Rental properties are a different type of real estate investment. Your decisions don’t just have to make the property look good and be immediately marketable. You have to make decisions that look good long-term and keep the property marketable for tenant after tenant. While your focus might be on the home’s exterior curb appeal, the kitchen, and the bathrooms, which are the biggest aesthetic factors in most renters’ minds, don’t let the garage slip through the cracks. If the bare concrete floor is left without regular maintenance or structural improvements, it can start to drive down the profitability of the property. Here’s how:
1. Tenants don’t care about the property.
This is true for all types of property. Unless a large security deposit in on the hook, a tenant isn’t going to take care of your property. They’ll neglect basic maintenance, they won’t protect the floors and fixtures, and they’re not going to let you know about small or spreading damage unless it impacts them. Some tenants might, but you can’t rely on finding the good ones every time. That’s why you have to invest in long-lasting improvements that require next to no oversight.
Bare concrete is just as vulnerable to problems as the other types of flooring in your rental property. Bikes, cars, and chemicals will damage the surface layer and, once that layer is gone, continue deeper into the house’s foundational slab. The concrete will absorb dripped oil and gas from your tenants’ cars, and it will also absorb chemicals like road salt and insecticide. Even impact damage and excessive wear and tear can make the garage look shabbier and shabbier between tenants.
2. Weather-related damage gets more and more severe over time.
Minnesota faces extreme temperatures every winter. That’s hard on the flooring. If you added extra insulation between the garage and the rest of the house to mitigate energy costs, then small traces of water in the concrete will freeze and thaw with changes in the weather. Without that insulation, these cycles will occur more frequently based on how the tenant set the thermostat.
Each freeze and thaw cycle creates minute cracks in the concrete because of the expanded water. Given enough time, these cracks can break off large sheets of the surface layer and create crumbling areas that look severely damaged.
Untreated concrete can absorb more moisture from the air, especially once the inner layers are exposed. This results in deeper and deeper damage, or spalling, that will need repairs every time a tenant leaves.
3. Potential tenants focus on even small negatives.
Very few tenants choose their new home based on the perks and features of the garage. This means it more profitable to spend time adding new fixtures and attractive features throughout the rest of the house. But that’s true only up to a point. While tenants may not choose a home based on the benefits of a garage, they’ll pass on a house based on the garage’s detriments.
Damaged concrete that shows signs of spalling and past repairs will make potential tenants think there’s something wrong with the foundation. Even if the long-term costs and problems of a bad foundation won’t impact them, it will make them worry about the house’s safety or inconvenient repair schedules during their lease.
Bare concrete with crumbled edges, stains, and splotchy patches of new concrete repairs also looks bad. Even if potential renters don’t assign the garage’s appearance with a specific risk or harm, it makes a negative impression that will linger, even if the rest of the house is precisely what they’re looking for.
A bare concrete floor doesn’t just look bad after a few tenants are done with it. It’s more trouble than it’s worth. Go to PolyTek Surface Coatings to see how a garage floor coating can transform the space and cut down on maintenance costs between tenants.