Right around this time of year, right as we’re knee-deep in the winter chill, I start itching for some serious spring cleaning. My house, my car, my office—they’re all showing the wear and tear (and mess) of the season, and your office building is likely no exception.
The snow, ice and the bounce between frigid and balmy temps can wreak havoc on commercial structures. Some basic maintenance in the spring can spot any issues caused by the winter weather and help prepare your property for the warmer months ahead. One bonus benefit: This attention may also protect you financially. By keeping detailed and accurate records, you’ll be able to back up any insurance claims you may need to file.
While the thermometer may make you feel as if you have plenty of time, spring is, in fact, on its way. Start making a plan to address these top areas of attention!
1. Check for damage from freezing
This is one of the biggest issues we see, and it affects everything from your parking lot to your foundation. Gutters and drainage pipes, as well as concrete and asphalt surfaces with cracks and expansion joints all can be damaged from freezing temperatures and expanding ice. Pay extra attention to concrete sidewalks and steps to ensure your exterior is safe for your guests.
Be sure to check irrigation lines and exterior hose shut-offs, both of which can be damaged by winter weather. And don’t forget to perform an inspection of your foundation and vertical walls, which can crack from settlement or freezing conditions. These can also lead to mold and mildew from any moisture that enters through the cracks.
Finally, give your roof plenty of attention to check for any damage due to ice dams or snow. From leaks and mold to complete collapse, this is one area where proactive maintenance is most important. (And while you’re up there, look for any chipped paint, damaged siding, cracked windows and drainage issues.)
2. Get your landscaping in order
The exterior foliage on your property bears the brunt of the winter weather. Ice and snow can snap plants and tree limbs, especially any of those small shrubs or ornamental trees around your building. And the snow plow probably didn’t give your lawn and mulch beds a second thought, so take some time to give them a little love.
While landscaping improvements can increase curb appeal, they’re also important to the health of your building. Be sure to clear any accumulated leaves and lawn debris from the roof and gutters as well as around the base of other landscaping. This rotting material is a primary source of mold growth; it can also clog gutters (resulting in overflows) and can damage awnings and windows from the extra weight when saturated with water.
3. Prepare your interiors for warmer weather
All that salt and de-icing material probably took their toll on your lobby floors: Salt de-icers leave a white residue that can dull or even permanently mar your hard-surface flooring; they can draw moisture from hardwood floors, increasing the risk of dry rot and splintering; and they can permanently damage interior carpets without prompt attention. Needless to say, now’s a good time to schedule some overdue deep cleaning to get your floors back in tip-top shape.
Plus, as the temperature climbs, the bugs and other pests will start coming back. Stay on top of the ants, roaches and assorted rodents by spraying your perimeter and visually inspecting the building for any holes or gaps.
4. Spruce up your building’s spring look
The best part of all this spring cleaning? It also helps your facility look its best and gives your tenants a sense of pride as they enter. Now’s the perfect time to schedule a full window washing and exterior pressure washing to scrub away the buildup from winter and give everything a nice shine. Your clean windows will also better showcase the extra sunlight that comes with the longer days of spring and summer—something your customers and employees will certainly appreciate!
Does your building have high ceilings or tall ledges or windows? Spring is an ideal time to bring in a lift to tackle any high dusting, and it allows you to clean those out-of-reach ceiling fans and change any bulbs in tall areas. This will also reduce the overall amount of dirt in your facility, which should help ease your daily cleaning.
Building maintenance done right
Spring is a time of renewal, and now’s your chance to make sure your facility is clean, refreshed and ready to take on a new year. We’re happy to assist with your building maintenance needs as you prepare your property for spring—everything from window washing and parking lot maintenance to painting and roof repair.
We know how important our interior janitorial services are to the safety and cleanliness of your facility, and we want to ensure every aspect of your property is properly maintained and prepared for the year ahead.
Bob Pastori is the director of special services & general contracting for SG360, a facility services company specializing in janitorial, facilities management, restoration services, and inventory management. How do you prepare your building for spring? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page or on Twitter @ServiceGroup360.