We’ve had an unusually warm season this year, but winter weather is nevertheless hard on buildings. Fluxuating temperatures, salt, sand, and sealed buildings all come with the need for good building maintenance. We’ve outlined 3 important steps to take towards winter-proofing your building.
1. Deal With Snow and Ice
You obviously want to protect the employees and visitors who use your building, so one of your top priorities should be to keep walkways and parking lots free of ice and snow. You can hire a professional plough service or shovelers to clear your property on off hours and as needed when there is fresh snow.
You will want to use either sand or salt to prevent ice buildup from becoming dangerously slick. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.
Salt eats through and melts ice, so it is more effective. But, it can be hard on footwear, vehicles, and floors.
Sand provides traction, but it is only effective when it’s on the surface. When it snows, it needs to be reapplied to remain effective. The benefit of sand is that it is less corrosive than salt and easier on boots and floors.
The best solution is to clear snow before it freezes and becomes ice and to break up any ice that does form.
2. Protect Your Floors
The floors of your building take a beating from the water, sand, and salt carried in from people’s boots. This is especially true for the floors in your foyer or entrance area. Many products used to treat ice can be destructive on rugs, carpeting, hardwood flooring and vinyl. Rock salt can even wear on concrete over a period of time.
It’s important to protect your floors during the winter season to maintain their integrity and prolong their lifespan.
Be sure to sweep dirt and salt from your floors on a daily basis or even multiple times per day. These corrosive and abrasive substances wear away at the finish of your floors and can speed up the degradation of your carpeting. Clearing them away regularly ensures you are keeping your flooring materials safe from damage.
It is also important to regularly wash your floors to clear them of residues that remain after sweeping. Salt and other corrosive materials used to melt ice stay behind even after sweeping and if left unwashed, begin to degrade flooring materials.
Another reason to regularly maintain your floors is safety. Placing mats at the entrance(s) of your building can reduce the amount of water carried in on boots, but these won’t eliminate the problem. Wet floors can be a slip hazard for building occupants and should be regularly mopped up.
3. Improve Indoor Air Quality
During cold weather, buildings are sealed off to keep heat in and this can trap bad air inside. High quality air is vital to the health of building occupants.
Make sure your ventilation systems are properly cleaned so no dust, chemicals, mold, germs, or contaminants find their way into the indoor air space. As well, as unpleasant as it is, the reality is that vermin and other creatures seek out warmth during the cold season. They might find their way into your building and only regular maintenance by a professional cleaning service can identify the problem and remove their debris.
One of the reasons colds and flus are more common during winter is the amount of recycled air we breathe indoors. Be sure to properly disinfect your building and maintain clean, indoor air for your staff and visitors.