As the last few years have demonstrated, winter can be an unpredictable time in New York City. Some years, temperatures remain fairly mild and we barely get any snow, while other years are bitterly cold, with howling winds and epic snowstorms.
Regardless of what the weather decides to do, co-op and condo boards, managers, and maintenance staff need to make sure their buildings are ready for whatever may come—and that means taking care of seasonal winterizing tasks before the first flakes fall.
Do It Now
Whether relatively mild or historically harsh, winter is the hardest season of the year in terms of wear-and-tear on buildings. Ice collects in cracks and spaces between bricks and masonry and contributes to façade deterioration, salt stains and chews up metal and marble finishes, boilers and steam pipes work overtime, and colder temperatures and more hours of darkness equal higher heating and electrical costs.
Which is why it's so important to prep your building before whatever happens happens. “Good winterization begins well before the winter arrives,” says Peter Grech of the New York Superintendents Technical Association. “If the temperature outside goes below 55, it may be too late. As a cost-cutting or preventative measure, all mechanical devices must be maintained and serviced if necessary before the cold weather arrives.”
Windows & Walkways
Windows may be the eyes of your building, but when it comes to water and cold penetration, they're a definite weak point. Because of this, window frames and sashes must be inspected and repaired if necessary before winter arrives—preferably in early fall.