Seasonal Maintenance Reminders: Spring-Summer
Maintain your home during the spring and summer months with these tips and reminders.
Spring and Summer Storms
Batten down the hatches! Rainstorms and high winds can toss grills, patio furniture, trash cans, and other outdoor items. Secure these item in order to protect yourself, your belongings, and the property.
Check exterior drains for leaves and debris which could block up rain water and cause flooding. Exterior drains are usually located at the bottom of stairwells or lower level patios leading from the basement.
If you have occupied your home for more than 12 months you are required to provide PMA with updated Renters Insurance policies. Please email copies of current declarations to email@example.com before April 30th, or send a printed copy with your May rent check.
Trees, Lawn, and Landscaping
Most leases include provisions for landscaping responsibilities by the tenant during occupancy. It is typically your responsibility to maintain the lawn, shrubs, perennials, and trees. If you need clarification or guidance on what landscaping responsibilities you have as a tenant, please contact us at any time. Property Management Advisors works with many excellent lawn care companies so if you need a recommendation please contact us.
When caring for your yard this season be sure to rake up and discard any autumn leaves or fallen branches that lasted through the winter. Accumulated leaves or clippings will smother and can eventually kill lawn grass. Be sure to clear leaves, branches, and rocks before mowing, as yard debris can not only damage mowers, but poses a risk to your safety if the mower passes over it.
Strong storms can damage or weaken trees around your property. If you suspect a tree or branch has become a hazard, either from storm damage or rot, please report it to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can have it assessed immediately.
Maintenance & Service Calls
(703) 457-6533, ext. 3
Move-In, Move-Out, and Seasonal Inspections
(703) 457-6533, ext. 3
Rent Collection & Bookkeeping
(703) 457-6533, ext. 5
Tenant Services (Questions, Lease Extensions)
(703) 457-6533, ext. 700
Please contact Tenant Services for questions about your lease, seasonal inspections, or move-in/move-out procedures.
All rent payments, be it online electronic payments or personal check payments, should be delivered to either the bank account or the company post office box no later than 5:00pm the 5th of the month.
Residential Property Management, Inc.
PO Box 300
Dunn Loring VA 22027
Electronic payments can be made through Appfolio.
Gutters, Downspouts, and Window Wells
Most leases require tenants to keep gutters, downspouts, and window wells clean. Doing so will keep water away from the foundation of the property and help to prevent flooding of basements and lower levels. Please contact email@example.com if you need assistance.
It's safe to turn exterior water spigots on once temperatures are consistently above freezing. Please ensure that hoses and spigots do not drip close to the foundation of the home, as this can cause erosion and possibly damage the foundation. If an exterior spigot needs maintenance, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Furnace and Air Conditioning Systems
The heat and humidity of the DC area puts our HVAC systems to good use each spring and summer. Please consider the following at the start of this new season.
Filters need to be changed every 1 to 3 months depending on your system. Do not underestimate the importance of a clean filter. A dirty filter will increase the cost of your utility bills and also decrease the life of an HVAC system. If an HVAC system is found to have failed due to improper filter maintenance, you will be charged for the repair or replacement of it.
At the start of each season you should inspect the area around the HVAC system units. Remove any items or debris that prevent clear access to to the unit in the event of an emergency, as well as anything that might disrupt air flow around it.
When turning on your air conditioning for the first time this season do not be alarmed by a strange smell, which should dissipate after a few minutes of your system running.
Thermostats which run on battery power typically need to have their batteries replaced at least once a year. Replacing the battery before it dies will ensure your cooling is not unexpectedly disrupted.
For condo tenants, some properties do not turn on the building central air conditioning until specific dates agreed upon by the Board of Directors. Please take note so you can mark your calendars or make arrangements if there are warm days before the AC is initiated
Kitchen and Bathroom Drains
Tenants are responsible for keeping drains clear. Be careful with grease and hair accumulation - buy and install strainers if necessary. Also keep in mind that baby wipes and similar products cannot be flushed in most plumbing systems no matter what the product label says. Most sewer systems in this region are older and will clog unless you are careful with the items flushed.
"Drano" and other chemical drain clearing products don't typically work, and can damage fixtures and older piping. Only qualified plumbers can unstop drains, so please be cautious and considerate about what you put down the drain.
