Ahhh, Spring seems to have finally arrived here in Southern Ontario! Did you know that spring is a perfect time to take a good look at your commercial property? It is and here’s why: any issues that came up over winter haven’t escaped your mind yet so they can be addressed now. Now is also the perfect time to plan your expenditures for the months ahead.
5 areas to examine closely in the spring are:
Potholes, Curbs, Stairs, Railings
Yes, I know that’s 5 items already but they all fall into the Liability aspect of caring for your property. Winter weather and snow clearing equipment can play havoc on your parking lot and sidewalks. Now is a great time to take a close look for trip hazards such as broken curbs and loose railings. The sooner you can identify and repair the hazard, the less you have to worry about potential insurance or legal claims.
Windows & Doors
Remember the tenant who called you on a windy -30° day complaining about a cold office? You were disappointed then that you weren’t able to help much; now you can take a closer look and find the real cause. Likely it will be a case of repairing or replacing the caulking to keep the heat and cold where they belong. Caulking around windows and doors also contributes to managing your utility costs.
Door frames, weather-stripping and thresholds can quickly deteriorate from salt and other ice melters. Faulty fitting doors and accessories are easy entry points for ants, mice and other pests so get them fixed as soon as possible. Be sure to examine all windows and doors and have them sealed up promptly.
If you have a flat roof building, get up there for an inspection as soon as is safe. Once up there, you’ll be looking for standing water which will indicate areas where your drainage may not be working so well. Standing water can also indicate soft spots which can be costly to repair if not addressed quickly.
For all types of roofs, check that the penetration seals are still secure and the flashings are still in good condition. You’ll find roof penetrations at vent stacks and HVAC units for example.
Gutters & Downspouts
Even with the most conscientious clean-up in the fall, you can end up with a back-up of fall leaf and other wind-blown litter in your gutters. Ice buildup in the downspouts can slow down the spring run-off and cause overflow in undesired places. Snow clearing equipment can easily knock downspouts and troughs off their intended place or crush them. Best to get these items cleared and properly placed so that your building is ready for all the “April Showers.”
Hot and cold weather fluctuations can cause your foundation to settle and seals to deteriorate over time. Take a look around the foundation of your building for cracks, gaps, water stains, and indentations. These are the tell-tale signs that your foundation needs some care.
Naturally, while you’re doing an inspection anyway, you’ll be checking all the other items such as signage, lighting, graffiti, fences etc. The items above are highlighted because they’re where you’ll want to spend extra time this spring. You can see a sample of our full Property Inspection Sample for even more ways to keep your property in tip-top shape for the warm weather ahead.