Inclement weather can strike year-round, but winter is the season when harsh conditions are expected. Whether you’re getting snow in the north or rain in the south, the precipitation season is upon us. Property managers can take steps to prepare for hazards and inconveniences before they occur.
Supporting Water Flow
One of the easiest but most effective ways to winterize your building is to insulate any exposed pipes or exterior faucets for hoses. Pipes in exterior walls should also be wrapped up. Your local hardware store will offer a variety of tools for this purpose, from self-sealing foam tubes to insulating tape. Regardless of your climate, this is also the time of year to clean gutters and ensure melted ice and snow has a place to flow. Leaving gutters clogged could lead to roof leaks or water damage, and in colder areas, create issues with ice.
Handling Icy Conditions
Speaking of ice, you may want to start stocking up on salt and quick melt products to maintain safe sidewalks and entryways to the building. The last thing you want is for a tenant or visitor to slip and fall.
It’s also important to check your roof and exterior walls for signs of leakage and damage. If you discover a hole in the roof in the middle of January when it’s covered in snow and ice, you may not be able to get to it for repairs until spring.
Balance the Budget
Plowing the parking lot, removing fallen trees, and increased heating costs—winter can definitely take a chunk out of a property manager’s budget. It’s important to consider how you’ll make funds last all season long. Listen to the forecasts of bad storms, but don’t over-prepare. We’ve all experienced situations where a foot of rain or snow is predicted, but never comes. Make sure you have a reliable team of snow removal experts on call for when snow does pile up in the parking lot. Also, remember you can save additional costs by simply turning down your thermostat a few degrees if your building closes over the holidays.
Prepare Your Tenants
Perhaps the most important element of preparing for bad weather is to communicate with the residents of your building. Ask them to leave taps trickling when temperatures are going to fall below freezing, let them know which outdoor areas may experience flooding, and communicate about your winterization efforts. Weather is unpredictable, meaning you need to be able to respond to it no matter what. That response will likely be a team effort and require understanding and patience from everyone involved.
Preparing for winter can be a big effort for a property manager, but with the right personnel, winter doesn’t have to be grueling. Contact Planned Companies today to learn how we can help you best maintain your property this season.