Spring cleaning your unoccupied property
Now that spring is nearly upon us, the weather will begin to warm, gardens will begin to bloom and homeowners can start airing out their properties, ready for a yearly spring clean. But what if you own or are responsible for an unoccupied property?
In this article, we explain why keeping up to date with cleaning your unoccupied property is good practice.
Should you regularly clean your unoccupied property?
The answer is yes! When a property lies vacant for months or even years, the risk of environmental or social complications can increase. Issues such as water leaks, pest damage, theft and break-ins can occur when a property is not habited or monitored regularly. However, by keeping on top of the cleaning and maintenance, not only can property owners spot potential hazards or damage before they manifest into something more serious, but any human activity around an unoccupied property, could help deter criminals.
How to tidy your unoccupied property
Whether your unoccupied property has been gutted from the inside, or it is ready for someone to move into, keeping the property internally and externally maintained and clean, can save property owners money and hassle further down the line.
So where to start? If your unoccupied property has a garden or driveway, these are the first features that people will notice. By keeping any lawns mowed, trees and shrubs well pruned and the driveway or any patios or paths free from weeds, can make the property appear to look lived in. Preventing any trees or shrubs from overgrowing, can also reduce the risk of fallen limbs damaging the exterior of your property.
Any debris or rubbish surrounding your unoccupied property should be removed, as this could encourage fly-tipping or could be a potential fire hazard.
Cleaning windows may not be a priority but maintaining the appearance that the property is cared for, could be worth the job.
Clean-out gutters and drains during the drier months, to help prevent blockages and excess water from building up in winter. If you have low hanging trees or shrubs close to your property, you may have to clean gutters during the colder months as well.
Maintaining the exterior of your unoccupied property such as paintwork, bricks and mortar, fascia’s, roof etc. can be costly, so it is understandable that some property owners may not want to invest in these projects. However, updating and maintaining the appearance of your property, such as a fresh coat of paint, can increase its appeal, ideal for property owners who are looking to rent-out or sell on the property.
Once the exterior of your unoccupied property is looking tidy, move inside and take a look at what to tackle next. If your unoccupied property is still furnished, then dusting and vacuuming on a regular basis will help maintain the carpets, floors, and any furniture.
If left alone, a build-up of dust and grime can stain furniture, floors, and fixtures, and encourage unpleasant odours. If possible, open windows and doors when dusting and vacuuming, to help circulate fresh air throughout the property.
If kitchens and bathrooms are still intact but not used, they should be checked over for any damp or mould that may have accumulated. Small sections of mould or mildew can be dealt with by using household cleaning products. However, large amounts of mould should be dealt with carefully or by a professional, as the spores can have negative health affects if inhaled.
Cleaning your unoccupied property should be undertaken at regular intervals all year-round. For some unoccupied property owners, visiting the property on a regular basis may be difficult to do, so on the rare occasion that you can check-up on your property, take the time to give it a tidy.
If like many unoccupied property owners, you live abroad or cannot visit the property at all, it is advisable to ask a trusted friend or family member to visit and do some spot cleaning for you. Specialist agencies can also be hired to undertake regular visits and cleaning duties. It may seem a bit pedantic, but giving your property a mega spring clean, followed by regular spot-checks throughout the year, could save property owners from having to make a claim on their insurance policy.