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Quick! Winterize before leaves fall.

It's been a lousy summer anyway, so what's the difference? It's time to turn our attention from chillers, landscaping and an early Friday exodus out of the city to those looming storm clouds out of the North. Before we know it, it will be snowing sideways!

The summer is officially over and if co-op boards, building owners, and facility managers don't act soon, it will be another winter of screaming phone calls from irate tenant/shareholders. Now we don't want that, do we?

So what can be done to keep the water wind and cold out?

Roof Headaches Well, let's start at the top. Obviously, hell hath no fury like a tenant with a leak, especially a recurring one. So, get that roof done! Patch it, replace it, but don't ignore it. The party with the leak won't let you alone anyway So stop procrastinating and get a competent roofer up there now. And make sure they're reputable. This way the guarantee doesn't run out when the water runs in. Even some minor repairs might get you through the winter

Window Woes

How about those windows? If your standing next to them and it sounds like a wind tunnel and feels like you just came down with a cold, maybe they need a closer inspection Let's start with the easy stuff first. Caulk is the miracle of modern science. Used correctly, it solves many problems, but only temporarily caulk is a "renewable item". It only has a short life span. Roughly translated, because you caulked five years ago, does it mean that the windows don't need to be recaulked!

Also, if the caulk was not applied correctly to begin with, small voids have formed which allows moisture and cold air to infiltrate and interior heat to dissipate. Certainly, older windows are more susceptible to this problem since they have greater movement.

If you haven't traded in those old windows, maybe it's time you bite the bullet [caret] Your already losing plenty of money in added fuel expenses, not to mention increased customer dissatisfaction.

Facade Problems:

Those cracked bricks and open mortar joints aren't closing bythemselves. Of course, the water is only too happy to settle in there for the winter and exercise it's destructive freeze/thaw cycle. Before the cracks get larger, the steel inside the walls rust's further and your repair bills bloat fatter, maybe you should call a waterproofer and get a scaffold on the building. You can pay them now and keep some money in your wallet or pay them later and lose all the money in there, plus the wallet to boot.

Boiler Blues:

You want to save money? Buy bathing suits in January. You want to cut a better deal with your boiler company? Talk to them early in the season, not later.

Many business have a busy season. If you negotiate your repairs and schedule your maintenance checks before the companies are in full swing, you should receive better service at a better price. There is nothing like a cash flow crunch to motivate a deal.

Sometimes just keeping the system clean can improve equipment performance and increase fuel economy. And speaking of fuel, the same economics apply to them as well. Buy your fuel early. Get together with some of your peers and buy in bulk together. That will save you money. If you want to cut costs without cutting quality, you have to be creative.

So, put down those golf clubs and tennis rackets and gather your decision makers indoors, around the conference table. Summertime fun is over and it's time to turn our attention to the more mundane matters in life.

Oh, by the way, there are only 91 shopping days until Christmas.
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Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:advice on weather-proofing buildings
Author:Zaremba, Gary
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Sep 30, 1992
Previous Article:St. John's begins new campus building.
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