10 Commercial Building Maintenance Tasks to Complete Before Winter
As the weather cools in the Pacific Northwest, there are many building maintenance tasks to complete to ensure your tenants thrive and avoid sudden costly repairs.
At CPM, we love helping tenants and building owners remodel their commercial space. What we don’t like is seeing costly damage that could have been easily preventable. Taking the time to perform simple maintenance tasks can make all the difference and help you avoid much larger costs further down the road.
If you are a tenant, talk to your landlord or building maintenance professional about these maintenance tasks. If you are a landlord, check with your maintenance provider to make sure they are handling all necessary winter preparations.
1. Change HVAC Filters
Changing filters is a simple but important aspect of building maintenance. Clean air filters allow the heating system to run more efficiently, which helps you avoid out-of-control energy bills in the winter months.
In addition, you should ideally schedule an annual checkup with an HVAC professional before you turn on the heat for the first time. Routine maintenance will help your HVAC system last much longer and help you avoid surprises during cold weather.
2. Replace Old or Damaged Windows
Old, drafty windows can cause you to lose a great deal of heat as the weather cools. Older windows weren’t designed to be as energy-efficient as newer ones, and they’ve likely become less efficient over time due to cracks, warps, and worn-out sealing.
If you replace your old windows before winter hits, you’ll notice a big difference in your energy bills. Old or damaged windows can also let in moisture, potentially leading to mold and water damage.
3. Drain Exterior Water Sources
If you have any exterior faucets, irrigation systems, or sprinklers, you need to make sure there isn’t water sitting in the hoses as the weather cools. If water freezes inside your irrigation system components, it could damage or break the hose. If your business requires outside water throughout the year, make sure that insulated covers are installed and everyone using the water knows how to remove and replace the cover.
4. Get the Roof Inspected
A sturdy roof is always important, but never more so than during the cold, wet, and windy winter months.
Ask a reputable general contractor to inspect your roof and determine if it needs service. Most roofs will occasionally need minor repairs to fix a leak or reseal roof fixtures. If your roof is older or has been damaged by a falling tree, you may need to replace it.
5. Clean the Gutters
Clean gutters, downspouts, and roof trim are essential for ensuring water drains away from the building. If you neglect this building maintenance task, you may end up with leaks and costly roof damage at the time of year when tenants need the most protection from the elements.
The best time to clean your gutters is in late autumn after nearby trees have shed their leaves. Fallen leaves often account for a significant portion of the debris that accumulates in these areas.
6. Replace Old Doors
Like windows, doors are important when it comes to keeping your commercial property insulated. You may be losing more energy than necessary if they are poorly sealed or damaged.
Check for drafts around your commercial property’s doors and consider replacing them if they’re on the older side. As a bonus, new doors can contribute to a more welcoming or impressive entryway for visitors.
7. Check Emergency Appliances
Fall is a great time to test emergency back-up generators and smoke detectors. Commercial property maintenance is about ensuring your property serves tenants’ needs, so it’s important to make sure you and your tenants aren’t left in a lurch if there’s a power outage.
This is particularly important for businesses that stand to compromise safety or lose tremendous amounts of money in the event of a power loss, such as those in the food, hospitality, telecommunications, and medical industries.
8. Deep Clean the Interior
Winter is known as cold/flu season for a reason. When everyone is spending more time indoors, bacteria and germs can run rampant, especially if you don’t keep up with crucial building maintenance tasks that keep facilities clean.
Doorknobs, kitchens, bathrooms, and desks are particularly likely to be breeding grounds for germs. Make sure to deep clean these areas to help tenants stay healthy.
9. Get Sturdy Entrance Mats
Strong entrance mats keep dirt out and reduce slip hazards. The best entrance mats can store dirt and water for future removal and do not crush down. Remember, 80% of dirt enters a building through visitors’ feet, and the best way to reduce cleaning costs is to keep dirt out.
Ideally, matting should exist both outside and inside of your entrance. Visitors should have to step on the mat at least three times with each foot on the mat as they enter.
10. Reduce Your Temperature Set Points
Lowering your thermostat by one degree for an 8 hour-period lowers your energy usage by 1 percent, on average.
While you need to keep your commercial property within a comfortable range, consider going lower in the winter to reduce the tremendous cost of heating a commercial property. Customers and other visitors will likely be wearing warm clothing anyway.
Ready to Refresh Your Commercial Space?
CPM specializes in commercial remodels and tenant improvements. As a full-service commercial general contractor, our commitment to providing exceptional quality contracting services for outstanding value has resulted in numerous long-standing relationships with repeat clients, as well as a prominent reputation in the Pacific Northwest.