Winter is coming! Ok, we know it seems early to talk about Winter with Fall just around the corner, but it’s important to be prepared. As facility management, it’s always good to start conversations with your staff and contractors early to stay ahead of Winter, especially snow and ice.
There is much more to facility management than most people realize. Things can happen pretty fast when you're caught unaware. If you're not pro-active in your approach and plan ahead, you could be handed more than you can comfortably deal with. Building maintenance alone is incredibly time-consuming, but then you have to consider the grounds and seasonality. Here are a few suggestions to be aware of when considering your winter preparations.
One piece of great advice for facility management is to always look for deals when the its the off season. Many financially smart people know to buy Holiday gifts during Labor Day sales. The same can be said when it comes to booking contractors for things like snow removal. Rubicon is famous for their summer time savings for winter services like snow removal and de-icing when you book them before autumn. It allows them to establish you in their plans, ensure they have the amount of vehicles and employees to cover you when storms occur, and set optimal plans for where snow piles will be.
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Power and heat are essential components to working in the winter months. Electrical sources are at the very heart of this tip. It would be a good idea to schedule an electrician to come and inspect all of the electrical elements. Something like bad wiring, or an electrical short can lead to disaster for facility management. If an inspection is performed before there is a shift from the air conditioning, to the furnace then there can be preventative measures. Things like the heat going out, or fires will be a frustration that you'll wish you had avoided.
We always recommend that our commercial or residential building owners be proactive when it comes to inspecting pipes for leaks. Have facility management identify any weak points that may not have been there last winter. Better yet, prepare your pipes and main lines in case of freezing temperatures, an inevitability in the Intermountain West.
Prepping for a freeze can be as simple as wrapping your pipes or as complex as the installation of an on-pipe heating mechanism. Get with your facility or building manager (or facility management contractor) and make sure you’ve talked through keeping your pipes warm this Winter. Trusted partners like Rubicon can help you install equipment to keep your pipes from freezing.
It’s important to ensure your sprinkler systems are protected before the Winter’s chill. Adjust watering schedules so sprinklers are not using water when not appropriate. Consider installing protective covers on your sprinkler heads before freezing temps arrive. Also make sure control units remain water-tight and insulated, keeping electronics from freezing and breaking.
Many of our clients have seen great success implementing smart irrigation/landscaping tools like Smart Rain. A system like Smart Rain can help you remotely control your watering schedule.
Also, consider adding a relatively new innovation to your water system like Flo by Moen. This system can alert your smartphone for plumbing leaks and, if properly equipped, can even shut off water to a particular area if a leak is detected!
We hope you found these simple tips helpful. Feel free to reach out to Rubicon for specific questions about your use case and needs. We love to help across the Intermountain West.