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Five Ways to Prep Your Community for the Fall

A person in overalls using a leaf blower

Follow these five steps and your community will be ready for cold weather

After the heat of summer is over, it is important to get ready for the next extreme season. Preparation for cooler weather can be simple and still take some time. Here’s a list of five tasks to have “fall” into place before winter starts:

Equipment Tune Up

The landscape blower, snow blower, pressure washer and other small engine-type equipment are about to go into storage. Or they are ready to come out of the garage. In either case, spend some time to ensure they run smoothly. Check vital fluids and change the plugs; check the carburetor and air filter so that they will run when needed. Follow the manufacturer specifications and winterize equipment not needed before it goes into storage.

Safety check

The end of the year is quickly approaching. If your community’s maintenance team has not yet performed their annual check of smoke detectors, this is a great time to get it scheduled. Do not let December 31st arrive without the smoke detectors being checked.

Water Heaters

As the weather gets cooler, the temperature of the water coming into buildings drops. That means that our water heaters will experience a larger temperature change and run for longer periods. Test the T/P valve (Temperature and Pressure relief valve) by lifting the lever on it and letting it go. If any water leaks out after the valve re-seats (or is it resets?), the T/P valve must be replaced.  Flushing any sediment out is also a great idea.

Space Check

Before it gets too cold, it is a good idea to check crawl spaces, storage rooms and attics. Look for new openings caused by age, animals and weather. To prevent freezing during the upcoming weather, check pipe insulation and any heat tape (is this correct?).

Shut down and prep

The swimming pool and any other amenities that will be cycling out of usage in the upcoming season will need some work to ensure that they are ready when temperatures rise in spring.

Some years the best that can be said about the fall season is: “At least it’s not summer anymore”. Follow the steps above and you can be better than just “not summer.” With these tasks accomplished have an apple cider and enjoy the changing of the leaves knowing you are prepared!

Paul Rhodes is the National Maintenance and Safety Instructor for the National Apartment Association Education Institute.