Prepping Your Building for Spring: A Comprehensive Checklist
With all these sneak-attack snowstorms battering the New York area lately, it may or may not be safe to say that winter is officially over — though we do seem to be having a heatwave this week, so hopefully spring is here to stay. Either way, it’s time to double check that your building is prepped for the warmer months.
To make that process easier for you, we’ve created a comprehensive checklist. Here are some important building maintenance items to address.
Fallen branches and dead leaves can clutter up your property quickly during the wintertime. Combine that with the effects of flooding and freezing, and you’ll find that your building’s grounds are in need of a good spring cleaning. Scan your property for any branches or leaves that need picking up, and especially watch out for leaves that may have accumulated in your building’s gutters or on top of the roof. Besides simply looking messy, damp piles of leaves can lead to more serious problems like mold and water damage.
Speaking of water damage, you’ll want to make sure your building survived those very cold April showers we had recently, as ice build-up over the winter can damage your facility’s roof, and leaks are one thing you’ll want to fix now, not after the problem gets worse.
When you’re checking your building for water damage, start by looking for water stains on the walls and ceilings. Make sure to check around the door frames and windows, and look for any cracks in the drywall. Stains and cracks are more obvious signs, but walls that are soft or swollen can also indicate water damage. Basements are prime targets as well, so if your facility has a basement, you might want to check there for stains, cracks, mold, or anything that feels damp. After you’ve finished inspecting walls and ceilings, look over your building’s floor for any warping or dark spots, and take a few sniffs to check for anything that smells like mold.
Water damage can also occur in your building’s pipes. Look for leaks, stains, and corrosion around the piping in your facility’s bathrooms and kitchen. Loose caulking, missing grout, and rust are all more subtle signs of water damage.
HVAC / Air conditioning
Remember how sweltering hot New York summers can get? And this year it began in May... We are thankful for our policy of having all our clients’ chillers ready by April 1st. Sooner rather than later is a great time to make sure your building’s air conditioning unit is fully functioning, hopefully another 80-degree day will not catch you by surprise.
Get rid of any dirt build-up in the equipment to maximize the flow of cool air, and change filters to eliminate allergens and smells. You’ll also want to inspect your facility’s general HVAC system. After pumping out warm air all winter long, the building’s central heating may need a little attention. Months of heavy use can lead to broken fans and other problems that it’s best to catch early on. And the ideal moment to do that is during this small window of time, when you can turn off your building’s central heating and air conditioning and get work done.
Along with spring comes the chance to spruce up your building’s property. Consider planting some flowers outside, or even bringing a touch of green inside with a small indoor courtyard or flower bed, we love those green walls sprucing up lobbies. Maybe you’d like your facility to look more inviting on the outside, in which case, you might think about hiring a landscaper.
If your greenery didn’t thrive so well last year, now is the perfect time to think about why that might have been the case. Consider factors like lack of sunlight (or too much sunlight), faulty irrigation, and soil density. With a few sensitive touches, you can have your property looking fresh and sturdy for the arrival of spring and summer.
And speaking of live things, the thaw tends to bring out creatures who may not be in your visitors’ log. We’re talking about pests. Luckily, pests need food, water, and shelter to survive, and when you remove these elements, you’ll reduce the appeal of your property to unwelcome guests.
You can start by eliminating areas for standing water, especially around the building, and by pruning trees and bushes away. Untreated wood can be a gourmet meal, so you’ll want to be mindful when planning outdoor seating.
Unless you want to serve those pests more gourmet meals, consider providing separate waste receptacles on each floor so employees can dispose of their food in a closed receptacle. Throwing food in regular waste baskets and leaving snacks like cookies lying outside of sealed containers is a sure way to attract mice, bugs, and other pesky critters. Depending on the size of the floor and density of staff, you may want to supply one, two, or more food waste receptacles.
Your building’s floors have been waiting for the snow and salt to end to get their spring bath, and a deep floor cleaning is just what the doctor ordered. Deep carpet extraction, wood floor treatment, vinyl strip and wax, and marble diamondizing will turn your winter-weary floors into smooth, polished platforms that will give everyone around a spring in their step.
And don’t neglect those windows. The glass panes that faithfully protected employees from rain, wind, and snow for so many months are now hoping for their yearly makeover. Besides, clean windows let in more light to illuminate all the brilliant ideas going on inside.
Need help prepping your building for spring? Contact us today for a free consultation.