Despite the mild fall temperatures, winter weather is right around the corner. With it comes all the environmental changes that plague facilities managers and building owners.

Oklahoma’s plummeting temperatures in combination with high winds can lead to everything from burst pipes to missing roof shingles. This damage can create expenses for repair and loss of use costs for the business. So, how can you plan for winter?

Check major systems regularly

Regular checks of core operating systems in the building should be completed as a part of any maintenance plan. These systems should include plumbing, heat and air, electrical, and exterior surfaces.

Visually inspect each for visible cracks, leaks, rusting, frayed wiring, and broken parts. Ensure maintenance is performed for each as recommended by manufacturers. Filters should be changed regularly, and insulated covers should be fitted to water spigots.

Clean areas that accumulate environmental debris, which includes removing leaves and grass cuttings. Trim back any trees with branches hanging over roofs.

Check for areas prone to water pooling or infiltration. This may be as simple as ensuring dead valleys on rooflines are clear of debris. French drains and guttering should be clear of obstructions to make sure water channels to appropriate areas.

Needed repairs on exterior surfaces should be made as soon as possible.

Review past issues

Review maintenance issues of the past winter. This can be a good indicator of the problems that may be ahead. Ensure proper repairs were made regarding those issues.

Talk with your facility staff about what went well and what you could do better for the upcoming season.

Talk to tenants and staff

All tenants and staff working in the building should understand proper procedures during inclement weather. This should include contact information for early closure or late opening of the building. All tenants should understand guidelines around deicing and salting surfaces and who is responsible for application of such products.

Expectations should be set as to the condition of parking surfaces during snow and ice.
A plan should also be in place for contacting customers during inclement weather.

Winter weather can be unpredictable, but a thorough plan ensures you are not caught unprepared. Please contact us if you have questions regarding winter preparations for your commercial building.

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