Winter weather doesn’t just mean bundling up against the cold. It also means additional responsibilities for property owners. Make sure that you keep up on maintenance tasks like the ones below to keep your properties safe:
- Inspect trees for hazards.
High winds and the weight of snow can take down limbs and present a hazard. Remember that each cubic foot of snow adds 15 to 20 pounds of weight. Limbs that are cracked or rotted may not be able to support the weight of snow or the force of strong winds. By checking for any branches that may not hold up to the pressure, you can reduce the chances of property damage or injury.
- Clean gutters at least once a season.
If gutters are clogged with leaves, twigs or other debris, they will not do their job of moving melting snow away from your property. This can cause roof leaks that can lead to flooding and damage to property inside. By keeping gutters clear and checking them regularly to ensure that they are in good working order, you can prevent expensive claims later on.
- Make sure walkways are in good condition.
Safe access to all buildings is a must. Walkways can buckle or crack when exposed to changing temperatures. At the beginning of each season, make sure that all of the walkways that give access to your buildings and other pars of your property are in good, usable condition. It is also necessary to check them regularly to ensure that they are free of slippery snow and ice. Together, these actions can significantly reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents.
- Advise tenants of minimum requirements for heating.
All communal areas that are under your control should be heated; check your state and municipality to learn whether there are specific dates after which you need to heat each year or whether local laws depend on weather conditions. You should also make sure that tenants are aware of minimum heating requirements. This can protect pipes from freezing and lower the risk of expensive flood damage and repairs. While you are looking into local laws regarding heating, take some time out of your day to ensure that all pipes are properly insulated. This is another measure that can keep pipes from freezing during excessively cold weather.
Taking care of these and other property and safety hazards allows you to fulfill your obligations and limit your liability. Make each of these a part of your seasonal and monthly maintenance tasks for smoother operation all year long.