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.
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
exterior hose bibs
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Canada.ca, It’s Your Health, Candle Safety
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
and repair your deck
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
There are many challenges that come with being a property
manager. Issues can easily form when having to deal daily with tenants who are
frustrated and sometimes upset. Dealing with a difficult person or a conflict is
unfortunately part of many jobs, but if you follow these 4 tips, we promise you
that your difficult tenants will become easier to work with.
How have we developed this experience?
At Streamside Property Restoration, we have been
helping people “heal their properties” at some of the most stressful times
in their life. Usually when we meet people, they have just suffered a loss in
the form of a flood, fire or other damage. So in addition to being experts in
building restoration, we have also earned our stripes along the way as experts
in working with difficult people. Usually difficult people are not actually
difficult people, they are good people who are unfortunately in a difficult
situation which manifests into stress and frustration.
Tip 1: Respond right away
maintenance issues being the most common problem plaguing most tenants, the
first step to handling a complaint quickly and smoothly should be to respond to
all requests promptly, ideally providing a time frame when they can expect the
issue to be fixed. Always let your tenant know when or how they can
contact you and what to do in case of an emergency.
Tip 2: Listen
Really, really listen. Try to listen deeply to what
the problem really is. Why it is bothering them. This will help you appreciate
their situation and will likely also help you to diagnose their problem faster
and more accurately. Write down what you think you heard them say, and repeat
it back to them so they know that you know!
Tip 3: Respect
It’s impossible for them to know that you have a pile
of other “urgent” problems on your desk that you are trying to solve
for other people. Respect that when they are contacting you with a problem,
that to THEM, their problem is the most important thing in their life. We don’t
always know why something is so important to someone else when it may seem like
a small thing to us, but in order to have a positive relationship, respect them
and the issue they are presenting to you.
Tip 4: Communicate
Sometimes you can ease a bad situation just by
offering details to the tenant such as what you think the problem really is,
what the options are to repair or replace it, and how long they can expect to
live with it. Even if the news is not exactly what the person is looking for,
you will have a better relationship if you tell the truth and keep an open
communication with the person throughout the process.
Troublesome and troubled tenants will always be out there. Handling tenants’ complaints in the right manner can go a long way in alleviating their concerns. Using these 4 steps will help you as a property manager to plan, manage and minimize any potential future issues you may have.