Maintenance is a crucial part of a building’s life cycle. If not carried out, you could end up with a significant repair or, even worse, a total building failure.
In our modern society, buildings are constructed in an increasingly shorter period. This can be attributed to the advancement of technologies that enable buildings to be made with less labor and more efficiency.
Buildings also tend to be designed for short-term use, meaning many businesses may use the facility for various purposes. This is why maintenance is essential in preserving structural integrity and maintaining safety standards so all current and future residents are safe.
However, a lack of upkeep will inevitably lead to significant deterioration over time. This can result in many problems such as structural vulnerability and increased energy costs, among others. Some tasks are easier to complete than others meaning at times you will need to source the assistance of contractors in specialist cleaning such as using vapor blasting equipment to clean machinery or prepare surfaces for recoating.
This article will explore the different types of maintenance that need to be done on buildings to keep them healthy and functional for years to come.
Most buildings are designed with a flat, slanted, or pitched roof to help with rainwater runoff. Most roofs require maintenance to ensure they do not leak and ensure the shingles are in good condition. There may also be issues with gutters, downspouts, chimneys, vent pipes, and more. A proper inspection should be carried out at least once a year for commercial and residential properties.
Roof inspections should be done during winter months when melting snow could cause water damage to ceilings below if not adequately dealt with. The best time for an inspection is when the roof is dry, making it easier for inspectors to identify any leakages or damage.
All areas of the roof should be inspected thoroughly for any signs of leaking or damage while walking across it. Cracks in shingles should also be monitored closely as they can lead to more significant problems if left unattended over time.
Window maintenance can help reduce costs associated with heating and cooling and minimize storm damage.
Windows are one of the critical aspects that make up a building’s envelope. Properly maintaining your windows will keep them looking their best, provide peace of mind for building occupants, and help protect your investment in the long run. The benefits of properly maintained windows include reduced energy loss through windows, which helps save money on utility bills. Windows also typically last much longer when they are properly maintained.
Lighting and Electrical
One of the most critical aspects of building maintenance is lighting and electrical. This includes routine checks on wiring and repairs and looking for any signs of corrosion or UV damage.
These areas are particularly important because they affect the safety and operation of the building. They also need to be checked regularly because it’s easy for lights to be left on for an extended period, leading to high energy costs over time. It’s also not uncommon for lights to break or go out after being left on for an extended period.
The other thing that should be checked during this process is the actual lights themselves. These checks should be done at least once a year, but more often if necessary. They should look at how much light is being emitted by the lights, what type of bulbs are being used, whether or not there are any cracks in the glass fixtures, etcetera.
Like checking bulbs, check that all lighting fixtures are clean and free from dirt or dust buildup. If they detect any dirt or dust buildup, they must clean it thoroughly before turning it back on again.
If these parts are not maintained properly, you could end up with power outages or, even worse—severe injury or death due to electrical malfunctions!
Parking lots are often the most overlooked section of a building. They take a lot of wear and tear from weather, people, and traffic. It is recommended that they be inspected at least once a month for cracks in the pavement, signs of wear and tear, and other potential issues.
If you have a high traffic volume on your parking lot, it may also be worth investing in new paint or resurfacing to renew its appearance. When not properly maintained, cracks in the pavement surface will form, leading to moisture accumulating on the asphalt. This will create a perfect environment for snow or ice to gather, making parking next to impossible.
The best way to solve this problem is through seal coating, which involves applying a liquid sealant to the asphalt or spraying it onto the surface using an electrostatic process. This ensures that no moisture gets trapped under the asphalt and snow or ice doesn’t accumulate quickly. Plus, even if there is snow or ice, seal coating will help cars quickly get out of any pesky parking spots!
You can also ensure that everything is done correctly with your parking lot by conducting an annual inspection. This will allow you to find any potential problems before they cause significant damage to your building’s structure.
Fire Safety Equipment
All buildings should have fire safety equipment. This comes in a variety of forms but usually includes items such as;
- Alarms- Most alarm systems are designed to alert occupants of the location of the fire and direct them where to go for evacuation.
- Sprinklers- Sprinkler systems are installed in highly combustible materials like wood, paper, or plastic. The sprinkler system will activate when it senses fire through heat detectors or smoke detectors.
- Fire Extinguishers- Fire extinguishers come in different sizes depending on the type of fire they’re designed to put out. They also have different chemistries depending on the material is burning–usually water, foam, powder, or gas. For example, a dry chemical extinguisher would tackle flaming electrical wires, while a carbon dioxide canister would be used for grease fires.
Regular weekly inspections should be carried out to make sure everything is working as it should be at all times.
Plumbing is an important aspect of building maintenance. Piping systems are subjected to lots of wear and tear, so they often need to be inspected for issues. Plumbing inspections are usually conducted every six months, but they will need to be addressed immediately if there is a problem.
One form of maintenance that needs to be carried out is heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. A building’s HVAC system is its lifeblood; it provides everything from heating and cooling the environment to ensuring the air quality is within specific standards. If an HVAC system isn’t well maintained, there are higher risks of potential allergies and asthma. It also increases the chances of fire due to improper heat distribution in the building.
Elevators and Stairwells
Elevators and stairwells are essential to building with more than one level. They provide safe passage for people in the building, especially when carrying goods or large items. Elevator equipment is costly, so it’s essential to ensure your elevator works properly before accidents happen. These confined areas also need to be well-maintained to prevent any accidents.
Stairwells also need to be maintained because occupants consistently use them. These spaces need to be well-maintained because many people use them daily. If there are any irregularities, it could lead to emergencies like trips and falls. And if someone trips on stairs with poor lighting, they might not notice the unevenness in the steps, leading to injury or worse.
Security systems are an essential part of maintaining a building. They protect the building from break-ins and keep the occupants safe from potential intruders. Security systems also deter crime in the surrounding area as those who think about breaking in will see those cameras and realize that there is a possibility they could be caught.
Cameras and security guards can work together to monitor entrances, exits, and other possible points of entry for burglars. This way, if someone tries to enter through a door or window, they will see the security guard coming and flee before they’re caught.
One of the most popular ways for security systems to monitor these areas is motion detectors. Motion detectors sense movement in a place and send alerts to guards to respond accordingly. With this technology, burglars do not have the opportunity to break into the building without notice.
Accessibility measures are essential in buildings because they ensure that they are usable. These include installing ramps and doorways wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs, among other considerations.
Aside from making sure the building is accessible, these measures also help to promote safety among occupants. For example, ramps make it easier for people in wheelchairs to get around since there are no stairs or escalators in the way. Ramps also make it easier for firefighters to navigate a burning building when they need to carry someone out of it.
Keeping accessibility measures in place will save you money in the long run by reducing the future risk of lawsuits or emergencies that may arise from people with disabilities being unable to exit because of inaccessible pathways.