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Your Handy Guide to the 5 Most Common Rental Property Repairs

Owning and managing an income-producing property is no easy task, especially when rental property repairs is part of the equation. As a landlord who self-manages their property in Richmond, you know the worries and struggles of making repairs yourself.

richmond rental property with leaking roof

You dread the incoming text or phone call from your tenants, letting you know something is wrong. From leaks on rainy days to clogged garbage disposals, it’s your responsibility to fix it. At first, you don’t mind making these repairs because it’s saving you money.

Whether you’re making a minor repair or a major one, these are five of the most common rental property repairs in Richmond that landlords must know how to make.

Clogged Garbage Disposals

Garbage disposals are one of the most convenient appliances a kitchen can have nowadays. It cuts down on the trash odor that comes from leftover food and it decreases the amount of trash tenants throw out.

However, many tenants don’t know how to use a garbage disposal correctly. Many believe that every type of food can go through it when only certain types can. When your tenants move in, inform them of what can and cannot be put in the disposal.

How to Repair It

You may find that your tenants forgot or simply didn’t listen to your instructions and are left with a clogged garbage disposal. There are a few things you can do.

First, before you even begin looking down there, turn the circuit breaker off. You don’t want to have this rental property repair land you in a Richmond hospital.

Take a look inside the garbage disposal with a flashlight to see if any objects block the blades. If so, simply remove the item(s) and test the disposal.

If problems persist, grab a plunger and cover the drain. Run the water just so the edge of the plunger is covered. Put pressure on it by pushing down then pulling up a few times.

After trying both of these methods and finding the disposal still doesn’t work, there’s another solution. Pour a mixture of ¼ cup baking soda and ½ cup white vinegar down the drain. Let it sit for five to ten minutes, then rinse.

Holes in the Wall

One of the most common rental property repairs in Richmond is fixing holes in the drywall. No matter how thorough your tenant screening process is, every landlord has had to fix a hole or two.

Whether it’s from moving furniture, opening a door too fast, or playfulness that got out of hand, drywall is relatively easy to repair. From small to large holes, you can do it yourself.

How to Repair It

When repairing a small hole in the drywall, the process is quite simple. First, you’ll put an adhesive mesh patch over the hole. Then cover it with spackle while feathering out the sides, so it blends with the rest of the wall.

You may need a second coat. If so, apply and let dry. Lastly, paint over it to match the color of the wall.

When repairing a larger hole, the process is a little more complicated.

First, you’ll need a square of drywall larger than the size of the hole. On the back of the square, score it at least two inches from the sides. You will then break off the strips you’ve cut while leaving the paper in front intact.

Then, trace the size of the square on the wall and cut along the lines on the wall. With a joint compound on the back of the unattached square, place it in the hole you’ve just cut in the wall.

Cover the new piece with the joint compound on the outside and let dry. Make sure that it blends with the rest of the wall and paint to match.

Mold Growth

Mold is a nasty growth that can show up in virtually any home. It only needs a dark wet space for it to appear. While it definitely is not a pretty sight, it can also be harmful to your tenants.

If mold is left untreated, tenants may suffer from breathing difficulties and aggravate those who suffer from asthma and allergies. Black mold can be especially harmful to your tenants, so it’s essential to be aware of mold growth.

How to Remove It

If you find mold growing in your unit, it’s relatively easy to remove it yourself. While there are products sold with harsh chemicals to treat and kill mold, we prefer some more natural solutions.

The first household item you can use is hydrogen peroxide, which is found in most cleaning products. Fill a spray bottle with 3% concentrated hydrogen peroxide and spray on the mold. Let it sit for ten minutes and scrub away.

The second item you can find in your kitchen is white vinegar. Simply add vinegar to a spray bottle and cover the mold with it. Do not add water to dilute it, as it will make it weaker. Let it sit for an hour and scrub.

The last household ingredient we recommend is baking soda. Mix ¼ tablespoon with water and shake in a spray bottle. Spray it on the mold and scrub, watching the mold disappear.

Now, if you have a problem with black mold and don’t want to call in a professional just yet, we have another home remedy for you. Mix two parts baking soda, one part white vinegar, and one part water to create a paste.

Spread this paste over the black mold and let it dry. Once dried, scrub it away and use water to wipe down the surface.

Pest Infestations

Pesky little critters and bugs can show up at any time in your rental property. While there are things you can do to prevent them from coming in, it’s too late once they are in.

When your tenants first move in, express how important it is to keep a clean house, and take out the garbage. This is the most common reason pests find their way into the property.

From ants to cockroaches to mice, luckily, there are some ways to cure this rental problem without a professional’s help.

How to Cure It

A trip to the local hardware store or even supermarket can help you tackle your infestation problem. There are plenty of products from Raid to humane traps you can use to eliminate unwanted guests.

Before laying down the traps and chemicals, search for openings and cracks these pests may be coming through. Seal these openings off to create a barrier between your property and the outdoors to stop them from entering.

Leaks from the Roof

One of the more significant rental property repairs you may have to make is on the roof. If your tenants notice a leak coming in during a heavy storm or see a water stain on the ceiling, you can bet you have a leaky roof.

It’s important to take care of leaks quickly as they can lead to mold growth behind walls. It can also cause damage to the property over time.

How to Repair It

You may not like this option, but it involves getting on the roof. Look for cracked or curled shingles where the leak is coming from. Usually, this can be done from the ground with a good pair of binoculars.

Once discovered, you’ll have to replace the shingle with a new one. Simply remove the defective shingle by removing the nails and sliding it out. Slide the new shingle in, nail it down, and cover the nail heads with roof cement.

What If You Never Had to Worry About Rental Property Repairs Again?

What if you could go about your day without the worry of a maintenance request coming in at the most inconvenient time? You would feel less anxious and appreciate your rental property more, right?

By hiring a property management company in the greater Richmond region, you will never have to worry about personally making repairs to your rental ever again.

Get Help Managing Your Rental Property

Do you have a rental property in the Richmond metropolitan area you would like help with managing? Hylton & Company is the leading property management company in Central Virginia helping landlords just like you maintain your property so you can enjoy your real estate investment more.

With a professional, experienced team, Hylton & Company makes being a landlord a whole lot easier. From handling maintenance requests to filling your vacancies, you’ll never have to worry about your property again.

Call us today to speak with one of our team members about how we can help you maximize your real estate investment.

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