BIENVENUE CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, INC.
WINTER PREVENTIVE MAINTANENCE
The winter is full of fun, merriment, and whimsy, however, there is more to it than just that. There are also plummeting temperatures and piles of snow. These things can negatively affect your condominium unit. Because of that, it is important to prepare for the worst and to know the correct way of dealing with all potential problems.
Do insulate pipes
You can do several things to help prevent pipes from freezing within your unit and mechanical room, all of which you’re responsibility for. Be sure to check all areas where water supply lines are exposed to the cold. All pipes in these areas should be insulated properly. When temperatures are very cold, turning on faucets and letting them drip can help prevent a pipe freeze. Also, on really cold days, keep your kitchen and bathroom cabinets open so that they can get exposed to the heat in your home.
Do prepare your heating system
You can take a couple of steps to prepare your heating system for the winter however; it is best to also get it inspected by professionals. These steps can include changing the air filter regularly, keeping area around the furnace free of debris, and inspecting air ducts of leaks or broken seams.
Do turn off and drain unused water lines
Make sure to turn off water supply and drain all water lines. This means draining toilets, the water heater, and the expansion tank, if you are leaving the unit vacant during any period of time in the winter months.
Do open cabinet doors
Keep your interior cabinet doors open where piping is housed. This will ensure that warmer air flows in these areas to reduce the possibly of any pipes freezing within your unit.
Do not let your house get too cold
Do not change the thermostat at night or when you aren’t home. Lowering the temperature could create a pipe freeze and burst. If you are going away for a long period of time and do not want to waste extra money, do not set the thermostat below 68 degrees F.
Do not forget to hire an HVAC technician
Do not expect to be able to repair your heating system on your own, or expect the Association to pay for your neglect. HVAC technicians specialize in this service and are equipped with the proper tools to do the best job. Also, do not wait until the middle of the cold season to get an HVAC technician to your home for an inspection. It is important to have someone come inspect your heating system before the temperatures drop. If you wait then not only will you be stuck in the cold, but also chances are you won’t be the only home needing service and you might be paying for the damages sustained to other unit owners, because of neglect.
Do not procrastinate
When regarding potential snowfall, the most important thing to remember is to not delay what needs to get done. Snow can sometimes be unpredictable so planning in advance is the best way to avoid harm to your home and your family. Make sure you don’t forget both the inside and outside of your property when preparing for snowfall.
Do not leave the water supply on for unused water lines
When temperatures drop, this is the prime time for pipes to burst. Leaving the potential for standing water in an unoccupied home is asking for microbial growth to occur. After just 48 hours, water-exposed materials are vulnerable to mold, which presents a whole new issue of mold remediation. Also, the use of anti-freeze is often recommended. Do not use antifreeze unless directed to do so for it can be harmful towards people and the environment.
Do not make assumptions
Don’t assume that you know everything. When in doubt, consult a professional about any problem that your unit could potentially face for the winter months.
Basic repair responsibility
Unit owners are responsible for the interior of their unit, the wall, ceiling and floor coverings, as well as their hot water heater, air condition, heater, appliances, plumbing and electrical. An exception, however, is piping in the walls. All domestic plumbing contained within the walls (risers) belongs to the Association. Conversely, the unit owner’s responsibility is on their side (or inside) of that wall. The unit owner is responsible for all plumbing fixtures within their unit, which the mechanical room is part of. This includes tubs, toilets, sinks, faucets and drain lines from their unit to the vertical main line. Unit owners are responsible to pay the expenses incurred by the Association in making repairs or replacement of the balcony or patio which he has the exclusive easement to use, caused or permitted by his/her negligence, misuse or neglect
Most importantly do not wait to get these things done. As a unit owner in the Bienvenue Condominium Association, you’re responsible for these things, and not the Association. A proactive approach is always the best way to avoid disaster. If you follow through with preparing your unit in a timely manner then all that is left is the joy and excitement that winter can offer. So with that, start preparing today!
Augustine D. Altieri, CPA
Bienvenue Condominium Association, Inc.
Property Manager & Accountant