From gym renovations to building rooftop decks, and even transformations to outdated or unused laundry rooms, you’ve probably realized that there are more possibilities for transforming your space than ever. But an issue that is less commonly discussed is how these renovations can help you prevent pests. Pests aren’t the most savory topic, but seeing even just one could ruin a potential tenant’s perception of your property.
The truth is, almost any kind of renovation project is an opportunity to eliminate pests from your building. So, if you’re planning other upgrades, you can save yourself time, money, and headaches by simultaneously assessing your pest control. A few extra days during the construction work may ultimately save you thousands on extermination bills and keep your residents feeling as comfortable as possible in their homes.
Before the Renovation
This is your opportunity to get an expert’s opinion on the pest situation in your multifamily. Don’t just rely on the contractors to do what they believe is best—hire a pest management professional to inspect the entire building.
Along with laying traps and bait for rodents and cockroaches, they will also compile a report that includes action points to prevent future infestations. This includes highlighting holes, cracks and gaps that should be sealed and leaks that should be fixed.
Speak with both the pest professional and your contractor on the best way to incorporate these steps in your upcoming renovation. Share the report with your contractor and ask them to account for the improvements in their work schedule. It may mean an extra day or two’s work, but the amount you pay in extra labor fees for the contractor will be repaid ten-fold if it means you avoid a hefty exterminator bill in a year’s time.
During the Renovation
When it comes to pest-proofing your multifamily during a renovation, work will be split between common areas and individual apartment units. Of course, care must also be taken during the renovation work itself. Nothing encourages infestation from pests like a messy workspace.
Common areas, particularly outside of the building, tend to be easy access for pests because of their frequent use. Some tips for preventing pests include:
- The building’s exterior should be checked for cracks, gaps, and crevices. Basically, any way a pest can make their way into your multifamily. If any are found they should be thoroughly sealed.
- Entry doors should have door sweeps installed on them.
- Revisit the garbage area of your property and make sure that it is large enough to hold all of the garbage cans. Inspect the room for any crevices, seal if you find any, and replace any garbage cans that are broken or damaged.
- Keep landscapes close to the building tidy. Don’t let bushes or trees grow wild or encroach on the building itself.
Because of their frequent use, these areas will need frequent revisiting in the future to ensure they remain in good condition.
Inside Apartment Units:
If you’re completing renovation work in tenants’ apartments, there are a number of improvements you can make to prevent pests:
- Identify all pipes and electricity lines entering the units and make sure they are sealed off completely.
- Reduce gaps between doors and thresholds
- Seal edges between the wall and any appliances or furnishings in the property. This includes items like cookers and cabinets.
- Make sure all cabinets and cupboards close tightly, as well as the fridge and freezer.
- Repair water-damaged areas and fix leaks
- Seal baseboards and moldings along floor and wall edges
It would be pointless to go to all this effort to prevent pests, only to allow them in whilst work is being carried out. By keeping a clean work area, your contractors can ensure that pests don’t enter the property. Speak to your contractor before hiring them to understand their working procedures. When they are on site, make sure there are plenty of garbage cans available on the property and that they are emptied daily.
While renovation work may be limited to a small part of your multifamily, there’s no reason that the entire building can’t be pest-proofed. As you can see, most of the improvements are small and can be carried out even if renovations are taking place in a completely different area of the property.
After the Renovation
If you think pest prevention stops after the renovation work is completed, don’t be fooled. Here’s how you can take steps to adopting a building-wide pest management policy:
- Schedule regular maintenance inspections. You don’t have to hire a pest control expert to complete these—they can be carried out by your existing maintenance team.
- Make fixing structural and sanitation issues a priority as soon as they occur
- Educate tenants on simple pest control steps they can take in their new home.
- Research new plants and trees. New foliage can come from nurseries with invasive species and they can also attract new species that weren’t at your property before.
With a policy like this in place, you should be able to avoid unnecessary calls to exterminators. Tenants will also appreciate your diligence in the matter. And, by keeping your multifamily pest-free, your residents will reward you with increased retention rates and positive recommendations to potential tenants.
Renovation Can Mean Both Prevention and Retention
If you’re considering starting a renovation project at your multifamily in the New Year, REIG is on hand to help. Not only do we have a history of successfully completing large-scale renovations for multifamilies throughout Southern California, we can also advise on the most effective ways to prevent pests in your apartment block and implement them during any renovation work. For more information, speak to one of our consultants today or complete the form below with details of your next project.