A commercial building is a big undertaking, and there are various responsibilities that fall on business owners throughout the year to keep them safe and functional. But while maintenance is an ongoing task, the new year is the perfect time to reset and take stock of your space so you can check that everything is in good working order, carrying out repairs and servicing where necessary to set you up for the year ahead. Here are some maintenance tips businesses would be wise to factor in time for.
Make Time for an Energy Efficiency Check
With energy prices a concern for many business owners at the moment, there’s never been a more prudent time to run an energy audit of your business premises. Energy efficiency directly affects your business’ bottom line and also makes a contribution to tackling the climate crisis, so it’s a worthwhile use of your time.
An audit will help you identify areas of your building where you’re using energy unnecessarily, and where you can make savings, such as repairing insulation around windows and doors, replacing windows for double-glazed alternatives, changing old light bulbs for LEDs, and replacing roof insulation to retain warmth.
Schedule a Service of Your Major Appliances
Staying on top of your building’s major appliances is integral to keeping the environment safe for employees and customers, so the likes of lifts and escalators, public bathrooms, and HVAC units need to be inspected to prevent accidents and keep the building in a good standard.
Air conditioning specialists Climachill explain, for example, that “servicing is important for an air conditioning system, as it reduces running costs, ensures that systems are operating at optimum efficiency and dramatically reduces the likelihood of a breakdown, leading to inconvenience and potentially expensive repairs.” Take the opportunity to book in any necessary servicing appointments so you can be sure all appliances are working as they should.
Check for Electrical Issues
Faulty electrical equipment is not just a safety risk for anyone on the premises, but it’ll also impact your power supply and could disrupt your entire workplace in the event of a tripped wire or shortage—or, in the worst case, cause an electrical fire. So regular testing and electrical maintenance is vital for your business and needs to be carried out by a qualified professional.
Checking your electrical equipment will not only ensure your staff are kept safe when using sockets and electrical devices in the workplace, but it will also ensure that your entire building is kept up to code. This will prevent any legal problems which could follow if an accident occurs.
Monitor for the Presence of Mold
Mold can be incredibly damaging to a structure and to the health of your staff, not least because you need to clean the area thoroughly before you can allow people to use the space again, which impacts your bottom line and hinders productivity. So carrying out a regular inspection of the whole building, not just the common culprits, can help you stay on top of any signs of mold growth and will make it much easier to deal with if you spot anything. In particular, look out for signs of mold near plumbing fixtures, as this could be a sign of a leak that will need repair straight away. Which brings us on to the next tip…
Check Internal and External Pipework
Cold weather and adverse conditions, such as frost and snow, can lead to damage to your plumbing, so the new year is a prime opportunity to check that everything is in working order and handle any leaks or signs of damage which have appeared with the onset of bad weather.
When you’re carrying out maintenance of plumbing for your commercial property, remember to check both internal and external pipework for signs of a leak and wear and tear, as well as insulate external pipes that could be prone to freezing. Similarly, check outside grates and drains that could be blocked with leaves and debris and may increase the risk of flooding.
Fire up Your Backup Generator
If there are elements of your backup generator which have become stagnant, it could cause a problem further down the line. When aspects of a generator sit motionless for too long, air can find its way inside of the injector solenoid and render your generator useless—not something you want to discover in an emergency.
Any emergency generator will benefit from being fired up for at least five minutes regularly to keep everything moving and in good working order, so if you’ve been neglecting this task, now is the time to add it to your maintenance checklist.
Perform a Pest Control Check
Unfortunately, commercial premises can be prone to pests if they’re not well maintained, and in turn a pest problem can pose health and safety risks. Infestations can cause serious damage to your commercial property, so staying on top of the signs of a problem will prevent issues. Common signs of pests include droppings and eggs, scratches or gnawing on wood and furniture, and holes in walls, flooring, or roofing.
In some cases you’ll need professional assistance to deal with any signs of an infestation, but if it’s a minor case, you may be able to handle it yourself. Sealing any holes and areas where a pest could gain access will prevent a problem, and clearing away clutter will prevent an infestation of bugs and rodents.
Commercial buildings need to be kept in good condition to keep them health and safety compliant, maintain your business’ reputation, and provide a comfortable work environment for your staff. The new year is synonymous with a fresh start, so it’s a good time to take stock of the state of your property and take care of any issues that have developed over the previous year. It will ensure that everything is functioning properly for your team and may even save you money when it comes to costly repairs and replacements in the future.
Chester Avey has over a decade of experience in business growth management and cybersecurity. He enjoys sharing his knowledge with other like-minded professionals through his writing. You can connect with Chester by following him on Twitter @ChesterAvey