For a lot of the country, fall is a time when people begin to think of sweaters, pumpkin spice and holidays at hand. For maintenance teams, the fall looks more like increased workloads and worries! It is easy, if you are not careful, to miss or delay important fall checks which can lead to major issues in the winter season. So today, we will talk about important multifamily maintenance checks for fall that every community needs to ensure that they are handling!
Multifamily Maintenance Checks for Fall: Gaps, Air Leaks and Seals
In addition to the mounting daily tasks that multifamily maintenance teams handle, fall brings an additional workload. Change of season is a good time to schedule regular unit checks and it is a common practice in multifamily maintenance. Additionally, it is a good marker point for checking any locations that could be allowing air leakage which could raise energy bills in cooler months.
Some of the locations included in these checks are:
On the first day when the weather change is most noticeable spend time in the property checking to see if you can find air leaking. Even if your residents are not complaining now you can bet they will be in January and it is much easier to change out seals NOW before the temperatures are frigid!
Multifamily Maintenance Checks for Fall: Water Diversion Systems
Summer can wreak havoc on roofing. Extreme Temperatures, long exposure to sun, wind and rain can all cause quick damage to roofing systems. That is why we recommend regular checks for roofing. Intercepting a leak quickly will minimize that leak’s effect on your community.
When checking roofing system look for:
- Inspect interior attic roof for discolorations, stains or dark spots
- Active leaks dripping, seeping or water rings.
- Streaks of light peeking through
- Air leakage or breezes
- Check the integrity of construction materials looking for sagging, peeling, bubbling etc on any interior surfaces, walls etc.
It is also a good idea to check the guttering system looking for:
- Clogs from leaf build up, or dirt from roofs
- Clogged or disconnected downspouts
- Guttering in disrepair with holes, cracks or leaks
- Make sure that all of the gutter clips are in place that gutters and downspouts are properly attached to the buildings.
- If you have a leaf deferral system, check the integrity of that system and ensure that it is properly in place.
Change of season is a good time to perform regular maintenance on sump pumps if your community employs these. In general, by checking the sump pump you should:
- Visually inspect all parts for corrosion, breakage or leaks
- Use a bucket of water or hose to fill the pumping system until it kicks on to ensure that it WILL kick on.
- Once the system is on continue pumping water to make sure that it was not a “False start”.
- If you have a battery backup system for your pumps, ensure that the battery life is good and that the water surrounding the battery is full.
Multifamily Maintenance Checks for Fall: Heating Systems
Check all radiators, furnace systems and fireplaces. Any source of heating can become dangerous points of ignition if dust, dirt and/or soot have been allowed to accumulate in the unused period. This is also the time to enact regular professional cleaning and check services through your heating system vendor. They will check the functionality and cleanliness of the interior systems. Your HVAC check should include things like:
- Checks of the internal parts
- Overall cleaning of units, motors, vents etc.
- Checks for Carbon Monoxide leaks
- Make recommendations on the life expectancy of your systems and upgrades that may be needed.
- If your systems need winterizing for AC then employ your vendor to do so on a set date. Make sure that all residents are adequately informed before this date to avoid issues.
Multifamily Maintenance Checks for Fall: Exterior / Grounds Checks
Summer can take a toll on grounds also. Change of season is the right time to perform a multitude of tasks on the grounds of your property.
Multifamily Maintenance Checks for Fall: Pool Area
In general, most areas close their pool after Labor Day. If this is your property, be sure to treat your pool with the proper chemicals for fall (if linered) or drain concrete pools. Disconnect any filters / systems that are advised. Ensure that all pool accessories, life preservers, backboards, furniture etc. are neatly stored in a climate protected area. Cover the pool before the leave truly start falling as they can cause major issues in your pump system.
Multifamily Maintenance Checks for Fall: Trees, Shrubbery, Flowers
If your community employs a landscape company, fall is the time for them to check for adequate amounts of mulch or ground cover to ensure the safety of plants. Pull any annual flowers that will not make it through the winter season. Check for any dead, loose or hanging branches, shrubs etc. One inch of ice during a winter storm can cause dead branches to injure your resident or damage your property. Downed branches can cause damage gutters, roofs or even downed power lines, prevention is the key and there is no better time than fall to do this!