The Commercial Inspector | Prepping Your Building for Colder Weat

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The Commercial Inspector

CRE tips and news by National Property Inspections



Prepping Your Building for Colder Weather

 October 14, 2020 |  Maintenance, Management |  safety, exterior maintenance, interior maintenance

With the changing seasons comes beautiful autumn colors, the holiday season and, like it or not, colder weather. Older buildings tend to be more susceptible to chilly temps sneaking in, but even newer ones can have issues. Keeping tenants warm in the dead of winter is a problem many commercial property managers deal with, but there are ways for you to keep out the cold.

Early Prep Makes for Less Stress
As with any foreseeable problem, the quicker you act, the less hiccups you’re likely to experience down the road. While heavy snowfalls and big temperature dips may be a couple months away, don’t put off what you can do now. Getting a head start will make managing your property easier.

Repair and Seal Openings
Exterior and interior doors, windows and any other gaps in your building are all places where frosty air can get inside. Re-seal any openings that you notice with caulk or weather stripping to prevent this problem from happening. Another inexpensive but perhaps less attractive option is to use plastic coverings on older windows. Of course, if you have the budget for it, it’s best to upgrade older doors and windows to newer, more energy-efficient models.

Stop Whirling Winds from Getting Inside
If your area experiences high winter winds, you can set up a tarp or tent entrance to your building. This will block winds from rushing inside your lobby and down hallways and giving residents a brisk shock. It can also help prevent snow from piling up directly in front of the doorway--both a safety issue and a nuisance for tenants.

Inspect Your HVAC
Your heating system can be under immense strain as people work to stay warm in your building. Regularly replace old filters, conduct routine maintenance, replace broken or damaged parts and quickly respond to service requests from your renters. Even in vacant spaces your HVAC system should be working correctly. Not only does proper heating help your building’s occupants, it also prevents pipes from freezing and breaking.

Make Sure Your Roof is Ready
Your roof helps protect against all sorts of weather throughout the year, and that’s why it’s important to check that it’s in good condition. Either by yourself or with the help of a professional, examine both the outside and inside components of your roof. The style of roof you have will determine what your winter maintenance will look like.

For flat roofs: clear off any debris, check your drainage system and inspect flashings and seals. For slanted roofs: look for loose shingles, clear out your gutters, remove snow drifts from the edge and also check seals around vents.

A good idea regardless of style is to consistently check your roof’s status during the winter. Clear off heavy snowfall and large icicles that could potentially collapse your roof and pose a risk to bystanders below.

Stop Slips and Trips
Along with hazards overhead, snow and ice on the ground outside your building can be dangerous for tenants. Salt and sand keep people from slipping on the sidewalk, and extra mats on your floors will absorb melted snow that’s tracked in. Shoveling snow off your walkways will allow easy access to your building. It’s also best to clean your entryways often as snow, water, sand and salt can cause falls and look unsightly.

Plan for Outages
A surprise blizzard can wreak havoc on your building, and you’ll need an emergency plan. Either purchase an adequate backup generator for your building, or have your current one inspected. Along with creating and sharing a plan with your building’s occupants, stockpile supplies they can use in case travel isn’t advised. Extra insulation around your pipes will keep them from breaking if there’s no heat and provide your renters with fresh water.

All Hands on Deck
You can only do so much if you run a property by yourself. That’s why you should reach out to your tenants to remind them of winter procedures and what to do if they have a problem that needs taken care of. Educating residents and getting their help will make the dreary winter a little easier on everyone.


Get Winter Help from NPI
A professional commercial property inspection from NPI will get you and your building ready for the months ahead. Schedule an inspection with your local inspector today.

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National Property Inspections, Inc., founded in 1987, is one of the oldest companies in the inspection industry. Our reputation is built on honesty, integrity and professionalism. National Property Inspections operates as Global Property Inspections in Canada.