With winter on the horizon, it's time to finalize your maintenance strategy for the coming cold weather. Preventive actions today could save your facility time and money down the road. Be mindful of these aspects of your facility and take a look at them before autumn ends.
Perform preventive maintenance on outdoor assets
If your facility has outdoor assets, these should be your top priority. Years of weathering can cause your assets to function poorly or break down completely. Making repairs in cold weather can be more time consuming and risky compared to temperate conditions – so it's best to take care of any issues now.
If you're not sure if it makes financial sense to perform these repairs now, the National Institute of Building Sciences recommended accounting for seasonal energy cost differentials to form a more accurate expenditure estimate.
Inspect your facility's roof
You should inspect your facility's roofing and drainage system for potential cracks, leaks and blockages. Facilitiesnet suggested checking for the following: ponding water, blistering materials, cracked materials and loose fasteners. Ponding water, which can form stagnant puddles on the roof, could freeze, causing structural damage and lowering the building's overall energy efficiency.
Alternatively, UV rays may have caused roofing materials to blister or crack – these problem areas should be patched or replaced before winter begins in earnest. Similarly, loose fasteners make your facility's roof more susceptible to wind damage. These should be tightened or replaced at least once a year.
Prevent slips and falls
There are two main sources of slip-and-fall injuries during the winter: icy surfaces outdoors and slick floors indoors. You and your maintenance staff should develop a responsive strategy to quickly and efficiently remove ice from walking paths to protect tenants and employees from falling outdoors. Inside, your janitorial staff should develop a plan for keeping surfaces dry. Consider placing slip-resistant mats on problem areas.
Audit your lighting needs
As the daylight hours get shorter, your facility will likely need to power its outdoor lighting for longer periods. Calculate your expected energy use increase ahead of time to ensure you can stay within budget during the winter months. If you haven't already, you should consider lighting-as-a-service, which can help your facility reduce its energy use while controlling installation costs.
Check your insurance coverage
Even the best preventive maintenance strategies fail sometimes. In the winter, that could mean a slip-and-fall accident, damaged outdoor assets or other weather-related damage. Check with your insurance provider now to ensure you're covered in the event of an accident.
Adjust janitorial services as needed
As seasons change, so do your janitorial needs. Meet with your team before winter begins to discuss what alterations should be made, how they will affect your budget and staffing needs and how you plan to implement the changes. When everyone is on the same page, you'll develop more transparency around your building maintenance needs.
To learn more about optimizing your facility for the winter, visit Temcoservices.com today.