Winter weather can cause a variety of problems for facility and property managers. The drop in temperatures and other winter conditions can put a strain on your facility, which can ultimately damage your building, cause safety issues, or create an uncomfortable environment for your staff. Your facility should be prepared to combat harsh winds, chilly conditions, heavy snowfall, and the impact of ice both inside and out.
Although it’s best to have your winter weather maintenance tasks completed before the temperatures drop, it’s never too late to evaluate and act. Consider the following tips to help winterize your facility for the winter months:
Exterior Inspections Are Essential
Maintaining the exterior condition of your facility is your first line of defense against harsh winter weather. Facility managers and facility maintenance teams should routinely check the external conditions of all buildings to identify potential issues and risks. A sagging roof, cracks in the walls, aging seals around windows, and pooling or dripping water from downspouts are all signs of wear and tear and potential exposure to winter conditions. Addressing these issues can become more challenging to repair in freezing or below-zero temperatures. Ensure you have staff with the experience to conduct such inspections or hire a knowledgeable facility and emergency services contractor. Marsden Services has seasoned professionals who can identify and address issues before they worsen from freezing ice or the weight of snow.
Have a Plan for Snow and Ice Removal
Snow and ice in parking lots and on walkways can create dangerous conditions and even make your building inaccessible. Creating safe conditions to avoid slips, injuries, and possible lawsuits is an essential part of winter facility maintenance. Have a plan in place for clearing your parking lot and walkways before anyone is scheduled to be at your facility. You’ll also want to use sturdy walk-off mats outside and inside the entryways to your building and place proper signage to warn of potentially wet or slippery conditions. During heavy snow seasons, you will also want to consider how much snow is collecting on your roof. As snow accumulates, it becomes increasingly heavy and can cause structural damage that can ultimately lead to a roof collapse. Flat and low-pitched rooftops, often found on commercial properties, are the most susceptible to collapsing under heavy snow. Consider contracting snow removal and de-icing professionals, who can the equipment and products to clear away snow and ice quickly and efficiently.
Keep Entryways Clean
During the wintertime, entryways require special attention. People entering the facility can track in deicer, snow, ice, dirt, and a variety of other substances that can harm your floors and create safety hazards. Deicer is essential outside your facility in icy conditions, but inside your facility, it can become embedded in your carpets and ultimately destroy them. When snow is tracked in through the entryway and not immediately cleaned up, it can create a potential slip and fall safety hazard as it melts. Snow can also contain dirt and debris, which can quickly make its way around your facility, damaging floors and creating a dirty appearance. Frequently cleaning your entryways and the floors throughout your facility can help prevent the winter conditions from having a last impact on your building interior.
Have Your HVAC System Serviced
While maintaining your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system should be a priority all year round, it is imperative during winter months. Failing to prepare your HVAC system for winter-related issues can create unsafe conditions for occupants, destroy valuable materials or assets, and possibly cause significant facility damage. Be sure to have every component of your HVAC system inspected, including your furnace, boiler, ventilation, and fans throughout the facility. Ensure you have all services performed by an experienced and certified professional. Proper maintenance can also create healthier conditions in your building. Air quality and adequate air circulation are even more essential during the cold and flu season of the winter months when people spend more time indoors. Bipolar cold plasma ionization systems, such as Marsden CleanAir – Powered by PuriFi system, can reduce dust, viruses, bacteria, mold, and odors, making the air cleaner and safer.
Winter storms are unpredictable, which is why it’s essential to be ready for any weather conditions. Investing in the proper equipment or hiring a professional facility services company with the appropriate experience handling winter conditions will help keep your facility clean, safe, and healthy throughout the winter season.