The spring rainy season can be an expensive time for property owners if not properly prepared. Spring’s heavy rains can bring flooding, roof damage, pavement damage and more.
Our AQUILA Property Managers have seen it all and have proper measures in place at all of our AQUILA-managed properties to ensure rain-damage is kept to a minimum.
In this article, we’ll share five tips to make sure your commercial properties are fully prepared for spring showers.
1. Properly Patch Parking Lots and Paved Areas
If your property’s pavement is not properly maintained, heavy rain and storms can further exacerbate any existing damage. What would have been a small patch, can grow into a much larger and more expensive problem, either requiring a much larger (i.e. more expensive) patch or potentially requiring you to resurface the lot all together.
Inspect the Property Regularly
Be sure to regularly inspect your property’s parking lots and paved areas for potholes or allegatoring.
Your on-site maintenance team can help you keep an eye out for pavement damage, but nothing can beat a regular weekly or monthly inspection from the property manager.
And be aware, things can change quickly! Even if you recently inspected a property, tenants on site may be the first to notice new damage.
It is important to be responsive and act quickly on any damage reported by tenants at the property. Small damage today can quickly escalate if not addressed.
Patch Properly to Avoid Costly Repairs
When faced with patching your pavement, there are two routes you can take: the more expensive hot-mix or the quick and cheap cold-mix.
Cold-mix should only be used as a temporary solution. If you need to seal up the damage today, this can tide you over until a more permanent hot-mix patch can be installed.
You should not, however, plan for cold-mix to be your final fix. Cold-mix patches are a cheap solution, but do not last long and require constant re-patching.
Hot-mix is the proper way to patch your pavement. While the upfront cost is slightly higher, the repair will far outlast a cold-mix patch, meaning you will actually save money in the long run.
2. Regularly Inspect and Repair Your Roof
Extreme temperatures (such as summer heat in Austin) can be rough on roofs.
Additionally, heavy precipitation can result in erosion and cracking, and even the regular treading of maintenance teams overtime can cause wear-and-tear on your roof.
The real trouble starts when cracking occurs during heavy rains (or when heavy rains hit and expand an existing crack). This crack will let water into the suites below, leading to leaks, flooding, mold and (most importantly) unhappy tenants.
In order to avoid this damage, our property managers recommend you have your roof inspected annually, and be sure to make any recommended repairs.
By catching issues early and making the repairs on time, you will:
- Save money on repairs, by making them while the issue is smaller.
- Extend the life of your roof (often 5 -10 years past the warranty), and save money over the life of your investment, by replacing the roof less often.
- Avoid costly damage from water leaking into the building.
AQUILA PRO TIP
Older roofs require a slightly closer eye than newer TPO and rubber roofs. These new roofing technologies help prevent cracking and alleviate some of the regular wear-and-tear, although regular inspections are still recommended.
If you’re considering replacing the roof on your property, it will likely benefit you to look into these new roofing materials. They do cost more initially, but they will save you money on maintenance, repairs and replacement over the life of the roof.
3. Clear Out Your Gutters
While it is important to regularly maintain your gutters, it is especially important to clear them out before a big storm.
When you see a storm or heavy rains on the forecast, it is important to get the maintenance team to perform a thorough inspection of all of the gutters on the property.
With the rain storm typically comes a downpour of leaves and other debris. If the gutters aren’t cleared out they are likely to clog and limit the water that can drain off of the roof.
Best case scenario, you have a messy job on your hands, clearing out the gutters after-the-fact.
Worst case scenario, water leaks into the property through the roof and into tenant suites, resulting, once again, in flooding and unhappy tenants.
4. Maintain and Inspect Joints and Windows
Flashing, joints, sealant, windows, etc. Anywhere two planes or surfaces come together, there is potential for leaks. And where there are leaks, there can be mold.
These leaks can be caused by the wear down of a material over time, shifting of the property or simply from daily use. They usually start off as minor, so when caught early, they aren’t a major issue.
Your property managers and engineers should regularly inspect these points during a monthly inspection of the property.
AQUILA PRO TIP
AQUILA property managers recommend bringing in an third-party once a year (we typically rotate property management team members across properties) in order to have a set of fresh eyes on the site.
5. Know Your Problem Spots & Be Prepared
If your property has a history of leaking in a certain spot, be sure to have your engineers on-site and on-call when a storm arises.
Call the tenants ahead of time to let them know you’re prepared to address any issues, and check in during or after the rain to see they’ve encountered any issues.
And if an issue does arise, be prepared!
It is important to have a list of vendors ready to go to address any rain-related issues that can come up. These vendors include:
- Restoration companies
- Water extractors
- Remediation vendors
- Concrete and asphalt vendors
Maintaining a good relationship with these vendors will allow you to quickly and easily resolve any issues that may arise during the rainy season.
Hopefully this list will help you keep your property prepared for spring showers. If you have further questions, our AQUILA Property Management team would be happy to chat: schedule your consultation today.
To learn what it costs to hire a professional property management company to handle rainy-day preparations and more for your commercial property, read our article Cost to Hire a Commercial Property Management Company in Austin, TX.