As cold weather begins to become the norm, homeowners are encouraged to winterize their homes, but real estate managers for commercial properties should take the same steps to ensure that their properties are protected as well. In addition to performing a number of tasks and inspections themselves, managers should also speak with a snow removal consulting expert for the most efficient means to clear ice and snow in the coming months. Here are a few tips to help get your commercial property In order and winterized.
Install a programmable thermostat in buildings to control the temperature. Some units can be controlled and monitored using a Smartphone. Keep the thermostat set at around 64 degrees and no less than 55 degrees. Turning off the thermostat completely can lead to frozen pipes.
Inspect pipes for cracks and leaks, install insulation, and keep the building temperature at an appropriate level to avoid freezing. It may be beneficial to turn off the main water valve if the property is expected to remain unoccupied for awhile.
Weather Stripping and Caulking
Replace or add weather stripping to doors and windows to keep out drafts. Caulking to seal cracks and missing caulking around window panes and doors should also be done.
Have the gas lines inspected for leaks and to make sure they are in proper working condition following months when they were not in use.
Filters and Batteries
Change filters and test the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Replace the batteries as necessary.
Snow and Ice Removal
Before any snow falls, sprinkle salt down to keep the walks and parking lot clear. Keep the location of the property in mind. If it is near other occupied buildings, it would be in the manager’s best interest to keep the property cleared of snow an ice to decrease the possibility of accidents. Be sure and hire a snow removal expert to create a snow plow and sidewalk snow clear plan to remove all snow accumulation from traffic and walks.
An empty building can be a target for thieves and property managers should consider installing security systems to alert the authorities if there is a break in. Even if a security system is not installed, proper lighting surrounding the building, including motion detectors will keep the property well-lit, safer, and deter unwanted activity after dark.
Visit the property often to make sure there is no sign of vandalism, break-ins, or damage to the property. This is also an opportunity to clear away the debris (dead leaves, branches, etc.) that have accumulated on the property. Check for hanging icicles where anyone walking underneath may be hit.
Do Not Delay Repairs
If any damage is noted, do not put off repairs until the weather is warmer, especially if the damage is to the pipes. Waiting will only give the problem time to worsen and will cost more to fix down the road.
Be Safe & Have a Happy Winter Season!