Building and Condo Maintenance

Prepare Your Building For Chicago’s Wettest Season

building maintenance

It’s never too early to plan for Chicago’s wettest season. Some timely building maintenance can help to avoid water damage, and bigger problems down the road. Here are 5 maintenance tips to help you keep your building dry.

1. Inspect the roof at least twice a year.

Nothing beats an actual inspection when it comes to spotting something off before you have an actual leak in the building. Put it on the schedule for the next several years, so you won’t forget to have it done. It’s easy to ignore when nothing is going wrong.

2. Check exterior door and window flashing.

After the roof, the most common entry point for water is the flashing around exterior fixtures This is generally something that goes with age — so you only know you have to keep an eye on them if they’re getting older.

3. Clean and inspect your gutters.

The gutters are the first line of defense against water building up in key areas of your building. While you can usually clean them just once a year — after the leaves have fallen, it’s good to keep an eye on them throughout the year. You’ll want to avoid clogs, and also watch for any points of separation between different pieces that can lead to leaking.

4. Take care of tuckpointing while the weather is nice.

Sooner or later, all brick exteriors need a little extra care to prevent crumbling and cracks in the mortar that holds bricks together. These cracks can be a path for water to enter your building. If you leave them open over the winter, water gets in there, freezes and expands, enlarging the cracks and compounding the problem for next year. So, a once a year inspection and repair can save a lot of headaches down the road.

5. Route water away from your building.

Once the gutters have done their job and water is on the group, keep an eye out for areas where the water pools near the building. You want to move that water as far away from the building and the foundation as possible. Even if it may not seem like a big deal now, an extra heavy rain could mean unexpected overflowing. You can correct this with extra long gutter extensions on the ground level, by altering the grading at the base of the building to channel water away, or even by planting certain types of plants that are good at absorbing extra moisture.

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