When you invest in Portland rental property, you know that repairs and maintenance will be a cost. It’s a mistake not to plan for them. Today, we’re talking about what some of the most common expenses are with properties in this market. As an investor, you’ll want to be aware of these common costs.
Water Management in Portland
Every geographic region has their own set of challenges that are often related to climate and geography. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we deal with a lot of water. Water management is a huge issue, and contributes to a lot of preventative, routine, and emergency maintenance costs.
Portland real estate investors will have to be prepared for everything that comes with heavy rains in the winter. During the wet season, we can get up to 36 inches of rain. Nothing damages a property more than moisture. So, you’ll need to make sure you have your gutters cleaned. Make sure this is scheduled for every year. You’ll want to ensure that the water is going away from your house. If the gutters get clogged, then you have a big risk that water is getting into your foundation.
If your basement starts taking in water, you end up with a leaky basement.
Even worse than a leaky basement is what results. A byproduct of water in Portland is mold. Mold removal can be very, very expensive and can cause legal issues with the residents you have in your rental property.
Managing Mold Issues in Portland Rental Property
Are you doing everything you can to prevent and manage mold?
With 36 inches of rain falling almost every winter, there’s obviously going to be a lot of moisture and some very wet areas, especially in the basements. When you build a house, developers can take some precautions to prevent the growth and spreading of mold. But, when you buy a rental property that’s already been constructed, you’ll have to constantly work to keep water and mold out of the property.
When it comes to preventative measures, there are actually a combination of things you can do.
Part of it is paperwork and resident education. A couple things we do at Mynd Property Management is to make sure tenants understand that after they take a shower, they need to run the vent for 20 minutes and open up doors. This is a good way to prevent mold from growing in the bathrooms and behind the walls. Things get wet, but as long as they dry, mold doesn’t grow. You need to give those surfaces an opportunity to dry out.
We provide our residents with a mold prevention packet, and we walk through that with them to make sure they are aware of it and understand the expectations we have.
Attics are also important, and you want to make sure your attics are breathing. This is just routine maintenance. You’ll need to pay the same attention to your property’s crawl spaces. If you have water sitting in the crawl space, not only could that develop into mold but it can also attract rodents. So you want to make sure if there is water getting in there, you find out where that water is coming from. Fix the problem and let things dry out.
Weatherizing Portland Rental Properties
To avoid some of the most expensive rental property repair costs in Portland, the best thing a landlord can do is be preventative. Make sure this is a joint effort with you and your residents. Do not keep things closed up or leave things moist and wet. It makes sense to air things out, whether it’s a shower or an attic or your gutters. If you do discover mold or your resident reports that mold has been found, there are plenty of mold remediation companies that will come out and rectify the problem and then re-certify the home as being free of mold.
That is always available to you, but the process of cleaning and removing mold is very expensive. At Mynd Property Management, our goal is always prevent the need for mold remediation at all costs. It’s much better to prevent the mold than to remove it.
And of course, it’s not just mold that can be a problem that results from moisture. If you have an air conditioner and you put it in the window, then that condensation can create moisture which can create siding damage. Or, if your windows are not properly sealed, you can also run into expensive problems.
We highly recommend that you implement a weatherization program with your rental property in Portland. Before the winter and the rains arrive, make sure that the gutters are cleaned and any cracks throughout the home are caulked so moisture doesn’t penetrate. You are proactively creating your moisture barriers this way, and then you are okay during the season. If things get wet, your home’s interior will still stay dry.
Water, moisture, and the problems that result from these things are absolutely the most expensive maintenance costs in Portland. Make sure you’re prepared for them before you invest in a rental property and after you’ve moved in residents. If you have any questions about how to protect your property from this type of damage, please contact us at Mynd Property Management. We’d be happy to serve as your Portland property management resource.
You can also visit our Facebook group of investors, which is called Master Mynd. It’s a real estate investors’ club, where you can exchange ideas with other owners. Check out our weekly podcast as well, called The Myndful Investor. We invite leaders in real estate and property management to talk about their success and, more importantly, their failures. There’s a lot to learn from this relatable content.