Commercial Building Fall Maintenance Tips
While each commercial building’s needs will be different according to the tenants it holds, its purpose, and its location, consider the following tips when preparing your property this season.
Before tenants start to crank up the heat to combat colder temps, make sure your building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is running efficiently and effectively. Replace filters, inspect and repair broken parts, identify and respond to cracked ductwork, drain line clogs, and make sure your HVAC system is the proper size for your unit. While doing so, store or cover air-conditioning units that will go unused during the fall and winter seasons.
Service your fire prevention and safety equipment, making sure all sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and fire alarms are in working order. Also, update emergency fire procedures and schedule a fall or winter season drill so tenants can practice how best to respond.
Winterize your landscaping, including trimming trees and shrubs to reduce exterior damage. Ensure that vegetation and grass are properly graded to avoid water and ice sitting against your property’s foundation. This can lead to interior water damage. Also, inspect the exterior of your building for cracks, stains, and leaks, which could lead to potential for safety and security breaches.
Decreased daylight means your tenants may be more at risk for falling should hazards not be easily identifiable. Install proper exterior lighting on your commercial property, and check bi-annually that light bulbs and fixtures are clean and in working order. If public walkways have cracks, potholes, or other trip hazards, repair and seal to reduce hazards, or install signage to make people aware.
Inspect and repair your commercial property’s roof for loose shingles or damage to existing flashing. To prevent the potential for ice dams to form, clean gutters and make sure they are properly secured to the building. Fall is also a good season to increase the insulation in existing attics. Doing this can decrease heat costs while also further reduce ice dam formation.
Inspect windows both inside and outside to ensure they are properly sealed. Doing so can reduce energy bills while simultaneously preventing excess moisture and mold risks. Replace windows that are showing signs of aging to avoid potential interior or exterior building damage.
Colder temperatures put pipes at higher risk for freezing and bursting. Leaving your commercial building at risk for water damage. Avoid the wet mess by insulating and sealing cracks and openings around exposed pipes. Also, set internal thermostats (and instruct tenants to do the same) to keep interior temperatures at 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Check in with tenants regarding any maintenance requests or building concerns they may have. Living and/or working in your commercial property means they are on constant alert to their surroundings. If they see–or hear or smell–something, ask that they say something.
Don’t leave your commercial property out in the cold as the fall and winter seasons move in. With the right precautionary measures, you can avoid costly damage to your building and unnecessary stress to your tenants. Work with your service team and call in skilled, professional vendors to keep your buildings running efficiently and effectively.