Many people tie regular building maintenance into a given season schedule – typically fall or winter. If a seasonal approach keeps you on track, all the better! But it’s important to bear in mind that even if you’re absent-minded, there are a number of tasks that can be done anytime of the year. Don’t wait until the next season. Perform necessary maintenance you can do today. Those areas include:
HVAC (Heating, Venting, and Air Conditioning) is the first system that comes to mind for most of us. How is your home or business heated? Do you have a forced air furnace? A hot-water or steam system? Even oil furnaces have fuel filters that need to be changed regularly.
What about your hot water system? Does it have a drain plug to drain silt from? Bear in mind also that even if you are not using the AC at a particular time, for maximum IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) you need to consider how the air circulates. Change filters and clean out drain lines. You never know if the weather will quickly change, and you’ll experience a few days or week of warm weather that requires cooling/humidity removal.
Alert and Backup Systems
This can be an overlooked area. What is the condition of your smoke detectors? Are they battery operated? Replace them if they need? And don’t forget emergency lighting. Some of these lights are also battery operated and will need replacing. Even if they are rechargeable, they still have an end life, meaning they will no longer accept a charge. They need to be replaced, if needed, as well!
How does emergency lighting work? Is it battery operated? Some of those batteries, even if they are rechargeable have an end-of-life, meaning they will no longer accept a charge. They need to be tested and replaced – if needed – as well.
Speaking of backups, UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) systems, such as for people with computers at their desks, also have batteries that need to be checked. Some UPS systems are self-checking and alert you as to the condition of batteries.
Drainage and Debris
Walk around the structure. Do you have rain gutters? How does the water drain from the roof? Look them over and clean any debris from them, such as leaves, sticks, and twigs – anything a landscape crew might pick up with a leaf blower. While more typically done in fall, routine building maintenance can often be done any time of year.
Check for any foliage that can overhang the building and brush up against the roof line and walls. Prune them back – especially if ice storms occur where you live. And don’t forget to check storm water run-off systems in the parking lot! Finally, is there any debris there that may have been overlooked by maintenance crews?
What is the condition of outside lighting? Continue walking around your building. Do you notice any broken lamps that need to be replaced? If you haven’t made the switch over to LED (Light-Emitting Diode), this could be a good time to replace them with high-efficiency LED lighting systems. Look over the entrance ways and emergency exits. Does the lighting around them still work? Do they have alarms attached and do they need repair?
The Alarm System
As the year goes by, sensors will fail, become dislodged or wires get pulled out. Instead of ignoring that annoying beep at the alarm panel, go ahead and address/repair it. Is the system up to date, or does it include people who no longer work or live in the building? This, too, would be a good time to break out that hidden instruction manual and clear out the old names.
Catching problems now can make it easier to work on repairs later, especially during bad weather. And if you neglected a certain maintenance task, if at all possible don’t wait until the next season to take care of it. Repairs can be necessary year around!