Recent years have proven that you never know what to expect from our weather in the Pacific Northwest. When thinking of a classic Portland winter, the stereotype is usually long dreary days of rain with temperatures rarely dipping below the 40s. But of course, when it comes to the weather anywhere, it’s always best to expect the unexpected. Our most recent severe weather events have made it especially clear that Portlanders should make winter storm preparation a priority. Here’s all that Portland homeowners and landlords should do to prepare for all the surprises that our changeable winter weather will bring. 

Get Ready For Winter Weather

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association estimates that the damage from last February’s ice storm cost about  $21 billion across the United States, making it the most costly storm in US history. With no way to know when such a storm might strike again, preparation is critical. Ice and wind can wreak havoc on homes and power lines while snow slows down repairs. But with a bit of time and effort before winter comes, you can feel secure knowing your rental will weather the storm. 

Ensure Snow is Shovelled

Your lease should explicitly state who is responsible for removing snow, laying down salt, and performing any other winter outdoor chores around the rental. Before the storm hits, you should ensure that whoever is responsible for shoveling sidewalks has everything they need. If removing snow is your duty, make sure you have shovels and salt at the ready. If it’s your tenants’ responsibility, you might want to send a quick reminder email well before the bad weather is scheduled to come in, so they have the time to get to the store and pick up any necessary supplies in advance. Remember, if the lease delegates keeping the property clear of snow and other slipping hazards to you, you could be found liable if a tenant falls and hurts themselves as a result of an unshoveled sidewalk. 

Update Insulation

While making sure your rental is caulked and insulated for the colder months can help save electricity and keep your tenants more comfortable, it’s even more important when a winter storm rolls in. A well-insulated home retains heat better, so if your tenants do lose power, they’ll stay more comfortable or avoid needing a hotel–and you’ll be less likely to deal with burst pipes due to dropping temperatures inside.

Trim Trees

Falling trees or branches are a frequent cause of power outages. In fact, they’re second only to winter storms when it comes to causing power outages, so the combination of both is never good. If you have a tree near your rental whose branches stretch over power lines or the building’s roof, you should make sure to trim them back this autumn. An ice storm can quickly weigh even a small branch down to the point where it can do a lot of damage if it falls. 

Watch Out For Flooding

In our rainy climate, wet weather is a constant fact of life. But when snow blocks normal drainage paths, water can start to pool in new and undesired places. Be on the lookout for fresh standing water on the property, and be sure to clear snow quickly and adequately.

Snow Damage

While heavy snowfalls are uncommon in our area, recent years have made it clear that they’re worth preparing for. Snow can damage roofs, collapse decks, destroy gutters and tear down trees. Making sure that you’re up to date on any roof or gutter repairs can save you a headache in the long run.

Start Preparations Early

The best time to prepare for a winter storm is long before you check the forecast. Autumn is the best time to begin your winter preparations alongside your annual fall maintenance. Remember that if you need the help of a contractor or other professional to trim a tree or help with your roof, they’ll likely be swamped with requests as the weather gets nasty. Start early, and you’ll be able to sit back and relax when the cold winds blow. 

Why Winter Storm Prep Matters

In February 2021, a massive snow and ice storm hit our region and knocked out the power for over 350,000 Portland residents, some for more than a week. Paired with low temperatures and icy conditions, which made driving unsafe or even impossible, many Portlanders faced a serious struggle against the elements until the snow thawed. The damage wrought by the storm was the worst in forty years, creating long-term damage for Portland homeowners. While preparation can only go so far when it comes to a massive weather event, sometimes trimming a single tree branch can make the difference between a cozy snow day or a week without power. 

No matter how vital winter storm preparation is, many homeowners can find themselves struggling to get everything done. Between the time, effort, and cost associated with some of these tips, it can be overwhelming to finish it all before the big storm hits. A property management company can help you get your rental ready for the worst that winter has to offer. 

We’re Here For You Every Season

When hiring a property manager, you don’t want a fair weather friend who will promise you significant returns in the summer and then leave you high and dry (or, in our climate, wet) in the winter. Rent Portland Homes by Darla Andrew is proud to stand by our clients through thick and thin. Running a rental is a stressful business, and having to anxiously wait for a reply from your property manager is enough to drive any owner to distraction.

We firmly believe in staying connected with our clients whenever they need us, whether to check in about routine maintenance, budgeting, or the upcoming weather forecast. If you have concerns, we’re always here to listen and make a plan to address your needs. Our business runs on the highest standards when it comes to both our clients and our tenants. If you’re ready to stop worrying about all the details of running your rental, we’re here to help. Have questions about our business and all we can do for you? Give us a shout through the contact form on our website or call or text us at (503) 515-3170. We can’t wait to hear from you!