How to prepare a condo building for fall and winter in Calgary

How to prepare a condo building for fall and winter in Calgary

Is your condominium building ready for fall? As we are nearing the end of summer, now is the time to be proactive with your condo’s building maintenance. In the fall, prepping your condo building for winter is essential while we still have days without snowfall and temperatures below zero. Getting a head start on your condo’s fall and winter preparations will ensure minimal interruption to your condo residents and will keep your operations running smoothly as the season’s transition from fall to winter. Below are a few maintenance tips that should become a property manager’s priority as fall approaches.

Test the sump pump

You should check on and maintain your sump pump at least once a year. However, because a sump pump is so critical to a well-functioning property, it’s best to check on it at the beginning of every season. A sump pump will keep your property dry and helps prevent groundwater intrusion on a regular basis. Groundwater can sit below your property without you even knowing until the snow begins to melt and thaw, causing your property to get wet. Having any water damage is serious because it can lead to leaking, mold growth and further issues.

To test the sump pump, simply pour water down the sump put until the pump turns on, indicating a well-functioning sump pump.

Winterize exterior hose bibs

Without proper maintenance in the fall and winter, your outdoor taps can cause havoc if the pipes freeze, thaw and burst causing water damage to your property.  If any outdoor taps still have water in them in the fall, the water can begin to freeze when the temperature drops, creating an ideal environment for a pipe to burst. Before temperatures drop below zero, drain any garden hoses and close the shut-off valves to the hose bibs from inside, leaving the tap open outside to ensure the pipe doesn’t freeze in the winter.

Furnace maintenance

Maintenance on furnaces can be completed in the fall to ensure that any furnaces are running properly by the time the temperatures outside really begin to drop. Without this yearly cleaning and inspection, a furnace system can wear itself out quickly, or simply stop working. Call in a furnace service and have them perform annual maintenance to keep your residents happy and warm throughout the winter months.


Even though lawn mowing season is coming to a close, it doesn’t mean you should ignore your property’s landscaping needs. Fall is the perfect time to seed and fertilize as grass and tree roots are beginning to burrow deeper to get ready for the winter. Take the time to trim any trees or bushes away from the property as well as any larger limbs that could potentially break under the weight of heavy snow. Additionally, clear away fallen leaves from bushes and drainage areas to prevent the risk of a build up of excess water when the snow begins to melt.

Properly maintaining your property

Taking the time to plan your condo’s building maintenance a season ahead will help you be proactive and keep your residents happy. Proper care and maintenance throughout the seasons will increase the longevity of your property, and keep your property safe for many years to come.

It’s easy to avoid property maintenance, especially in the fall and winter, but tackling seasonal building maintenance will save you time, money, and avoid any potential disasters or damage. If you are a property owner for a condo and you need your property inspected or repaired you can contact us for an assessment. We will provide you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision on how to restore your property right the first time.

How to prevent residential fires caused by a candle

How to prevent residential fires caused by a candle

Candles can be a serious fire hazard if they are not used properly. The misuse of candles is one of the major causes of residential fires, especially during the winter season and during the holidays. In Canada, each year there is nearly $26.2 million in property damage due to residential fires.1 Residential fires endanger everyone on the property, and even small fires that are put out quickly can often result in a large amount damage.

Identifying and lowering these risks will help you lower your chances of a residential fire, keeping your residents, or family, and property safe.

Keep candle away from flammable items

When using a candle, never leave a candle unattended and always keep candle flames at least 12 inches away from any flammable items such as tissues, blankets and curtains or other materials that may ignite.

Match and lighter fire safety

Matches and lighters used to light candles can be equally dangerous if left in a place where children can reach them. Lighters are easier to ignite than matches so you should never underestimate a child’s curiosity when you have left a lighter unattended. When you are not using matches or lighters, keep them locked in a secure place when children are around to avoid children gaining access.

Never leave a candle unattended

A lit candle is an open flame and it becomes a potential fire hazard if it is not carefully monitored. You should never leave a candle unattended if you plan on leaving the room. Make sure to blow candles out every time you leave the room and keep them away from any flammable items. If you are worried you will forget about a lit candle, try setting a reminder timer on your phone.

Use secure, well-ventilated candle holders

Place candles in a secure, well ventilated candleholder that is sturdy and will not tip over. Avoid purchasing a candleholder that is wooden or plastic as these materials can catch fire. You should also use caution with glass candle holders which have the chance of breaking if this glass becomes too hot from the flame.

Avoid candles with multiple wicks

Be extra cautious if you are burning candles with more than one wick. Having multiple wicks can cause a large flame increasing your risk of fire hazard. Avoid buying candles with multiple wicks that are close together to decrease your risk.

Fire safety

Keep a fire extinguisher handy to decrease your risk of a large residential fire. Being able to put out a fire quickly before it escalates is important for both safety and preventing property damage. The best way to respond quickly and control a fire is to have a fire extinguisher within reach of the fire source. Another way to minimize your risk is to stay on top of fire alarm maintenance. It is important to test your fire alarm monthly and replace the batteries twice a year.

