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Protecting the Future, Preserving the Past

Checking your building for damage after summer

 Just about everyone knows that extreme heat is harmful to people. But did you know it can harm your commercial building too?

When you’re sweating your way through the height of summer, your building’s suffering too. Systems can be overtaxed and structures affected by the sweltering temperatures of the hottest months. You need to know what to check so you can be prepared for winter. Here’s where to start.

Exterior walls

Cycles of heating and cooling can affect exterior walls in ways that only show up after years of weathering. Take masonry, for example. Mortar that’s constantly heated and cooled can begin to crack, spall and flake away. This is most likely to occur in areas that have extremes of temperature between summer and winter, particularly the Great Plains states. If you see your mortar receding or flaking away, now is the time to do some tuckpointing and get that repair under your belt.

Siding can warp or crack, too. Paint can bubble up on areas that see a lot of sun. It’s worth taking a walk around the outside of the building before it gets too cold to do it comfortably. Make sure you’re prepared for winter and there aren’t any lingering issues.

Roofing

Though many commercial buildings don’t have shingle roofing, some do. And even rolled roofing can suffer from the same effects as shingle under extreme heat—brittleness, cracking and warping. This is particularly a problem for older roofs that might have substandard composite shingle material.

Even if there’s no visible damage at the moment, over time all roofs break down. UV light and heat take their toll, and you need to keep an eye on your roof to make sure you catch problems before they become a real issue.

HVAC

This is the most obvious system that’s overtaxed by the heat of summer. With the heat, HVAC units often run continuously, and the constant wear and tear can take its toll, especially over multiple seasons.

You absolutely have to conduct regular inspections of your HVAC, including refrigerant, filters, frost on the lines and any odd noises. Catching these issues early can keep repair bills from compounding.

No matter what you do, some environmental factors like heat and light are just a part of life. They take a toll on buildings that you need to be aware of. Stay ahead of your building maintenance—and if you’re having trouble, call JKI and see how we can help.