Seasonal Maintenance around the Condominium

Condominiums are busy beehives of activity all year round with various seasonal maintenance items. The following are some common seasonal maintenance items you might expect to see happening around the Condominium…

Exterior Property
Winter Snow Clearing & Salting: The Corporation will typically have a contract for snow clearing and salting from November to March (this may differ). Owners need to keep in mind, that most contracts stipulate that snow clearing and/or salting will take place within eight hours of accumulation (and usually there has to be accumulation of 2” or more). Garage Ramps have heating cables under the asphalt, that are triggered by a snow sensor. The ramp will take time to heat-up, so perfect conditions cannot always be guaranteed in heavy snowfall. The ramp will not be salted, and this is because the salt would be corrosive to the heating cables.


Spring, Summer & Autumn Groundskeeping: The Corporation will typically have a contract for summer groundskeeping that covers spring, summer and autumn (often April to October). This may be with the same contractor that handles the winter months. The contractor will perform a spring clean-up, and then attend the site weekly to cut the grass, clean-up cuttings and debris, pick-up garbage, trim smaller shrubbery and more. In the spring many Corporations will have annuals and/or perennials placed in planters and gardens around the property, but this work is not normally included in the contract.

Indoor Common Spaces
Carpet Cleaning: Once or twice a year the Corporation will have the common element carpets professionally cleaned. This is important maintenance for the longevity of the carpets, and makes the building look and smell fresher.


Winter Mats: Most Condominiums have winter mats put down in the autumn and removed in the spring (some keep them down year-round). The winter mats will most commonly be found in higher traffic entry points, and in the elevators.

Garage
Garage Wash: Once or twice a year, the Corporation will have the garage swept and power washed. This is important maintenance work for the garage. All vehicles will need to be removed from the garage on the designated day(s). The garage doesn’t just need to be washed to make it look better, it needs this to maintain the garage floor membranes due to salt and vehicle fluid leaks.


Windows
Window Washing: Once or twice a year, the Corporation will have the windows washed by a contractor working on the exterior of the building. Commonly the Corporation will only have inaccessible windows and glass cleaned by the
contractor. Owners and Residents will be responsible for
cleaning all accessible windows and glass. It’s a good idea to keep your blinds closed for your privacy during this work.


Prior to window washing, the Corporation will have the roof
anchors inspected. Some residential units may need to be
accessed for this inspection. If requested, please provide
access for this important inspection.


Alarm Testing
Monthly Fire Alarm Tests: It might be bothersome to hear the alarm bell testing each month, but this is necessary testing and is mandated by the Ontario Fire Code. Quarterly, your Corporation should have fire drills as well (this happens during the monthly testing), and Residents are encouraged to participate. This is a good time to practice with children the procedure for a fire or emergency event.


In-suite Maintenance Items
Annual Fire Safety Inspection: Annually, the Corporation will require entry to all suites for a fire safety inspection.
Technicians from the fire safety company will enter each unit, along with a building Staff member, to check the fire safety equipment located within the units. They will assess if equipment is functioning properly, or in need of replacement. Remember, smoke alarms have expiry dates. This is such an important process for Resident safety.

The fire safety contractor will also inspect all of the fire safety equipment in the common elements. The final fire safety report will be reviewed by the local Fire Inspector.

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Fan Coil/Heat Pumps: In most Condos, once a year, the
Corporation will require entry to all suites to clean and service the heating and cooling system. This process may differ depending on the type of heating and cooling system that your building has, but typically the HVAC contractor will inspect, clean, lubricate, and change filters in the heating/cooling system in your unit. This is also important work for safe breathing air, and it can prevent flooding during the cooling season. Owners are encouraged to change their filter regularly for better air quality in their home.


Chute Rooms
Chute and Compactor Cleaning: Once a year (or more) the
Corporation will typically have the chute and compactor
professionally cleaned. When this work takes place, you will be asked not to place anything down the chute.


Heating and Cooling Seasons
Heating and Cooling Seasons: Most buildings can only offer
either heating or cooling at a time. In the spring, Residents may start to feel warm, and want the cooling system operational as early as April. Unfortunately spring can be a rather fickle time of year, with very changeable weather. Daytime temperatures can be warm, but then drop down overnight. Condo Corporations typically aim for mid-May to switch from heating to cooling.

The same thing happens in autumn where again daytime
temperatures might be comfortable, but then drop down
overnight. Snow can come along very unexpectedly early in the season. Condo Corporations typically aim for mid-October to switch from cooling to heating.


Please keep in mind that once either the heating or cooling
systems are operational (for example the chiller and cooling
tower), it cannot simply be flipped back to heating if there is a cold snap. It’s a fine line for your Condo Manager and Board to walk to try to get the change-over timing right. Some people are sensitive to being cold, and others are sensitive to heat, so it’s impossible to please all Residents.