With winter just around the corner, there’s no better time than now to start preparing your commercial building for the cold months ahead. The colder the temperature gets outside, the more you need to be on top of maintenance. From a frozen pipe to damp and mould in your building, cold and wet weather can cause a whole host of problems.
As the evenings grow shorter and the temperatures begin to drop, it’s time to start preparing your commercial building for winter. There are a number of protective measures you can take to protect your building over the cold months, and taking the time to carry out a little bit of work now can eliminate any worries you have about weather related issues in the future.
In this article, we look at how to prepare your commercial building for winter and the different steps you can take to prevent any building problems when the temperatures drop outside.
Inspect the insulation
Firstly, it’s important to make sure your commercial building has sufficient insulation. Not only is this important to keep employees and customers warm inside, but insulation can also prevent pipes from freezing and bursting too. Even just small breaches in insulation can lead to huge problems.
Before the cold weather sets in, take the time to inspect your building’s insulation. If there are any areas with damaged or missing insulation, these areas should be repaired as soon as possible. There are a wide range of insulation options to choose from, including blanket-style insulation, rigid insulation, foam insulation and more.
It’s also important to check the windows both inside and outside your commercial building. Make sure the windows are properly sealed to keep out cold air, reduce the risk of dampness and keep your building warm.
Prepare your HVAC system
Your HVAC system works hard all year round, but it’s particularly important to make sure it’s in top condition for the winter months ahead. Your HVAC system affects your entire building and therefore it’s crucial the system is prepared for the cold weather. Preventative maintenance should be scheduled all year round to make sure the system is operating properly and efficiently, but there really is no better time than now to get some extra HVAC maintenance booked in.
We recommend getting a full inspection of your HVAC equipment by a qualified service technician. A professional and experienced technician can detect any problems and carry out routine maintenance, making sure your system continues to operate efficiently. They’ll also be able to uncover opportunities for energy savings and shut down any unnecessary cooling systems in your building.
Check the roofing
Over the years, the weather can take its toll on the roof of your commercial building. Before the cold weather arrives, it’s important to check the roofs, gutters and drains to make sure they’re in top condition for cold temperatures ahead. The roof of your commercial building can be a host to a number of undetected issues, such as holes that can lead to leaks in your building.
When inspecting the roof, always keep an eye out for any signs of damage and make sure you check all flashing and seals. The structure of your roof should be sound enough to hold the weight of snow and ice and all drainage paths should be clear.
Check plumbing systems
Your plumbing system needs to be inspected before winter rolls around. Frozen pipes are a common cause of expensive damage in commercial buildings and can lead to a whole host of problems, disrupting your business. Taking the time to look over your plumbing system now can save you thousands of pounds and give you peace of mind your building is ready for the winter months ahead.
During a plumbing inspection, all heating systems should be inspected to ensure they are operating correctly and efficiently. Any leaky valves and faulty control sensors should also be repaired. All freeze protection devices need to be inspected to make sure they are operational for the icy temperatures ahead.
Prepare high foot-traffic areas
Winter preparation doesn’t stop with the plumbing and heating systems in your building. It’s also important to prepare different areas in your building for the winter weather, including high foot-traffic areas such as reception or lobby areas. The entryway of your commercial building shouldn’t be overlooked when preparing your building for winter; instead, you should also pay special attention to the flooring.
Safety flooring, mats and rugs should be utilised during winter. In the cold months, there is much more rain and ice which can lead to slippery surfaces and put employees and customers at risk of falling and injuring themselves. Laying down special flooring and mats with extra grip will help keep your employees safe.
In addition, signage can help direct people to where you want them to go, ensuring they don’t gather or congregate in high foot-traffic areas in your building. Again, the safety of employees and customers should always come first, so make sure you’ve got the correct preventative measures in place.
Inspect the lighting
Decreased daylight in the winter months means employees and customers may be more at risk of falling, slipping and tripping in the dark. Adequate lighting ensures employees and customers can see where they’re going and any hazards are easily identifiable. Proper exterior lighting should be installed on your commercial property.
Before the cold weather hits, take the time to inspect all lights and lighting fixtures to ensure they’re clean and working correctly. The right exterior lighting can also make your commercial building look more welcoming and inviting to employees, clients and customers, which can be a huge bonus if you’re trying to attract people to your business.
Schedule maintenance in all year round
While it’s important to make sure your building is prepared for the cold months ahead, it’s also crucial to schedule in maintenance all year round. To ensure your commercial building remains in top condition and all systems work efficiently and correctly, you should have a professional inspect your property at least twice a year.
There may be problems and issues within your building that are undetected or not visible to the untrained eye; a professional can spot these problems and make the necessary repairs and replacements before the issue worsens. If your HVAC system is inefficient or your insulation poorly installed, you could be wasting hundreds on high energy bills every year.
Scheduling in regular maintenance and keeping on top of your building can save you money and ensure all systems continue to operate smoothly and efficiently.
Mitchell’s: Complete Building Management Packages in Gloucester
Keeping on top of your commercial building can be a difficult task, especially if you’re busy running a business. At Mitchell’s, we provide complete building management packages all year round, ensuring your building is kept in top condition. From plumbing repairs to air conditioning servicing, IT system maintenance and more, we have the skills, experience and qualifications required to keep your building ahead of the game and your business running smoothly.
Once we take on a new client, we work to design a premises management package that reflects their property’s specific requirements. We’ll look for ways to make their building operate more efficiently, performing the needed service and maintenance now to prevent the need for future repairs.
To learn more about our building management packages and how we can help you, visit our website.