Goodbye, Summer And Hello, Fall

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Goodbye, Summer And Hello, Fall

Dear Summer,
Why is it that we have this short romance every July and August? We have such a great time together and yet you always disappear for ten months out of the year. You once said, “It’s not you, it’s me.” I’m still having a hard time making sense of that statement because it seems like things are going so well between us. What about all those great days of backyard barbeques, strolls on the beach, walks around the neighborhood, early sunrises and late sunsets? Why do you have to go so soon? I wish you did not have to go. I will miss you so much and will dream of our reunion. Will you please consider coming back earlier next year? Maybe June 1st?

Sincerely,
All Washingtonians

It’s that time of year again!

Does anyone else feel the frustration of seeing summer slip away all too quickly? We have some of the most amazing summer weather here, and it is difficult to let it go. But let’s not get too carried away. Fall is not all that bad either. The leaves begin to change, a favorite North Face jacket comes out of the closet and some of us begin to slip into our favorite pair of Ugg boots or slippers. Not to mention, the coffee shops begin to switch from iced beverages to hot caffeinated treats. So I guess fall isn’t that bad after all. It’s a great season to transition to.

As we make our summer to fall conversion, it’s important that we take some time out to prepare our properties for the realities of fall and winter. Now is a great time to create and perform a maintenance checklist. What follows is a list of “to-do” items that may be useful in preparing your property. If you have a current maintenance provider, set a meeting with them and go over this list so that a plan is in place to ensure you are maintaining and managing your real estate investment well.

1. Check Caulking.

One of the least expensive maintenance items you can perform is caulking. Caulking around door frames, windows and any pipe or wire entry points can help keep the cold out and the heat in. It will prevent any moisture from getting in and freezing, resulting in cracks to different building elements. One quick and easy test would be that if your caulk line has a gap wider than a nickel, then it needs to be filled. In addition to this, make sure there is adequate weather stripping around your exterior doors. You should not be able to see any daylight coming through your door jamb.

2. Turn Off Exterior Faucets.

If your water pipes are not drained, they have the potential to freeze which will cause pipes to burst as the ice expands. Start by disconnecting all garden hoses and draining the water that remains in faucets. If you don’t have frost-proof faucets (homes more than 10 to 15 years old typically do not), turn off the shut-off valve inside your home then go out to the spigot and open it and allow any water to drain out. Once this is done, shut off the hose bib and place an insulated cover over it.

3. Drain Your Lawn Irrigation System . . .

But call in a professional to do the job. Draining sprinklersystem pipes, as with spigots, will help avoid freezing and leaks and will save you money next spring when you turn on the system and find there are no broken pipes!

4. Inspect Your Roof.

Now is the time to determine if there are any loose or missing shingles. Be proactive to deal with the repairs versus after the first major rainstorm and your roof is leaking. Have your roofer or maintenance personnel check and repair breaks in the flashing seals around vent stacks and chimneys, too.

5. Clean Out Gutters.

After leaves have fallen, clean out the gutters and downspouts, flush them with water, inspect joints, and tighten brackets if necessary. Replace old or damaged gutters with new ones.

6. Cover Air Conditioners.

Vacuum internal parts of air conditioners. Wrap the outside box with an approved tarp or plastic air conditioner cover to prevent rusting of vital parts.

7. Stock Up/Plan Ahead.

Head to your local hardware store and grab enough bags of de-icer for your community. For those communities that have the threat of snow in their future, make sure that your snow removal contract is signed and in place.

Be Ready For Fall

Despite the parting sadness of summer leaving us once again, there’s a lot to get ready for as fall approaches. Fall is a great season in our state and with proper planning and preparation your property can be ready to brave the elements once more. Contact your building maintenance team of professionals to not only create a plan, but implement the plan! Have a great fall!

P. S. Summer, we look forward to seeing you again soon.

By Sean Anderson

This article first appeared in the September 2013 issue of WSCAI Community Associations Journal.
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