Is your commercial building ready for winter? Even with fairly moderate winters, the weather can be unpredictable and whatever winter decides to do, it’s important to check that your buildings are ready. By taking care of a few simple things before winter really sets in, you can save money on your bills and keep unexpected costs at bay.
Winter is definitely the harshest season in terms of wear and tear on buildings so we advise getting ahead of the cold front. Prepare your windows and doors, check for any weak points on building exteriors to keep the cold out and the heat in.
Here’s our five-point winter checklist
1. Check windows and doors
By doing a walk around and checking all your windows and doors for cracks, broken or worn seals, weak joints any maintenance can be carried out to avoid warm air escaping and vice versa.
If you do find any cracks or condensation building up in your windows, you may find a failure in the sealed units. This can be an easy fix and our local teams can be out to make any window repairs and door repairs before winter and make sure that gaps and seals are closed up to avoid any cold air getting in.
Maintenance tip: Make sure you clear any debris that may have collected during fall in the frames of your windows and doors. Keeping them clear will allow them to close properly and not cause any damage to the hinges or frames.
In most windows and doors, there are moving parts and by using a little bit of lubricant on the hinges once or twice a year, you can keep the parts moving well and avoid them being forced or broken when they seize up during colder months. Caulking and weather stripping window frames and doors is a job worth doing too. Check the gaps and seals while you’re going around cleaning the frames and lubricating, you will spot anything that can be sealed up easily with caulk or something similar. A&C Contracts offer window repair or door repair services if you need help this winter.
2. Survey exterior pipes and walls
Any cracks or exposed pipes can let in cold air and draughts but also become points of weakness that can expand with freezing conditions. Should you face persistent problems in winter with your exterior walls, cladding can offer a great solution to this. It helps to protect your exterior walls from the elements which means you are less likely to face problems such as cracks in your walls which may lead to leaks or heat loss. A&C contracts are also able to offer ongoing support for cladding maintenance.
Maintenance tip: Any exposed water pipes would be wrapped or covered with insulation sleeves. This can minimise heat loss but also burst pipes temperatures drop below freezing. Gaps or holes around pipes and outlets externally should be closed off with a silicon-based sealant.
3. Check your buildings insurance policy
For commercial property, if you have changed or implemented supplementary heating it’s important to check your buildings insurance and make any updates. (It’s a good moment to check that your insurance policies have you covered for winter/weather damage).
Maintenance tip: It’s common that windows and doors will be kept closed during winter months, with your heating sourced turned up, it’s really important to check your carbon monoxide units are in full working order.
4. Have your gutters cleaned
After autumn with lots of leaves clogging up the gutters, they can fill up and cause water to run into the roof or walls. This moisture can also dam up and freeze becoming quite heavy and breaking weak or old gutters.
Maintenance tip: Have trees around your commercial property pruned before winter. Branches and trees close to your roof could be adding to the build up in gutters.
5. Check your roof and buildings for water leaks
Small leaks can go unnoticed but with freezing temperatures and gusts they can quickly get out of hand. Water stains and patches in the ceiling are easy to spot, smaller leaks can be harder to find. Check your loft insulation for any mould, damp wood and patches in the ceiling as these can be telltale signs of smaller leaks that have let moisture in over a longer period of time.
Maintenance tip: replace damaged, loose or missing tiles on your roof. A winter storm can easily penetrate these points of weakness and create a bigger problem just when you don’t need it.
Need help preparing your commercial property for winter? Get in touch with A&C today.