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The inside-out guide to fall building maintenance

Written by Super
September 29, 2022
The inside-out guide to fall building maintenance

Pumpkin spice latte season is officially upon us. With the changes in weather, it’s also the perfect time to perform some preventative maintenance ahead of winter.

Cooler days can bring much-needed relief to residents after a summer of heat waves. For property maintenance and management teams, a little preparation can also bring relief for even cooler, wetter weather ahead. Plan for these fall maintenance routines to set your buildings up for success in the months ahead.

Around the property

Let’s begin by looking at what may be around the property: landscaping, irrigation, outdoor furniture, condensing units. All of these areas will benefit from some fall maintenance.

If you have landscaping and irrigation, it may need some trimming back, fertilizing, or covering if temperatures dip further in your area. Clear leaves and other debris, which can clog drains and deprive landscaping of sunlight, air, and invite pests. 

Now is the time to start planning for turning off and blowing out any water from the lines and insulating pipes and spigots so the water does not freeze and cause any damage or worse, cause burst pipes.

Outdoor furniture will benefit from being stored or properly covered during upcoming months when they won’t be used as frequently to avoid weather damage. This includes storing things like garden hoses, or risk having to buy a new one next year.

Regular maintenance of your HVAC systems is always advised, and fall is also a good time to check condensing units which have worked hard through the summer, and heat pumps as you head into winter. This ensures any repairs and cleaning on the system so that things are in good working order, and the switch to air conditioning is seamless come spring.

Exterior of the building

The building envelope should be inspected and any repairs made during this time of the year. This includes basics like cleaning out gutters and drainage areas, as well as checking the roof to ensure no pooling or damage. Repair any problem areas sooner than later—or risk them getting worse and causing leaks with freezing weather.

Similarly, inspect windows and doors for any cracks and drafts in order to seal them to avoid drafts and further weather damage. Sealing up any holes also ensures critters can’t make themselves a warm home indoors during the colder months.

Inside the building

You’re not done yet! While HVAC maintenance is being conducted on exterior mechanicals, also check interior mechanicals such as any furnaces, radiators, fans, ducts—and change out the filters. This keeps things in good working order while eliminating dust and dirt build up helps HVAC systems work more efficiently to save energy and extend lifespan. If you have any fireplaces or chimneys in the building, make sure those are cleaned, and if operational in safe working order.

Basements should be checked for any moisture buildup, leaks, and cracks or holes. This can invite critters or mold, and can be a sign of something else needing to be addressed. Ensure pipes are insulated. A smart thermostat may also help ensure pipes don’t get too cold without wasting energy on unnecessary heating.

Lastly, now can be a good time to stock up on your cold weather essentials before demand rises or they sell out. Floor mats and rugs can help ensure safety in common areas during wetter months, and you’ll feel extra-prepared having your cleaning tools and supplies on-hand in case of inclement weather.

Maintaining a healthy building year round takes foresight, planning, and action. As the operating system for buildings, Super’s software platform helps property managers, boards, and residents streamline tasks and enhance transparency and accountability.

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