Landscaping, Concrete, & Power Outages
Attention facility maintenance managers! With the winter season fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about how to protect your buildings from harsh weather conditions. Last month we talked about windows, gutters, plumbing, roofs, and HVAC. This month we are going to tackle landscaping, concrete, and power outages.
As you know, when the temperatures start to drop, it’s essential to take proactive steps in winterizing your building to prevent any costly and unforeseen damage. From power outages to landscaping protection and concrete preservation, there are some crucial factors to consider when preparing your property for the winter months. In this blog post, we will discuss the top tips for winterizing buildings that every facility maintenance manager should know. So, let’s dive in and get your properties one step closer to being ready for the winter season ahead!
Treat and Prepare Your Concrete
Winter weather can pose serious challenges for concrete surfaces. Not only can freezing temperatures cause small cracks to grow and spread, but the snow and ice that often accompany winter weather can also create a serious safety hazard for pedestrians. The freeze-thaw cycle, which is common in many regions during the winter months, can cause concrete surfaces to expand and contract, further contributing to cracking and structural damage. To keep your concrete surfaces safe and functional during the winter months, it’s important to take a proactive approach. This may involve sealing any existing cracks or applying a protective coating to prevent further damage. In addition, it’s essential to regularly clear snow and ice from concrete surfaces to prevent slips and falls. De-icing agents that are safe for concrete surfaces can also be effective at preventing ice accumulation. With a little preparation and maintenance, your concrete surfaces can remain strong and visually appealing throughout the winter season.
Preparing and Protecting Your Landscaping
Now that you’ve taken care of winterizing the exterior of your physical building, it’s time to turn your attention to your landscaping. Properly preparing your landscaping for winter temperatures is essential for maintaining the health and beauty of your outdoor spaces. Here are several key tips to keep in mind as you get your landscaping winter-ready.
- First and foremost, September through November is an ideal time for planting. This allows the roots of your plants to become established before the ground freezes, giving them a better chance of survival. So, if you have any new additions to make to your landscaping, now is the time to do it.
- Another important step is aeration and overseeding your lawn. This helps to improve the health of your grass by allowing air, water, and nutrients to penetrate the soil. Additionally, overseeding fills in any thin or bare spots, resulting in a lush, healthy lawn come spring.
- Don’t forget to clean up those fallen leaves! Leaves left on the lawn can become wet from snow and ice, which can smother the turf and promote disease. Be sure to rake up leaves regularly to keep your lawn looking its best.
- As winter approaches, it’s a good idea to cut your grass shorter than usual. This helps to prevent snow mold, a common issue in the winter months. Snow mold occurs when snow accumulates on long grass and creates a damp environment that promotes mold growth. By cutting your grass shorter, you can minimize the risk of snow mold.
- Cleaning up perennials and ornamental grasses is also important. Trimming them back and removing any dead foliage not only keeps your landscaping looking neat but also prepares them for healthy growth in the spring.
- If you have an irrigation system, be sure to schedule a cleanout and shutdown before winter arrives. This helps to prevent any damage that could occur from freezing temperatures. Consult with a professional to ensure your system is properly prepared for winter.
- Lastly, consider wrapping your trees with burlap to protect them from the frigid temperatures. This extra layer of insulation can help shield them from winter weather and prevent damage.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your landscaping remains healthy and beautiful throughout the winter months and is ready to thrive come spring. Don’t neglect this important step in your winterization process!
Navigating Power Outages Successfully
As the winter season approaches, it’s crucial to prepare for potential power outages. The last thing you want is to be caught off guard and face disruptions to your operations. So, let’s discuss some key tips for power outage preparation that every facility maintenance manager should know.
- First and foremost, keep in mind that outdoor and exposed pipes are more likely to freeze. To prevent this, make sure to properly insulate and protect these vulnerable pipes. Moving water can freeze, but it has to be much, much colder. By insulating your pipes, you can reduce the risk of freezing and potential bursts.
