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Keep Disaster at Bay by Preventing Water Damage

Plumber Working on a Water Heater in a Minneapolis RentalOne of the common problems that Minneapolis rental property owners have to deal with is water damage. Even when it’s just a relatively small amount of water, it can still be quite destructive. It can get into ceiling joists, walls, floors, and even weaken a building’s foundation. Just a couple of inches of water on the floor can lead to tens of thousands of dollars in repairs. As a property owner, you may not be able to avoid every single water-related emergency. But there is a lot you can do to help prevent water damage– especially the kind that would result in costly repairs. Here are some tips to keep your Minneapolis investment property safe from preventable floods and leaks.

Prepare for Severe Weather

Water damage due to severe water incidents is quite common, especially in areas where storms are a regular problem that people have to face. Water damage is a greater risk when there is strong wind and heavy rain. And if your property is in a flood-prone area, you’ll have to account for the chance of flash flooding as well.

To prevent water damage, it’s important that your rental property be made ready to go through severe weather. For example, do an annual inspection of your roof and seal any cracks or gaps you find. If you find any missing shingles, do replace them. Also, check that your flashing, gutters, and downspouts are all working well and properly installed. If heavy rain is approaching your area, check that the drainage around your property’s foundation is helping water move away from the walls. If your property is in a flood zone, you’ll need to take some extra precautions. Have some sandbags or sandbagging supplies ready. These will help protect your property. Even during unexpected weather events, preparation is important. It is key to keeping your property safe and dry.

Clean the Gutters

Clogged gutters or incorrectly installed ones are another common cause of water damage. Your rental property’s gutter system is installed to direct the water’s flow away from the structure. The problem occurs when leaves, twigs, and other debris clog the gutters. In this case, the water will overflow down the side of the house instead. When this happens, there’s a risk for a variety of problems. You could have leaking ceilings, wood rot, damaged drywall, or ruined flooring. And, if it’s left overflowing long enough, leaking gutters can even erode a cement foundation and also destroy your landscaping.

The easy fix for this is to clean your rental property’s gutters at least twice a year. Make sure to clear out any debris that you can find, and also check the gutter system for leaks and pooling water. When you get into the habit of cleaning and making small repairs on a gutter system, you’re going to prevent water damage from occurring. On top of that, you’ll be saving some money on repairs in the long run too.

Inspect Your Plumbing (and Water Heater)

Water damage can also occur inside your rental property because of plumbing issues. Leaking pipes, broken faucets, worn-out washing machine hoses, and old water heaters are the likely sources of water damage. Even something people regard as small– like a slow or blocked drain– can potentially cause serious water damage. And that damage could cost a lot in emergency repairs.

To prevent water damage from affecting the inside of your rental home, make it a point to have an annual inspection of your entire plumbing system. A professional plumber would be able to spot developing problems during an inspection. Then you could have these issues dealt with immediately. By dealing with the plumbing problems while they are small, you do a lot in preventing water disasters. Not to mention what you save on repairs. It’s also crucial to keep track of your water heater’s age and condition. Make sure to have it serviced regularly and replaced before it fails. A failing water heater can leak water and flood a basement or garage. Now, you’ll have to pay for clean-up and repairs on top of the cost of replacing the unit. By replacing it before it fails, you can plan out your cash flows better and avoid unnecessary expenses.


Preventing water damage could be quite a challenge. Time, effort, and good management skills are, for sure, a requirement. Instead of doing it all yourself, consider hiring one of our professional Minneapolis property managers to handle your preventive maintenance and inspections. To learn more, contact us online.

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