The transition season is upon us, and it’s the best time to prepare your facility to withstand rains, winds, and snowfalls. How to start and what items must be on your Fall Maintenance Checklist – find out in this blog.
1. Clean gutters and downspouts
Gutters and downspouts are elements of the most important water management system in any facility. Clogged gutters can cause considerable damage to the building, like wet basements due to roof runoff during heavy rains, peeling paint, rotted siding, etc. That’s why it’s vital to ensure that downspouts and gutters drain water away in the most effective way. This is especially important during the Fall season when leaves become a big problem for maintenance and facility managers. Maintaining gutters in the working condition can be done in two major ways: regular clean-ups, which can be scheduled in your CMMS using the Preventive Maintenance feature, and pruning overhanging tree branches to keep debris and leaves off the roof. It’s also important to keep in mind that later in the season, standing water can freeze in gutters leading to roof damage and costly leaks.
2. Inspect the roof
Whether you choose to do it yourself or hire a qualified contractor, the main thing is to make sure that there is no way water can enter the building through the roof. First, check if there are any loose shingles. You can start with building eaves because this is the place where ice dams usually form in the winter, letting moisture get under the shingles. Second, make sure there are no holes or cracks that can serve as great points of entrance for water or snow. Here you can start with flashing at vertical wall intersections, plumbing-vent boots, and chimneys.
3. Turn off and drain exterior faucets
Exterior faucets can be frost-proof and non-frost-proof. While it might be late to consider updating the older ones, you can always make it part of your Spring maintenance strategy. Now, the best thing you can do is to ensure that all exterior faucets are properly drained, and there’s no water that can freeze and damage the pipes. It’s also a good time to check the underground irrigation system and have it serviced by an irrigation contractor.
4. Check Entrance Mats
Another thing you should focus on in September and October as a facility manager is entrance mats. It’s considered best to choose mats, the length of which allows visitors to make at least five steps so that as much water and dirt is stored in the mat as possible. Besides, low-quality mats often crush, making it impossible to keep the facility clean and safe in terms of slip hazards, so paying attention to the mat quality is essential. Keep in mind that a good entrance mat can not only prevent dirt from entering your facility but also reduce cleaning costs.
Over the last year, shoe disinfectant mats significantly grew in popularity. They serve as shoe sanitizer systems, and while it’s up to you to decide how effective such investment would be for your facility, the residents and visitors would definitely appreciate having such a prevention measure in place.
5. Inspect the attic, windows, and all exterior doors
Having this task in your Fall maintenance checklist will help you manage and reduce the heating costs during the winter season. First, the attic. What you should do is make sure that the insulation is distributed evenly and it’s thick enough to keep heat inside your facility. One more insulation-related task is making sure that it doesn’t block the continuous soffit vents around the perimeter of the attic. If the attic is unheated, you can also check if the fire sprinklers are insulated properly.
Caulking and weatherstripping are what you should focus on when checking doors and windows. All the gaps between windows or door frames and exterior walls should be properly sealed to prevent heat losses.
Summing up, your main goal while focusing on Fall facility maintenance is making sure that your facility is ready for the coldest days of the year. As you have noticed, most of the tasks can be part of your Preventive Maintenance program if you use a CMMS system. For example, with Maintenance Care, you can create specific checklists or build a flexible PM schedule depending on your maintenance needs. What’s more, our team keeps working on improving our powerful CMMS and adding new opportunities for facility managers. One of our most recent developments is OneAccess – a digital logbook for staff and visitors. Reach out to our customer care team to learn more.
Stay safe and warm, the Fall is coming!