- If you’re planning to leave your building unoccupied for an extended period of time, it’s recommended to turn off the water main. This will prevent any water from flowing through the pipes and potentially freezing. Additionally, consider putting a small amount of biodegradable RV antifreeze in your toilets to minimize freezing.
- <Having a power outage kit is essential. Make sure to include items such as a battery-powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, extra blankets, bottles of water, and non-perishable food. These supplies will help you stay safe and comfortable during an outage.
- To protect your appliances from power surges, disconnect any unnecessary appliances from outlets. Power surges can occur when electricity is restored after an outage and can potentially damage your equipment. By disconnecting appliances, you can avoid any potential harm.
- <If you own a portable generator, be sure to run it outdoors in an area with adequate ventilation. Running a generator inside or in a confined space can result in a dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide fumes. Always prioritize safety when using a generator.
- During power outages, leave at least one light on so you can easily tell when the power is restored. This simple step will help you know when electricity is back and enable you to resume your operations.
- If you find yourself stuck in a building without power, it’s best to find a small room to hole up in, preferably one with a heating device. Cover windows and doorways with blankets or cardboard to help eliminate heat loss. Stay warm and safe until the power is restored.
By following these tips, you can be prepared for power outages and minimize their impact on your facility. Don’t let unexpected outages catch you off guard – take proactive steps to ensure you’re ready for anything that comes your way.
Winterizing Checklist For Facility Managers
- Seal cracks and gaps: Thoroughly inspect the walls, windows, and doors for any openings that may allow cold air and moisture to seep in. Use weatherstripping or caulking to create a tight barrier against the elements.
- Inspect and clean gutters and downspouts: Remove any debris, such as leaves and twigs, to prevent water overflow and potential ice dam formation.
- Insulate pipes: Pay special attention to pipes in unheated areas, such as basements, attics, and crawl spaces. Use foam pipe insulation or heat tape to wrap around these pipes and prevent freezing.
- Locate and shut off any exterior water sources: Locate outdoor faucets and sprinkler systems and shut off the main water source. Disconnect and drain garden hoses; leaving them attached can cause water to freeze and back into the plumbing system.
- Check and repair the roof: Look for any signs of damage, missing or broken shingles, and areas where water might accumulate. Promptly address any issues to prevent leaks and structural damage.
- Service and maintain HVAC system: Schedule regular maintenance, including filter changes and inspection of ductwork, to ensure efficient heating and minimize the risk of breakdowns.
- Protect Concrete: Seal existing cracks or apply a protective coating to prevent further damage. Regularly clear snow and ice from concrete surfaces to prevent slips and falls. De-icing agents that are safe for concrete surfaces can also be effective at preventing ice accumulation.
- Winterize Landscaping: Plant between September and November. Aaerate and overseeding your lawn and finish by cutting it shorter than usual. Clean up fallen leaves, trim perennials, and wrap trees. Schedule a cleanout and shutdown of irrigation systems.
- Prepare for Power Outages: Insulate and protect pipes. If leaving the building unoccupied for an extended time, turn off the water main and add biodegradable RV antifreeze to the toilets. Disconnect any unnecessary appliances from the outlets. Leave a light on to tell when the power is restored. Prepare a power outage kit. Run portable generator outdoors. When sheltering in-place, find a small room and cover windows and doorways.
Call Us Today!
As you can see, facility maintenance managers need to take proactive steps in winterizing their buildings.
But remember, you are not alone, and that’s where we come in.
At AAFM, we offer a range of services to help you prepare your property for the colder months ahead. Whether it’s landscaping, concrete preparation, power outage planning, plumbing, or HVAC maintenance, our team of experienced professionals is here to assist you every step of the way.
Don’t wait until it’s too late – give us a call today to schedule a building and property inspection. Let us help you make sure your building is winter-ready and minimize the risk of costly damage.
Feel free to call us at (855) 347-1613 and speak to one of our knowledgeable customer service representatives.
Read more about Winterizing Your Building here:
Top Winterizing Building Exterior Tips
Why Commercial Drain Cleaning Is Important During Winter
Preparing your Building for Snow and Ice