There is so much to do as a property manager in the Billings, MT, area, from collecting rent to do regular maintenance on your buildings (all while following this property management safety checklist). So now that it’s spring, what should you be doing to help fix up your buildings after a cold winter and before your tenants are in a hot summer?
Whether you are managing a church, a large mixed use building, or a single family home, a change in season is a good indicator (and reminder) of annual tasks that should be done to your buildings to help keep it in good shape, save you money in the long run, and keep your tenants happy. Follow the guide below on what you and your maintenance crew should focus on for both the inside and outside of your property.
Gutter and downspout cleaning.
Dirt, leaves, twigs, and other debris can still be clogged in your gutters and downspouts from last fall. As the snow melts and heavy rainfall occurs, clogged gutters can cause water to pour down the sides of the building, and creep inside from the windows, siding, and foundation. By cleaning out the gutters and blowing debris out the downspouts ensure that rain and water flow freely through your gutter system down and away from the building, avoiding possible water damage.
Check for signs of wood damaging insects.
With the number of mosquito-borne illnesses that occur each year, like West Nile and Zika, it’s important to prevent mosquitoes from nesting on your property. Make sure there is no standing water at the end of downspouts or near your foundation. Spray for other bugs like termites, who threaten to literally eat away at your building’s wooden features, slowly damaging siding, the foundation, and wood trim.
Signs of roof damage.
Ice dams, heavy snowfall, and fallen trees can damage your roof during the winter. That damage can sometimes seem small, like a ripped or cracked shingle or a tiny hole in the tar. But that damage can lead to leaks that affect your insulation, building structure, and can allow for critters like squirrels to enter and hide in the walls. Check for missing or damaged shingles (warped, blistered, or curled) and replace them. Check for cracks in the caulk or the rubber boot around the vent pipe. Also check for chimney cap damage. Repair or replace all, as necessary.
Do a siding inspection.
Winter weather, fast winds, and flying debris can damage the siding on a building, no matter what it’s made out of. If any cracks, tears, or broken pieces of siding are on your building, there is a chance moisture from rain or melting snow can slip into the drywall. This can lead to mold and mildew, structural damage, and rot. Check for gaps, cracks, and holes in the side of the building, as well as buckled, warped, or missing siding or trim. Also fix improperly secured pieces of siding, and paint and seal the siding, if necessary.
Sealing exterior wood trim.
You take a lot of pride in the outside of your building, and want that curb appeal to stay appealing. In order to do this, it’s important to regularly maintain your building’s outdoor wooden areas. Decks, porches, railings, pergolas, trellises, window trim, and door trim all need to be sealed once a year in a commercial setting to keep it like new with all the foot traffic. This upkeep may seem like a pain (to both yourself and your wallet) in the moment, but in the long run it will save you money than having to replace each of those things every few years from weathered warping or wood rot.
Do an HVAC check up.
Before summer’s hot temperatures come your way, have a professional come out and do a maintenance check on your building’s HVAC system. The earlier you schedule them, the better it will be for your bottom line. In the early spring specialists aren’t as booked, so they’ll be able to take their time checking your system (to see if it’s running properly or suffering from any leaks) and replacing your parts faster. Plus, having a professional look at the system prior to all of your tenants using it at full capacity will prevent any major breakdowns when your tenants will need it most.
Termite prevention (and other bugs, too!).
Spraying for termites, mosquitoes, and other wood eating bugs is important to protect the foundation and integrity of your building. But you’ll also want to spray for those bugs that may have been hibernating in your tenant’s homes during the colder months. Bugs like cockroaches, wasps, and ants tend to come out as the temperatures get warmer. Being on the defensive and spraying beforehand will prevent issues from occurring.
Winter can wreak havoc on your pipes, causing pinholes in pipes, breaks in faucets, and sediment in water tanks. Run tests so that you know all of your pipes, spigots, faucets, sump pumps, and drainage systems are working. There could be a blockage from melting snow flushing debris down your drain pipes. It’s better to fix this issue before the heavy spring rains cause big back ups and flooding in your tenant’s home.
Change the batteries in your smoke detectors.
Test all the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Most batteries last from three to ten years. To be on the safe side, you can change them all out to ensure the detectors are always working. Whether or not you choose to replace the batteries, make sure you test each detector to make sure it’s running properly. This can not only prevent fire damage, but can save your tenants’ lives.
Furnace filter replacement.
Use this season change as a reminder to change out all the filters in your building. Changing out your furnace and air condition filters means your tenants will get the max benefit from your HVAC system, and that your HVAC is running as efficiently as possible. This can also help save you and your tenant’s money (depending on who is paying the heating and cooling bills). This time of year it’s especially important to change the air quality filters. This prevents allergens like dust and dirt from getting into your units and your tenants’ lungs. This can also help keep future cleaning costs down.
Do a deep carpet cleaning.
You may not think about how many people (tenants, mail carriers, dog walkers, visitors) walk throughout your commercial building. It is way more than you think. Even if you rent out a single family home, your carpet takes a beating through daily wear and tear. Hire a professional company to really clean the dirt and allergens out of your carpet. It may cost a little more than if you do it yourself, but it will add life to your carpet, and help you avoid having to replace it too often.
Is Your Commercial Building Spring Ready?
Alpha Omega is a fully certified restoration company serving Billings, MT and the surrounding areas. As a property manager, your job can be stressful enough without having to deal with red tape from insurance companies. At Alpha Omega, we do all the work so that it’s done correctly without the possibility of further problems. Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration is a full general contractor with those appropriate certifications.
Call Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration. Our crew’s on call 24/7. We’ll send a team to assess the situation, document the damage, and work with your insurance adjuster. It’s our goal to provide the quickest and best restoration possible. With our help you can focus on your family and relationships. Let us worry about restoring your physical property to its pre-disaster state. When we’re done, all traces of the destruction will be gone. We’ll leave you with a safe and comfortable home.