As winter creeps closer, some areas are going to be seeing temperatures drop well below 0 degrees. If your commercial building is anywhere near those cold places, you’ve got some things to figure out. Heating issues, wet floors, sick tenants… All of those nuisances barely scratch the surface of snags that cold weather brings and the headaches that you’re bound to face.
The best way to deal with winter is to start preparing yourself in advance of its arrival. But how exactly can you do that?
By following our commercial building maintenance checklist, that’s how!
If you step through the tips that we have listed below, your building is going to be ready to brave the cold and will hold strong until spring.
The best way to figure out what it is that you need to do for winter is to talk to your tenants. They’ve worked/lived through winters in your building and know what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong.
Make sure you understand where you dropped the ball last year in keeping your building winter-friendly so you can put together a plan to not repeat your mistakes.
Even new HVAC systems need to be checked regularly. Clogged filters, blocked vents, and damaged coils are among the most common problems that units can develop over the course of the year. Having a certified HVAC technician give your building’s system a look can help you avoid those issues in the dead of winter which would upset your tenants and cost you an arm and a leg to fix.
If you get your HVAC system checked on at least a bi-annual basis already, you can skip this commercial building maintenance checklist item. If you’ve been putting your HVAC system on the back burner all year, make this a priority.
Rain and snow are two things that you’re bound to see a lot of during the winter depending on where you live. As those elements beat down on your commercial building’s roof, you run the risk of holes letting water ruin your ceiling’s insulation. In severe cases, water might even make its way into your building’s dwelling spaces.
Have a team clear your roof of any summer/fall debris and inspect it for potential leaks. If you see anything that’s concerning, patch it up.
As a side note, areas that experience heavy snow should feel extremely confident in their roof’s integrity. A roof that’s on its last legs can collapse under the weight of a snowy season.
Do you get snow in your area? If you do, make sure that you know exactly how you plan on dealing with snowfall during the winter.
There are two ways that most building contractors go about snow maintenance:
If your internal team is tasked with snow maintenance, make sure that all of their equipment is functioning. Replace/repair anything that’s no longer useful.
Once equipment checks out, have your maintenance team build a schedule as to when they’re going to put down salt around your building, clear new snowfall from entryways, scrape snow off of your roof and more.
By scheduling your snow removal processes, you’ll make sure that jobs don’t get skipped and accidents don’t occur.
Contracting snow maintenance companies can keep your internal team from getting overworked. It’s also a good idea to use contractors because many of them are snow professionals that are going to be more qualified to mitigate snow issues than your general maintenance team.
Make sure that any contractors that you hire for snow removal are licensed and insured. If you overlook confirming those two details, you could be liable for thousands of dollars in damages if a customer slips due to your contractor’s negligence.
When people walk into your building during winter, they’re going to track in water. Unless your building is carpeted, that water is going to present serious slip liabilities.
Put out large safety mats inside and outside of your building to absorb water prior to guests stepping onto any non-slip-resistant flooring that’s on your property.
Businesses, residences and city officials lay salt outside to reduce the risk of icy patches forming. That salt collects on the bottom of people’s shoes and when those shoes come into your building, your floor is going to get scraped.
To reduce the impact of sand or salt damaging your floors, vacuum your building more frequently than you would during other seasons to collect loose grains.
Flu season peaks during the winter. To keep your tenants and employees healthy, place hand sanitizer in high traffic areas to encourage use.
You should also consider having sanitation masks available in case a bug starts going around.
When heavy storms blow in, power outages have a tendency to pop up. Keep your tenants safe by either installing or checking on your existing single backup or parallel generators.
You can test your generators by running a “breaker test” where you kill the power to your building and listen to see if your generators kick in.
Winter may bring challenges but they won’t be anything that you can’t manage if you follow our commercial building maintenance checklist. Take the time to keep your building safe from winter and not only will you save money but you’ll also save your tenants a ton of discomfort.
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