Apartment building with snow covering the yard.

Winterization Tips and Tricks: A Property Manager’s Handbook

As the autumn season transitions into winter, multifamily property managers and landlords must prepare for the challenges that the colder months bring. Winter offers the joys of holiday festivities, quality family time, and picturesque snowy landscapes, but it also presents various hardships. If you manage a multifamily property or apartment complex, there are essential steps you can take in these final days of fall to ensure your property is ready for the upcoming winter season.

  1. Winter Weather Plan: It may sound obvious, but having a comprehensive snow and ice management plan is crucial. Don’t underestimate the importance of this plan, especially in regions like the Northeast where winters can be unpredictable. As La NiƱa patterns persist, cooler temperatures and increased precipitation are expected. Ensure you have a snow removal company on contract, though availability might be limited at this point in the season. Communicate with tenants about the need for clear parking areas during snow removal.
  • Window Seal Inspection: To keep the cold out and help your tenants save on heating bills, inspect and repair window seals. Damaged seals can lead to moisture, cold air, and even bacteria entering the property, so it’s important to address any issues promptly.
  • Carpet and Floor Care: Winterize your carpet and floor areas with a regular maintenance routine, including vacuuming and cleaning to remove salt, dirt, and debris tracked in during the winter. Address stains promptly to prevent permanent damage. Consider protective treatments to minimize winter wear and tear. Plan for periodic deep cleaning services to keep carpets and floors looking fresh throughout the season.
  • Gutter Maintenance: Working gutters are essential to prevent water damage. Clean your gutters and make any necessary repairs or replacements before winter. This will help prevent ice dams and gutter damage during heavy winter precipitation.
  • Safety Checks: Regularly test and maintain smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure your tenants’ safety. You can either have your tenants perform these checks or have your maintenance crew handle the task.
  • Outdoor Water Faucets and Sprinkler Systems: Turn off exterior water faucets and clear automatic sprinkler system lines to avoid pipe bursts and potential flooding during freezing temperatures.
  • Dog Park Preparation: Create a safe and pleasant winter environment in your dog park by regularly removing debris and encouraging responsible pet ownership. Provide waste disposal stations for convenience. Periodically sanitize surfaces and equipment in the dog park to ensure safety. To control mud and prevent mess during wet winter months, consider pathways or gravel areas, and maintain proper drainage to prevent standing water.
  • Leaf Removal: While leaves can be a natural fall decoration, leaving them unattended can cause problems. Clear away dead leaves to maintain a healthy lawn and discourage mold, fungus, and mildew growth. A well-kept landscape is less likely to attract vermin and rodents.
  • Boiler and HVAC Inspection: Ideally, this should be done in the fall to prevent heating system breakdowns in freezing temperatures. If you haven’t done it yet, schedule inspections and maintenance to avoid tenant discomfort.
  1. Schedule Routine Disinfecting: Routine disinfecting during winter is crucial. With increased indoor gatherings, illnesses spread more easily. In shared spaces, regular disinfection is essential to protect residents, visitors, and staff from cold and flu viruses. Focusing on high-touch surfaces like doorknobs and handrails can reduce disease transmission and enhance safety. This proactive approach not only promotes health but also fosters a sense of security among residents, making it a key aspect of winter property management.
  1. Holiday Decor Guidelines: To maintain a festive atmosphere while ensuring safety, communicate clear holiday decoration guidelines to your tenants. Remind them to keep trees away from heat sources, dispose of trees in a timely manner, and avoid overloading circuits with too many lights. This will help prevent holiday-related accidents.
  1. Trash Handling Areas: Prepare your trash handling areas for winter by conducting regular inspections and cleanings of dumpsters to prevent waste buildup and odors. Make sure dumpster lids are in good condition, securely closed to keep out snow and pests. Consider enclosed dumpsters or fencing for added protection. For trash chutes, schedule professional cleaning and maintenance services to prevent blockages and foul odors. Check chute doors to ensure they close properly. When it comes to trash compactors, ensure they receive regular servicing and cleaning to prevent winter malfunctions and maintain safe access by keeping the surrounding area clear of snow and ice.

Fresh Foam, with its expertise in cleaning and deodorizing, can be your partner in preparing multifamily properties for winter. Their skilled cleaning technicians serve commercial properties in New Jersey, New York City, eastern Pennsylvania, down to Washington, D.C., ensuring that carpets, trash maintenance areas, dog parks, and other high-traffic areas are clean and sanitary for residents, customers, and staff. Contact Fresh Foam today to get started and receive a quote for your winterization project!