Commercial property requires regular maintenance. Without it, your commercial property can fall into disrepair and problems can become expensive. With regular maintenance, issues can be taken care of before they become too big to tackle. Taking the time to check and fix routine problems can keep the problems from becoming expensive, major emergencies that cost thousands.
With monthly and seasonal maintenance, you can avoid problems that will decrease the value of your property and create problems for your tenants. To start, develop a calendar or use a property maintenance app that reminds you what to check and when. If you work with maintenance companies, they can help you with the scheduling, checking, and repairing, too.
This top-to-bottom, complete guide will help you organize your schedule and keep your maintenance on track.
Pay attention to your roof.
When it comes to expensive problems, they often start at the top of the building or the bottom. So, schedule regular roof inspections. It is also worth your time and money to take a good look at the roof after every major weather event as high winds, poundings rains, and excessive snowfall can wreak havoc on the shingles and gutters.
Check the roof on the outside of the building, but also look in your attic and top floor. Look for standing water in the attic, discoloration on the ceiling, rot, stains, or light peaking through in the attic, too. If you have any mold in your attic, you might have a fan or vent that is not working or is clogged. It is also important to check the shingles to be sure they are all attached. It is also worthwhile to clean mold and algae off of the roof before it becomes problematic.
Watch your foundation.
After you have checked the top of the building, don’t forget about the bottom of the building. Foundation problems can become incredibly expensive. But, caring for your foundation is not difficult. Foundation problems are not always easy to see on the actual foundation, so look for problems where walls and ceilings join. Another clue to a foundation problem could be with doors and windows that do not open and close properly. You might also have a foundation problem if your floors slope or crack
If you believe you have cracks in your foundation, you can find out more at Helitech Online. It is important to have these issues taken care of as soon as possible so your building does not suffer more structural damage.
Know your plumbing.
Along with roofs and foundations, plumbing systems can be costly to repair, especially if problems become large. If your commercial property is in a part of the world with the weather turns cold, you should check all exposed pipes for damage from weather changes. Pipes that are near exterior walls should be wrapped so they do not freeze.
All exposed pipes should be checked at least once annually, but checking them more often cannot hurt. Problems with plumbing can result in issues with mold and rot as well as with your property’s foundation. And, don’t forget about underground sprinkling pipes, too.
Check your electrical systems.
As you schedule your annual plumbing inspection, don’t forget about your property’s annual electrical inspection. According to FEMA, over $400 million is lost annually to building fires caused by electrical malfunctions. With regular inspections, your properties do not have to be included in that statistic.
Electricians will inspect circuits, lines that enter your property, appliances, and anything specialized in your building. They also look for areas where water or dampness could create potential problems. They will also look at fire systems, smoke alarms, and security systems. Even though a thorough inspection cannot remove all chances of an electrical fire, they can certainly reduce the possibilities.
Regular HVAC inspections save money.
You should also have an annual inspection of your heating, cooling, and ventilation systems. If you use your heating and air conditioning systems excessively, you might even want to have an inspection twice per year.
An HVAC expert can tell you if you need any adjustments to your system to reduce your energy costs, too. Energy-efficient systems are constantly being developed and updated, so your bottom line can be positively affected by hiring an HVAC expert to evaluate your current system and make suggestions on lowering your energy use.
Change your HVAC filters.
One of the most important things you can do to lengthen the life of your HVAC system is regularly replace your filters. Most HVAC systems have easy-to-change filters. If you do not know how to change a filter, have your HVAC expert show you.
It is important to change the filters for several reasons:
1. Extends life of HVAC system
2. Sustains healthy air quality
3. Reduces energy costs
4. Prevents HVAC system from breaking down
If you haven’t changed your filters, you might notice your energy bills increase because your HVAC system has to work harder to keep the heat and air conditioning flowing. You might also notice increased dust and odor in your buildings. If this happens, change your filters immediately.
Check and clean your windows and doors.
HVAC and windows and doors are closely related. If you have air leaks, your HVAC system has to work harder to keep your building at a comfortable temperature. To keep your indoor climate indoors, check your building’s windows and doors annually. With a visual inspection, you can see if your caulking and weather stripping is intact. Check to see if you can open and close windows and take note of your door frames and window frames to see if they rattle. If you see daylight through window or door frames, it is time to do some maintenance on them.
You can also maintain windows and doors by keeping them clean. Take time to clean the sills and frames, too. Simple maintenance items like this will help prevent costly repairs in the long run.
Watch your landscaping.
You might not consider your landscaping to be in need of maintenance other than mowing and weeding, but ignoring landscaping issues can become costly. Pay close attention to the trees and bushes that surround your building. If those go unchecked, they can become safety issues due to falling branches or broken windows. Climbing ivy can damage exteriors and get into windows and door frames. Leaky sprinkler systems can cause water damage to foundations.
In some cases, landscaping issues can lead to issues with insects, too. No one wants to have problems with termites, ants, or stinging insects in their commercial spaces. If you are not sure whether landscaping is creating problems for your commercial properties, then hire an arborist or professional landscaper to help you find potential problems. Hiring someone to help you with your landscaping could help keep trees, both branches and roots, from damaging your property.
Clean the gutters.
If you have gutters on your property, it is important that you keep them clean and free of debris. When gutters are clogged, water can end up in unwanted places, like basements and attics. Gutter maintenance should not just be done during the seasons when rain storms happen, but it should also be done in the winter when ice build up can cause major roof damage.
If you do not like the idea of getting up on a ladder to clean the debris from your gutters, then you can hire gutter cleaners and roof experts to do this job. Along with inspecting gutters, check that downspouts are draining into a proper location and that they are free of clogs. If you find that your gutters are regularly clogged, then it might be time to install gutter screens to keep large bits of debris out of them.
Have a snow and ice removal plan.
Snow and ice can cause significant damage to parking lots, roofs, and building exteriors. Therefore, it is important that you have a snow and ice removal plan. Anyone who works with building maintenance should have someone available to help with ice and snow removal on the roof. It is also useful to have a plan for snow removal for parking lots and walkways. Slip-and-fall accidents can be expensive, especially when related to snow and ice removal. It is commonplace for commercial buildings to have a bucket of salt available at entryways during the winter months.
Be aware of safety hazards.
All buildings have potential safety hazards. These could be large trees with branches over parking lots or walkways or roots that create trip hazards. Electric lines and gutters can also be safety hazards. It is important that your maintenance plan includes being aware of the unique safety hazards of your commercial property and checking that those safety hazards are cared for regularly.
To maintain a safe building, be sure that checking and fixing smoke detectors is included in your maintenance plan. Don’t forget to have your fire extinguishers checked annually by your local fire department or a fire safety specialist.