There is that saying: “This building has good bones”? It generally means that even if the building looks like it is in disrepair, the structure underneath is rock solid and is worth building around. The thing is, you have to tear down a wall or two to get to see how good the bones really are.
Your tenants are probably only thinking about how your building looks on the surface. Turn a faucet, get water. Press a button, the heat turns on. But as the building owner, you’re always thinking bout the bones behind the walls and how they tend to be where expensive problems begin.
With the onset of November and the briskness of winter closing in, we’re trading outside time for indoor comfort - which means building owners all over the Calgary area are thinking about their building’s heating systems.
But are you also thinking about how your plumbing is holding up?
When it comes to cold-weather problems, you might envision the flooding caused by burst pipes. Ruined drywall, warped floors, and your tenant’s ruined furniture and property are just a few of the problems you might face with a major plumbing catastrophe - but even the smallest leaks can cause a big headache.
Little Leaks, Big Damage.
It might start with the little leaks - a drippy shower head in apartment 3A, a toilet that is always running, the hot water connection for a kitchen sink - they might seem too small to worry about today, but most leaks tend to grow.
Every owner dreads the day where they find water where it shouldn’t be. Roofs are secured against rain, and basements are sealed so nothing seeps through the walls come springtime. Still, water hast this nasty habit of finding a small opening and flowing wherever it wants. Once the leak starts, the damage isn’t far behind. How much damage? That’s all depends on how quickly you can get it fixed.
It’s not just water damage you need to worry about. Warped finishes can be fixed, and the renter’s insurance can replace a ruined TV, but water leaks can often lead to something far more dangerous, like…
Most of us are taught, rightly so, that mold can be dangerous stuff. When it shows up on a loaf of bread or groceries we forgot about in the back of the refrigerator; we know to toss it out. For the most part, mold spores occur naturally. They turn into a problem when they find a host surface that is the right mix of damp and dark. Or, they turn into delightful fungi that can be harvested and eaten (mushrooms, anyone?).
When it is cold outside, we close our windows, turn on our furnaces, and spend more time indoors - ultimately increasing the risk of mold exposure. It might be a challenge keeping your entire building de-humidified, and every tenant has their preference for heat and comfort, so keeping the flow of water in check might be your best defense.
Ultimately, you want to be on the lookout for black mold. When water gets to where it shouldn’t be, toxic black mold might show up and cause all sorts of respiratory issues and ultimately require expensive mitigation measures. Poorly ventilated bathrooms and laundry areas are breeding grounds for black mold. Fixing small leaks is your best defense against a big problem.
Your Tenants, On The Boil
After a chilly commute home, who doesn’t love to warm up with a hot bath or shower? Your building’s hot water heater takes on a whole new measure of importance in the colder months. Not only are boiler systems in residential and commercial buildings larger than what you might find in a home, but they are also often far more complicated to manage and troubleshoot issues.
Yet, they are the first thing your tenants will let you know about when it’s on the fritz. No one likes starting a cold morning with a cold shower!
Having a properly working thermostat is a sure way to make sure your system is heating properly. Water still feeling lukewarm on the upper floors? It might be worth looking into some insulation for the hot water delivery.
While the winter months may feel long and cold, there is still no reason you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable in our home. We know your home has great bones, and we’d like to keep them that way. There are always plumbing and heating issues that might be hiding behind your walls, but the pros at Hank’s Plumbing and Gasfitting know what it takes to keep your home happy and healthy.
Our business is built on preventative maintenance. With over 50 years of experience in the field, we know what to look for and where the problems tend to start and find ways to prevent them from happening.
We’d love to come by and give your building’s systems a checkup so you can have peace of mind and your tenants can rest comfortably this winter. From furnace maintenance and filter replacements to installing frost-proof spigots, we stop little problems from turning into big problems.
All you have to do is give us a call today!