Although temperatures are yet to seriously plummet, chilly mornings promise that frigid temperatures are on the way. To prepare for winter weather, there are a few things condo associations should do to ensure the safety of tenants and their guests and of the building itself.
Prepare for Ice
Condo associations have a responsibility to ensure that common areas are free of ice. This means removing ice from parking lots, sidewalks, and stairs. Slip and fall accidents are common in the winter months, and there’s a lot you can do to help prevent them.
But it isn’t just the sidewalk you have to watch out for! A large snowfall followed by a few melt/freeze cycles can leave a huge sheet of ice on the roof. And ice is heavy. Most commercial roofs are only built to withstand 5 inches of ice before damage occurs. Residential roofs typically can handle only 2 inches. Pay particular attention to low-lying areas of the roof that might be subject to run-off from higher areas of the roof.
And while we’re on the subject of ice on the roof, be cautious about icicles. They might look pretty, but falling pillars of ice can do some damage to cars or unsuspecting pedestrians below them.
Prevent Pipe Freezing
Pools and landscape sprinklers can and should be drained before cooler temperatures hit. But not so for indoor pipes and fire sprinklers! Remind owners in the building to set their heat for at least 40 degrees if they’re going to be away to prevent freezing and burst pipes.
If your property is protected by an electrical gate, pay close attention to the weather forecast. If high winds or ice storms that can cause power outages are predicted, leave the gate open until the weather passes. You wouldn’t want that gate to be closed if the power goes out. Everyone would be trapped!
Stay warm and safe this winter!
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