How to Prepare Your Commercial Property for the Rainy Season

Most Ontarians tend not to associate the summer with a lot of rain, but the truth is that the spring and summer months are actually prime time for heavy rainfall that can leave streets flooded and homes leaking water.

If you rent out houses, this means you need to be proactive about making sure you won't be getting any late-night calls from soggy tenants.

Late winter and early spring are typically the times when commercial property managers kick into high gear with maintenance, but there's a solid case to be made for being proactive throughout the summer. To prepare for the rainy season, here are a few quick tips.

Inspect, Maintain and Rain-Proof Your Roof

Large rental property markets like Toronto have a lot of flat-roof houses where water can pool during times of heavy rain. This can exacerbate pre-existing leak issues, and create entirely new ones. It's imperative, before and during the rainy season, that you update your contact list to include a local roofing company in Toronto – one you can call for quick or in-depth maintenance and repair issues.

Aside from the rain itself, there's the debris to worry about as well. With summer downpours come an excess of leaves, branches and other debris that can negatively affect your property's roof. It's important that you take a two-pronged approach here to ensure the debris doesn't affect drainage: in addition to contacting a roof repair company, confer with a plumber to make sure pipes are properly sealed.

Take Stock of the Damage Done over Winter

A part of preparing for spring and summer rain is catching up on post-winter maintenance. A lot of damage can be done to a property over the winter, including to the landscaping (trees and shrubs take a beating over the winter) as well as to the pipes and roof, where ice dams can cause leaks and structural damage.

Ideally, post-winter maintenance is something you take on at the outset of spring, but if you haven't got around to it yet, it's never too late.

Clear the Gutters

As mentioned, during the rainy season expect debris build-up, especially in the gutters. This debris build-up, if left unchecked, renders your gutters incapable of effectively diverting water away from the building's foundation. This can lead to basement flooding, water damage to the exterior and interior walls, and potentially damage to the goods stored within.

Staying on top of gutters is one of the key aspects of preventive maintenance you need to take care of as a landlord, so hiring a roofing company to handle it for you can be a sensible investment if you own several properties.

Waterproof the Building

Finally, ensure that the building is properly waterproofed. Without waterproofing, rain will eventually compromise the structural integrity. This is regardless of the building material. In the case of wood, an excess of moisture can cause mildew and rot, and in the case of steel it can cause rust.

Before the rain really starts coming down, you need to protect the property. Waterproofing can be done a number of ways, including cementitious waterproofing, liquid membrane waterproofing and bituminous waterproofing. Consult a waterproofing expert to find out which method is right for your property.

It may seem like a fair amount of trouble, but if you make these small preparations early in the summer, you won't have to worry about putting out (figurative) fires throughout the season.

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