1. Is your house properly insulated? With the rising costs of energy proper attic, crawl space and wall insulation is an absolute must. Homes on or near the water also must consider exposed pipes for freezing concerns as well. If your windows are out dated consider updating them too.
2. Are your gutters clean and free of debris? Gutters that fill with leaves don't allow for proper drainage and create huge problems later on in the winter months. Water and snow that ordinarily would run off the roof down the gutters stays on the roof, freezes in cold weather and lifts the shingles on your roof creating severe leaks and freeze damage.
3. Have you made sure annual service has been completed on that oil or gas furnace and water heater? Sometimes we don't realize until it's too late that things aren't running properly. At that point it's often too late and the mechanicals have been permenantly damaged. Make sure your tenants change the air filters regularly and stay on top of yearly maintenance.
4. Don't forget to shovel and sand the driveway and sidewalks. This is a basic safety and liability issue that should be handled every storm. Make sure you have a plan and know who is taking care of these responsibilities.
5. Did you cover the central air compressors outside? Seems small but could extend the life as much as 5-7 years past it's expected usage.
These quick tips are as easy as a phone call, or email and if you include them in your lease addendums like many owners you'll find that you don't ever have to think about twice about them. Of course if you hire us- we make sure of these things and more, all the time providing our owners with peace of mind every winter.