A few points on maintaining vacant properties

Board-up and securing:

Code requires vacant building to be secured to prevent unauthorized access.  In the event that a building’s windows and doors are no longer intact and able to be securely locked, the building must be boarded up.  The following board-up method represents the minimum standard permitted by code (this method is most useful for short-term board-ups where the window and door jambs are in good condition):

  • Minimum of 3/8” plywood or pressboard
  • Painted with a blue-gray color exterior grade paint
  • All boarded openings 10 feet above ground level should have a 1 foot square ventilation opening covered with a 1/4” wire mesh screen 

Window and door openings with deteriorated jambs, or buildings susceptible to break-ins, may require a more substantial board-up method such as the one recommended by the IAAI/USFA.  The details of this board-up method can be found at http://firearson.com/firearson/media/files/Abandoned%20Building%20Toolbox/Board-up-Specifications.pdf .  This method should include both the blue-gray exterior grade paint and the ventilation opening from the previous standard.   

Clean out combustibles:

Code also requires that vacant building be emptied of all combustible material (garbage, trash, furniture and other household items).