As we head into spring, be sure to welcome employees and customers with a property that not only looks clean but also is clean. Snow, ice, salt, and calcium can leave their mark on a facility, whether it’s a shopping center, a college or hospital campus, an office complex, an amusement or a recreational park, or a transportation hub, so facilities managers should ensure that all portions of their facility are thoroughly checked. They are also encouraged to do this during low-volume periods, which can vary based on facility type.
1. Check for Exterior Weather Damage
Facilities professionals should check gutters and drainage systems for leaves and blockage, as well as ensure the foundation and vertical walls have not cracked and fix them promptly if they have. If significantly damaged windows are discovered, replace them immediately.
As for pedestrian and vehicular pathways:
- Inspect concrete sidewalks, steps, and ramps for damage.
- Check asphalt surfaces for problems like potholes caused by freezing temperatures and ice.
- Consider repaving parking lots and putting down freshly lined parking spaces.
- Contemplate installing new curbing.
2. Examine Landscaping
Clean it up by:
- Picking up limbs and leaves,
- Eliminating trash,
- Pruning trees and shrubs and removing flower beds that have been heavily damaged, and
- Helping reduce future waste by adding more garbage cans to high-traffic areas.
Additionally, keep your property looking nice by addressing damaged turf and any overgrown plants, and consider the positive impacts flowers and plants can have, which, according to Texas A&M University, can include improving memory and concentration, increasing happiness, and adding to the healing process. Also, plants and shrubs should have adequate food, and consider using herbicides to stop grassy weeds. Ensure the irrigation system is in proper working order, and schedule regular mowing and trimming during warmer months.
3. Inspect Facility Exterior Areas
Make sure you check the exterior of your building, including the roof, for any damage, and consider getting a professional roof and building wash to eliminate mold and grime. Learn more about how to fix a roof by reading “Back to Basics: Should You Repair, Restore, or Replace Your Roof?” on Facilities Management Advisor. Also, now is the time to clean out decorative fountains, turn them on, and ensure they work properly, and restaurants should think about repainting or resealing their outdoor decks and porches. Additionally, prevent Legionella from forming by following tips from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Don’t forget to check the conditions of the following elements:
- Outdoor lighting
- Security cameras
- Exterior signage
4. Review and Clean Building Interior Components
Facilities managers should schedule a deep cleaning of the building and encourage employees to clean up their areas. Also, consider green cleaning to save money by using more efficient cleaners. Check out “The Benefits of Green Cleaning Your Facility” on Facilities Management Advisor.
Specific interior elements that should be serviced and inspected include:
- The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system to improve efficiency and reduce equipment and maintenance costs.
- Slippery floors near entrances should be addressed with heavy-duty rugs.
- Fire safety devices such as fire extinguishers, sprinklers, exit signs, and emergency lighting. To learn more about tips to meet fire code regulations, check out “Back to Basics: Most Common Fire Safety Code Violations” on Facilities Management Advisor.
- All electrical issues.
- Plumbing problems.
Facilities professionals should also keep in mind their local climate’s snowfall history and area growing conditions before starting on this list so they won’t be caught by surprise in case winter makes a comeback at the last minute. But they should also be aware that waiting too long for these improvements might make it challenging to get work completed at facilities that experience upticks during the summer, such as seasonal restaurants, beachfront businesses, and places that are extremely dependent on the weather, such as golf courses, recreational parks, and amusement parks.