We are in the midst of winter. Freezing temperatures, snow and ice all present unique problems this time of year. As you manage your property, here are some tips on things to watch and monitor during the winter months.
Frozen pipes are a hazard since they can often burst, leading to extensive water damage and costly repairs. Prevention is the best way to keep this from happening. Insulate pipes, at least those by windows and doors or in unheated areas of the building. If pipes are prone to freezing, let them drip slightly. Keep the heat set no lower than 12 degrees Celcius when your properties are empty.
If preventative measures do not keep a pipe from freezing, you will need to take action as soon as you notice a pipe is frozen. PPM can support you by safely warming the pipes ensuring that they do not burst and cause damage to your property.
Ice dams form because the edges of the building’s roof is colder than the upper regions (where more insulation is), this is made worse where gutters are poorly maintained as vegetation and debris support the dam to develop. This causes ice to form around the eaves and as snow melts above the melted snow then backs up behind the “dam” of ice potentially causing leaks and permanent damage to the roof and building.
Again, prevention is key. Ensure that gutters are cleaned with a regular preventative maintenance schedule. Inspections and ensuring that your under felt is in good condition can also support in stopping water ingress.
PPM can support with gutter cleans and also a survey of the under felt to ensure that your building is protected.
Snow & Ice
You don’t only have to worry about snow on the rooftop. It’s also a task to handle on the ground. Be sure to keep walkways, driveways, parking lots and sidewalks free from snow and ice. This requires regular shoveling, snow blowing or plowing. Ice melt or sand should also be used to provide traction on stairs and other slippery areas. It’s also wise to mark the edges of driveways and sidewalks so you’ll know where to shovel and clear snow when it gets deep.
Your gutters play a vital part in keeping your buildings leak free when we do get snow and ice as this water is going to exit your building by the nearest route meaning clear gutters are vital.
Carbon Monoxide & Smoke Detectors
Check batteries in all carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. This is especially important in the winter when windows are kept closed and wood burning stoves or fireplaces are often in use. Make sure each apartment has a smoke and carbon monoxide detector in the kitchen, each bedroom and each floor if multiple levels. Detectors should be checked monthly and batteries changed as needed.