With Winter drawing to a close, your residents are eager to replace their snow shovels with tennis rackets – it’s time to think about building maintenance! Now is the time to implement an ongoing building maintenance plan that will save your association time and money for many seasons to come.
View your association as a complete network with many important pieces working together, and ensure that each system is functioning properly. Here are 10 building maintenance tips your community can do now to keep your association in spring-ready shape:
Drainage pathways. Clearing out your drains on a regular basis will ensure they are free of debris when spring rolls around. Spring months are notorious for high quantities of rain no matter where you live! Avoid the potential of blocked drainage systems by habitually cleaning them every other month.
Gutter and downspout repairs. Cleaning gutters is never an easy task but it’s a necessary one with spring rainfall! Try reaching into the gutter with a pair of large tongs to dig out leaves; placing a garden hose and turning on the water full-blast also works (but watch out below!). If the gutters are dry, and the roofs are walkable, leaf blowers make fast work of any debris in the gutters.
While you’re on the ladder, inspect all spikes, straps, and clips to ensure that they are securely fastened.
Close the foundation vent covers until summer. In the Midwest and Southern states, foundation vent covers are often left open during the summer months to allow for ventilation and airflow. However, in the winter and spring, the vent covers should be closed to prevent the warm inside air from leaking out. Closing your vent covers during the winter will save on energy and heating costs.
If you have a basement, check your sump pump regularly to ensure its operation throughout the rainy season. Water run off can create an overload of moisture that your sump pump may not be able to handle. Perform monthly inspections of the pump by opening the sump pit’s cover to clear any debris out of the bottom of the pit.
Replace snow stakes. It’s a common mistake to replace the snow stakes only once a year, usually at the beginning of winter. The stakes can be the first thing to be damaged after a heavy snowfall, particularly if the payloader knocks it over!
Do not remove snow from roof. Snow removal can be the cause of more damage than the actual snowfall itself. Most buildings are designed to handle snow, and it is very rare that even a large storm will dump enough snow to cause damage that will seriously harm your homes’ roofs. Let the snow melt naturally with Spring’s rain and warmer temperatures.
Landscaping plans. For associations in more temperate climates, the landscaping can often take a hit during the cooler months. Recover quickly by bringing in your local specialist and discussing the various shrubs and flowers that will need to be planted in spring.
Sendout paint bids for summer work. The major advantage to getting your bid requests out early is the extra time and accessibility your vendors are likely to have. Outside work requests often drop during cold weather, and getting a head start will ensure your association is at the top of their list during the summer rush!
Security enhancements. Now is the ideal time for associations to make the security enhancements they’ve been thinking about all winter. Security fencing and an alarm system are two timely projects for the post-winter months.
Replace smoke detector batteries. The batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be changed at least twice a year. The changing seasons are the perfect reminder to replace all batteries throughout the association.
Many maintenance projects have a double bonus – they will improve the appearance of your association while preventing costly repairs or replacements down the road. By undertaking some maintenance tasks now, you can lessen the costs that many associations rack up in the rush to recover from winter.