Get It Inspected
Spring Thaw Checklist
The change of seasons always brings new surprises and challenges to hurdle. The transition from Winter to Spring can be unpredictable when your property has been covered in a blanket of snow for weeks or even months.
After the winter we have had in Ontario, with relentless storms and harsh weather conditions, our properties still lay under a layer of snow hiding potential damage and hazards.
Roof: For the safest conditions, wait to approach the roof when the weather clears to a reasonable temperature with no risk of wind or icy conditions. When on the roof, look for lifted, missing, or cracked overlayment, deteriorated sealant, and even impact damage on lower roof portions that may be affected by falling ice. Get a head start on contacting your local roofing company for repair to ensure yourself a timely spot in patching up your roof.
Parking Lots / Driveways: This is one of the easiest inspections but hardest to do in completion with excess snowbanks hanging around. A physical inspection of a parking lot or driveway includes looking for large cracks or forming potholes. It’s important to have these issues dealt with sooner rather than later to limit the damage that will continue over time. For parking lots with moveable parking curbs, it is important to do a thorough walk around to account for all curbs and check snowbank thaws for missing curbs and other large impediments.
Patios / Walkways: Similar to parking lots and driveways, stone patios and walkways should be observed after a total thaw. Ground frost can cause patio stones to lift and become uneven. They can settle again over time, but in some cases do not regain their initial placement, causing a potential tripping hazard. When warmer weather conditions approach, stone patios and walkways can be removed and reset in the areas where they are uneven.
HVAC Units: Rooftop HVAC Units, as well as ground placed air conditioners need simple routine maintenance to ensure a continued optimal function. The best (and safest) time to change filters, clean off the condenser fins and check belts is in the springtime when weather conditions warm up. Fair weather is also a great time to run the air conditioning systems to ensure they are still working properly.
Decks / Fences / Other Structures: Wood and composite structures can become damaged by weight under snow loads as well as by ice impact. Once snow thaws and structures are fully visible and accessible, it is important to check the systems for missing or damaged decking, missing or broken railings, or sagging fence posts. Ensure they are structurally sound and secure by reinforcing any weaknesses and repairing any damaged areas.
Scuppers / Drains: While on the roof checking the overall condition, it’s important to observe the drainage systems to ensure they are not damaged or clogged. Roof scuppers and drains can become clogged with ice chunks, garbage and other wind-born debris. It is important to check and remove any items to ensure proper drainage for the inevitable downpour that the spring season will bring.
Landscape: An overlooked but important area to address is the landscape with focus on large trees. Branches become loose under the weight of snow and wind, sometimes leaving them hanging dangerously overhead. If they are at risk of falling onto a structure, Get It Inspected recommends contacting an arborist for safe removal. If they are at risk of falling on an area over a walkway or commonly used space, mark off the area until they can be safely removed.
Pool Closures / Hot Tubs: As snow and ice melts, it is important to check pool and hot tub structures for any physical damages that may impact the overall systems or present safety hazards. Damaged pool covers should be replaced with the pool area marked off to prevent accidental entry. Control panel systems should be continually protected from access and any damages to access areas should be repaired. While pooling openings are not immediately necessary when ice and frost are still present, it is recommended that you clean your pool while the weather is still cool. Algae may begin to grow with warm weather and sunlight, creating conditions that are harder to tackle down the road.
As always, Get It Inspected recommends hiring professionals skilled in the associated trade to ensure the best possible care of service. Where third party perspectives are required, Get It Inspected is always available to answer your questions and find the solution you are looking for