Is your property ready for the winter? While San Diego is not exactly known for extreme weather, my preference is to be prepared for it.
Let’s start with the top of your building: the roof. Many roofing companies will come out and to a free or low price roof analysis in order to check for problems and to review for their recommendations. As roofs age, it is important that periodic maintenance be taken. Repairs such as sealing roof penetrations, checking for any portions that have been pulled off during previous storms, and repairs to other damaged areas and venting will continue to extend the life of your roof. Roofing is often the single largest expense at a property, and properly maintaining your roof will make sure that you get the maximilum value. For those within associations where the reserve account does not yet cover the cost of a new roof, temporary roof repairs will give a little more time to raise the necessary capital and to make sure the association is adequately funding for this expense.
Moving down the building slightly are the rain gutters. Keeping the gutters clear will make sure the rain is directed to the areas it is intended to flow. Proper clearing of the gutters includes the down spouts as well.
Review the areas on the ground that the drain spouts connect to. Are these area drains, culverts, or landscaped areas? Will the water flow away from the buildings in a heavy rain? Proper drainage should include vegetation, landscape, and dirt graded in such a way that water drains away from the building naturally. This will assist in keeping water from sitting against the building and causing damage.
Moving back to the building, check for gaps around the windows or within the building siding. Caulking can be placed around retrofit windows to assist in the seal to keep water out. In periods of heavy rain or wind, windows that are generally unexposed can be subject to moisture.
San Diego Gas and Electric has programs to help weather proof your house. If you have gas heating, reach out to them annually to check for proper ventilation while also lighting your pilot light and checking for proper operation. Often, this can be your first tip of an appliance problem and allow you time to repair before the weather cools too much. Speak with your representative about programs that are offered to conserve energy at your home. Many programs are available to SDGE customers to help cut down on your monthly bill.
Trimming trees can help minimize tree damage, trim excess branches to remove leaves and keep from clogging up the gutters again, and arborist oversight could help avoid a tree falling through a building.
Everyone in southern California is hoping for rain this season to help with the extreme shortage we have been experiencing the last few years. With a little foresight and planning, you can keep your building in good shape, and ready for whatever mother nature throws your way.