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In case you hadn’t heard: Winter is coming.

Assuming you don’t have any Game of Thrones-style fire-breathing dragons to help with snow removal on your commercial property, you’re going to have to have a plan – and before the snow starts falling from those seemingly endless grey skies.

DRK and Company’s maintenance team reminds you that the best property managers are prepared for the unpredictable nature of winter to avoid seasonal headaches for both themselves and their tenants.

Feel free to start taking notes.

  1. Have a snow plan: This isn’t breaking news in Ohio, but there will be snow. Plenty of it. Have a snow removal company ready to go before so much as the first flurries fly (otherwise known as now, FYI). If you wait, they’ll all be busy and committed to clearing other properties before yours. Things to consider when hiring a contractor: 
    • How often (how many inches of snow) will they clear your property?
    • How will salt and ice melt be utilized to handle icy areas? Keep in mind that salt works wonders on asphalt but can damage concrete walks.
    • When the snow is deep, does the contractor know where to make piles? Must be somewhere that does not interfere with parking lot use, block stormwater drains or damage landscaping and other property.
  2. Protect your pipes: Frozen pipes can turn into burst pipes, which are a landlord’s nightmare. Unhappy tenants, freezing cold messes and damaged property are far from ideal, after all. Ensure your pipes are protected by doing the following: 
    • Maintain interior temperatures of 50 degrees Fahrenheit at a minimum. This is warm enough to keep the pipes warm but cool enough to conserve energy.
    • Turn off exterior pipes inside the building. If there is no shut-off valve, have a plumber install one.
    • Add insulation to pipes closest to the outside air temperature, such as those in ceilings or in exterior walls. 
  3. Let there be heat: You must be sure your heating and ventilation systems are ready for the challenge of winter. You don’t want building occupants resorting to space heaters, which pose an inherent fire risk. Heating checklist items include: 
    • Have a service contract with a licensed, insured HVAC contractor so your property will get priority in the case of a service emergency.
    • Change filters and have an HVAC company provide a system checkup to find potential issues.
    • Caulk around windows and doors in older units to help minimize the escape of heat.
  4. Keep the lights on: Winter days are shorter, which means winter nights are longer. Doing the math, this also means your lighting system is working harder in the coldest, darkest months. For safety and security reasons, you’ll want to ensure you have capable lighting at building entries and exits, parking lots and walkways. Have plenty of bulbs on hand – you’re likely to need them.

Remember: requests for the DRK maintenance team should be sent in writing to maintenance@drk-realty.com, which is attended between 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Be prepared to provide business name, contact name, phone number, address, area of concern, and permission to access the unit.

For emergencies only, call the after-hours number at 614.402-1849. Please leave us the business name, contact name, phone number, address, and area of concern on the voicemail.