuum to clean out the lint trap inlet and vent pipes. Just because the lint trap is clean, that doesn’t mean your dryer isn't accumulating flammable lint particles in other areas.

Electrical Systems

Take a moment to inspect your electrical systems for frayed wires, loose outlets and cracked plugs to avoid accidents such as your guests getting electrocuted or tripping over wires. Make sure no cords or outlets are overloaded. Ensure that any electrical cords aren't running under rugs or around door frames.

Property Exterior

As the seasons change, built-up pollen and dirt can accumulate on the surfaces of the property. As you pressure wash, check to make sure there are no big holes in the driveway or on the exterior of the house. Clean the windows; it benefits not only the curb appeal but also the view from inside the property. Take a moment to examine the windows and screens for damages. Small tears in screens can be fixed with clear nail polish.

If your rental is in need of a facelift, stain the deck, paint the shutters, or just completely paint the exterior. Change can be a good thing, and the paint color can even save you money on your air-conditioning bill.

Take into account the condition of the roof. Thoroughly inspect it for loose shingles, holes and any other signs of damage. If it has not been replaced in the past 20 years, it may be time for an upgrade. If there is siding, paint, clean and repair any issues to prevent mildew or bugs from getting into the wood. As you inspect the roof and siding, clear debris from the gutters and downspouts. This will prevent water from overflowing and reduce the risk of water damage.

Fire Safety

While fireplaces and wood-burning stoves are popular features for vacation rental properties, they’re also among the leading causes of home fires. It might seem obvious, but it’s really important to keep ignitable objects away from heating equipment. Blankets, electrical cords, and decorative items are often found around fireplaces and create a major hazard. Prevent an accidental fire by establishing a clearance area of at least three feet around your heating equipment.

Regularly test your smoke and CO detectors as part of your post-stay property inspection. Batteries for these devices should be changed every six months and CO detectors need to be replaced every five years. Be sure there is a fire extinguisher in the kitchen that is in plain sight, easily accessible, and ready for use. Check for an expiration date on the label. If it hasn't expired, make sure to review the pressure gauge to ensure it's in the proper range. Ensure all kitchen vents are cleaned regularly.

Don’t forget to clean around your furnace. Vacuum up dust and discard of any combustible items near it. It’s also a good time to replace your heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) filters. A dirty filter will force your system to work harder, which can be costly and inefficient.

If you haven’t had your furnace looked at it in a while, a professional inspection could be your best defense against cracks that can release carbon monoxide in your property. Now is also a good time to schedule a chimney sweep. While this maintenance is typically performed in the fall, appointments can book up early.

Grills & Fire Pits

Grills and fire pits are very popular during the warmer months. The National Fire Prevention Association says, “On average, 8,800 home fires are caused by grilling each year.” Follow these simple steps to help prevent your guests or home from getting severely burned. 

  • Keep the grill at least three feet away from your property and spaced well away from deck railings, shrubs, or overhanging tree branches. 
  • Clean out the grill after each guest and check for any potential risks.
  • Create a detailed guide for the grill that's easily accessible for your guests.

 

Outdoor Spaces

As the weather starts to warm up, be proactive in planning your landscaping. Adding new mulch to give a fresh look to the flower beds or planting a few colorful bushes to greet guests is always a lovely idea. Planting a few trees to shield your short-term rental property from sun and wind may help reduce cooling and heating bills. Don’t forget to inspect your pre-existing trees for damage or rot. Take the time to remove dead or unhealthy trees and limbs that could fall in heavy winds.

Recreational Amenities

The recreational amenities you offer with your vacation rental property can allow you to charge higher rental costs and may help attract more guests. Certain amenities like swimming pools, hot tubs, canoes, kayaks, exercise equipment, and small watercrafts increase the fun your guests will have, but they can also heighten the risk of someone being injured on your property.

Take stock of all recreational equipment. Post instruction cards and safety warnings near exercise equipment and amenities like hot tubs. For example, posting notices saying exercise equipment users must be at least 18 years old, or no diving is allowed in the swimming pool, may help protect you in the event of a claim being brought by someone who failed to follow those rules. 

To keep unwanted guests out, be sure your pool or hot tub is fenced in. To view more safety precautions to take while opening your pool, click here to read our post on it.

Safety for You and Your Business

Spring cleaning is a practical tradition. In addition, it's also a great opportunity to conduct an annual safety inspection of your vacation rental property. While these safety precautions for vacation rental property owners cannot completely eliminate risk, they can help prevent injuries happening on the property, reduce your legal liability risk, help keep the guests safe and keep your business thriving. To learn more about protecting your short-term rental business through CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance, request a free quote.

This blog may contain scenarios that are provided as examples only. Coverage is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy issued. The information provided is general in nature and may be affected by changes in law or the interpretation of such laws. The reader is advised to contact a professional prior to taking any action based upon this information.

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About Us

CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance, a division of CBIZ Insurance Services,Inc., is the largest insurer of short-term vacation rental properties in the United States. As part of an $850 million New York Stock Exchange traded company (CBZ), we are the first broker to develop specific policy coverage to meet the needs for vacation rental properties and the amenities offered by these businesses. We have insured vacation rental properties since 2002.

The CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance team knows insurance, specifically the risks and exposures related to short-term vacation rentals.We won't confuse you with technical "insurance speak" ~ our representatives are well versed in explaining your coverage in plain English. With hands-on, personal customer service, we guarantee swift communication and a 24/7 claims team that is ready to respond to your call any time of the day. As specialist in the industry, we leverage our knowledge and passion to ensure you and your business are adequately protected.