Prior to occupancy, your home was inspected for pests. Please note that landlords are responsible for infestations, but not typical pest control. Each spring and summer you may find ants, roaches, mice, or birds for a variety of reasons. The DC area annually endures ants, stinkbugs, and ladybugs. More information about these pests can be found through online search. If you need a recommendation for a pest control service please contact Property Management Advisors.
To minimize mosquitos, empty collected water from planters and other vessels and place fill dirt in sunken areas of the landscaping.
Please do not use the garbage disposal to discard food, kitchen scraps, and other refuse down the drains. Although disposals are typically used for this purpose, there is always a risk that the disposal or drain could become clogged by doing so. Pasta, rice, and oatmeal in particular can create a thick paste which blocks the line, while egg shells, bones, and vegetable ends can damage the moving parts of the disposal. We advise that tenants keep an Allen wrench available to reset the disposal in case of blockage or power failure. Contact us if you have any questions regarding this.
Many condominiums require annual dryer vent cleaning; if so, we will arrange for an approved contractor to do the work and have you schedule the service time. Otherwise, we recommend tenants with dryers arrange for vent cleaning to ensure the dryer remains in good order and poses no risk of fire. Property Management Advisors can recommend duct cleaning services to you if there is a need.
Spring is the perfect time to take advantage of carpet cleaning promotions in order to remove accumulated dirt and dust from the winter. When your lease expires, carpet cleaning is a major factor when vacating the home so its a good idea to be proactive about maintaining the carpets. Most of the time security deposits are withheld because carpets are not returned professionally cleaned. If you need a referral for a quality carpet cleaning provider, please let us know.
Please pay attention to posted notices from local authorities or community managers relating to recycling collection, sewers, community maintenance, storm warnings, and parking restrictions. It is the responsibility of the tenant to be aware of seasonal or weather-related public information.
Mowing Your Lawn
Regular mowing will ensure that your lawn is is healthy and in compliance with your lease, but there are some things you should keep in mind before you start. Removing more than 1/3 of the grass leaf in a single cutting is not recommended.
It's important that the grass is not cut too low, as that can permanently damage the lawn. Low cut grass also has the tendency to grow fast which will require more watering and maintenance.
Weed your yard before mowing, using weed control if necessary.
Different grasses have different heights at which they can grow best, so make sure you know what kind of lawn you have before you cut. The ideal height of most grasses is 3 to 4 inches.
Only mow your lawn when the grass is DRY. Cutting the grass while wet can damage the lawn as well as your mowing equipment.
Make sure the mowing blades are new and sharp before starting a mowing session. Many landscapers recommend keeping a couple sharpened mowing blades on hand.
To ensure proper operation of your mower, make sure you change the oil once or twice per mowing season.
Watering Your Lawn
Grass is good at adapting to the conditions it grows in, so stimulating a more stressful growing condition can strengthen your lawn. To do this you'll want to water heavily but on a less frequent schedule. This will encourage deeper root growth.
The best time to water your lawn is during the early morning. Watering during this time allows the water to reach the roots without evaporating first. For this reason, mid-afternoon is usually the worst time to water since it's usually when the day is hottest. Be cautious about watering at night, however, as it could lead to disease or flooding.
While watering make sure you spread the water evenly across the lawn. You do not want to overwater some spots while missing others.
If your lawn is on a slope or hill be sure to check that the water isn't running off. Run off water can cause yard erosion or damage to the foundation if it's too close to the house. On an incline water is more likely to run off as the ground gets wetter, so break up your watering into smaller sessions.
During the summer season or drought conditions decide whether to water the lawn or let it go dormant. This decision is a commitment you need to stick with. Letting the grass go dormant, then watering it again to green it up, and then letting it go dormant again, is not a good practice and could damage the lawn beyond repair.
If your lawn is newly sodded, follow the landscaper instructions carefully to ensure successful lawn growth.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Take a few minutes to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detector(s). Please know that maintaining detector batteries is your responsibility as a tenant, so if you find a non-working detector you should try replacing the battery first. If replacing the battery does not resolve the issue, or if the detector does not have a removable battery, please submit a work order so that we can look into repairing or replacing the unit.