Repairs, Maintenance and Renovations
Preparing for Spring
From the CCI Review 2021/2022-3 March 2022 issue of the CCI London Chapter
We are looking forward to the end of winter. It’s been a cold one. It’s still early though. We’ve had low-temperatures (the London region broke a low-temperature record on May 13, 2020 to -2.7 C where the previous low recorded was -1.7 C at London’s airport in 1946) and snow, although not normal, on May 15, 2016 (according to the federal weather agency’s historical records). Also recorded here, which was interesting and surprising, London had snow as late in the season as June 2, 1975. (This is not meant as a downer, just a caution.)
We can however, begin the practice and pressures of spring cleaning and maintenance indoors so we are totally ready to enjoy the upcoming months outdoors. Owners and boards alike have their responsibilities.
At this time of the year, many corporations will invite owners to report on visible maintenance items in exclusive use areas and beyond – more eyes on the property are always better. Boards will have already begun organizing reserve fund study projects. Prioritizing maintenance issues with budgets will be ongoing through the summer months, but organizing proper experts in advance is certainly recommended. Owners should include inspections of their exclusive use areas. For example: look for rotting deck boards and railings to report where replacements are required; review downspouts to ensure they are properly fitted and taking water away from the unit.
More important than ever, owners and boards must be aware of their risk management responsibilities as condominium corporations are seeing substantial increases to insure, as are unit owners on their homeowner insurance packages. We all have some responsibility toward mitigating any scenarios that might result in a claim.
Inside the Units (for Owners, where applicable)
There are differences among condominiums relative to where the responsibilities to repair/replace belong. Owners are not without responsibilities. At the very least, their attention is required within their units and a reminder may well be appreciated.
- wash the winter away with a thorough spring cleaning and include maintenance as needed
- check for signs of leaks and mould on ceilings and walls and foundation for cracks
- check for pest intrusions and seal gaps around pipes, doorways and windows to keep them out
- replace HVAC filters once all cleaning is complete and every 90 days at minimum is recommended
- organize to have your HVAC specialist in to check your AC
- vacuum coils on the refrigerator and air conditioner
- check kitchen and bathroom ventilation systems, important for indoor air quality
- replace lightbulbs, check switches & electrical outlets that spark to ensure they are all in good working order
- check for faulty extension cords, discolored wall outlets
- replace batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide filters
- dust light fixtures, shades, switches and electrical outlets.
- throw open those windows and let the air in
- clean screens, sills, window tracks and check window seals for water leaks, operating mechanisms and locks
- check washing machine hoses and check and clean dryer vent and hose
- check for signs of leaks or pests
- have your sump pump inspected to ensure it’s in working order
- run water in unused sinks and flush unused toilets
- test water heater’s pressure relief valve to prevent mineral/corrosion buildup and leaks
- add to your list to encompass all that is the responsibility of the unit owner
Notes: It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission EXCEPT when you live in a Condominium
Owners should be reminded to request approval from the Board of Directors prior to proceeding with any type of addition, alteration and improvement and to engage qualified, licensed (as necessary) and insured contractors. In some cases, building permits will be required.
When a little warmth comes along, a cleanup in our exclusive use areas is a bonus to get ready to enjoy Spring. It will also allow contractors to carry out repairs unimpeded.
Spring is to watch the last piles of snow melt to glory in the growth of new flowers to get ready to enjoy the summer
Trish Kaplan, CCI (Hon’s) is the current part-time Administrator for CCI-London and Area Chapter, having served in the position from April 2003 to September 2010. She received the CCI Distinguished Service Award from CCI National in November 2006. Trish was also a Director on the CCI Board from 2010-2015 when she was subsequently returned to the position of Administrator.
Trish is a condominium owner, served on the Board of Directors of the condominium she resides in for a time and a retired condominium manager.
Her experience in the different areas of condominium continues to be a benefit to the chapter and its members.
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