When winter rolls around, facilities management teams have new obstacles to overcome. Low temperatures and inclement weather can take great tolls on even the most well-maintained properties, which is why facilities professionals need to properly prepare for the colder months. Here are three important tips for effective winter maintenance.
- Clear walkways and parking lots
Facilities teams should prioritize clearing areas that get heavy foot and vehicle traffic when snow and ice appear, as failing to do so could present major safety risks. Clearing walkways and parking lots is also essential for keeping commercial businesses running smoothly, as workers and customers won’t show up to a building that can’t be accessed.
- Use ice to water plants
Many buildings have seasonal decor year round, which may include fresh poinsettias or Christmas trees during the winter. Many facilities management teams make the mistake of using room temperature water for plants’ upkeep, and are surprised when their buildings’ natural elements perish quite rapidly. HPAC Engineering magazine explained that regular water evaporates or is quickly absorbed during the winter, as inside air is usually kept hot and dry. Because ice cubes melt over the course of a few minutes, plants are able to absorb water gradually and stay healthy longer, which cuts down on the cost of acquiring replacement decor every few weeks.
- Pay attention to roofs
Seasoned facilities managers know that when inclement weather hits, they need to look up. While clearing the ground is essential, so is keeping a close watch on the state of roofs. Facilities staff should be vigilant about checking how much snow and ice is lingering on top of their buildings, especially those with flats roofs that are more likely to collapse. Lowe’s noted that maintaining roof runoff is also important, as large icicles can be extremely dangerous for people walking below them.