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.

Wondering what else block managers do? Find out in our complete guide to residential block management.

Why Spring?

During spring and summer months, your block will be put under a lot of stress. The extra sunlight and heat loads all add to the strain on materials used in common parts of residential blocks. It’s important to take advantage of the quiet winter period and get any repairs done before it’s too late.

If you miss a small repair now, there’s a huge risk it will become a major project for the future. Preventative maintenance is always better than trying to fix things after they’ve gone wrong, so even the most minor of issues should be dealt with as soon as possible.

Spring Maintenance is a popular time for block managers to consider an upgrade. If your common parts are looking a bit tired, fresh paint and new carpets can make a huge difference to how your residents feel about their homes.

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How To Prepare Your Block For Spring

To prepare your block for Spring, you will want to check for external maintenance issues as well as internal maintenance. Checking both ensures your block stays running as smoothly as possible.

You will need to take care of any repairs, and be on the lookout for any early signs of wear and tear that could be prevented. This is also a good time to schedule painting and decorating work, as the weather will be better suited to working outside.

If you are unsure about how best to spring clean and maintenance check your block, our Spring maintenance checklists are here to help.

Exterior Spring Maintenance Checklist

❏      Landscaping

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 mould 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.

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Interior Spring Maintenance Checklist

❏      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 become 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.

Additional Spring Maintenance Checks

❏      Air-con units

If your block has air conditioning, it’s important that each unit is checked to ensure that they are all functioning correctly. If any units need repairing, do not hesitate to replace them where necessary. This includes checking the thermostat and any coolant levels.

It’s a good idea to let residents know that you have been performing checks so they are not alarmed if the air conditioning switches on or off unexpectedly, which is a sign of a problem with your system.

❏      Water leaks and damage

Now the weather is beginning to get warmer and the snow is slowly melting, it’s likely that there will be a high volume of water damage throughout your block.

In order to protect the property from further damage and maintain an overall tidy appearance, inspect all communal areas for any leaks or damage. If you do find problems, contact a maintenance technician who can assess the situation and take care of any necessary repairs.

❏      Lighting checks

As days become longer and darker clouds appear less frequently, it’s important that you check all exterior lighting for faults or damage. If you do find any problems, call out an electrician to repair them straight away.

Remember: The same goes for interior lighting too. Make sure that every single light is working correctly throughout the property, as well as all switches and plug sockets.

❏      Check the plumbing

Now that winter is behind us, it’s not unusual if your block will have experienced water damage due to burst or faulty pipes. Check all bathrooms, toilets and kitchens, as well as outdoor piping, for signs of any problems with the plumbing system. If you do find leaks or damage around this area, call out a plumber to assess the situation immediately.

Other Spring Block Management Considerations

As we enter Spring, we enter the last few months of the financial year. You will need to look over the previous year’s finances and plan your budget for the upcoming financial year, as well as make any necessary changes to your budget if needed.

In the last couple of months of the financial year, you should be ensuring any taxes or charges are paid that are due. Remember to create a budget for your block of flats early enough so you have plenty of time to collect any charges or payments due.

It’s important to make sure that all of your accounts are prepared and up to date as you enter Spring, not just your properties. It’s also important to remember that you must notify your residents in writing if any changes are made to your accounts or fees within the block of flats management services.

In summary

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.