Winter is (unfortunately) here, and it’s here to stay for a while. Is your property ready? If it isn’t, fear not! Our blog is here to help, and if you use our tips, you can get your property ready before the next polar vortex comes through!
There’s nothing worse than a resident’s heat going out during the middle of winter. Check ahead of time that all furnaces, boilers, heaters, and fireplaces and in prime working condition. Clean and replace anything you need to now, because preventive maintenance costs less than emergency maintenance. If you have wood burning fireplaces, have them cleaned, and ensure they are working properly as well.
No matter where your property is, as we saw last winter, it is possible to be hit with a winter storm. This is why it’s important to be prepared no matter what. Make sure you have enough ice salt on hand (depending on the area of the country you are in), a snow shovel, a plan for snow removal on the property, and all other measures in place for when a snow/ice storm may come.
This may not be a commonly thought of step, but it’s important to check your property for dead or damaged trees and weak branches. These will probably not survive high winds or the weight of snow in a snow storm or ice in an ice storm. Thus, it is important to have these removed to prevent injury to your residents or damage to your property.
While you’re walking your property to inspect your trees, inspect your buildings as well. You need to check their exteriors, roofs, walls, doors and window frames to ensure all buildings are ready for whatever winter weather might come your way. Repair any damaged, leaking or drafty areas to ensure that the heat will stay in and the weather will stay out. While doing these repairs, make sure to clean out your gutters. Leaving build-up in your gutters could lead to leaks or a mass accumulation of snow and ice during the dangerous winter months.
Preparing your outdoor irrigation system depends on your location. If you don’t experience harsh winters, you need to check to make sure your system’s freeze sensor is working. You should also turn off your water supply as needed. If you live in a colder area with harsher winters, you should completely drain your pipes to make sure they don’t freeze.
Insulation is an important step in the winterization process of your property. It’s important to insulate your pipes in common areas, especially those in exterior walls (closest to the outside cold). Also, insulate your common areas around windows and doors to prevent cold air from entering. There are many products you can get to do this from heat-shrinking plastic wrap to insulated shades and thermal drapes. Some other common choices include weather stripping and a door sweep for the outside of your door.
It is important to not take on this big task by yourself. Have your staff help on your inspections. Have them check in with residents. Keep your residents informed. The more they know you care and what you’re doing, the better. Encourage them to report any maintenance issues as soon as they can so you can address it promptly. Also, keep an emergency kit stocked in case of any power outages. Always be prepared!
Whether are not you’re ready for winter (mentally), these tips will help you get there physically! We hope everyone has a warm and safe winter.