FMnewsroom – facility management. Right before autumn arrives it is time for FMs to create and execute a fall maintenance checklist. While the specific tasks may vary by organization or industry, there are some tips all can refer to preparing for the change in seasons.
The coming season presents its own set of challenges for keeping buildings and offices tidy. Here are a few items to check off the list and help keep buildings and offices in shape.
Roof inspections and repairs
The roof is the first line of defence of any building against the elements. It must be sturdy enough to withstand high winds, along with freeze and melt cycles that will occur during winter. FMs should start fall maintenance with a roof inspection. Looking at the roof’s penetrations and flashing to check for any tears and inspecting vents and equipment to make sure they are sealed properly should be on top of the list – FT maintenance advises.
Cleaning the gutters
This is often an out-of-sight-out-of-mind part of buildings but it leaves and debris trap water in the gutters, which worsens in the winter with ice and snow accumulation. With fluctuating temperatures and the freeze-thaw cycle, this water can overburden gutters, stopping them from doing their job: keeping water away from your building – as Facility Cleaning and Maintenance points out.
HVAC system works hard all year to heat and cool a building. Facility operators should make sure it’s working at maximum efficiency for the coming season. Checking things like filters, coils, water damage, and valves is inevitable.
Keep the garden in shape
A fall checklist should also include seasonal maintenance for the garden areas. It is time to aerate and fertilise the lawn, and plant grass seed that will grow next spring, if needed. Cleaning lawn and garden tools to prepare them for winter storage will come in handy later, just like testing any equipment you’ll need for fall and winter.
Facility managers should also check for potential places where pests may try to enter a building. This includes gaps in doorframes, vents, and any holes or cracks in walls and siding.
Next on the list is the plumbing system, especially water heaters and pipes. It is better to drain the water heaters and turn off exterior faucets now to prevent them from freezing when temperatures really dip. It is also time to check the pipes for leaks and ensure they have adequate insulation to protect them from the cold. As for the radiators, it is time to let trapped air out of the water tank system to prevent cold spots.
All eyes on the entrance
During the fall and winter months, there is a lot that can come into the office other than employees. Fallen leaves, snow, water and salt are all inevitable as we dive deeper into the colder months. Make sure you have a place for people to both wipe off their feet, as well as remove any snow or debris that may fall on their clothes – Buildingstarts advises.
Fall – more than any other season – brings a myriad of diseases, from colds and flu to pneumonia. It’s important to be diligent about disinfecting keyboards, chairs, and conference tables. Keeping kitchens and restrooms clean and tidy also adds to a healthy environment. Be sure to use environmentally safe products that won’t affect the air quality, and have a generous supply of tissues and hand sanitiser.