Exterior building maintenance serves many purposes for facility owners and operators.
Not only does a clean and well-cared-for exterior provide appeal and confidence for visitors and residents but fixing problems at the root cause as they surface prevents financial and operational headaches down the line. This is particularly important for aging properties.
But regardless of their age or condition, all commercial and industrial properties need to be maintained in order to stay in good working condition, retain their value, and provide a safe workspace for all occupants.
These days, particularly during the pandemic, when enhanced cleaning and disinfection has become the primary focus, interior cleaning and maintenance tends to get the most attention. But while things like infection prevention and HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems are vital, neglecting a building’s shell can have dire consequences ranging from financial burdens to safety issues.
Placing focus on structures like the roof of buildings is vital as structural components are often closely interrelated. If roofing isn’t sealed properly, existing problems can easily and quickly spread to windows, doors, and other areas. Addressing basement leaks is another critical component and a further example of an area where negligence can lead to serious issues.
These kinds of things should be inspected at least once a year to ensure you stay on top of any current or emerging problems. High-traffic areas like entryways usually need the most attention.
Develop a well-thought-out plan
Indeed, regular exterior building maintenance is one of the most cost-effective ways to extend an ageing building’s lifespan. Developing and following a solid and considered exterior building maintenance plan is vital to keep facilities in fresh working order.
Here are five core tips to remember:
Regularly inspect your building’s outer shell
Either you or a third-party professional should look for any potential defect, including cracks, water intrusion, or issues with windows and doors. Then, come up with a plan for addressing them. A commercial building that has a flat roof, for instance, may be prone to pooling water and potential damage that would not be visible except for in a thorough inspection. This inspection will also help you detect early signs of a problem and make the fixes before the water impacts other areas of your building, window frames, doors and ceilings. During the inspection, have the provider clean out any gutters and downspouts of leaves or debris to enable continual water drainage.
Look out for leaks
Water intrusion is one of the biggest issues that owners of commercial and industrial properties deal with, it can escalate into more serious problems like a flooded basement or mould. Keep a constant eye out for leaks, train your employees to do the same, and maintain an operating budget for fixing those problems as soon as they start.
Don’t skip the small stuff
Even a minor leak or a small crack can turn into a big headache down the road. Do not skip these small problems; address them promptly to avoid bigger issues at a later date. For example, small cracks in a building’s exterior can quickly become big ones unless they are swiftly identified, sealed, and/or fixed.
Hire help when needed
It’s no failure to recognize that some tasks are best left to the experts in the name of both safety and efficiency. When it’s warranted, hire experienced professionals to help with monitoring, inspections, or maintenance of your building’s shell.
Keep your property looking good
It’s easy to fall into the habit of not keeping up the appearances of an ageing building, and this can deter potential new visitors, partners, customers. A fresh coat of paint goes a long way, as do new windows and other external upgrades, towards creating a more professional and inviting appearance.
Keep these tips in mind when deciding whether to put off new paint jobs or roof repairs for another year. It’s crucial to continuously evaluate the condition of building exteriors and take steps to either repair damage or prevent small issues from becoming major problems. Dedicating time to exterior maintenance will pay off in the long run.