A commercial building is not going to take care of itself. While some tasks can be automated, many others have to be performed by actual people. Whether you own or manage a building, here are the most essential building maintenance tasks to do.
Tasks to Include in Your Building Maintenance Checklist
As most of your workdays primarily focus on business operations, it can be easy to overlook the structure that houses it. Building maintenance, though, is critical to ensuring the prolonged use of the building as well as the safety of its occupants. To get you on the path to success, here are the building maintenance services you should never ignore:
1. Inspect Lighting (Including Emergency Lighting)
Lighting can significantly contribute to the mood and satisfaction of those in the building. Color and intensity, specifically, are major players in this arena. Lights that are too dull or emit a green tinge can make occupants sleepy or lazy. It can also make a building look drab.
Apart from addressing color and intensity, it is equally important to change out any bulbs or fixtures that are no longer functional. Flickering lights, in particular, can be a source of irritation for many.
In addition to the usual lighting fixtures, you should also make it a point to update your emergency lighting. In case of a power outage, occupants should have proper lighting to illuminate pathways and exits. This will make it easier to navigate through the building during times of emergency.
2. Ensure Structural Integrity
Any good commercial building maintenance should include this. Buildings might appear durable and sturdy but be one earthquake away from collapsing. The same applies to any other type of structure within or outside of the building itself. If something is held together by nails, bolts, or screws, it is important to have it checked regularly. Look for signs of damage or weakness. Anything that seems amiss should be addressed immediately to avoid a breakdown.
Your building’s roof is another thing that should receive proper care and attention. Whatever type of roof you have, it is a good idea to check for leaks, mold growth, and signs of water damage. If you find any, make sure to remedy them as soon as possible. This will extend the lifespan of the roof itself and protect you from even costlier repairs in the future.
3. Maintain Electric Systems
Even an electric system that was installed perfectly will need a general inspection every now and then. To do this, confirm that connections are not overheating.
Wire sizes should also be strong enough to support their loads. If you need to extend your electric system, make sure to hire a professional electrician to perform the job in your stead.
4. Inspect HVAC Systems
Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is what regulates air and temperature inside the building. As such, when it starts to malfunction, you will find a significant decrease in comfort among occupants.
As part of your maintenance schedule, make sure to inspect your HVAC system regularly. Look for signs of wear and tear and see if any parts need replacing. It is also important to clean your HVAC system and replace any air filters that become dirty. Of course, HVAC maintenance is not as easy as it sounds. As such, hiring a building maintenance company is your best option.
5. Examine Refrigeration Controls
Your HVAC system is not the only temperature-related system you need to maintain. While not all buildings have this, refrigerated spaces also require ample care. People can handle spikes and drops in temperature, provided the difference is not too extreme or lasts for a long time. However, some products can’t take temperature changes. Food products, unstable chemicals, and vaccines, for instance, all need to be kept under specific temperature conditions.
To prevent spoilage and, by extension, wasting thousands (or millions) of dollars worth of inventory, inspecting refrigerated spaces is paramount. Check expansion valves, coils, compressors, and fans to ensure they are all working as intended.
6. Check Fire Safety Precautions
Another essential part of building maintenance management is fire safety. In the event of a fire, you will want to make sure your building occupants can exit the premises safely. While prevention is definitely more favorable, you should also be prepared for the worst.
Check your sprinkler systems to confirm they are in good working order. This means inspecting flow switches, air compressors, back-flow preventers, pressure gauges, and valves. You should also make sure your sprinklers can pull from a sufficient water source.
Fire and smoke alarms should receive frequent inspections, too. Make sure they are working properly. Replace batteries and, if necessary, invest in new alarms altogether. As covered in a previous point, you should also have adequate emergency lighting.
When a fire breaks out, the fire itself and smoke aren’t the only things that can kill. People tend to panic as they rush towards exits in an attempt to save themselves. Stampedes occur as a result, and more people die from being trampled. As such, your building maintenance procedure should involve making sure emergency exits are not blocked by anything.
For more help on fire safety, refer to the National Fire Protection Association’s life-safety document, NFPA 101.
7. Treat Wastewater
Municipalities have certain standards for wastewater management. Buildings have to abide by these standards and return wastewater according to the quality specified. Thus, it is important that your building has the required infrastructure to properly remove and treat wastewater.
8. Inspect Escalators and Elevators
If your building has them, escalators and elevators should also be inspected on a regular basis. Malfunctioning escalators and elevators could stop and trap occupants, even sometimes injuring them in the process. This can result in potential liability and significant financial losses.
9. Improve Security
Let’s face it — violence is all too common nowadays. In fact, violent crimes can even transpire in private places.
If you want to protect your building and its occupants, it is necessary to invest in and maintain a good security system. Most buildings rely on security guards, but you should also consider installing video surveillance cameras and x-ray scanners. If you already have a security system in place, make sure to have it inspected regularly. This way, you can ensure that it works optimally.
Seek Professional Help
Building maintenance is an integral part of owning and managing a building, commercial or otherwise. Protect your investment by performing these maintenance tasks regularly or having a professional do them for you.
Maintenance Specialists Inc. offers building maintenance services to buildings of all shapes and sizes. Call us today at 704.405.6000 or contact us online to request a free proposal.
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