Ensuring the safe and uninterrupted use of your facilities over the winter months requires a lot of preventative planning. This Essential Winter Maintenance Checklist is intended as a simple reminder of what problems you may face as a facilities manager this winter and how to prevent them.
From freezing temperatures and snow to vacant buildings over the festive period, winter throws up a multitude of potential problems for FMs and cleaning contractors alike.
Prepare For Snow and ice
In the UK, heavy snowfall is a rare occurrence, but when it does happen, many businesses are woefully unprepared. Make sure that there is a snow and ice removal plan in place and that all employees or contractors who will tackle the snow are fully trained and kept safe.
Gritting paths and car parks should be a priority to prevent accidents, and if cold temperatures persist, clearing snow and ice from roofs will prevent leaks and possible falling dangers.
Service the HVAC System
During winter months, the heating system is working overtime trying to keep the internal temperature comfortable for all those lovely pampered employees. For buildings with a high footfall, or for warehouses with bay doors etc. maintaining the internal temperature can be even harder.
A failure to provide adequate heating can lead to offices being closed and stock being damaged. The best way to make sure the system is in tip top condition and running at full efficiency is to hire a commercial HVAC contractor to perform regular inspections and optimise the system before the coldest months of winter hit.
Prevent heat escape
As well as ensuring the heating system is working, it is equally important to ensure that as much of that heat is retained within the building and does not escape through open doors, ill-fitting windows or uninsulated walls and roofs. Check your buildings for drafts, leaks, and cracks to reduce your heating bills and to avoid complaints from disgruntled staff or financial directors.
A proactive and well trained cleaning contractor can help you by reporting faults as they go about their daily cleaning regime.
Inspect the Roof
Roofs and gutters are often the first place a structural problem occurs in winter. Flat roofs in particular are prone to leaks and snow accumulation. Commercial buildings need regular inspection and maintenance. Make sure the roofs do not have areas where ice or heavy snow will pile up. After the initial inspection, schedule weekly inspection for the entire season, looking for built-up water, ice, or snow that can create problems.
Additionally, check all of the waterproofing seals on the edges of the roof and make sure all drains and gutters are clear.
During bad weather, employees, customers, and others visitors will carry mud, water, and snow indoors on their clothing and shoes. Make sure entrance ways are cleaned regularly and non-slip mats are in place to prevent a slips-fall hazard.
CCS provide specialist cleaning and soft FM services to businesses across the South West. To learn more about how we can help you to maintain your school or office building, contact us on 0800 4488026.