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WEB EXCLUSIVE: Preventing The Top Maintenance Issues

Written by Heidi Schwartz. Posted in Facility Management

Tagged: , , , ,

Published on February 08, 2012 with 1 Comment

This Web exclusive comes from Dusty Henry at All Property Management.

Managing a facility can be a complex and daunting task, especially for a brand new facility manager. Often facilities will host people entering and exiting throughout the day, and it’s a necessity to make sure everyone who comes through the building has a pleasant and comfortable experience. With this in mind, here are some common areas where preventive maintenance can make the difference between a smoothly running facility and a disaster.

HVAC
Especially in areas where the weather is experienced in “hot or cold” extremes, having your HVAC system go out can be devastating. This is why it’s crucial to have monthly inspections of your HVAC system. Your inspection checklist should include:

  • Checking the drain pans;
  • Ensuring that all the electrical connections are properly tightened;
  • Replacing air filters as needed; and
  • Cleaning coils.

In addition, you should regularly check your HVAC system for condensation, and dry any moisture you find. Failing to do so can result in mold creeping into your ventilation system, which will in turn spread mold spores throughout the building. This is a serious threat to health for everyone in the facility. Cleaning the mold is a delicate issue as well, requiring that each area you clean is sealed off throughout the process to prevent spread of spores.

Locks and Keys
In a facility with many employees, there is often a need for numerous people to have access to keys. This comes with some safety issues.

Many people with keys means many chances for doors to be either left unlocked or other security breaches. Occupant and building safety are crucial to keep in mind here.

Keeping track of who actually has a key to your building is crucial. Having individuals (or their departments) submit a key request form is great so you can create roster of everyone who has access to the building.

If your building generally does not have 24 hour access, implementing a required sign out sheet for the last person in the building can help keep track of who was in the building if there is an issue. Investing in self-locking exterior doors which only open with the proper key can ensure security even if someone forgets to lock the door manually; however, this will most likely mean more people will need access to keys.

Lighting
Dim lighting and burnt out lights can be bothersome tasks to have to deal with. Keeping regular maintenance on them during your monthly inspection can extend the life of your fixtures and potentially reduce the amount of times you have to come to replace them.

Simply cleaning light fixtures routinely will help improve their lighting and life. This is often neglected, but with the proper cleaning products (even a cloth will do) lighting will greatly improve throughout the bulb’s duration.

Keeping track of the bulb’s average lifespan (typically specified on the packaging) and replacing multiple fixtures at the same point of depreciation will greatly improve lighting. In context, this means when other fixtures unexpectedly burn out it will be less noticeable because of the continuity of brightness in the bulbs you had replaced at the same time.

Plumbing
Clogged drains are common issue for any building. As always, one of the best things to do is to re-educate yourself and your co-workers on what is improper to pour or flush down drains: grease, food, feminine hygiene products, etc.

Regularly pouring a cup of baking soda down the drain can help in clog prevention. Even investing in a spray-and-vac cleaning system can help assist in the pursuit against clogs.

Inspecting leaks and odd noises can help foresee a problem on the rise. Flushing water heaters annually will also help minimize mineral buildups. This may sound like a daunting task but in reality only requires a garden hose and time. There are various manuals online with step-by-step guides on how to perform this routine yourself.

All Property Management is a company that matches rental property owners with property management companies in their areas.

About Heidi Schwartz

Heidi Schwartz

Schwartz joined Group C Media in April 1989 as managing editor of Today's Facility Manager (TFM) magazine (formerly Business Interiors) where she was subsequently promoted to editor/co-publisher of the monthly trade magazine for facility management professionals. In September 2012, she took over the newly created position of internet director for TFM's parent company, Group C Media, where she is charged with developing content and creating online strategies for TFM and its sister publication, Business Facilities. Schwartz can be reached at schwartz@groupc.com.

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1 Comment

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  1. Great checklist Heidi!

    It’s so easy to forget a few of those jobs, and if they’re left untouched, can end up costing you so much more in the future.

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