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PSeptember 23, 2015

Now Is The Time To Prepare Your Building For Winter

Buildings are your assets. After EDiS helps you plan and build your facilities, we are still there to help you operate your assets for maximum value and maximum employee/tenant comfort and productivity.

Snow-plow-clearing-snowThe “dog days” are over; so now is the best time to get ready to prepare your building for winter. Although building maintenance is a year-round effort, the winter months in particular can take their toll without proper upkeep. Prevention is less expensive than repair. You don’t want to shut down your building, be without heat AND pay for expensive corrective action that was not planned or budgeted.

Between Halloween and Thanksgiving is the optimum time to complete the preventive maintenance checklist that follows:

1) Inspect exterior windows and doors – penetration points! Especially the northwest side which is the coldest and most vulnerable because it is exposed to the winter wind and snow and has little exposure to the sun. Check caulking, weather stripping and flashings and seal all penetration points.

2) Check roof drainage system, gutters and downspouts – rain/snow melt becomes ice and wreaks havoc with the drainage system.

3) Inspect roof for leaks – leaks cause real problems AND create mold.

4) Check the building’s envelope integrity – you want to keep the heated air in and the water out!

5) Heating system:

  • Be sure all issues from the previous year’s inspection were addressed
  • Overhaul and clean annually
  • Replace air filters
  • Overhaul, clean and oil bearings, pumps and motors
  • Verify no obstructions and all connections are tight on vents and flues
  • Clean chimney

6) Ventilation – ventilation is the most critical to the health, comfort and cleanliness of the indoor environment and possibly the most overlooked part of the entire system.

  • Energy management controls and building automation set points need to be checked annually.
  • Temperature, occupancy schedules and all alarms should be re-commissioned. When an alarm tells you your filters are dirty or there is a problem to check, you need to be confident the warning is accurate.

7) Review Your Staff Training – In the event your staff has changed or your equipment has been upgraded, the big question you should ask yourselves – “Is my facilities staff well-trained and educated about the specifics of our particular building’s systems and the specific tasks that need to be done at specific times to keep this building operating at its peak?” As buildings get older and staff members change, the question becomes even more important.

Mechanical-28) Understand Your Service Contracts – If your staff does not have a firm understanding of mechanical and electrical systems, you most likely have a maintenance contract with an outside provider. With maintenance contracts, you run the risk of signing up for service programs that provide much more and charge much more than what is honestly needed to maintain and preserve your building.

9) Consider Advice From EDiS – If you have a maintenance contract and you are not sure if it is a true match for your needs, EDiS can help you with customized preventive maintenance advice and assistance. We can help you select the best service contractors based on your exact needs.

You want a building that runs optimally and is comfortable and healthy for your employees or tenants. Now is the time to complete the checklist to ensure you are on the right track.


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