Winter in New England comes with some definite perks including snow-capped mountain scenery, options to ski, and idyllic imagery of cities and towns dusted by snow. Unfortunately, with this winter beauty comes winter worries for property managers. From concerns about ice dams and slippery sideways to frozen pipes and leaks on the roof, the work of a property manager may never seem like it is done.
Let’s take a look at some of the top winter worries for property managers so that concerns can be proactively dealt with rather than as they occur at your property.
Schedule Snow Clearing Contractors Early
Living in this corner of the world there is no question about whether there will be snow every winter, it’s just a matter of when the snow will happen rather than “if.”
Knowing this, it’s smart to schedule out contractors that will plow your driveways, shovel your walkways and use de-icing components on those well in advance of the first snowfall. If you use the same contractor each year, it may be necessary to review your contract and ensure that your property is top on the priority list as a loyal customer.
Pro Tip – When interviewing contractors find out how early they can be at your property after a snowfall and if they will come back for a clean-up later in the day. This is especially important to residents who need the area plowed early to get out to work and will expect that their parking spot will be cleared upon their return.
Take Steps to Prevent Fires
The start of winter also marks the start of the fireplace and wood-burning stove season as well. Additionally, it signifies a time of year when candles are burned and holiday decor may be overloading outlets. All of these are potential fire hazards in the making.
As a property manager, it’s a good idea to remind your residents about proper fireplace use and wood stove use. Add in recommendations about the amount of lighting for decor per outlet and common sense reminders about candle use during this season.
Pro Tip – Require that homeowners or residents have a professional chimney cleaning every year to avoid creosote build-up in the venting of their wood stove or fireplace. Additionally, have all residents check all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are in good working order.
Be Vigilant of Winter Risks
Winter may be a welcome season for some, but property managers know that things like ice dams on roofs, frozen pipes, and malfunctioning furnaces can be real issues during the cold winter months.
Take steps early in the season to have the furnace tuned or inspected for potential issues. A roof inspection and attic inspection of insulation can help prevent ice dams, and keeping thermostats at a constant temp can help avoid frozen pipes. A little vigilance can go a long way to lessen these winter risks.
Pro Tip – Remind residents that during the coldest nights keep cabinets open to allow kitchen pipes to absorb heat and, if necessary, allow faucets to drip water so that freezing does not occur.
Does your property have winter issues to stay on top of? Let our team at Thayer & Associates help out. Talk to our team today.