If you become the victim of fire and/or smoke damage at your property, Streamside Property Restoration can help. Our expert technicians and inspectors are trained to immediately respond and inspect your property following a fire and/or smoke related damage, and help restore your property back to its pre-loss condition.

1 Source:, It’s Your Health, Candle Safety

5 Warning Signs To Look For When Buying a Rental Property

5 Warning Signs To Look For When Buying a Rental Property

If you’re not careful, buying a rental property can turn into an expense rather than an investment. Repair issues can become expensive, time-consuming and can be very problematic. What may seem like a minor repair can lead to a lengthy renovation and restoration process and can put you and your property at risk. Before you invest in any property it’s imperative that you take the time to do a proper inspection and be aware of any of these warning signs you may come across.

1. Newly painted areas

A recently painted property is not necessarily always a positive sign that the seller has had the intention of improving the appearance of the property. Buyer beware, a recent paint job may indicate an area in need of repair that has been covered up by paint. During your viewing if you happen to come across an area that has been recently painted, take a closer look. It’s always best to run your hands down the walls and approach the area at different angles to get a glimpse of any signs indicating a potential problem.

2. Water damage concealed by paint

Another area of caution when dealing with paint is the potential that water damage can be unintentionally concealed by paint. If water damage has occurred under areas with paint, the moisture will become trapped in the walls, leading to mold growth. Mold not only puts your property at serious risk, it also puts your health at risk. When inspecting for the potential of water damage hidden by paint, take a close look at areas of high moisture, such as bathroom walls, or areas underneath windowsills.

3. Uneven or sinking floors

When you’re viewing a property, look out for uneven, sinking, or squeaky floors. Uneven and sinking floors can be challenging to spot, especially if the property has carpet installed or even small rugs over any problem areas. Especially in older properties if you notice any rooms that are carpeted throughout, it could mean that the wooden floor underneath could be in poor condition due to flooring deteriorating over time. Squeaks can be more easily noticed and can indicate the potential of serious damage within the property that needs to be further investigated.

Pro tip: always bring a marble with you when inspecting a property and place the marble down to test how uneven the floors are. Sometimes a property will aggressively settle, creating a hump in the middle. Uneven floors are often really hard and costly to fix, which might mean that investing in the property will come at a high cost.

4. Ceiling damage

Ceiling stains is one of the most common warning signs you will come across in properties, likely indicating a damaged roof. When you are inspecting a property, take notice for things such as cracks or any ceiling stains. The most common cause of these stains is likely due to an active leak or a build up of condensation coming from the roof. Leaking pipes in ceilings and walls can slowly release water. Pipes can also be more prone to leaks when they are older or experience extreme changes in temperature.

5. Cracked foundation

When viewing a property, it’s important to consider the condition of the foundation. Minor cracking may only be a sign of settling in the property, however larger cracks can be a sign of structural problems with the foundation.  Water will find a way to seep in if it finds damage in your foundation walls, openings between your basement footing and basement foundation, or any crack that is big or small.

Always inspect the basement of a property for potential leaks, mold or water issues. If the property doesn’t have a basement or has a finished basement that doesn’t allow you to inspect the foundation, another indicator of structural problems is by looking at the doorframes throughout the property. If the doorframes appear to be misshaped or even have difficulty closing, it is possible there could be further problems with the structure of the property.

Avoid any risks when purchasing a rental property

Have the property you are looking to purchase inspected by a professional such as Streamside Property Restoration. We can advise you on the condition of these key areas such as your walls, floors, ceilings and foundation. Also, don’t ignore the signs. If you suspect there could be serious damage, it’s important to have it looked at before you make an investment. Usually dealing with a problem earlier is going to cost you less and result in less disruption to your property.

Contact us today with any questions you may have about your building and how to keep it safe and healthy. We are always willing to help you out with any questions.

Tips to maintaining your property throughout the summer

Tips to maintaining your property throughout the summer

Even though we are well into summer, it’s always important to be proactive and keep your property properly maintained throughout our ever-changing seasons. Many property owners fall into the habit of only repairing their property if something needs fixing, whether it’s from overflowing gutters or rotting wood throughout your deck.  However maintaining your property can keep you and your family safe, while also preserving the value of your home.

With the combination of increased temperatures and increased precipitation, summer can cause its fair share of weathering on your property, which is even more of a reason to keep up with the maintenance.

Make siding repairs and paint the exterior as need

Painting your property is one of the best ways to boost its curb appeal and even increase your resale value. Summer makes exterior painting comfortable and gives you the opportunity to start painting between late morning and mid-afternoon giving the paint enough time to dry before the temperatures drop.

Before you begin painting you should inspect your property’s exterior and note any holes, cracks and other damage to the siding that will need to be repaired. Even though paint can fill in minor holes and cracks, it doesn’t mean that it should. Instead, take the time to properly fill the holes and cracks with putty or filler before painting.

Painting your property presents a great opportunity to fix other issues on your property. This is the time to replace broken siding, fix split or decaying window trim, replace deteriorated corner trim pieces, and more.

