The birds are singing, the daffodils are blooming, and there are Creme Eggs in the shops. It can only mean one thing: Spring has finally sprung in the UK.
For a majority of people, the Spring weather lifts their mood. Lighter mornings and nights soon begin to conjure up thoughts of long summer days and balcony barbecues.
When it comes to residential blocks, spring means spring maintenance. It also means it’s time to assess any damage that the bitterly cold winter weather left behind, and prepare for any damages the blistering summer heat could inflict.
Below we’ve listed some of the most important Spring maintenance areas for the exterior and interior of residential blocks. If you need support with the summer management and Spring maintenance of your block, get in touch with us at Scanlans today.
The first thing that any of us want to do once the weather warms up is get outside. So with this in mind, it’s important to maintain the external areas of the block. Areas to double check for maintenance and repair could include:
- The shaping of trees and shrubs
- Laying new soil or turf
- Changing lawn fertilisers
- Refreshing or changing flower beds
- Mowing lawns
- Checking and clearing sprinkler services
As summer nears these tasks are essential for not only keeping the block looking tidy, but also ensuring its grounds are safe for purpose.
❏ Patios, steps and walkways
If your block features a communal decking area or patio, now is the time to check its condition as its usage increases through the spring and summer.
Hiring a power washing company is one way to clear the grime from patio slabs and also to remove any moss from outdoor decking, keeping both areas free from slipping hazards. If cold weather such as ice, sleet or snow has also caused mould to grow or cracks to appear, schedule a contractor to replace these slabs or planks.
❏ Exterior painting
Spring is a great time to give the exterior of your block a lick of paint. A fresh coat of paint can soon cover cracks or damage caused by winter storms, and give the property a new lease of life.
Extend your painting to front doors and window sills to give the block extra curb appeal throughout the spring and summer months.
❏ Clear the guttering
Winter storms can dislodge leaves and other debris like moss, which over time can begin to build up and clog gutters. This prevents the efficient flow and drainage of rainwater.
Guttering that becomes blocked or broken can be time consuming, as well as expensive, to replace. On top of this, there is the potential for damp and mold to develop which leads to numerous issues for residents, including health concerns and the tainting of external and internal brickwork inside their apartments.
❏ Seals and General Cracking
The frigid temperatures in the winter months may have caused caulk to wear on windows and doors. Inspect these areas and appoint a contractor to re-seal as necessary.
Whilst they’re there, ask them to check for cracks and gaps that may have appeared around window sills and doors, as well as in any wooden trims. This will prepare you for keeping the heat in the property in the winter, and protect your property from any sudden lashing April showers which could lead to costly water damage repairs.
❏ Check outdoor lighting and communal garden furniture
Once the nights begin to get lighter, it’s normal that your residents will start staying out later. To ensure their safety, check that the outside lighting of the property is all functioning correctly.
If you read our guide to using the IoT in property management, and you’re using SMART lighting, check that the automated times have been changed in accordance with the hours of daylight. For example, if your lights have been set to switch off at 9pm, extend those to now turn off at 11pm.
Likewise, ensure that any communal garden furniture such as outdoor seating areas, or even communal BBQs are all in good, and safe, condition.
❏ Replace batteries in fire and carbon monoxide detectors
If the apartments in your block contain battery powered smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, send a notice out to residents, or inform a maintenance team, to check and change the batteries.
As temperatures rise, it’s imperative that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning correctly. It’s also a great opportunity to run checks on any safety systems within the property to ensure all residents are protected.
❏ Check communal dryers
Over the winter months communal clothes dryers are used excessively as residents are unable to dry their clothes outside. Now that their usage is likely to have lessened, it’s a good time to ensure that the filters inside the dryers are clear of lint. Lint is one of the main causes of property fires, and is often overlooked.
Ask a maintenance technician to check the vents of dryers, as well as any pipes and hoses to ensure that they are clear of any dangerous build-up.
❏ Clean floors & walls
If your block is in an area which receives heavy snowfall, it’s likely that communal walkways and floors will have picked up grime, dirt and stains over time.
Spring is a fantastic time to get rid of these so that your property looks just as clean on the inside as it does on the outside. Task a flooring expert with inspecting, cleaning and repairing any communal floors as necessary. The same can also be said for cleaning walls in communal areas as this can also be come surprisingly dirty over time. If your walls are white, any dirt is instantly seen.
❏ Exterminate pests
People aren’t the only ones that hibernate somewhere warm throughout winter! As temperatures begin to rise, unwanted residents may appear from cracks caused by the frigid temperatures.
Fill any gaps that have appeared in flooring or around windows and doors, and check attic spaces for any unwanted visitors like rodents or wasps. If you do find evidence of a pest, call out an extermination team immediately and notify all residents.
In the event of a pest infestation, residents must be notified immediately as stated in health and safety regulations. For more, read our compiled list of the health and safety regulations that block managers must abide by.
Spring can provide a fantastic opportunity for block managers to double check and spruce up all aspects of their properties. Damages left over by the winter months can be repaired in this time, saving residents additional service charge costs and bolstering the relationship between residents and block management by showing conscientiousness.
At Scanlans Block Management, we have over 25 years experience in block and property management, and we’ve seen it all – across all weathers! If you need support with the management and maintenance of your residential block, contact us today and we’ll be happy to lend our expertise.