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Preparing for a Dry Summer: Implications for Property Maintenance

As the chill of winter fades and we step into the promise of spring, it is time to prepare for the challenges that lie ahead. In Vancouver, renowned for its lush greenery and temperate climate, whispers of a dry summer are stirring among meteorologists and environmental experts. This forecast, driven by minimal snowpack, carries significant implications for property maintenance, particularly for services like window cleaning, pressure washing, and building envelope cleaning. 
At Black Tie, we recognize the importance of early awareness and proactive planning to ensure seamless operations despite potential hurdles. Last time Vancouver implemented stage 3 water restrictions was in 2015, and exterior cleaning services crawled to a halt throughout the Lower mainland. 
Despite changes in regulation that will now allow exterior cleaning services to still operate during stage 3 restrictions, the public perception and widespread desire to conserve water will most likely affect operations in the summer months.
“Water restrictions apply to all services using running water and do NOT apply to other services such as mop and bucket work”
Here’s what property managers need to know as we brace for a dry summer

Water Restrictions on the Horizon:

With dwindling water resources, it’s inevitable that water restrictions will come into play. Vancouver typically implements various stages of water restrictions during dry periods to conserve water. Property managers should familiarize themselves with these stages and anticipate how they will impact their cleaning schedules.

Impact on Cleaning Services:

The dry conditions may affect our ability to perform certain types of work, such as pressure washing and building envelope cleaning, which rely heavily on water usage. As water becomes scarcer, we may need to adjust our cleaning techniques and schedules to adhere to conservation measures.

Solutions and proper planning:

Early awareness of these issues is key to effective planning. Here are a few planning tips and solutions that will help minimize the impact of a dry summer on your properties maintenance schedule:

Proactive planning around water-heavy services: 

Parkade cleaning, power washing and building envelope cleans should be booked before May or later in the season, in the fall or even in winter. Building envelope cleans are ideal winter time projects and also come with a substantial low season discount, so why not schedule them when water restrictions are less stringent, and water availability is more stable.

Understanding the restrictions: 

Under the most recent regulations, exterior cleaning, including power washing and water-fed pole cleaning is still allowed, even under stage 3 restrictions. However, it is fair to assume that several stratas will decide to cancel or postpone services in order to do their part to conserve water. Both managers and service providers need to prepare for this eventuality and avoid project interruptions and last minute cancellations if they are not mandated by city bylaws. 
Last minute shuffling of schedules create extra work for everyone, so by being aware of 
the regulations, we can avoid scrambling at the last minute.

Doing our part: 

During the dry summer season, we do our best to limit water consumption by using shut-off valves on our water-fed poles, ensuring that the water is only running while the brush is in motion.
During the drier months, we also focus on hand washing, which is the primary method of cleaning for high-rise buildings (mop and squeegee). This method of cleaning uses very little water and can be performed even during the harshest stage of restrictions.

Managing Expectations:

By communicating these potential challenges with their clients, property managers can help set realistic expectations for the upcoming summer cleaning season. Educating customers about the impact of water restrictions and the need for flexibility in scheduling will foster understanding and cooperation.
In conclusion, while the prospect of a dry summer may present hurdles for property maintenance services, proactive planning and clear communication can mitigate its impact. By working together, property managers and service providers can navigate these challenges and ensure that maintenance needs are met efficiently and responsibly.