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Oklahoma is famous for it’s weather.  Severe weather.  Heavy rains.  Blazing heat.  Ice and snow.

If there is one thing that you don’t want to neglect about your rental it’s the exterior shell.  The roof.  The siding.  The doors and windows.

Most of our severe weather (i.e., strong thunder storms and winds, hail, etc.) occurs in the spring months (March through May).

It’s all about keeping the water out when it rains.

This article has tips for making certain that the exterior shell of your OKC rental properties is up to the job.  

It’s one in a series of article about improvements to your OKC rental properties.  Here are the other articles:

Affordable Weatherization and Energy Efficiency Tips for OKC Rentals

Spotting Construction Pitfalls for OKC Rental Properties

Cosmetic Upgrades to Your Oklahoma City Rental Property

Kitchen and Bathroom Upgrades for Your OKC Renal Property

Roofing

Roof leaks left unchecked can lead to not only collapsed sheetrock on the ceiling, but also most problems.

  • Houses built prior to the 1950’s and 1960’s were mostly built with wood shingles.  They were later covered by newer composition (asphalt) shingles.  Once a roof like this goes bad, it will all need to come off (wood shingles and newer shingles on top,  These roofs need to be covered with new decking (plywood), and covered with composite shingles.  The redecking will be must more expensive than just having to replace the shingles.  
  • The steeper the pitch of the roof, the more expensive the replacement.  Replacement of a second-story roof is more expensive than replacement of a one-story roof.  Get a quote from a roofing contractor unless you are quite sure what the cost will be. 

You don’t need a new roof for every property every time their is a hail storm. 

Get a roofing contractor you can trust who isn’t just going to have you replace every roof you send them to inspect.  If you have hail damage, you should turn in a claim to your insurance company as they should cover that type of damage.  

  • Sometimes a patch or partial repair will buy you some extra years before the entire roof has to be replaced.  Even a newer roof may develop leaks around things like chimneys. Perhaps it is missing a chimney cap (the cap that is supposed to cover the top of the chimney).  Other times, it may need some flashing and tar. 
  • Anytime you have a flat roof or a roof that has a fairly flat pitch, consult a roofing contractor regarding the condition of the roof, and what it might take to make repairs. Flat roofs are most difficult correctly replace.  And, they will be the most expensive.  Avoid “torch down” jobs, because those typically last only 7 years at the most.  
  • In Oklahoma, your pitched roof absolutely needs attic vents.  These can either be turbines, which turn with the wind and suck hot air out of the attic, or low-profile vents.  If don’t have them, the shingles will be overheated because heat will build up in the attic.  The shingles will loose their strength and become more vulnerable to damage resulting from hail stone strikes during the next hail storm.  I’m always amazed at how many roofing contractors will try to get away without installing vents even though they know it’s wrong.  That’s why it’s always good to insist your roofing contractor sends you photos of the completed job to verify the work was completed.  You should go to the jobsite also, but this is insurance.

Siding

 The various types of sidings include brick, vinyl, wood, pressed board, and composite.  

  • Brick is always the preferred exterior surface because it doesn’t need to be painted, and it’s very strong.  Usually, the only maintenance that is needed is to repair degraded grout if you have a very old brick home.
  • Just because a brick house has cracks in the bricking or bulges in the walls doesn’t automatically mean there is a foundation problem.

Tips for Wood Siding or Pressed Board

  • When you have an older frame home with wood siding, you’ll have to decide whether you are going to once you have a peeling paint situation.  Should you repaint It, or install vinyl siding?  It is almost always more cost effective to repair and paint the existing siding than to replace it with vinyl siding in the short run. However, you are going to have to repaint the siding every 3-4 years.  Vinyl siding is vulnerable to hail strikes.  However, it should be covered by insurance in the event of a hail storm that damages the vinyl siding.  
  • If the siding is pressed board, like masonite, that has begun to fall apart, the crumbling pieces must be replaced.  Once they absorb water, they are ruined and cannot be repaired. You have to keep press board so that it doesn’t absorb water. 

Garages and Outbuildings

  • If the house has a falling-over garage, make sure you include the cost of demolition and haul off in your repair estimates.  
  • Repair garages if at all possible.  If you don’t have a garage, you will need some type of out building for storage, unless the property is a multi-family unit and you plan to take care of the yard maintenance.