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GuideOne Risk Resources for Health Care
1111 Ashworth Road
W. Des Moines, IA 50265-3538



Keep Your Property Safe: Spring Check-Ups

With the extreme winter weather experienced nationwide this past year, now is an excellent time to conduct an inspection of your buildings and grounds. The following items should be inspected to ensure they are in good condition:

Parking Lots and Walking Surfaces
Because slips and falls are a leading cause of injuries at senior living communities, make sure that building entrances and parking areas are well lit and that sidewalks and parking lots are free from uneven surfaces, holes and depressions. It's not unusual to find potholes or damage to parking lots, speed bumps, or curbs after a hard winter. Make any necessary repairs.

To prevent water damage, ensure your drainage system is working correctly. To do this, you should inspect gutters, downspouts and eaves to make sure they are clear of debris and functioning properly. All downspouts should extend at least six feet away from buildings and in-ground piping should be checked for proper drainage.

Building Surface
To ensure that your building is in good shape, inspect the tuck-pointing on masonry walls annually, and make sure that siding, trim, caulking around windows and doors, and paint are all in satisfactory condition. You also should look for any visible structural hazards, such as cracks in the walls and bricks that may need to be repaired.

Roof and Trees
Inspect the roof for missing or damaged shingles, and shingles that are buckling, curling or blistering as this indicates that the life expectancy of the shingles' is at its end. If you have a flat roof, look for surface bubbles, long cracks caused from splitting and areas with missing gravel. In addition, look for inadequate flashing or caulking around vents, chimneys and other roof penetrations. Any evidence of water damage, including rotten wood, damaged walls or stains on interior ceilings, should be inspected and addressed as well. Consider hiring a licensed and insured professional to make any needed roof repairs. Trees also can damage property if they are not maintained properly. Have tree limbs trimmed away from overhead power lines and buildings, and have all trees inspected for rot and age, and removed by a professional, if necessary.

By conducting regular inspections, making repairs and taking other corrective action promptly, it will help protect your physical property, as well as your tenants, visitors and staff. To find additional information on water damage and slip and fall prevention, visit the Property Safety Resources section.

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