Winter’s on its way bringing all the potential joys of burst pipes, flooding gutters, and heating issues. Prevention is definitely better (and usually more cost-effective) than cure for property maintenance. If you’re responsible for the maintenance of a commercial property a bit of preventative maintenance now could save you a mid-winter emergency or reactive maintenance, and your tenants a lot of unhappiness.
We’ve created a quick checklist of the main winter maintenance pitfalls.
Heating – Check the boiler has been recently serviced and that every radiator (some may need bleeding) or storage heater is working.
Water pipes – If the property has water pipes that are exposed to extreme temperatures because they’re outside or the building isn’t heated, they need to be insulated. If the building is vacant or extreme weather is forecast, consider turning off the water at the mains and draining them.
Gutters and gullies – Neglected, blocked gutters will eventually cause water unable to drain away from the building to find another outlet – and that’s usually the start of water ingress. A pre-emptive gutter clearance now most of the leaves have fallen will significantly reduce the risks a blocked gutter carries. Similarly, soggy leaves that are left to swell in the gullies are going to eventually cause problems, from flooding (and potentially freezing causing a hazard) to the erosion of the ground where the water is allowed to gather. A good ground leaf clearance is vital if you wish to avoid the pitfalls of flooded car parks and other outside areas.
Electrics – If you haven’t had a recent periodic inspection, now is the time to book it in. It may also be a good time to think about switching to LED lights, if you haven’t already, to benefit from the cost savings it offers and do your bit for the environment.
Pigeons – Commercial buildings often offer perfect nesting sites for pigeons in the winter months. Pigeon droppings (pigeon guano) are unsightly and a health hazard, and it will not make your tenants or their visitors happy to receive a pigeon present on their heads however lucky it is supposed to be!). They can be humanely deterred from gathering on ledges etc. using pigeon spikes, which are relatively easy to install once in place and require little maintenance.
Snow and Ice plan – If there’s a big freeze and steps, paths and car parks become icy is there a salt bin at your property and has it been replenished for the winter? Do you have contractors on call, ready to clear snow and ice if necessary?
External cracks – During the winter, water can get into cracks in render and brickwork, freeze and expand causing damage to the surface and potentially damp inside the building. Preventative maintenance now could save bigger issues later on.
Getting your building winter-ready is imperative if you want to keep your building and the people in it happy. A Darenth Valley planned and preventative maintenance (PPM) contract will ensure that your building is happy and ready for every season’s challenges or we can assist you on one-off maintenance projects.
For advice about prepping your building for the colder months or putting a PPM contract in place contact Alex.