Piedmont Facilities Management
July 21st, 2020
Summer is here. The days are getting hotter, flowers are in full bloom, and it is a great time to catch up on maintenance. When owning a commercial property, one of the main focuses is to preserve the value of that property. The other main focus is, obviously, to turn a profit. Unfortunately, if certain maintenance items go unchecked, it can lead to very expensive and often emergency repairs down the road, cutting into profits. During the end of spring / end of summer there are a few things you can do to make sure your building stays in tip-top shape come autumn and winter. Here are just a few that our experts recommend.
Winter storms can leave gutters filled with leaves, sticks, twigs, and many more types of debris. If left uncleaned, these can leads to clogs and overflowing of water in spots you don’t want it to go. In effect, this can cause damp spots, mold, dry rot and deeper structural damage to your roof.
It is important to not only clean out your gutters, but also to inspect them to make sure they are structurally sound. Over time, your gutters can begin to rust, crack, or detach from your building. If gutters are not secured properly or falling apart then they will ineffective at guiding rainwater correctly.
The end of spring and beginning of summer is the perfect time to get your gutters cleaned. It may be intimidating to climb up and inspect and clean thoroughly every part of your gutters, but it is very important. If you are unsure about doing it yourself, many property maintenance companies take care of gutter cleaning and inspections.
In conjunction with cleaning your gutters, you should also do a check for any leaks that may be happening in your building. Leaking faucets, leaking pipes, and roof leaks are bad news. Water consumption is usually increased in the summertime, so its best to make sure your pipes and plumbing are in good shape before the heat heats.
Standing water or soggy soil outside of your building may be a sign of a cracked and leaking pipe. The changing temperatures in the winter can cause a leak without you realizing it until water begins puddling. If you have a sprinkler system outdoors, it is also a good time to give a quick check to make sure it is working properly.
Leaks in roofs can cause significant damage to a building if left unchecked. It is important to inspect your roof for any damage caused from the winter, and if any leaks appear indoors after a large rainstorm. It can be a daunting task to scale your roof and check for signs of leaking, you can always leave that up to a professional to do it safely and thoroughly.
Springtime is a time for growth, including trees, shrubs, bushes, etc. Many commercial buildings will have trees surrounding them which offers a nice aesthetic for customers. However, if left unchecked, the trees and shrubs can grow out of control and look unruly. Not only does this look unappealing to others, it can also lead to more dangerous problems.
Storms in the summertime can often come with downpours, damaging winds, and hail. Trees that are uncontrolled and unpruned can have branches that will break off and cause damage to your building and/or property. It is best to take care of the overgrown landscape before this becomes an issue.
An HVAC system is the backbone for keeping the air in your building comfortable and clean, thus making it one of the most important systems to maintain and one of the most costly to repair when something goes wrong. Maintaining an HVAC system requires a much more in-depth maintenance schedule year-round in order to keep in running healthy. Prior to the summer is a great time to do a hard check on your system since the heat will be putting the pressure on your system.
In addition to checking the filter(s) in your system monthly, before the start of summer you should also inspect your ductwork. A quick walkaround and visual check to make sure all of the ductwork looks okay and is intact is a good start. Make sure that all of the connectors are held together snuggly with mastic, metal tape, or another relevant connector.
Aside from these, you should also do a cleaning of the indoors and outdoors units. Dirt, debris, and dust can easily get inside the system and if left unchecked can cause problems down the road. Making sure the area around the outdoor unit is also clean goes a long way as well.
The easiest way to make sure your HVAC unit is ready for the summer heat is to call your HVAC specialist and have them do a full inspection. There may be some components that are easily missed that an HVAC technician can inspect with ease.
Spring is also a time when creatures like to come out and wreak havoc on a building. Termites, ants, cockroaches, silverfish, and other pests can cause irreversible damage to your building, including structural damage. Doing a quick visual check in and around your building to look for potential pests can be a great start for preventing an infestation down the line.
If there are signs of an infestation or you are seeing more than average pests, it may be a good idea to schedule a consultation with a pest control company. They can help stop an infestation before it happens and prevent any future pests from causing damage.
Our last tip for maintaining your building is give it a fresh coat of paint. Winter can have a harsh affect on the outside of your building and the changing of the temperatures can add to that. The quickest way to combat deterioration is to properly prime and paint the exterior of your building.
Pressure washing your exterior prior to painting is never a bad idea, as this can get rid of any mold, mildew, dirt and grime that may have built up over the past year or so. Once the outside is clean, you can put on a couple coats of primer and paint to keep your building looking pristine. Not only will it help preserve the exterior of your building, but it will also help with the aesthetics.
Summertime is the perfect season to keep up with some of the maintenance items for your commercial building. Just following these 6 tips can help keep your building in great shape and hopefully prevent any costly repairs. It may be a lot to do, especially if you own more than one building, or a very large building. Hiring a maintenance and facility management company will help put your mind at ease as they will follow a strict maintenance schedule year-round, along with providing any routine work that needs to be done. Unexpected and emergency repair costs should be the last thing you should be worrying about as a business owner. Maintenance should be made convenient for you, your tenants, your customers, and for anyone else involved in your business.