If we have an El Nino or not it is imperative to take proactive measures to get the longest life out of your building components and common areas.
Here are the major preventive maintenance measures to take this fall:
- Roofing maintenance, including gutter and downspout cleaning
- Paint all compromised wood and metal to protect bare surfaces
- Cleaning and clearing of all area drains, v-ditches and storm drains
- Ensure that there is positive slope away from building foundations
- Keep flat landscape drain grates clear
- Check landscaping: trim older trees and stake newer trees. Check for possible erosion in planter beds and check for broken sprinkler heads and lines
Roof maintenance is critical for avoiding water penetration and building damage:
- Inspect roof surface and all roofing system components for damage.
- Replace all missing or cracked roof tiles, shingles or asphalt
- Clean all gutters and downspouts
- Clean out dirt, leaves and debris from all scuppers, valleys, drain bowls, conductor heads, flat and pitched roof surfaces
- Ensure that downspouts direct all their water into a pipe leading to the storm drain or at least have it terminate on a splash block or pan and direct it away from the building foundation
- Replace or refasten all gutter spikes
- Inspect mastic around all roof penetrations; this includes all roof-mounted equipment and skylight curbs
- Inspect metal seams and exposed fasteners and seal where needed
- Inspect all roof pipes and flashings and seal and paint where needed
Without roof maintenance there is a risk of:
- Interior unit damage from roof water leaks
- Potential fire hazard from water hitting junction boxes or connections
- Stucco damage and stucco discoloration (the nasty black streaks)
- Wood deterioration from both wood rot and termite infestation (wet wood is great termite food)
- Slab cracks due to soil movement; soil moves when it becomes soaked with water and expands & contracts
Walk the exterior of your buildings with your general maintenance contractor and prepare a list of work that needs to be completed. Prioritize the list and get the work done before the rainy season begins.
Roofing maintenance should be performed every year in the fall or late summer. Line up a licensed contractor and keep their phone numbers at hand as you will definitely have emergency leak repairs and drain cleaning calls.