Surviving Winter – How cold can it get? Well, as we can see from the news lately, pretty frigid here in the Northeast! Many locations are experiencing record wind-chill temperatures and that can wreak havoc on your buildings!
From higher heating costs to busted pipes you need to have a plan to mitigate unexpected polar vortex impacts on your commercial buildings. We have put together a few tips for you to review below.
Optional Back Up Power – Have you considered the impact of a long term power outage during record low temperatures? Not only will this inconvenience your clients and their business but the extreme cold temperatures can cause major damage to interior systems including any plants or foliage you may have in your lobby or in community corridors. If you do not have reliable back up plan to power your building in the case of an outage – you may want to start a plan to have in the future!
Protecting Your Plumbing – Any pipes in your exterior walls are vulnerable. Also consider roof, basement and other unheated storage/utility spaces. Advise building residents to leave doors open to cabinets, storage and utility rooms, to let warm air circulate through them.
Take the extra step of sealing all exterior walls, doors, windows, cracks and holes to keep cold air out of wall cavities. Consider how to best handle items like vents and partition walls, plumbing stacks to roof and other openings to the outdoors as well.
You need to monitor the piping to your fire suppression system as well. You need to know immediately if a pipe bursts from the cold or ruptures – you should have a central station to monitor these and it should be tested regularly. Also find a way to heat your monitor area if it is currently unheated.
Upgrade Your Technology – There are many options now for building systems and maintenance monitoring. You should be able to remotely monitor or access monitoring of not only your heating systems but leak detection on plumbing as well. Knowing the power is out is not enough, you will have more comfort knowing pipes & valves will not burst by having them properly insulated and monitored.
Maintaining a Safe Environment – From Grounds Maintenance through the parking lots and into the lobby building safety needs to be a top priority! Furnace nad boilers need regular inspection and maintenance. Even unoccupied buildings should not drop below 55 degrees F.
Parking lots, sidewalks and entry needs to be clear of snow and ice. If you are treating these area with salt you need to protect your lobby floors with proper skid proof mats to minimize the damage from the salt, dirt and water that can be quite heavy this time of year. Regular clean up will be required in these areas to keep damage to a minimum and safe for clients.
Parking lot and sidewalk maintenance needs to be addressed during warmer months. Sealing of cracks, proper signage and reflective painting should be refreshed also should be addressed in the months before winter to additionally help prevent liability claims against you and your business.
We hope that some of these tips will start you forward thinking for next season. The Liberty Group is here to make your building maintenance easy to manage and to let you get on with the business of running your business. We look forward to speaking with you to help you address any of the concerns we have shared with you above. http://thelibertygroupcompany.com/