It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but, for property managers, winter can also come with a lot of stress. Winter weather, the holidays, and increased use of heating sources have the potential to cause a lot of headaches, property damage, and even safety hazards. At BYLT, we want to make sure you can enjoy the fun parts of the winter season. There are three simple ways property managers can prepare for winter disasters:
Inspect the building
Both the interior and exterior of the property should get a thorough look-over before the cold weather really sets in and the holidays begin. Create a checklist and take a walk around. You should look for:
- Hazardous trees/branches that may fall under the weight of snow/ice or in high winds.
- Cracks in siding, foundation, or windows that could cause damage in lower temperatures or because of severe weather.
- Places where snow and ice may build up and cause safety hazards.
- Inspect HVAC systems to ensure everything is functioning properly.
- Clean chimneys and check fireplaces to prevent structure fires.
One of the most important aspects of property management is outstanding communication with tenants. There’s no time more important than winter to keep tenants updated and educated about winter property safety. Be sure to provide educational materials (like these handouts) on subjects like:
- Fire hazards (like space heaters, candles, holiday decorations, and holiday cooking safety)
- Freezing temperatures (and how they can wreak havoc on a building, including burst pipes, HVAC damage, and water damage)
- Emergency planning (does the tenant know the community emergency plan? Do they have an individual emergency plan for their space?)
They key to getting through the winter season as easy as Santa glides down the chimney on Christmas? Planning ahead. Winter doesn’t adhere to your schedule, so you want to make sure you have all your reindeer in a row before you head off to the Bahamas for a not-so-white Christmas. Make a plan for things like:
- Snow removal. Getting your contractors lined up early for snow removal will save you from having to wait in line with everyone else on the day of a storm. Find a contractor who can prioritize snow removal at your property from the moment the snow hits.
- Insurance Claims. Be sure to review your policy with your adjuster so you know what’s covered and how to file a claim when you need to. There’s nothing worse than digging through the trenches of insurance policies when you’re dealing with an emergency.
- Disaster Restoration. You never know when disaster is going to strike. Instead of scrambling to find a reputable restoration partner after disaster, contact BYLT and set up a service plan for emergencies and non-emergencies alike!
stressful wonderful time of the year really can be wonderful as long as you take simple steps to prepare yourself, your community, and your property for potential winter disasters.