Winter building maintenance is best done during the autumn months. By preparing ahead of time, you can save money and prevent future damages to your property. Use these four tips to winterize your facility and gain some peace of mind.
1. Set a temperature
Building managers should know ahead of time what the indoor temperature will be set at throughout the winter months. The Center for Association Leadership said by sticking to set temperatures businesses can potentially save hundreds of dollars a year. So before winter hits, decide on a daytime and a nighttime temperature for you facility.
2. Take care of your trees
You might think that the foliage around your facility can take care of itself over the winter, but there are things you can do to make sure they come out of the cold season looking good. Trees and shrubbery can often help to prevent water from entering a building's foundation, so it's important to keep them healthy. Oregon State University recommended pruning tree branches to keep younger trees from looking tangled. You should also consider putting mulch around the bases of your trees . This will help to insulate them from harsh weather and they'll retain water more efficiently.
3. Prepare your irrigation system
Does your facility use an automatic system to irrigate the landscape? You'll have to prepare the system for winter before the first freeze of the year. Colorado State University said that sprinkler systems must be drained in northern parts of the U.S. where the ground can freeze severely. With that done, you need to drain the pumps of any remaining water, turn them off for the season and make sure the backflow valves are equipped with a blowout fitting.
4. Clean vents and chimneys
Autumn is the perfect time to replace your air filters and clear out chimneys and ductwork. You'll be heating the facilities up for the first time since spring and that will burn all the dust that's built up over the intervening months. Replacing filters will keep the indoor air quality at healthy levels and clearing the chimneys will reduce the risk of blockage or fires. Also, if your boiler or heater is over 15 years old, consider getting them inspected. Better to find out about any problems in the autumn rather than discovering them in the coldest months of winter.