Property management in Philadelphia doesn’t have to be difficult.
Even if you self-manage your rental property, there are things you can handle on your own, including some maintenance or repair tasks.
Sure, DIY repairs may take a little more time and effort on your part to complete, as opposed to hiring someone to do the work for you.
However, sometimes it’s good to hone your skills as a landlord, show your tenants you are willing to put the work in, and save money in the process.
Of course, there are those projects that are better left to the professionals, or the maintenance crew your Philadelphia property manager has on hand for you.
But today, we are going to focus on the things you should know how to do yourself.
Rental Property Repairs You Can Do Yourself
1. Repairing Drywall
There is nothing like finding out your tenant has put a hole in the wall of your property. Luckily, repairing drywall is not very hard to do.
For small holes, some putty and spackle are all you need. Just make sure you always have extra paint on hand – you don’t want to be the type of property owner that mismatches paint colors while repairing holes in the wall, no matter how small they are.
If the hole in your property’s wall is large, you will need to cut out around the hole, cover it up with a piece of replacement drywall, and attach that piece using drywall tape. Then, simply sand it down and paint over it.
2. Squeaky Floors
Squeaky floors are not just a nuisance to those walking around on them. They can be a sign that wood is rubbing against a nail, neighboring wood pieces, or even ductwork and piping. And, as The Family Handyman states, finding the source of the noise can be difficult.
However, once you identify where the squeak is coming from, remedying the issue can be as simple as sprinkling talcum powder into the cracks to see if the squeak stops. If not, you may need to take your repair skills up a notch, and add some support braces to stop the noise from continuing.
3. Unclogging a Drain
Sinks, whether in the kitchen or bathroom, are known to clog from time to time. And knowing how to effectively unclog them is a useful skill to have when it comes to caring for your rental property (and your own home as well!).
Here are some easy DIY tips for restoring normal use to a sink that has become clogged:
- Clear the drain of material such as hair or food
- Add a store bought drain cleaner, and follow the instructions
- Create your own natural drain cleaner using baking soda and vinegar
- Use a bent wire hanger to reach down into the drain and fish out the culprit clogging it
- Try a plunger for the kitchen sink
- Pour boiling water down the drain and watch it clear
- Clean the pipe – especially the U-shaped one underneath the kitchen sink
- Buy a drain snake
Your unclogging solution will depend on the reason your sink is clogged in the first place. However, before you start calling in a potentially expensive plumber, try these easy hacks first.
4. Gutter Maintenance
In Philadelphia, where the seasons cycle forcefully every year, knowing how to maintain your property’s gutters is a must.
If you allow broken rain gutters to drain rain water improperly, you face ruining the siding of your property, damaging the soil near the foundation, and possibly creating a leak that leads to the inside of the rental, all of which are no good.
Here are some common gutter repairs you can easily do yourself:
- Patch a hole. Rust, tree branches, and sharp tools are all ways your gutters can develop holes in them. Patching a hole immediately is necessary if you don’t want it to increase in size. Buy some roofing cement from your local hardware store to plug those holes up.
- Improper Draining. In order to avoid having to patch a hole in your gutter (see above), do not drill a hole into a gutter midway to encourage draining. If your gutter is not draining water properly, it is either not slanting in the right direction, or is sagging and needs to be raised. Both of these are easy fixes.
- Leaky Joints. Water dripping from the joints of your gutters is a common issue, especially for properties in rainy regions. In fact, even seamless gutters are prone to some level of leakage. Replace the spikes that hold gutters in place to help with sagging, leaky joints, and the foundation of the gutter on your property’s exterior.
Rain gutters are a necessary part of your Philadelphia rental property. And, as any high quality property management company will tell you, having your existing tenants properly maintain the gutters during their tenancy is a good idea. However, even with the best maintenance, wear and tear will eventually create issues.
Luckily, most gutter issues are easily fixed, and do not require the help of a professional. That is, so long as you inspect your property routinely, and tackle minor issues before they become major.
5. Other Easy DIY Repairs
In addition to the ones mentioned above, there are other DIY repairs that you can easily handle yourself:
- Toilet Issues. Clogs, lever issues, and broken seals inside the tank are all doable without the need for a professional.
- Light Switches and Outlets. Not only can these things become faulty with lots of use, the plates can become damaged and unsightly if not maintained. Replacing light switches and outlets is easy to do – simply buy new components, match the wires, and replace the covers.
- Caulking. The caulking around bathtubs and sinks tend to wear down, crack, and peel over time. Buy a tool to remove all old caulk and then, using a caulking gun, replace the grout areas with fresh caulk that is not stained or damaged.
- Replace a Roof Shingle. Use a hammer to pry old damaged shingles off your roof, along with surrounding nails, and place a new shingle in its place. Just don’t forget to nail it back into place, and consider adding roofing cement to make sure it doesn’t slide off.
As you can see, rental property maintenance does not consist solely of major repairs such as foundation work, sewer breakages, HVAC repairs, and water damage. And, while those repairs may break the bank, and will definitely require professionals, not all repairs call for a maintenance crew.
However, if you own a rental property in the Philadelphia region, and do not want to deal with the hassle of performing even the smallest repairs on your property, get in touch with Bay Management Group today. We have a 24/7/365 maintenance and repair crew on hand to handle every issue you have with your property, no matter how big or small.
In addition, we are committed to using reliable, trustworthy, affordable, and timely contractors for all repairs your rental property may need. Not only can we ensure that all property repairs are handled efficiently, we ensure they are performed promptly to prevent further costly repairs in the future.