Facility Dude

One last winter inspection

By FacilityDude
Mar 26, 2014

Facilities Management

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As The Beatles once sang:

"Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter / Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here."

Yes, when reflecting on the most recent season of polar vortexes, nor'easters and a snow-covered Atlanta, it's almost hard to imagine that there was ever a fall or even a summer before that. However, as the title of that iconic Beatles song suggests, "Here Comes the Sun," and spring right along with it. Now is the time to welcome a whole new season of facility maintenance management. First, you need to warm up your CMMS and say goodbye to winter.

Checking for pipes

All that snow and cold has wreaked havoc on much of the nation. It's quite possible that your facility has also fallen in the line of fire. Yet, with heaps of snow and ice, it may not have been easy or even possible to perform certain routine maintenance checks. Now is your chance to evaluate your facility for any potential damages.

First, there are the common problems, such as burst pipes and water leaks. These items need fixing immediately. You should check the water lines not only in the building, but also those used as part of irrigation or lawn watering systems. Otherwise, you may find it difficult to water the lawn come spring.

As for water leaks, your big concern is a flood of melted waters, including in the ground, which can cause flooding. Damage to the roof may also have allowed for water to get in the house and allow mold to grow.

Foundational issues

Those issues are minor, however, compared to some of the larger issues, such as structural damage. Your foundation is the first piece of your building you'll want to check once the snow clears. If water was allowed to pool and then freeze at the base of your building, the added pressure of expanding ice might have been enough to damage the foundation.

Another concern is your roof, which is only designed to handle a certain weight load, and if your building is old or its been bearing a lot of ice, you may have a roof with the potential to collapse. Make sure snow and ice is cleared and that the structure is in working order.

Finally, there are some other details worth addressing. The winter has proven especially cold, meaning that there's been plenty of material shrinkage. You may notice warped wood, wonky finish carpentry or even breaks in air seals around doors, windows or the roof. These should also be patched up or fixed as you see fit.

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