Choosing to Pre-Treat for Maximum Ice & Snow Removal Results
This year we have partnered with Hantho Outdoor Services as one of our snow removal vendors. They are leading the industry with cutting edge technology and exceptional customer service. When we recently spoke with Charles Gossip (owner) and Michael Vollmers (account manager) about building relationships and ways of partnering together to meet our clients’ needs, not only were they receptive, they were active in discussing options and capabilities needed to improve the level of service and quality that we are striving for.
Liquid pre-treating allows melting to sidewalk and parking lot surfaces as soon as any precipitation begins. The benefits to moving from the traditional granular treatments to liquid pre-treating are astounding.
Below are pictures taken at the same time following the storm that came through this past weekend (courtesy of Hantho). You can easily see the difference between the sidewalks that had been pre-treated in comparison to those that had not.
Pre-treating prevents snow and ice from adhering to the surfaces making the snow removal process easier. This has proven to be instrumental in decreasing slip and fall incidents in areas where snow and ice pose issues in our region.
The knowledge gained from this partnership has positioned our organization in excelling our service to next level.
Employee Education Returns Employee and Customer Reward
At Gaughan, we prioritize in empowering our employees through educational opportunities for their personal and professional growth, which results in our company being able to better serve our customers.
Recently, Rozeanna Berg our Director of Commercial Accounts & Facility Services attended a week long ASM track consisting of Financial Analysis courses, where you learn about the importance of Asset Management and Loan Analysis.
Certified Property Manager (CPM)
The Certified Property Manager (CPM) designation, administered by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), is a professional real estate designation recognized by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The course schedule for this designation:
- Ethics for the Real Estate Manager
- Budgeting, Cash Flow, and Reporting for Investment Real Estate
- Marketing and Leasing Strategies for retail, multifamily or office buildings
- Leading a Winning Property Management Team
- Managing Maintenance Operations and Property Risk
- Financing and Loan Analysis for Investment Real Estate
- Performance and Valuation of Investment Real Estate
- Asset Analysis of Investment Real Estate
Due to the difficulty of the course load, studying to become a CPM has its challenges. However, the information and knowledge gained from the courses sets you apart from other professionals in the industry.
Rozeanna’s dedication to providing stellar service to our customers, inspired her to enroll in the fast track curriculum to obtain her CPM. She has already completed 9/10 courses necessary for this achievement and has began passing on the educational value to the clients we serve. We will track her progress along the way to reaching this goal.
In addition to Rozeanna being on the cusp of obtaining her CPM, Kelley Lemon, our Director of Multifamily & Facility Services and our Senior Residential Property Manager, MJ Fleming, have just obtained their Multifamily Housing Manager (MHM) designation administered by Quadel.
Multifamily Housing Manager (MHM)
The MHM certification provides staff with the knowledge and skills needed to ensure your multifamily housing properties are in regulatory and occupancy compliance with all HUD program requirements.
Our Multifamily Management team manages a significant portfolio of Class A to C Market Rate and Subsidized assets in the Twin Cities market.
Contact us to inquire about how our Management and Facility Services can provide for your Office, Retail, Industrial or Multifamily investments.
What to Expect in Heavy Snow Conditions
While every provider has slightly different rules when it comes to snow removal, here are a few general guidelines to keep in mind during the winter season:
Each association will decide their trigger depth for when the provider will begin services but on average, trigger depth is 1.5” to 2”.
An open-up is when the snowfall has accumulated more than 4” to 5” (and hasn’t yet stopped) prior to the morning or evening commute. An open-up is a pass or two of the plow on the walkway side of the driveway and middle of the private streets. This is done to allow emergency vehicles access. Open-ups do not include snow removal from the sidewalks. One the snow has stopped, the provider will return to do a thorough cleanup of the contracted areas.
During blizzard conditions, any time winds exceed 25 to 35 MPH or temperatures/wind-chill are below -15 degrees F, the deadline for shoveling services will be extended until conditions are safe. In many cases, if MN Dot closes freeways due to inclement conditions, the provider will resume once it is safe to travel.
Often times driveways and/or other areas with vehicles parked in them during snow removal services will be skipped. Some providers will remove snow from the driveway with a parked vehicle but will stop 2 feet away from the vehicle. If the provider is asked to return to plow these areas at a later date, there will likely be an additional charge for this service.
It is important to keep in mind that communication to the snow removal crews must go through the proper channels. The crews in the field are instructed to only take direction from their supervisor and supervisors communicate through the assigned community contact, which is the community manager and/or an assigned board member.
Tips to Prevent and Deal with Pipes Freezing
This past Thursday, our Senior Community Manager, Kari Ross, attended the Community Associations Institute (CAI-MN) education session “WHAT TO DO BEFORE WINTER STRIKES!” The session focused on ways for community managers and homeowners to prepare for Minnesota’s frigid winter season and presented tips to prevent and deal with pipes freezing.
PREVENTION TIPS FROM ALL WAYS DRAINS
Guest speaker Justin Moe of All Ways Drains provided these prevention tips:
• Stop cold air from coming in where the pipes are located.
• Insulate as necessary, taking care to insulate the room and not the pipes.
