How to Prepare Your Properties for Winter & the Holidays

For much of Canada and a large portion of the United States, the fall of 2021 has been unseasonably warm.

There hasn’t been much in the way of frost and barely any snow to speak of. As fortunate as we’ve been so far, the cold will eventually descend upon us—winter is coming.

Regardless of anyone’s personal weather preferences, property managers have to prepare for the worst that winter has to offer. And this year promises to deliver some truly teeth-chattering—or, shattering—winter weather.

In the US, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting the return of the La Niña weather pattern.

That means that most of the northern states, particularly in the west, will see colder than usual temperatures and heavier than usual snowfall.

Similarly, in Canada, La Niña will cause colder and stormier weather patterns in the western provinces and territories while central Canada will be seasonal but wetter than average.

Winter has been kind enough this year to give us plenty of time to prepare for its eventual arrival. Check these items off your to-do list and get your properties ready for winter so that the holidays don’t turn into the horror-days.

Roof & Gutter Cleaning

All of the colours of autumn are beautiful to look at…until those pretty leaves start clogging up your properties’ gutters and drain pipes.

The rotting leaves and twigs that get caught in gutters soak up moisture when it rains and become heavy—heavy enough to pull the gutters down over time.

To make matters worse, when the temperatures fall below freezing, the trapped water turns into ice and expands and can cause structural damage such as creating holes in the roof.

Blockages that autumn debris creates are also a major cause of icicle formation. So, when the weather does finally start to turn wintry, you’ll actually want to get your head into the gutter.

Tree Trimming Saves Lives

Full, mature trees provide ample shade to courtyards in the summer months and make for stunning showpieces in autumn.

But in the winter, they present a potential hazard. Trees that have outstretched branches are more susceptible to snapping in the winter months when they become bogged down with the weight of snow and ice.

One nasty ice storm is all it takes to make a heavy tree branch snap like a…well, a twig.

The worst possible scenario is obviously personal injury to anyone who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time but damage to surrounding landscaping would also be a headache after the snow melts.

Reduce Heating Bills with Regular Maintenance

Whether you or your tenants are responsible for heating, no one likes to pay excessive utility bills.

If your building’s tenants are complaining about drafts or excessively high heating bills, the solution could be as simple as checking the state of your weatherstripping and insulation.

Good quality insulation should last for 10 years, but exposure to high heat and strong sun in the summer could reduce that lifespan.

Before anyone starts having a panic attack after confusing that winter draft with the Ghost of Christmas Past, check your properties to ensure that the insulation around all doors and windows is ready to keep out the cold.

Don’t Take Any “Trips” This Year

A trip to the Bahamas after a major blizzard or ice storm sounds like a great idea. A trip down the stairs, however, sounds like a great lawsuit.

For property managers, winter hazards have a habit of becoming indoor hazards. With tenants and their guests trekking snow, slush, salt and dirt in and out of your properties all winter, it’s no surprise that slipping hazards increase.

For this, having an abundant supply of anti-slip tape at the ready to deploy in entryways, on stairways and in other high-traffic areas is crucial to avoiding injuries.

Useful as anti-slip tape can be in keeping your tenants safe this winter, however, it’s only a half-measure.

Schedule Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

The best way to ensure that you don’t get “snowed” by the winter weather is to simply stay on top of regular cleaning and maintenance.

No one can slip on that puddle of melted snow if it was mopped up in the first place. Having a dedicated cleaning service—such as that provided by iRestify—greatly increases your properties’ preparedness for the winter months.

Contact us today to schedule your regular cleaning and maintenance to boost your preparedness this holiday season.