Fall Maintenance for Commercial Properties
With the changing of the leaves and the start of football means it is officially fall. As a result, it is time for property managers to begin thinking about annual fall maintenance. While every property is a bit different, fall maintenance for commercial properties is crucially important. This is because winter weather is right around the corner.
In most parts of the country, winter weather creates two key maintenance challenges. First, it can expose and exacerbate unchecked maintenance issues. Extreme cold or a heavy snow fall can strain an out of maintenance HVAC system or commercial roof, for example.
The second challenge is that maintenance becomes impossible in some parts of the country due to low temperatures. Once temperatures hit a certain point, it becomes almost impossible to fix a pothole. Completing maintenance tasks in the fall eliminates these potential problems. As fall kicks off, here are 7 important maintenance items for commercial property managers to consider this fall.
1. Clean Gutters and Downspouts
Fall is the most important time of the year to clean commercial gutters and downspouts. Properties in suburban areas near trees should often clean their gutters before, during, and after the fall season due to falling leaves. Failing to clean gutters can lead to significant problems including foundation water penetrations due to water overflowing. Property managers should also repair or replace any failing or damaged gutters during the fall.
2. Prune and Trim Trees
In addition to cleaning gutters and downspouts, property managers should also prune and trim trees. This is especially true at properties where trees grow close to buildings. Whenever trees grow close to buildings, falling leaves can land on the roof. In turn, these leaves can end up in gutters and downspouts, making it another reason it is important to gutters in the fall.
Another benefit of fall tree care is having winter ready trees. Heavy snow can cause tree limbs to break, creating dangerous situations and then potential for serious damage. Fall tree maintenance can help property managers get ahead of the curve by removing dead or damaged tree limbs most likely to fail during a heavy snow.
3. Inspect and Service the Roof
Fall maintenance for commercial properties should also include an annual roof inspection. The fall is a great time of year for a roof inspection, especially in states that face hurricanes during the summer and early fall. A fall roof inspection can identify potential issues ahead of more severe winter weather. Finding and fixing small leaks and penetrations can prevent larger problems caused by snow and ice accumulation on a commercial roof.
Regardless of roofing system, property managers should find a qualified commercial roofer to conduct the inspection and address any potential service issues. Click here to use Property Manager Insider’s BidSource service if you need help locating a qualified commercial roofer for your annual inspection.
4. HVAC Maintenance Check Ups
Fall maintenance for commercial properties should always include a full test of a property’s heating system. A heating system failure can have disastrous consequences during frigid winter months. To prevent major problems down the road, property manager should have a full system test during the fall. Following a heating system test, property managers should address any necessary HVAC repairs.
5. Test Emergency Power Generators
While some parts of the country experience mild weather, others will face intense winter weather. Properties facing harsh winter weather should test and service emergency generators. These systems are often a second thought until they are needed due to a extreme weather like a severe blizzard or polar vortex. A fall service call can make all the difference when these systems are most needed.
6. Repair the Parking Lot
Fall maintenance for commercial properties in colder regions should include any necessary parking lot repairs. This is because most asphalt contractors will not work when outdoor temperatures get too low. As a result, the fall is the last chance to fix a pesky pothole, repair a broken speed bump, or completely redo a failing asphalt parking lot. If a property manager misses this window they will have to wait until the spring to address the issue.
Fall parking lot repairs can also include updates to ADA parking lot markings. These are especially important for properties with failing markings or any property with heavier than usual winter traffic such as shopping malls and retail centers.
7. Winterize the Irrigation System
While it is standard procedure, fall maintenance for commercial properties should always include winterizing the irrigation system. Property managers can have their landscaping contractor or an irrigation specialist prepare the system for the winter. This protects from burst pipes due due to free thaw patterns. Winterizing an irrigation system can also include annual backflow inspections and certifications.
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