Seasonal Tips: Fall
By: Brian Sullivan
Sadly the Summer is officially over even though it feels like it just started. That means itas time to perform fall seasonal inspections and maintenance.
The following are a few suggestions to help minimize maintenance costs:
We always recommend taking numerous photos in the fall for reference in the spring to determine the effects that a harsh winter has had on the building envelope.
- Replace all deteriorated pourable sealer within pitch pockets. The summer heat can cause cracks and shrinkage that may result in water infiltration.
- Inspect for damage from maintenance personnel; particularly around rooftop HVAC units, at wall flashings and the roof perimeter. Dropped tools are a common source of damage to roof systems.
- All scuppers, gutters and leaders should be inspected to ensure that they are secure and free flowing. Splash blocks should be in place at the downspouts
- Drains should be inspected to ensure that domes are properly secured in place and that the plumbing is not blocked. The perimeter of the drains should be cleaned at the start of the fall and periodically throughout the season, to ensure that significant leaf accumulation does not impede the flow of water to the drain.
The facades and windows should be inspected from grade level roofs and setbacks. Also, by opening a random selection of windows on all elevations and carefully leaning out, a close visual inspection of the facade and window exteriors will provide a general idea of typical conditions.
- Extreme summer heat abuses joint and fenestration sealant causing significant shrinkage or cracking. Similar to the pourable sealer in pitch pockets, sealant replacement is a relatively inexpensive maintenance item that, if not part of a routine maintenance plan, may lead to significant water damage.
- Masonry and mortar should be inspected to determine if any previously identified minor cracks have enlarged, or if any new cracks have developed.
- Remove all window mounted air conditioners as soon as the weather permits. These units add stress to the window frames and allow increased opportunity for air and water infiltration.
- Carefully examine the topside, underside and railings of all balconies and fire escapes.
- While examining the facade, check to see if any surrounding trees, electrical lines, telephone equipment or adjacent buildings are presenting a risk to the building.
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