The winter weather can wreak havoc on buildings if managers are not fully prepared. From frozen pipes to dangerous walking conditions, heavy snowfall brings many hazards. As the snow piles up outside, make sure your building is ready by following these key tips.
Clear Gutters Before the Thaw
When snow starts melting, drainage problems quickly arise if gutters contain debris. Hire professionals to thoroughly check and clear all gutters now before the snow thaws. Using cameras and long suction tools, they can spot and remove leaves, sticks and other blockages before it's too late. Properly functioning drainage prevents refreezing of snowmelt into hazardous ice patches.
Prevent Slips and Trips
While the local council salts public roads, your building's private car parks, footpaths and steps likely fall under your responsibility. Failing to clear ice and snow properly can lead to resident injuries and liability claims against managing agents or resident management committees. Bring in contractors to regularly salt high-risk areas after heavy snow, and provide grit bins for residents to spread on paths and steps.
Protect Roofs from Snow Weight
Heavy snow can damage roof integrity over time as meltwater seeps into cracks and expands upon refreezing. Schedule a full building inspection after intense winter weather to detect any roof deterioration early. Repeated thawing and refreezing accelerates wear and tear. Catch problems proactively and avoid extensive repairs down the road.
Avoid Frozen Pipes and Flooding
Nothing disrupts buildings more than burst pipes and water damage, easily prevented by maintaining consistent indoor heating all winter. Advise residents to keep apartments heated, even while vacant. Per building insurance requirements, completely drain water systems in unoccupied units that remain unheated. Follow all guidance for avoiding frozen and ruptured pipes.
With proper planning and proactive measures, building managers can tackle almost anything winter throws their way. Use these tips to ready your property and protect residents from the hazardous side effects of extreme cold and snow.