One of the smartest ways to cut costs as a building manager is to prevent repairs in the first place. Not only are repairs and renovations expensive for the building owner, they can inconvenience tenants and take away from the structure's aesthetics.
While some repairs may be unavoidable, many can be prevented by regular maintenance, cleaning preemptively and regularly checking on sensitive building parts. Here are a few tips for keeping up with your building's trouble areas.
1. Check your roof after every storm
Many people have their roofs inspected twice a year, but it's a good idea to add intermittent checks in addition to the semiannual inspections. Make sure you spend some time checking your roof after a serious rain, snow or wind storm.
"Survey your roof for blistering, cracking and drainage failures."
Look for warning signs on the roof such as cracks, blistering or bubbling in the material. Large pools of water, notable sagging or drainage complications are also red flags. Many roof issues, such as smaller cracks or faulty seals around drainage pipes, can easily be addressed with caulking, preventing a much more serious leak or collapse.
2. Test your drainage systems
Drainage isn't just important on the roof. Set up times throughout the year to test the drainage system and ensure that the water makes it all the way from the roof to the ground without issue. Sometimes leaks can occur in the middle of a drainage system leading to unsightly streaks and stains on your building's exterior. Additionally, have the drainage checked regularly during periods where blockages are most common, such as in the winter.
3. Inspect your windows
As the U.S. General Services Administration noted, the majority of all energy lost in a building is through the windows. Not only can you help save your building's owner save on repair costs from leaks by inspecting your windows, but you can also help reduce energy waste. Set up a schedule where you check each floors windows regularly, testing for air leaks. If you find any, caulking them quickly can avoid further problems and improve tenant comfort.
4. Get your building's vital systems tested
Just like a human, your building should have it's vitals tested every so often. Don't wait for an inspection if you suspect an error or failure in any of the structure's most critical systems. Check the plumbing, electrical, heating and ventilation regularly. If you spot a suspicious pipe or wire, call in the experts for a preemptive repair that could prevent a far more costly and dangerous issues.
5. Look at your foundation and exterior
The foundation and exterior aren't just critical to the structural integrity of you building, but they can let you check for problems easily. You can spot simple issues or serious structural problems by checking your foundation regularly, and you may be able to see a pest problem emerging before it reaches the tenants.
The more significant danger than pests with your foundation are leaks. Look for hairline cracks or serious fissures. Sealing and caulking cracks when they're small can prevent them from growing or letting water get in and causing mold or damage.
"Check your foundation for leaks and fissures."
6. Assess your facade and signage
Keep up the appearance of your building and its brand by ensuring that the facade, signs and lighting are accurate, up-to-date and clean. Failure to maintain these important pieces of your building's exterior could result in more severe damage that requires costly restoration.
Instead, use Clean and Polish Building Solutions to clean and protect your building's exterior from normal wear and tear. Your facade will look presentable, professional and stay that way.
7. Keep detailed records and check back frequently
Although these are some of the most vulnerable and common areas for building damage, they're far from the only ones. Make sure you keep detailed records of maintenance, repairs and even warning signs so that you can check in on these areas and avoid having to do a major repair. Encourage security guards and other maintenance staff to flag potential issues with you.