Severe winter weather can cause serious damage to your building. However, with proper preparation and maintenance, you can avoid winter-weather-related problems.
FacilityExecutive’s Winter Weather Maintenance Checklist lists some ways you can prepare your building for the cold winter months:
- Have a contractor inspect the HVAC system to make sure it is functioning efficiently, which will “protect the facility from unnecessary outages and inflated heating costs.” According to an article in Buildings magazine, “Ensuring that heating equipment functions properly can reduce heating costs by five percent (and by much more if major problems are found and addressed as a result of a pre-winter-weather inspection)”.
- Check the facility for drafts, leaks, and cracks that heat could potentially escape through. Facility Executive says, “Signs of frost around exterior walls, for instance, can mean there is an insulation issue or a draft.”
- If your facility uses gas heat, “check gas lines and gas line connections for signs of corrosion,” and if necessary, replace with corrosion-free options.
- Regularly inspect the roof:
- If you have a flat roof, regularly check for any built-up water, ice or snow. Make a plan to remove heavy snow that could potentially lead to standing water or impact the roof’s structural integrity.
- If you have a slanted roof, inspect roof vents and shingles and check the waterproofing seals on the edges of the roof. Facility Executive also recommends installing ice check breakers to protect customers and employees.
- Make sure drains and gutters remain clear.
- Prepare for potential power outages. “Ensure that power to critical systems stays on with a working generator,” and “ensure the facility is protected from surges with properly installed surge protectors.”
- Have a snow removal plan. Always keep walkways clear and designate a place to put any excess snow that may need to be removed.
- Make sure entrances are hazard-free by cleaning them regularly and having absorbent rugs in place.
This winter, make sure your building is prepared to withstand cold temperatures, snow