Fall is Here: Preparing Your Building for Colder Weather
“Fall is here” might not have quite the same ominous ring to it as announcing that winter will soon arrive, but in the world of condo management, keeping an eye on the imminent approach of autumn is likely a better bet for your condo board to concern itself with.
After all, for many Alberta condo owners, the arrival of fall doesn’t mean that it’s time to start thinking about when winter might show up. Instead, fall typically means that we can expect snow and sleet to show up literally any day now – and when it comes to seasonal condo maintenance, proactivity is key. Just ask Shakeel Chaudhry: Catalyst Condo Management’s resident maintenance expert and guide to all autumnal preparatory maintenance throughout this blog piece.
So, we’ll reiterate: Fall is Coming. Not sure how to start preparing? Read on for five key points to consider looking into as the mercury starts to take a dip.
Five Key Maintenance Points to Consider Heading to Fall
1. Do an Early Fall Walkthrough
There’s a lot you can catch early (and, consequently, a mountain of maintenance costs that can be avoided) by simply taking a walkthrough of your condo community in advance of the changing seasons and addressing any concerns up-front, while the sun’s still shining.
“Look at these things as early as possible,” Chaudhry counsels. “Be as proactive as you can. By doing a walkthrough of your property and noting things that need be done with the changing weather in mind – a leaking eavestrough, for example, or a window that lets in water – your condo board can be better-prepared for fall and winter.”
2. Consider Costs and Urgency
So, you’ve taken a walk around your condo community and come up with a list of repairs that need tackling before everyone settles in for a long winter’s nap. Maybe you’ve started early enough and your condo corporation has funds enough set aside that crossing everything off your to-do list will be a simple affair – and congratulations, if that’s the case! Now, for everyone else out there living in the real world (we kid, of course! Mostly, anyway 😉), it’s time to go down your list of jobs and determine what’s realistic to tackle – from both a financial angle, and from one of feasibility, too.
“Consider costs and urgency,” Chaudhry advised. “Urgency, of course, should be the biggest consideration, because an issue that could affect you in the wintertime could come with higher costs than if you’d handled it in the fall when you’d first noticed it.”
Once you’ve sorted out what repairs you’re looking to tackle and which are safe to leave until after the snow melts again, Catalyst will be happy to help you source whatever trusted vendors you need to tackle these issues accordingly – just let us know what you need a hand with and we’llmake sure you get the help you need!
3. Take Another Walkaround After the Snow Starts to Fly
Once you’ve gotten through your list of fall maintenance projects and the snow blows in for the season, be sure to take a stroll around the winter wonderland that is your condo community with a particular eye towards any dangers or troubling circumstances caused by the accumulating snow and ice.
“The best way to learn about these sorts of concerns is going out and looking around once the ice and snow have settled in,” Chaudhry confirmed. “So, I would do one walkaround before the snow, and then one walkaround shortly after as well, just to be sure everything is as it should be.” By taking the time to do that second walkaround, you can rest assured that there isn’t an errant eavestrough creating a slippery patch of ice just waiting to catch somebody off-guard as they hustle their groceries through the cold – something both your board and your condo community’s residents will all appreciate!
4. Forego Proactivity at Your Own Peril
So far, we’ve covered off a number of pre-emptive steps and measures you can take to ensure your condo complex is fighting-fit to take on the long winter ahead. That said, you might find yourself reading through these points and thinking, “UGGGGGH, that sounds like a lot of work…it feels like it’d be a lot simpler to just deal with things as they come up.” And yup, that’s definitely one approach you could take – although Catalyst and Chaudhry both definitely advise against it, and for very good reason.
“You end up being reactive instead of proactive,” Chaudhry cautioned on the subject. “You end up cleaning up messes instead of preventing messes. Suddenly, you’re not just dealing with a leaky eave, but one that’s dripping water down into a windowsill that’s also going to need repairing now. A messy gutter gets too heavy and becomes a broken gutter. A simple job turns into a repair that costs thousands. It can get bad.”
There are all sorts of clichéd words of wisdom we could mention here to support Chaudhry’s advice, but instead we’ll just keep it simple and say: follow his advice and deal with these sorts of jobs before they become expensive problems. Your reserve fund will thank you for it.
5. Fall’s Finished – What About Winter?
Once you’ve made your way through fall, be sure to take a moment to pat yourself on the back and bask in what you’ve accomplished – and then buckle down and turn to look ahead once again, because winter’s on the horizon now.
“Snow removal is the biggest thing you’ll want to be taking care of heading into winter – it’s important to have this in place. Sorting out this consideration well in advance of the season will be key to your condo finding success.”
Makes sense – after all, it’s tough to imagine navigating the winter when you’re unable to even navigate your own condo building’s parking lot. Thanks for joining us today, Shakeel Chaudhry – your advice and expertise have been invaluable!
Are you in the process of getting your condo building ready for fall – and beyond? Have questions about what you should (or shouldn’t) be worrying about? Contact us at Catalyst Condo Management today to chat condo maintenance, seasonal upkeep, and more.