The seasonal change from Autumn to Winter can be a challenging period for our residents and their developments, therefore preparing for the season ahead is essential to lessen any damage and enhance residents' experiences whilst reminding them of some essential winter preparation of their own.
Our role as managing agents is to plan for the maintenance that will be needed during all seasons of the year, whilst considering the frequency the service may be needed at different times of the year i.e. grassed lawns will require more attention in the summer than in the winter months.
Winter is often a challenging season not only because of the damage the season can bring to a development but also being able to physically get the works undertaken. Allowing for planned inspections or works ahead of winter is an essential part of preparing our developments for the change of season.
So what are the types of areas our team and partnered contractors will be focusing on?
Some developments have heaters in the common parts or a form of boiler serving the residents' properties. Where the system is via a communal standalone heater or boiler, the servicing and maintenance will be arranged via us as the managing agent or via an Energy Service Company (also known as an ESCO) to make sure the system is ready for the demands of winter usage.
Where the boiler is standalone and not part of the communal system this will be the individual property owner’s responsibility to arrange regular servicing and testing to ensure the system is safe and ready for the winter season.
External hard surfaces can get a buildup of moss or algae. Heavy traffic areas like pathways, external stairs and car parks regularly used by residents and visitors can become slippery and will require jet washing and treating ahead of winter.
Drains and gulleys require regular clearance and removal of debris, especially following autumn fall, to prevent slippage and blockages. We also regularly check drain covers are intact and fit properly.
With darker days it is essential external and internal areas are well lit and in working order, in addition to making sure any timers (where applicable) are adjusted to accommodate for the change of season. As part of our routine visits we check lighting is working and intact.
With heavy rainfall, winds and icy weather, it's important that gutters are regularly cleared to prevent blockages. This will prevent gutters overflowing or becoming broken, further avoiding damage to the fabrication of the building or to a resident’s property.
Wherever possible regular roof inspections are carried out to monitor the condition of the existing roof, this is however not always possible and therefore understanding the age, material and impact of a development's environment is essential to plan for medium and long-term inspections and renewals. Where repairs are required, these are ideally undertaken ahead of the winter season, due to the challenges of arranging repairs once the wetter weather is upon us.
Communal windows and doors are regularly checked to make sure they remain in good working condition during our routine visits. Winter can cause for doors to stick or drafts can become noticeable, therefore regular checks and remedial action may be necessary.
We still undertake routine site inspections, meet with residents, clients and contactors all throughout the winter season however we will be dressed appropriate to the weather conditions ensuring individual safety and health.
Over the last 18-months we have adapted to the pandemic and Government guidelines as required and this will remain a consistent theme going forward. Any changes which will impact services, resident access & usage, and lifestyle will be communicated as and when these arise.
All updates of routine and emergency works, and general visits are available on our online residents portal, in order to keep our residents up to speed of their development's latest news.