Gameplan for Winter Facilities Maintenance
For facility management teams, winter and cold weather bring added attention to making sure rooftops are in good shape. This winter has seen tremendous flooding in parts of California, and other parts of the country, putting stress on roofs and drainage systems.
“Water is not the friend of Facilities Teams,” said David Trask, National Director, ARC Facilities. “It penetrates everywhere and unfortunately California and other states have had a drought for so many years the water was not able to easily penetrate the ground creating massive flooding. Many organizations face backups in drainage systems and water leaks in roofs because the drains can’t keep up or they get clogged with debris. This causes water to just sit on roofs with nowhere to go. If there is a way in, water will find it!”
Winter is also good time for facility management teams to pay attention to a wide range of issues, including these suggestions from Christine Burkett, Sam’s Club:
- Monitor conditions to get ahead of potential hazards such as roof snow loads.
- Drain waterlines that may be exposed to outside ambient temperatures.
- Test all hoods and dampers throughout the HVAC system to ensure Indoor Clean Air Act requirements for fresh air exchange are met during the heating season.
- Test exterior heat tape circuits periodically throughout the winter to prevent ice damming in gutters or along the roof line.
- Replace and repair weather seals on exterior windows and doors, overhead or rollup doors to prevent air infiltration and icing.
Yolanda Keys, from Emory Healthcare, said, “As a result of the harsh winter our facilities have experienced a lot of busted pipes and water main breaks.” Yolanda offered these winter facility management tips:
- Make sure facilities are inspecting exposed pipes or sprinkler pipes for deterioration.
- Make sure mitigation plans are in place and the plans work effectively to prevent as much damage as possible.
- Make sure generator inspections are being conducted to prepare for power losses.
- Conduct roof inspections for possible leaks.
- Clear walkways and parking lots for patients and visitors
Check out our Cold Weather Facility Maintenance Tips for more practical feedback from facilities management professionals.