How to Prepare Your Multifamily Building for Winter After Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Family, food, and fun are all parts of what Canadians love about this particular holiday. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our followers for being fans of Braden Equities Inc. From our family to your family, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Once we have finished with the festivities, it may be time to plan for what comes next – winter. Is your multifamily property prepared to weather the winter months? Sub-zero temperatures, snow, the wind, ice, and a wide variety of other possible problems need to be considered and addressed now to ensure your multifamily property will run safe and smooth through the winter season.

Winter brings problems and hazards to apartment buildings that can be mitigated with attentive preparation – don’t neglect weatherization procedures for your building. So, we have amalgamated a great list of some simple steps that you can take to prepare your multifamily property for winter.

  1. Stock up on sand and gravel and secure the proper contracts for heavy snow clearing equipment and personnel in advance of a storm forecast. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and act early. Waiting until the inclement weather is imminent (or worse, has already arrived) could leave you in a bind.
  2. Make sure all of your furnaces and boilers are in good working order to ensure you don’t experience a big system failure when it’s most dangerous. Clean units and replace old parts and filters as needed; emergency repair services will surely be much more costly than preventive measures.
  3. Clear gutters of any clogs of leaves or debris so they drain properly throughout the winter. Neglecting your gutters could very well lead to leaks or a dangerous accumulation of snow and ice.
  4. Fully inspect the building exteriors, including the roof, walls, and door and window frames. Repair or caulk any damaged, leaking or drafty spots to keep the cold weather out and heat in.
  5. Wrap up your pipes in common areas, especially those in exterior walls or colder parts of the building. There are many cheap products you can use, from self-sealing foam tubes to insulative tape, which is available at any good home improvement store.
  6. For your outdoor irrigation system, winterization will depend on the location. In a more temperate climate, this may only mean checking that the freeze sensor is working and turning off the water supply as needed. In a colder area, you’ll need to drain the pipes to ensure they don’t freeze completely; a professional should help "blow out" your sprinkler system.
  7. Check for and remove any broken trees or weak branches that may not survive the high winds, ice freezes, or snow accumulation of a winter storm. Fallen or blown tree limbs could really damage property or cause injury.
  8. Up the insulation in your common areas, especially around windows and also doors. Heat-shrinking plastic wrap may not have the most attractive look, but it can be quite useful for reducing heat loss through windows. Insulated shades and thermal drapes are an excellent option for clubrooms or community kitchens. Install weather stripping and a door sweep on exterior doors for a cheap and easy guard against the elements.
  9. If you have any wood-burning fireplaces on your property, it’s best to have them checked out and cleaned by a professional chimney sweep. Make sure the flue damper is operating correctly, the vent is clear of any possible obstructions, and there’s no damage where the chimney adjoins with the roof.
  10. Don’t do all of this hard work yourself. Your residents are an important part of your property, so keep them informed. Encourage renters to report maintenance issues promptly, and keep an emergency kit nearby should any power outages occur.

Looking to hire a licensed property management company?

Braden Equities Inc. has been successfully managing apartment buildings in Edmonton since the 1970s. A great deal has changed since then, but our commitment to the residents living in each building we operate has not. Contact us today.

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