Winterization Checklist for Multi-Family Apartments

Winterization Checklist for multifamily apartments

Come winter & the fear of damage to property starts looming large. Data from  the Insurance Information Institute shows that winter storms caused a record $15 billion in insured losses in 2021 alone. Other than winter storms issues such as build up of ice, freezing & more are known to play havoc each year. 

Winterizing your multi-family apartments is therefore not just a good-to-do activity but a must-do, both from the point of view of protecting your property & its residents from the ravages of the season. Here is a handy home winterization checklist that will go a long way in keeping you ahead of the effects of the season:

#1. Preventive Maintenance

Ahead of the season do remember to have your boilers & furnaces serviced. A small amount saved on maintenance now can lead to costly repercussions at a later date. Simple cleaning, replacing of filters and more can go a long way in keeping everything running smoothly when the season descends upon you. Pro tip– Ensuring you have a regular maintenance schedule will save you the hassle of seeking appointments when winter knocks and the provider may be busy with multiple clients.

Ensure that your heating system is in working order well before the cold weather hits. There is no better way than to test it for few hours to check that the heating is adequate. You sure don’t want to be dealing with repairs at a time while the residents are freezing in the middle of the cold season. 

Preventive maintenance also demands that you check the pipes that are exposed for any signs of cracks or corrosion. With low temperatures there is always the fear of the pipes freezing and worse still, bursting. 

#2. Ensure your Service Contracts for Snow Clearing are in place

When a snowstorm shows up, the people that are hard to find are the snow cleaning service providers. If there is one way to ensure that your residents aren’t inconvenienced, it is by way of ensuring that your snow clearing service contracts are in place well before time.

In fact not just snow clearing contracts, what you also need to have in place in advance is a snow distribution plan. For example you need to figure out how & where the snow from the roofs will be removed. 

It will also be prudent to keep de-icing chemicals handy. Sodium Chloride or what is popularly known as rock salt as well as Calcium Chloride are options, though each come with their own pros & cons. 

#3. Energy efficient appliances

The use of energy efficient appliances can go a long way in keeping residents comfortable and in keeping electricity bills low. Think furnaces & boilers as also LED bulbs. The use of smart home devices is also prudent in winterizing your apartment as they help in setting the heating to the necessary requirements & cut down energy usage.

#4. Keep the home insulated

The answer to how to winterize an apartment is to keep it insulated. It is imperative that you inspect the home for any cracks as water can seep in through the cracks. Besides it can cause cold air to come in causing discomfort & high electricity bills. Repairing any cracks as well as using insulated windows can, therefore, go a long way in keeping the apartments warm and energy bills under control. Installing weather stripping around doors & windows is also effective to keep cold wind at bay. 

#5 . Check Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Another aspect that must find place in your winterizing checklist is checking for carbon monoxide detectors. CDC report has found instances of carbon mono oxide poisoning to be the highest during cold weather. It stands to reason, as people are most likely to use gas furnaces and heaters in this season while windows are kept shut. In fact, as per the report titled Unintentional Non-Fire-Related Carbon Monoxide Exposures — United States, 2001–2003, approximately 480 U.S. residents died each year from non-fire-related CO poisoning and an estimated 15,200 persons with confirmed or possible non-fire-related CO exposure or poisoning were treated annually in U.S. hospital emergency departments.

It is imperative, therefore that residents be educated on how to avoid a dangerous build up. Also make sure that carbon monoxide detectors are in proper working order so that any increase in levels can be detected early. 

To Sum Up

While you take the necessary precautions to ensure the cold season passes by uneventfully, it will also be worthwhile to encourage residents to report any issues that they notice, as seemingly small issues can sometimes have huge consequences.

With this home winterization checklist, you can say goodbye to winter woes. Here’s a to a happy holiday season!

Trevor Henson

Trevor Henson is an experienced entrepreneur (10+ highly-successful start-ups) and property investor with a demonstrated history of building and leading teams in investment property management environments, maximizing returns for property owners, and optimizing properties through construction management and re-positioning. He…
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Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Prepping your apartment for winter includes checking for a number of things including, but not limited to, making sure your utilities including your heating systems are in working order, boilers & furnaces are serviced, ensuring you have insulated the house, preparing for snow & ice removal, & more.

Some of the preparations involve blocking out cold air by way of repairing any cracks, installing weather stripping around doors & windows and replacing old windows with insulated ones. In addition, do ensure preventive checks to see that your boilers & furnaces are serviced, heating system is in working order, any exposed pipes have not developed cracks and more.

Some handy ideas to winterize your house as also to save energy include: Insulating the pipes, Weatherproofing doors & windows, Disconnecting sprinkler systems, Testing the heating system in advance, Reversing your ceiling fans.