Ready or not, fall is upon us. We hope you’ve had a great summer and that you get to enjoy plenty of mild weather before winter hits. In the meantime, it’s an ideal time for some building and property upkeep that will help you ease into the holiday season and winter knowing you’re ready for whatever Mother Nature has in store. This blog post provides five tips for preparing commercial properties for upcoming inclement fall and winter weather.
1. Start at the Top with a Roof Inspection
The roof is the most exposed part of any building and summer heat, rain and winds can wreak havoc on flat and sloped rooftops alike—quickly leading to problems inside a building. To prevent the need for repairs when they will be more costly or disruptive, a regular fall inspection is always a good idea. If you can easily access the rooftop and it is relatively flat and safe, you may be able to inspect it yourself and perform any necessary preventive maintenance. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to use professionals who are properly trained. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety provides a handy overview of things to look out for.
In addition to inspecting your rooftops, it’s also important to check adjacent ceilings and walls for stains, cracks or other indications that something could be amiss.
2. Make Sure Your Heating System is Tuned and Ready for the Cold
The most difficult time to deal with a furnace or boiler malfunction is when it’s cold and everyone else is having problems too. That’s why performing a regular fall inspection is a great idea. If any repairs are needed, lining them up will be easier, faster and less disruptive to guests and employees.
3. Optimize Air Cleanliness and Energy Efficiency
Throughout the year, dust and dirt builds up in your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Since the impact of buildup can include poorer air quality, higher energy bills, and shorter lifespan of HVAC equipment, it’s a good idea to clean them regularly. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association provides a handy checklist that you can use to help choose a qualified contractor.
4. Head to the Basement for a Pipe and Foundation Inspection
Whether or not your building(s) are located in an area of the country that freezes regularly, it’s a good idea to inspect basement pipes every fall. Not only could you prevent the costly business interruption and property damage associated with burst pipes, but you could also save on energy costs. For example, insulating outside pipes and sealing the areas where pipes enter and exit the building can not only help reduce freezing risks, it also reduces heating costs. As does sealing any other cracks or holes in the basement that could let in cold air.
5. Make Sure Your Trees are Healthy and Pruned Correctly
The trees surrounding your property provide natural beauty, sound abatement and lots of other tangible and intangible benefits, so be sure to give them the TLC they deserve. Autumn provides an ideal time for corrective pruning because it’s easier to spot potential problems. Pruning can help improve the structural integrity of trees in anticipation of heavy snow, ice or winds while keeping your trees looking their best.
Ease into Winter
With school back in session and football season in full swing, we know you have plenty on your mind. Hopefully these five tips will help you get ahead in your business maintenance game so you can spread out work tasks and have a smooth transition into winter.