Clean and repair your deck

You can help preserve the durability of your deck by washing your deck free of any dirt or debris. The water removal of dirt and debris will eliminate possible mildew growth and can dilute any chemicals or fertilizers that can inadvertently come in contact with surrounding grass and plants. Once you have eliminated the potential for any dirt, debris, or mildew, it’s important to check your deck for any physical deterioration from weathered erosion and water damage.

Inspect your deck for loose or warped boards, protruding nails, rotting wood, mildew growth, and any other areas that may need to be repaired. Once the surface of your deck has been inspected you should check the structure to ensure any frames and beams are still in good condition.

In addition to cleaning and inspecting your deck, you can help the preservation by adding a stain and seal. When picking out a stain, aim to find a one that is water repellent or waterproof, not just ‘water resistant’. You can also find stains that offer UV protection and stains specific to preserving the wood from any mildew. After you’ve added a stain and waited for it to dry, add an effective seal to prevent any future water from permeating into the wood grain.

Clean debris from window wells

In order to allow for natural light and protection from water, you should always keep your window well clean and clear from any debris build up. Throughout the summer season make sure to remove any visible debris such as leaves, twigs, and other debris that may have accumulated to allow for proper damage and to prevent any critters from making a home in your window well.

When it comes to window wells, the biggest complication is flooding. If water seeps down into your basement, it can cause damage to your furniture, carpet, and more. If you notice your window well isn’t properly draining even after clearing out the debris, your drainage system in your window well could be clogged. One way to help alleviate the drainage is by adding gravel to assist with the drainage.

Restoring your property

Proper care and maintenance throughout the seasons will increase the longevity of your property, and keep your home safe for many years to come. If you are a property owner for a condo and you need your property inspected or repaired, or homeowner with a backyard patio, or front porch, you can contact us for an assessment. We will provide you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision on how to restore your property right the first time.

How to prevent house fires caused by BBQ’s

How to prevent house fires caused by BBQ’s

There’s nothing like outdoor grilling in the summertime. From camping and cabin living, to even just trying to escape the heat of your home, outdoor grilling can be a great alternative to cook outdoors and beat the heat. But beware; a BBQ placed too close to a home becomes a hazard for burning.

Keeping your BBQ a safe distance from your property

Keeping a safe distance between your property and BBQ lowers your risk of causing any avoidable fire and smoke damage to your property. Regardless of whether your BBQ is charcoal or gas, it should be at least 10 feet away from your property. That includes your garage, deck railings and any other structures!

What is a grill flare-up?

If you’re a frequent griller, it’s likely you are familiar with flare-ups. Grill flare-ups can creep up on you and grow quickly. If you combine that with a BBQ that has a lot of grease built up, you have created the potential to experience a catastrophic fire. Although grill flare-ups are preventable, it’s still imperative to understand the characteristics of a grilling flare-up and how to practice safe outdoor grilling.

Although a grill flare-up may appear like a grease fire, they are not the same thing. A grill flare-up is a large burst of intense flames that results from fat dripping onto hot coals. Although a flare-up could happen from lack of maintenance, it usually starts when you place meat on the grill. Typically, it dies down quickly. Rather than causing alarm, simply move the food you are grilling onto a different location on your grill to allow for the flame to settle.

Grill flare-ups most commonly occur on charcoal grills where the dripping fat pools down onto the hot coals and causes the dripping fat to ignite. Although many gas grills feature drip guards designed to divert the dripping fat from the heating element, that grease can build up over time and can risk accumulating into a serious grease fire.

How to prevent a grill flare-up

The main reason for a fire getting out of control is due to a dirty grill. Ensure you are brushing your grill to scrape off any remaining food. Another common way to prevent grill flare-ups is to trim off any excess fat from the edges before grilling or reduce the oil amount on the food you will be grilling. Minimizing the amount of oil you brush onto your foods will reduce the risk of a grill flare-up. Additionally, if you are planning on grilling marinated meat, make sure the marinade isn’t dripping onto the grill, especially if it is high in oil content.

Even though most grill-flare ups are preventable, if you happen to find yourself in a situation where the flames are continuing to burn even after moving the food, or they’ve spread into the grill, this likely means, your grill-flare has evolved into a grease fire.

How to extinguish a grease fire

The number one rule when it comes to grease fires is to never put water on a grease fire. Water causes the fire to continue spreading, putting you and your property at risk. Instead you need to deprive the fire of oxygen. If your grease fire is minor, simply close the lid and vents or dump baking soda onto the fire. Baking soda can reduce a small fire quickly. 

Lastly, it’s always good practice to keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case a minor fire advances into a more serious fire, but if the fire spreads beyond your control or gets too hot, call 911 immediately and get far away from the fire.

Fire and smoke disaster recovery and restoration

Following a fire, or any smoke related damage, Streamside Property Restoration is here to get your life back to normal as soon as possible.  We are available for immediate response and inspection of your property following a fire or any smoke related damage. We have the experience and resources to restore your property back to its pre-loss condition, no matter the level of damage.