Weather the Year Ahead With These 15 Seasonal Tips for Commercial Property Care

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commercial property

Each season brings new challenges that commercial property owners and managers must address. Knowing when and how to manage them can save time, effort and money. It could even improve renter satisfaction or increase property value, driving long-term success.

3 Commercial Property Care Tips for Fall

Commercial property owners should begin preparing as temperatures and leaves start falling.

1. Seal Cracks to Avoid Heating Issues

Cracks around doorways, walls, windowsills and ceilings can swiftly sap warmth when temperatures drop. Building managers should seal them with caulk or backer rods at the beginning of autumn to keep power consumption low, energy bills down and renters happy — it’s a relatively affordable fix for significant long-term gains.

2. Protect Landscaping With Fertilization

Prioritizing a lawn’s health in the fall ensures it lives to see spring. Early in the season is the best time to fertilize because it gives grass enough nitrogen to survive frigid temperatures and withstand snowfall.

Property owners that schedule fertilization in the fall benefit from a better lawn in the spring. Once the ground thaws, the nutrients provided by the fertilizer promote growth, lessening the burden on landscaping staff to help foliage recover from extremely cold temperatures.

3. Promote Growth With Lawn Aeration

Lawns should be aerated annually to increase oxygen flow and let more nutrients into the soil. This way, grass is more resilient to frost and takes less time to recover once spring arrives.

Ideally, maintenance workers should complete this task before the first snowfall because it’s much easier to accomplish when the ground isn’t frozen.

4 Commercial Property Care Tips for Winter

Once temperatures dip below freezing, ice and snow should be property owners’ main concerns. Proper preparation is essential to prevent them from causing emergencies.

1. Winterize Plumbing and Irrigation

A burst pipe is a messy, expensive issue. Unfortunately, it’s more common in winter. Water expands by about 9% when it freezes, causing an intense pressure buildup. Common solutions are insulation, re-routing the water flow and opening external faucets — which one is best depends on the temperature, budget and pipeline accessibility.

2. Prepare Gutters for Water and Ice

Gutter clogs and improper drainage can lead to ice forming on the building’s foundation, accelerating wear. Maintenance workers should clear gutters, install guards and lengthen downspouts to direct the water flow far away.

3. Deice Sidewalks and Parking Lots

Sidewalks and parking lots become slip-and-fall hazards in winter, meaning property owners could face decreasing renter satisfaction or legal action. While rock salt is the standard deicer, it can destroy concrete, damage landscaping and harm the environment. Sand, brine and alfalfa meal are all-natural alternatives that provide traction or help melt ice.

4. Prune Branches to Prevent Hazards

As snow and ice accumulate, branches become prone to breaking. If a larger one snaps off, it could hurt a passerby or damage the building. At the very least, a mess of twigs and limbs looks unkempt. Maintenance workers should prune any that look weak or could become hazards.

5 Commercial Property Care Tips for Spring

Spring is the busiest time of year because it’s in between two extremes — it involves recovering from winter while preparing for summer. Preparation takes a swift, coordinated effort.

1. Remove Debris and Dead Foliage

Even the best landscaping team can’t prevent every fallen branch, dead shrub or rotting tree. On top of looking messy, this debris poses a trip-and-fall risk and may attract pests. In other words, they should be removed as soon as possible. Spring is the perfect time to do so since any remaining snowfall and ice melts, improving visibility.

2. Patch Concrete Cracks and Potholes

Cracked sidewalks and potholes can cause damage and lower property value. While workers can manually repair cracks less than ¼ an inch wide with liquid filler or concrete caulk, larger cracks require patching compound, resurfacing, poly-jacking or fiber strips.

While cracks often appear in the spring — caused by repetitive freezing and thawing in winter — they may also indicate foundation issues or improper concrete pours. For this reason, workers must consider their thickness, direction and location when determining a fix.

3. Protect Landscaping With Mulch

Property managers should utilize mulch since it helps the soil retain water and nutrients while preventing weed growth and soil erosion, meaning they save on water and fertilizer. It also protects plants from extreme temperatures. Notably, laying it too early can hinder seedlings’ growth, so landscapers should do it in mid to late spring.

4. Check the HVAC to Avoid Cooling Issues

Since HVAC technicians are in high demand in summer, proactive maintenance in the spring ensures vendor flexibility. Routine upkeep and system checks ensure renters’ units stay in working order and can increase energy efficiency. For example, swapping a dirty filter for a clean one can reduce its power consumption by 5%-15% on average.

5. Take Care of Lawn and House Pests

Most pests appear in the spring. For instance, mosquitos multiply when temperatures reach around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and slugs emerge to eat new plant matter. Property managers should either hire a third-party specialist or direct maintenance staff to act.

Regardless of the pest type — roaches, ticks, mice, aphids or mosquitos — workers should remove standing water, trim brush and seal holes. Chemical and biological treatments can help target specific infestations.

3 Commercial Property Care Tips for Summer

As temperatures peak and the days grow longer, landscaping becomes a priority.

1. Weed to Keep the Lawn Pristine

While unwanted plant species begin popping up in spring, many have peak proliferation periods in summer, as extreme temperatures cause them to germinate quickly. Landscaping workers should spot-spray weed killer, lay down new weed control fabric, mulch flower beds and manually pull invasive plants to curb weed growth.

2. Inspect the Roof for Signs of Damage

Since hailstorms form during thunderstorms in the cold upper atmosphere, they’re more common in spring. Snowfall, ice, heavy rain and hail can tear off shingles, make large holes or create rust. While many building managers inspect roofs for damage after winter, waiting until summer arrives may be prudent.

3. Mow the Lawn on a Schedule

Landscaping staff should mow the lawn whenever it gets to a certain height. They should keep it slightly above 2 1/2 inches to promote growth and keep it healthy. Any lower, they risk creating dead patches or encouraging weeds to proliferate. Any higher and the grass may look uncared for.

Each Season Provides New Chances to Succeed

It’s never too late for building managers to incorporate new seasonal care tactics into their existing strategy. Once they get the hang of things, they can consider process optimization to further improve their return on investment. This way, the owner maximizes cost savings.

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