How to Prepare Your Commercial Facility for Wet Weather
In North America, it’s wintertime. For commercial facilities across the continent, that means wet weather and all of the complications that come with it. Facilities Managers have to consider everything from inconveniences to regulatory requirements to ensure their properties are ready to handle whatever Mother Nature can throw at them.
| Gutters and Runoff
When it comes to wet weather, water runoff should be on the top of a Facilities Manager’s checklist. Effective maintenance comes in two forms: reactive and preventative. They’re fairly self-explanatory, but we’ll quickly touch on each one.
Reactive maintenance is a response to an active problem such as a leak or blockage. Depending on the severity, these issues can require immediate action if they pose a threat to property or safety. Preventative maintenance is the effort to catch these issues before they happen by keeping gutters and drainage in good condition through a regular maintenance schedule.
When it comes to regulatory requirements, many areas have mandated stormwater management protocols. It is typically the Facilities Manager’s responsibility to ensure the property is meeting these requirements. A reliable vendor can go a long way toward making this process easy. Ask your facility services company about their stormwater management program to see how they can help.
| Electrical Safety
Most people know that water and electricity don’t mix well. Despite that, electrical safety is overlooked all the time. As commercial facilities age, their electrical systems can deteriorate. Frayed or exposed wiring is one of the biggest safety concerns in wet weather. You can stay on top of it with a preventative maintenance schedule provided by your licensed commercial electrician.
However, even when you’re doing everything you can to prevent problems some will inevitably surface. When it comes to electrical safety, be overly cautious – especially in commercial areas where power levels can easily exceed what is considered lethal. If you see exposed wiring, sparking, or other signs of electrical problems during wet weather, keep clear. This is especially true if you see someone that has been injured by an electric shock – they may still be in contact with the source or have a static charge in their body. Keep away and call 9-1-1, then contact your commercial electrician.
| Door and Window Seals
This section falls more in line with nuisances that your facility might experience. With inclement weather comes the inevitable door or window leak. It’s not a bad idea to have your repair & maintenance technician give these a look once per year before the worst of the winter weather arrives. If you’ve already got a schedule of regularly-performed preventative maintenance, this is a great thing to put on that checklist. Otherwise, schedule this in advance to save yourself a headache or two this winter season.
| Visibility and Traction
Parking lots and walkways can be two of the most-affected areas when bad weather hits. Reduced visibility and traction in both areas can be dangerous. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to bolster safety. Start with reflective or well-lit signage encourage drivers and pedestrians to be cautious. Make sure parking lots have fresh-painted lines and have been plowed. Have stairways and curbs marked and easily identifiable. And make sure your facility is in compliance with applicable ADA regulations. Steps like these can make life easier for everyone.
AAA Facility Services is an experienced, full-service construction, plumbing, electrical, and repair & maintenance firm. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your facility during winter weather.