With winter upon us, many building owners and facility managers have a solid plan in place for snow and ice removal services, making certain their facilities are ready for the season.
However, there is more to consider than just having snowplows and shovels handy. Correctly preparing your building’s exterior before the snow arrives will make a big difference when it comes to minimizing damage. It will also ensure that general maintenance and repairs will be easier and less costly come springtime.
If you’re working with a full-service maintenance company, the following services will already be outlined in your Maintenance Program and executed with strategic timing. As such, we strongly encourage you to develop a long-term partnership with a reputable facility maintenance company.
However, if you’re working with various subcontractors, it’s important to develop a list of must-have preventative and reactionary services for winter and orchestrate the timing of their work.
We recommend focusing on these key areas so you can experience a smooth winter season.
1: Parking Lot Repair
Winter can cause a great deal of structural damage to asphalt – cracks, frost heaves and potholes. Your parking lot is central to the overall integrity of your facility. It’s also where your customers will form their first impression of your brand.
There are several ways that you or your exterior building subcontractors can stay ahead of the curve for parking lot repair and preventative maintenance.
First, develop a snow & ice management program, so when the first flakes fly, you’re in control. Then all you need to do is execute your plan.
Your contractor also needs to make sure that your parking lot’s drainage and runoff systems are working properly to avoid the damage that puddles and other collections of debris can create. Such collections are what can weaken the asphalt and lead to dangerous conditions.
Yes, thinking about your landscaping when you’re preparing your facility for the winter is important. There are things your building contractor needs to be doing now to ensure that snow, ice, and overall temperatures don’t affect your greenery, trees or shrubbery during these colder months.
Before the first heavy snow, remove all leaves, twigs, and branches from the grass and mulched areas. Make sure, too, that your grass is short and fertilized so it can sustain its health if it’s covered in snow for a few months. Letting long grass freeze can kill it making it that much more challenging to bring back in the spring. Also, apply mulch to tree and shrub beds so they, too, grow back fuller after the winter. And don’t forget to secure loose tree branches to avoid personal or property damage.
Winterizing your concrete, whether along the foundation of the building, the building itself, the sidewalks and surrounding walkways is crucial, and one of the most important things your exterior services contractor will cover.
They will inspect for cracks so they can prevent them from deepening or spreading. They will also apply a sealant to the concrete to ensure that extreme temperature fluctuations and moisture don’t significantly affect its integrity, which is especially true if it’s part of a building’s foundation.
Drainage systems and anything involving pipes are critical to prepare for winter, especially in a large office building or similar structure.
If you have drainage problems now, winter will only make them worse. Your contractor will ensure that all runoff systems can adequately collect water and that all hoses and pipes are properly drained, so they don’t expand or burst.
They will also clean out all gutters and leaf collection systems so the building can properly drain melting snow.
If you’re working with subcontractors, we hope you found these tips helpful. If you would prefer the convenience and advantage of working with a deeply experienced facilities maintenance company, contact East End Group today for a free quote.