This article was posted on Monday, May 01, 2023

The coming of spring marks an intrinsic planning milestone when many owners begin to put into motion their asset optimization targets and evaluate the scope and cost of required improvements and maintenance items for the year.  This process requires a thorough understanding of how a property is currently performing while balancing the potential for ongoing maintenance risk items, as well as highlighting improvement options to maximize net operating income (NOI) and increasing the overall value of your property.

Routine springtime inspections should include at least the following maintenance and improvement considerations:

Foundation and Exterior Envelope

  • Check for cracking and deterioration throughout.  All cracking should be patched
  • Check chimneys and masonry for deteriorated or missing mortar.  The presence of moss typically means water accumulation and these areas should be addressed to ensure water intrusion is not occurring.
  • Check grading to ensure proper sloping away from foundation walls.  Install soil as needed.
  • Check all exterior wood surfaces to ensure dry rot has not occurred and waterproofing is in place.
  • Check deck, patio, porch and exterior stairs and railings for deterioration
  • Remove debris from downspouts and gutters.
  • Consider the cost / benefit of upgrading to energy-efficient windows and doors.
  • Check basement and crawlspace for moisture or leaking water.  Take care of all moisture problems.

Waterproofing Systems

  • Check for missing, loose or damaged roof shingles.
  • Check for any areas of water intrusion or pockets of water under the roof membrane.
  • Check the flashing systems around all penetrations, sidewalls, chimneys and antennas.
  • Check fascia, soffits and roof louvers for deterioration and damage.

Interior Finishes

  • Make note of interior improvement targets and schedule them to take place at contract turns.
  • Identify any underutilized space that you may be able to rent.
  • Repair or replace torn screens and broken windows.
  • Perform all annual common area painting or other projects where ventilation can be a problem.
  • Check smoke detectors and replace batteries.

Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing

  • Inspect heating, cooling and ventilation systems.  Ensure thermostats are set properly.
  • Shut down boiler systems.
  • Inspect plumbing systems, taking note of slow drains, constricted water supply and backups.  If needed, have sewer and plumbing systems inspected or jetted before a big backup occurs.

Landscape and Exterior

  • Plan any seasonal color, landscape lighting and improvement items.
  • Plant trees, shrubs and flowers.
  • Perform any needed lawn rehabilitation.
  • Apply a weed preventer and fertilize the lawn.
  • Remove fallen storm debris.  Trim shrubs that make contact with the structure.
  • Do not prune trees until autumn, when it’s healthier for the trees to trim.
  • Establish monthly maintenance actions tailored to your property’s needs.

Gibralter Maintenance is a full service property maintenance company serving over 400 properties on an ongoing basis.  Reprinted with permission of Update, official publication of the Rental Housing Association of Puget Sound.