As global climates are reportedly becoming warmer and warmer each year, local weather continues to be unpredictable. Winters are colder than ever bringing heavy snowfalls each year. Maintaining your properties throughout the winter season becomes more important as thaw/freeze cycles cause frozen pipes to burst and mortar cracks to widen. Each of these can result in water entering the lower levels. For winter maintenance for your property, here is a checklist of inspections or repairs that should minimize any damage due to the cold season.
Keep Empty Units Heated
This may sound like a waste of money, but all units should be kept at a minimum temperature of 55 degrees during winter months in climates that are prone to freezing temperatures. Doing this will save the costs of repairing frozen pipes that have burst along with the damage done to floors and walls. The other option is to turn off the water supply in empty units and drain the faucets.
Repair Cracks in Concrete and Asphalt
Cracks in sidewalks, driveways, foundations, parking lots, and basement walls will only get worse due to the earth heaving in response to regular cycles of the ground freezing and thawing. This shrinking and expanding will further enlarge cracks, allowing more water to flow underground, causing even greater ice formation and more damage.
Test Smoke Alarms and Detectors
The safety of building occupants is dependent on working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. You can reduce the chance of fatality or injury by taking the initiative to remind all residents to test these items and replace batteries if necessary – which should be stated in the lease agreement.
Insulate Pipes Exposed to Cold
For pipes that run exposed outside the building, indoors along an exterior wall or those in unheated portions of the property, winterize them by caulking around wall openings and adding insulation sleeves at these locations. Also drain any water that is left in unused faucets, water holding tanks, and toilets.
Learn More About Winter Maintenance
Contact us to learn more about how our training programs can help your property management services provide the right scheduled year-round maintenance to prevent costly repairs due to cold weather and freezing water. Our property management solutions allow you to focus on running your business while we focus on keeping your staff up to date on the latest facility management protocols.