Photo: bark via Flickr / Creative Commons License

We are blessed in the Bay Area with mild winters, but there are still a number of important actions Gaetani takes with your property before the rainy season sets in. That’s because water, for all it’s life-giving qualities, can be pretty destructive if it gets past the outer shell of a building.

Here is a checklist our professioinal property managers use when inspecting your building for winter:

  1. Service the heating and ventilation system: It’s not just leaks, but also excessive winter dampness can promote the growth of toxic mold and mildew. A properly operating heater, apart from keeping your tenants comfortable, keeps humidity levels down. Also, heaters tend to have a lifespan of about 12-20 years, so we make sure to keep tabs on those older systems, maintaining them regularly so they last as long as possible.
  2. Inspect windows and doors: Caulking dries out after several years and begins to crack. Same thing with exterior paint, especially on older buildings. If not repaired, water can seep in and cause window casings and frames to rot. It’s a relatively easy fix that can save you a lot of money in the long run.
  3. Inspect roof and gutters/drainage systems: Standing water on the roof is a sign that something’s not right. It could be clogged gutters or drain pipes, or it could be due to sagging – an indication that there’s a larger structural issue that needs attention.
  4. Make sure smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are functioning: With increased use of heating systems in winter comes increasing chances of fire breaking out, or carbon monoxide being released from the heating system. Ensuring these life safety systems are working properly is one of our most important duties as a professional property manager. 
  5. Seal any cracks in the masonry: Keeping your foundation dry and solid is key to long-term integrity of the entire structure. So not only do we look for cracks on foundation walls themselves, we also seal cracks in sidewalks and wall seams so no water can get in and compromise your building.

At Gaetani, we’re always working to protect your investment while maximizing your returns. The right winter maintenance regimen is just an important part of our overall program to make sure your building performs for decades to come.