Upgrades that Decrease the Risk of Rental Water Damage Rental water damage is a headache for renter and property manager alike. Complications from water damage can make a unit unlivable. A simple leak can quickly spiral out of control, leaving water damage that must be taken care of. Taking the time to upgrade these key features in your DC-area units will cut the risk of rental water damage dramatically. Apply These Rental Upgrades: Weather stripping Obviously, rain, hail, and snow can’t damage your unit if they can’t get in. Old or damaged weather stripping allows moisture to gather around windows and doors. This moisture promotes the growth of mold and bacteria, especially in winter months when snow piles on DC window sills. Fresh weather stripping will keep the seal around doors and windows tight. This prevents moisture from getting in and helps with heating or air conditioning. Appliances While upgrading all the appliances in a rental unit is a large undertaking, appliances are a very common cause of water damage. One faulty seal on a dishwasher will dump water all over the kitchen floor. A broken fridge can allow condensation to form along the back or underside for months before it’s detected. In the long term, slowly and regularly replacing outdated appliances limits the possibility of a catastrophic breakdown. Additionally, to extend the life of your appliances, make sure they get yearly or biyearly maintenance. Keeping them up to date extends their functional life. Regular repairs also further cut the risk of rental water damage. Water heater Water heaters last a long time when they’re well maintained, but they won’t last forever. If the water heaters in your units are more than a few years old, consider upgrading them to more energy efficient models. These models reduce the water drawn and need less energy. Moreover, if one does break the water damage to your unit is significantly less. Ventilation and AC As you can see, most of these tips involve upgrading features that hold or handle moisture. Ventilation and air conditioning tackle the problem of water damage another way. Evaporation is the best defense against casual water damage. When the air in a room is stagnant, any moisture that finds its way inside is likely to stay there. Water damage doesn’t need to start out as a large quantity of water in order to turn into a major problem in your rental unit. Over time, moisture builds up and becomes a big problem. To avoid this, make sure that kitchens and bathrooms are equipped with fans and vents so that steam build up doesn’t condense and stay in the environment. By keeping the air in a room moving, drips, spills, and condensation can’t linger. Nip rental water damage in the bud with forethought and planning. Upgrade appliances and water heaters to energy efficient, modern models to help prevent accidents. Keep weather stripping fresh and keep moisture outside. Lastly, take care of any moisture that finds its way into your rental units, make sure they all have access to good ventilation and air conditioning.