Your Fall To-Do List: Cleanup & Maintenance for Commercial Properties
Seasonal cleanup and routine maintenance are important parts of keeping your commercial properties running smoothly and looking great…and keeping your tenants happy!
This time of year, your commercial buildings will need a little extra care and attention to make sure they’re ready for the cooler months to come. October is prime time for cleaning up your properties’ landscaping and getting your buildings ready for winter.
To help you prepare for the change in the seasons, the team at APPRO Development and CERRON Commercial Properties have compiled a brief list of routine cleanup and maintenance for commercial properties. Add these items to your to-do list this fall to keep your commercial buildings in tip top shape!
1. Schedule a Professional Roof Inspection
Roof inspections are always an important part of maintenance for commercial properties, but with the harsh weather winter brings, it’s especially crucial this time of year. A fall roof inspection will help ensure your roof is prepared to withstand the snow, ice, and winds to come, and minimize your risk of roof leaks and water damage to your property.
To keep your roof in great shape, go through this checklist this fall:
- Have your roof professionally inspected. (Do this at least once a year, as well as after severe storms.)
- If you have multiple properties, create a roofing file for each building to easily keep track of maintenance and repairs.
- Review your warranty information so you know what’s covered and what isn’t.
- It is imperative you clear out debris from your roof drains.
- Consider putting salt blocks on your roof.
- Walk the perimeter to examine sheet metal, copings, and previously repaired sections.
- Check for loose titles, boards, or shingles and have them repaired promptly.
2. Clean Out Gutters and Downspouts
Falling leaves, twigs, and other debris can block your gutters and downspouts. Clearing out this detritus will help ensure water drains from your roof the way it’s supposed to and reduce the risk of flooding or overflow.
While you’re at it, make sure all gutters and downspouts are in good condition and secured properly. If they aren’t, have repairs made before winter hits. Making sure your gutters are in good shape and securely attached will help prevent them from blowing around and suffering further damage in winter storms.
3. Lighting and Safety
Shorter winter days mean a greater need for lighting, both in and surrounding your building.
Inspect your lighting on a regular basis, replacing lamps and repairing damage as needed. While you’re at it, dust lamps and clean lens surfaces to enhance lighting performance. Luminaires that have transformers, control gear, or accessories like glare baffles or color filters should be thoroughly checked as well.
And if you have automatic timers for your lights, adjust the timing to line up with changing daylight hours.
Finally, though a licensed or manufacturer-authorized professional should inspect fire- and life-safety systems, you can take the initiative to make sure your certifications are up to date and any necessary reports and paperwork are easy to find.
4. Backup Generators and Electrical Circuits
Whenever inclement weather hits, power outages are inevitable. In the event of an outage, it’s vital that your tenants are able to continue with their day-to-day business.
Test your backup generators now to make sure they will work properly when you need them. If you don’t have backup generators, consider investing in them before winter. You never know when you may need them!
Routinely inspecting your electrical circuits is a good idea as well. Winter means higher usage of lighting and appliances, and faulty circuits could lead to blown fuses — or worse, a potential building fire. So take the time now to ensure your electrical circuits are in good working order.
5. Service Your HVAC System
Having your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems properly serviced will help keep your tenants happy when the cold weather hits. Routine servicing of HVAC systems will also prolong their efficiency and durability.
Here’s a checklist to follow this fall:
- Inspect the entire system at least twice per year, with seasonal start-up and run inspections
- Clean or replace filters
- Calibrate thermostats
- Adjust supply registers
- Pumps: Lubricate bearings, inspect couplings, check for leaks, and investigate any unusual noises.
- Cooling towers: Disassemble screens and access panels for inspection. Then, inspect the tower fill, support structure, sump and spray nozzles, fill valve, gear box, drive coupling, fan blades, and motor bearings. Clean the starter and cabinet, inspect the wiring, check the motor starter contacts, megger test the motor and log readings, and check the condition of the sump heater and contactor.
- Keep a log of all maintenance and repairs, as well as anything you need to keep an eye on for the future.
6. Lawn and Yard Care
Just like at home, your commercial property’s yard needs a little TLC in the fall.
Start with picking up leaves, sticks, branches, and other debris from the lawn. Keeping this debris cleaned up helps improve soil health, reduce the chances of slip and fall accidents on walkways, and keep your gutters and drains from becoming clogged.
Continue mowing the lawn and pulling weeds as needed until the first hard frost. Aerate the lawn as well, to help guard against soil compaction over the winter. Then, follow with overseeding and adding fertilizer to encourage fuller growth next year.
If your property has an irrigation system, now is the time to winterize it.
Fall is also a good time to replace the mulch in your garden beds and around trees or other plants. Fresh mulch improves soil health, prevents weeds from growing, and keeps your plants hydrated and healthy.
Finally, prune trees, shrubs, and perennial plants. Remove dead or diseased branches, as well as branches that are getting too close to your building or to electrical wires.
7. Building Exterior and Surfaces
Small chips, holes, or cracks in your building’s exterior may not seem alarming, but harsh winter weather can make them much worse. Moisture can seep through even the smallest holes, then expand once temperatures dip below freezing.
The same applies to the sidewalks, walkways, and parking lot surfaces around your building. Small cracks can transform into larger hazards during winter (and snow plowing efforts will only worsen the situation).
Schedule your annual stormwater maintenance inspection if you have a stormwater basin or infiltration basin that was constructed as part of your building, which might also include a Stormwater Management Agreement with your City. APPRO Development can connect you with engineering firms that can complete the inspection.
Take some time this fall to inspect your building’s exterior and the surfaces surrounding it, and repair any damage you see.
Then, make sure you’re ready for winter storms by stocking up on snow and ice removal supplies. Consider using Cherry Stone (or other) Grit in lieu of salt for those early season ice events to reduce the denigration of concrete walks that salt can cause. Tune up your snow removal equipment as well, so it’s ready to go (or make sure you’re on the list for snow removal services, if you hire that out).
We hope this helps you get your commercial properties ready for the colder months to come. For more tips and helpful information about commercial property solutions, follow along on the APPRO and CERRON blog or sign up for our email list!