COLD WEATHER FACILITY MAINTENANCE TIPS
Now that the turkey, sweet potatoes, and other holiday foodstuffs have been consumed, it’s a good time to look at how we can best maintain our facilities during the cold weather that’s been hitting parts of the country. ARC Facility brings to you a few Facility Maintenance service Tips for managing buildings in winters.
Facility Management Service Tips: Cold Weather
“This is the perfect time to walk through your equipment rooms and check to make sure your unit heaters and thermostats are operating correctly, and that all outside dampers are closed,” said Samantha Howell, EMCOR Services Fagan.
“If we are facing extreme low temperatures, propping open doors and installing a web-based thermostat that will alert you if a mechanical room drops below a certain temperature is a good idea,” she said. “Do daily walkthroughs in areas with exterior walls.”
Rigdon Fair, the Pothole Man, offers some sound advice about dangerous potholes. “Take care of your potholes early to prevent further degradation of your facilities pavement surfaces,” he said.
Winter is also an important time to better understand the challenges of inclement weather and emergency response for police, fire departments and 1st responders for several reasons:
- Icy and snowy roads mean it takes longer for crews to reach facilities
- Also, hoses, fire hydrants and gear can freeze, posing a safety threat to fire fighters
- Winter weather has an impact on fires, putting them out and restoring operations after
- When snow accumulates, clear it from fire hydrants, to make access easier for fire fighters
Parting Word of Advice on Managing Winter Facilities
John Willeto, Facilities Manager at Willeto Sheep Ranch, urges facility professionals to make sure that all the snow removal equipment has been serviced, including oil changes, air filters, winch cable inspections, remote control inspections, and tire inspections as part of a preventive facility maintenance solution. Double check your snow blades and ice spreaders to confirm that they’re operational. Also, check cinder/sand for walkways and roads for traction. To keep warm, Willeto’s staff wears insulated coveralls.
“Assign snow clearing zones and create maps indicating high traffic areas and visitor parking,” he said. “Conduct meetings with all employees assigned these duties. Make sure ice melt bags are in stock. Send out facility-wide emails about wearing shoes with traction in and out of the building to avoid slips and falls. Install new shoe cleaner brushes at all entry ways and ensure the sidewalk heat boiler system is operational with correct setpoints.”
Knowing your facility inside and out is vital in the winter. Having your facility information in your pocket when you’re on the go in bad weather gives you the ability to remotely locate shut-offs, turn off power sources and water lines in seconds, and locate emergency equipment quickly. Fast access to maintenance records, O&Ms, warranties, parts lists, inspection records, training videos, and technician notes can make a big difference for your winter facility maintenance service program.
Watch a few videos from facility leaders who are working with us year-round to bring safer conditions to the facilities they manage.