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Building Winterization: The Final Checklist

By November 17, 2011 April 15th, 2018 General Updates

You may have read the articles from The Cooperator and Habitat Magazine, but have you heeded the warnings to winterize your building?

We are not talking about decking the halls here people. You should have already taken the proper steps to prepare your building for winter. But if not, now is the time to get to it and print out this downloadable checklist to help you complete your building winterization. This checklist was prepared using an article from Habitat Magazine’s Email Newsletter, where we used the tips from Engineers Stephen Varone and Peter Varsalona of Rand Engineering & Architecture to create an actionable checklist for you to follow.

In New York, our winters can be quite harsh and unforgiving on the wear and tear of buildings. By taking some preventative measures you can cut fueling costs and avoid some major problems or repairs that may occur during the winter. When the weather outside is frightful, it is not the time to be conducting major construction to the exterior of your building. Most importantly, there are also measures you should take as a Property Manager, Board Member or whom ever is responsible for building maintenance to check the mechanical systems (the boiler, burners, and radiators) to be sure that you don’t have a last minute emergency on your hands, along with cold and cranky residents!

Here is why you need to winterize your building:

  1. Reduce Costs-

    Knowing that money can be saved by taking some proactive steps should get people to move forward and winterize their building. The main points on cutting costs are to ensure that heat is staying inside the building by checking for drafts and performing proper maintenance to your mechanical systems.

    In The Cooperator’s Article, “Look Out for Old Man Winter,” Bill Jebaily, of Aggressive Energy & Mechanical Group says, “The bottom line is that an eighth of an inch of soot inside a boiler will significantly reduce the efficiency of the boiler, thereby causing excessive use of fuel and can reduce the efficiency at 20 to 30 percent…if a building was spending $100,000 on fuel, now it’s spending $120,000.” By quantifying the amount you could save, it is clear how imperative it is to winterize your property.

  2. Keep Your Residents Comfortable and Happy-

    Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue if your building lost heat in the middle of winter? Not only would you have to pay exorbitant fees for emergency repairs to the mechanical systems, but you would also have to answer to furious residents and shareholders.

    Get everyone involved in maintaining the building by reminding building superintendents, residents, owners, shareholders and board members to alert those in charge of any concerns regarding building maintenance or necessary repairs.

  3. Be Environmentally Conscious, Save Fuel-

    While you may not have switched to natural gas, No. 2 or No. 4 oil yet, you can still help the environmental by reducing the amount of fuel wasted with some routine and preventative maintenance of your mechanical systems.
  4. Proper Maintenance of Buildings May Influence Insurance Rates-Superior building maintenance of systems, loss prevention and upkeep might qualify you for specialized insurance programs and can factor into determining your insurance rates.

Act now and do what you can to prepare your building. One of our favorite phrases here at Mackoul & Associates is “An Ounce of Prevention Equals A Pound of Cure,” or in other words, it is easier to take a few preventative steps to winterize now, rather then reacting to disasters that could’ve been prevented. Start by downloading the checklist and have either your be sure everything on that list has been completed.

 Do you have anything you’d like to add to our downloadable checklist? Write a comment below and we’ll add your suggestion to the list!