If you fear a risk of pipes freezing, leave a small trickle of water running from one of your faucets. Fun fact: Hot water freezes faster than cold water. Running the water is cheaper than a frozen pipe and emergency plumber bill!
Are you a snowbird or taking a trip? Keep your kitchen cabinet doors open as that also allows heat inside your cupboards.
Winters with lots of snow are better than those with less snowfall, as snow provides a nice blanket of insulation on the ground for underground pipes.
Finally, it’s always good idea to keep garage doors shut as it’s common for pipes to run under garage floors. Leaving your garage door open for just 10 minutes on a very cold day can cause water to start freezing.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR PIPES FREEZE
• First, turn the water off.
• Turn the faucet on to allow somewhere for the water to drain out once thawed.
• Heat the area where the pipe is frozen but do not risk fire!
• Hair dryers are better than heat guns.
• Call a professional.
If your pipes freeze and burst, it is important to call a professional immediately. Water can cause damage in a very short period of time. In addition, check with your individual insurance provider about your insurance limits for “sewer backup.” According to Paul Davis Restoration, the minimum average cost for sewer backup is about $10,000.
Gaughan Companies offers expert, comprehensive community and association management services, including facilities maintenance with 24-hour emergency service, routine inspections, and preventative maintenance plans. Contact us to learn how we can help ensure the safety, longevity, and appeal of your property and community.
Team Building Brings Big Thrills
Every year, Gaughan Companies hosts an annual team building event for all of its employees. This year, we took a day during the week to go to Big Thrill Factory in Oakdale with the whole company.
After an address from the company president, Patrick Gaughan, the attendees ate lunch and gathered into smaller groups in order to connect one-on-one with their coworkers. Our staff is growing, and with many of them at locations throughout the Twin Cities, it is important for us to take the time for these team building activities.
We participated in activities like go karts, laser tag, a ropes course, indoor zip line, and other events, like the Gaughan Jeopardy game. The atmosphere was filled with good spirits and friendly competition!
We appreciate our employees and all that they do for our company and our community. We are blessed to have a wonderful group to work with!
Gaughan Team Meets Future Employees at Career Fair
This week, our team hosted a booth at the Dunwoody College of Technology Construction Sciences Career Fair. We were able to meet students from many different majors and converse with college faculty and staff.
We enjoy attending the Dunwoody Career Fair ever year. Hearing about the students’ future goals is so exciting! We are proud of everyone for working so hard toward those goals. We wish you all the luck on your future endeavors!
If you are interested in applying for a position at Gaughan Companies, visit our career page or contact a member of our Human Resources team.
Winter Water Leaks
Do you have a water leak in your home? Is water dripping from your light fixtures or smoke detectors? If it is, one reason for this can be condensation.
As warm, moist air from inside the home rises up and comes in contact with a cold surface (like the underside of the roof deck), the air cools and moisture condenses out because cold air can’t hold as much moisture as warm air. That condensation forms a layer of frost on the cold surface.
When this frost builds up for weeks at a time and is followed by a warm day or two, it can melt all at once. Then, water will start running down the walls, out the bathroom and kitchen fans, through recessed light, out of door frames, etc.
People often jump to the conclusion that it’s a leak, even though it’s not raining and there isn’t too much snow to melt. But, what they are seeing is water that was already inside their home in the form of water vapor.
The best thing one can do to help this issue is control indoor winter humidity levels. If it’s 0°F outside, it’s best to maintain a humidity level of 20-25%.
WCCO recently released a story on this topic, too. Read more: http://cbsloc.al/2D6KxKi
Homeowner Hints: Humidity at Home in Subzero Temps
When the temperature outside is less then 10 degrees, run the bathroom vents during a shower or bath, and leave it run for 10 minutes afterwards. This will keep the warm, moist air from freezing onto the inside of the vent. Also, recommended humidity levels in a home during the winter should be 35 to 40%.
MN Snow and Ice is Hard to Avoid!
Even with contracted snow removal service, we still experience freeze/thaw cycles that can wreak havoc on our sidewalks and driveways. But there are steps you can take to avoid a fall.
1) Walk slowly and carefully.
2) Ever heard of the Minnesota shuffle? Take small steps.
3) Keep both hands free to allow for better balance or use of handrails.
4) Step out of vehicles, don’t jump.
5) Walk as flat-footed as possible.
6) Wear appropriate footwear for conditions.
If you do fall, you may be able to reduce any injury by;
1) Rolling with the fall. Relax as much as possible.
2) Don’t protect what you’re carrying! Protect yourself and toss anything if you need to break your fall.
Tech Talk: Spring Cleaning Kitchen Appliances
Spring is finally here! Here are a few reminders that might be helpful in your spring cleaning.
- Pull out the refrigerator, clean up the back, and vacuum under to remove any dust and food particles that have accumulated.
- If you have an older fridge, be careful around any uncovered coils in the back or beneath!
- For the stove, pull it out, clean behind it, underneath and on the sides. I suggest using a kitchen cleaner, like 409 or Lysol Antibacterial, to remove any grease that has fallen down the sides.
- Check all electric and/or gas connections for the stove and oven.
We know spring cleaning isn’t always fun, but I hope these tips help the process go a little smoother!