The winter of 2014-15 will go down as one of the harshest in many decades. And real estate properties of all types have certainly felt the impact. This month, we are going to discuss some of the most common issues that property owners, as well as their legal advisors, should be on the lookout for as we transition to spring. Given the long stretches of frigid temperatures coupled with some heavy snows and high winds, one of the first things to come to mind is the impact on roofs. Cold temperature can play havoc on your roof, as the freeze/thaw cycle can quickly create a major crevice out of even the smallest crack. As ice accumulated on the roofs and gutters this season, additional weight was placed on the gutter system, often causing the system to pull away or completely fall. All of these issues will result directly in water penetration, which could ultimately impact the building occupants and lead to insurance claims for any resulting damages. Building owners should conduct a complete inspection of both the roofs and gutter systems as soon as practical in an effort to avoid costly issues later this spring.
Not all flooding issues start at the top. With the heavy snows this winter, we have already seen some early spring flooding. But higher water tables may result in additional problems later this spring, especially if we experience a long stretch of rainy weather. Cold weather came quickly last fall and many buildings did not have the opportunity to conduct a full fall cleanup. It is prudent that owners inspect all of the catch basins on their property to confirm that they are draining properly and do not have leaves, sticks and fall debris blocking your drainage. In addition, if the building has a detention basin, owners should inspect the intake and outflow areas to confirm they are also free of debris. Preventative maintenance in this area is often overlooked but water can also penetrate at the ground level, causing interior damages, and associated insurance claims, for first floor occupants. Click here to download full article.