When the weather is getting chilly, you know it's time to take stock of your winter essentials. You check your boots, your jackets, your mittens, etc. to make sure you're prepared for snow. The same should go for your apartment building. Before snow hits, you should go through your apartment to see if everything is in order.
No one likes to think about winter coming, but property managers and owners must. If you don't prepare your building for winter, damage that could have been prevented will costs you thousands in repairs. If you don't prepare for this seasonal shift, you can run into nasty problems during the winter months.
Winter Apartment Maintenance Checklist:
These jobs may not be on the top of your current to-do list, but they should definitely be done before winter is in full swing.
1) Check nearby trees and bushes: If your apartment is protected by large trees and bushes, you should do a quick check to make sure none of them can cause your building harm during the winter. You can trim trees and bushes back from the property to minimize their risk. You should also inspect the condition of limbs close to the building to determine whether they make break and fall during strong winds or heavy hoarfrost.
2) Look for green problems: Mold infestations like to plague bathrooms, in particular, so focus the majority of your attention there when looking for this stuff. Carefully inspect under the sinks, and stop it before it spreads onto the floor and walls of the unit. Check for the presence of mold during your next unit inspections.
3) Clean the apartment vents: Cleaning the vents well is a task that will help extend the life of other systems in your building. This job is a must, especially if you've experienced a pest infestation or mold in recent months; it will get rid of any animal nests that have been built and are still residing somewhere. Having less dust build-up will put less strain on your heating and cooling systems, too. Since they'll labor less, your energy and utility bills won't be as high. Your tenants will also have better air quality.
4) Inspect your sump pump: Before winter hits, it's smart to check your sump pump; they're only as good as the condition they're in. If it isn't functioning properly, it's useless to protect your apartment. When inspecting it, ensure any accumulated dirt and debris is removed. Both the float and check valves should be moving freely. Annual sump pump tests are recommended to prevent any water damage from occurring.
5) Check your furnace: Like most things, it's easier to do proactive maintenance than foot a huge surprise repair bill. Take the time to look at your furnace now for problems instead of calling a repairman in the middle of the night. Check to see that the filters are in good condition and that your furnace is working efficiently and properly. You don't want to be receiving complaints from your tenants about being too cold. A faulty furnace could also be the source of a fire, so take care to see it's in working order.
Winter draws people indoors to take shelter from the cold, and your building needs to be prepared for the strain of constant use. Make sure all your systems are running properly, and outside threats are taken care of. Only when your apartment is up to snuff inside will it be prepared for outside weather.