The newsLINK Group - Fall Preparations

Editorial Library Category: Multi-Family & Property Management Topics: Changing Seasons Title: Fall Preparations Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: Maintenance probably isn’t your definition of something that is fun to do, but it is the secret to making life a lot easier for yourself. If you prevent problems from occurring and fix problems when they are small, those same problems won’t make your life miserable later. Editorial: Fall Preparations 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ thenewslinkgroup.com │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 Maintenance probably isn’t your definition of something that is fun to do, but it is the secret to making life a lot easier for yourself. If you prevent problems from occurring and fix problems when they are small, those same problems won’t make your life miserable later. All the other months of the year go much more smoothly when you have a regular schedule of things you do at particular times of the year. With that in mind, the end of summer and the beginning of the fall season makes an ideal time to prepare for the winter. Here are some routine maintenance projects you should be scheduling on an annual basis: Attics: If your building has attics then you should check the insulation to make sure it is the correct thickness and has been distributed evenly. In addition, check to be sure all vents are working correctly and that none of the insulation is blocking the continuous soffit vents around the perimeter of the attic. If the attic is unheated and has fire sprinkler lines, be sure they are insulated adequately so they won’t freeze and break. Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors: Make sure they still work in every single apartment. Chimneys: If your multifamily community has fireplaces, it’s important to make sure they are working correctly. You might want to hire a professional chimney sweep. If you do the work on your own, you will want to discard old ashes and make sure the damper for each chimney is open so air can move freely through the chimney. For the flue to work correctly, the damper handle and springs will also have to be in good condition. Exterior painting: Now is a great time to repaint the exterior of the apartment buildings, retouch paint that has deteriorated, or have siding repaired. Faucets: You will want to look for leaky faucets in bathrooms, kitchens, and utility rooms. This will help prevent pipes from breaking during the winter months. Exterior faucets should be frost-proof ones with a bib design. If you have older faucets, drain them so they won’t freeze and break during the winter. Filters: Clean filters keep residents healthier. You or your residents should check the filters in central air conditioning systems, stove vents, clothes dryers, and (if applicable) room fans. Furnaces and heat pumps: Have them cleaned and tested. Furnaces collect dust and debris that affect performance and also creates a fire hazard. If you have the work done by a qualified HVAC contractor, then the contractor will inspect the heating system visually, remove covers and check filters, check blowers, and make sure nothing is blocking flues. In addition to ensuring that heating systems are working correctly, the contractor will also perform other safety checks. Green areas: Do you maintain the grounds around each building yourself, or do you hire that work out to someone else? If you are in charge of the work, this is the time to get blades sharpened and fluids topped off before you put away tools such as lawnmowers and trimmers. This is also a good time to invest in new garden power tools for next year, because you will find great deals during the fall season. Check the irrigation system for any potential problems, or have a qualified irrigation contractor do it for you. You should also fertilize the lawn to minimize lawn damage during the winter months and weeds during the spring. Experts at a local garden center can give you advice about what type of fertilizer you should use and when you should apply it. Don’t forget to put down mulch and to make sure any rocks and pavers are in good shape, and check tree branches overhead. Anything close to power lines should be trimmed. The same is true for any branches that hang over roofs where they can create a mess. Outdoor swimming pools: Your apartment community might have an outdoor swimming pool open for use during the summer. When it’s time to shut the pool down for the winter, power-wash the outdoor cushions and furniture and then dry them. Once they are clean,

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