Be they office buildings, manufacturing plants or retail locations, commercial properties of all types and sizes need regular maintenance. If you or your maintenance crew fails to perform routine checks of your property, what seemed like an insignificant problem might turn into a costly emergency down the road. Here are simple guidelines on what to include in your regular maintenance rounds.
Climb the roof
The unstable climate we’ve been exposed to in the last decade can wreak havoc on any roof. Regular inspections, as well as inspection after a major weather event, can help you note minor issues and see that they are repaired on time. Internal roof inspection is important as well, so your maintenance department needs to check the attic and ceilings for leaks and stains, signs of rot or daylight. Back on top, you need to make sure all the vents fit and whether HVAC hoses and pipes show wearing out in their connections where they enter the building. Clogged gutters often lead to overflow that not only damages your roof, but also the façade paint and landscaping.
Take care of the floors
While traditional hardwood floors could pass with occasional waxing and buffing, modern flooring options require a different approach. As the workhorse of commercial flooring, vinyl is extremely easy to maintain as it no longer needs a post-installation top finish applied. Another commercial favourite, polished concrete, is a popular choice for its sleek appearance and ease of maintenance. With an application of concrete floor paint, it’s a great option even for high-traffic areas such as lobbies.
Have the HVAC serviced
In areas where temperature extremes are more common, commercial HVAC units work harder than in more stable climates. Regular filter inspection per the manufacturer’s guidelines will ensure that your HVAC system operates in the economical mode. If your system seems to be running all the time, it would be smart to get a technician to inspect the setting. It might be that the system needs a new thermostat or even an additional unit that would share the load and improve the cooling capacity of your property.
Weatherproof doors and windows
It’s no secret that air leaks are the number one reason for cooling and heating losses, especially during the summer when the cold air seeps outside through cracks, crevices and old seals. Periodic inspection of the caulking and weather-stripping is an inexpensive measure that can save you thousands of dollars in inflated electricity bills. Spots that are especially susceptible to air leaks are those where different building materials meet, such as window frames and door jambs.
Scout the landscape
Large tree branches and limbs can damage your roof or drains if they get too close to the building. In case you don’t have in-house landscaping department, make sure you notify the company that does your trims and lawns to take care of such issues. Their job should also be to inspect the condition and health of large trees and determine if they pose a risk during strong winds. If you happen to have a lot of trees on your property, perhaps not even advice from a certified arborist wouldn’t be far-fetched.
Check the foundation
Visible cracks in the exterior foundation, cracks between bricks and separation between adjoining walls could indicate trouble with the foundation. On the inside, windows and walls that aren’t operating properly, cracks where walls and ceilings meet, as well as floor warping and sloping might be the tell-tale signs of a bad foundation. Keep in mind that foundation repairs are costly and better outsourced to professional builders.
Regular maintenance in large commercial building can be a huge job, but the impact of a properly maintained place of business is enormous. Dirty, dilapidated floors, misaligned shingles and draughty indoor spaces make a negative impression on visitors that is hard to shake off. Luckily, with technology used in building care today, your maintenance crew will have an easy job.