commercial building maintenance

Staying Ahead of Wear and Tear: The Merits of Commercial Building Preventative Maintenance

Reactionary measures have their place. They’re your go-to in emergencies and the unavoidable hiccups of running a building. But wouldn’t it be better to minimize those emergencies in the first place? That’s where preventative maintenance shines, particularly for a building’s exterior. It’s more than just a defensive tactic; it’s an essential strategy for consistently maintaining the aesthetics and structural integrity of your building’s exterior.

The implications of neglecting preventative maintenance can be both financially and operationally burdensome. This article will explore the essential elements of an effective exterior preventative maintenance program, underlining its numerous benefits and emphasizing the value of engaging with industry specialists.

Three Strategies to Mitigate Wear and Tear with a Commercial Preventative Maintenance Strategy

So, you’re committed to staying ahead of the game with preventative maintenance. Fantastic! What are the best strategies to pull this off? We’re talking about actionable steps that can make a tangible difference in managing your property. In the next section, we’ll dig into three key strategies to set you up for long-term success.

Regular Inspections and Early Detection

You wouldn’t drive your car 100,000 miles without a check-up, right? The same principle applies to your building. Conducting regular inspections isn’t just good sense; it’s non-negotiable for your property’s health. This involves monitoring the interior and exterior, from structural components to fall protection systems and everything in between.

Train your staff or bring in pros to look for things you might not even know could be a problem. Put it on the calendar, develop a commercial building preventative maintenance checklist, and make it a ritual. With early detection, you can knock out minor issues like leaks or cracks before they become money-sucking disasters.

Implement a Preventative Maintenance Program

Each component, no matter how small, has a purpose and contributes to your investment’s overall success and longevity. Prioritize tasks based on what keeps your property running smoothly and what items could spell catastrophe if neglected.

Don’t just patch up that wall—make sure you’re preemptively stopping leaks before they can do any real damage. This is a great time to find out why a leak occurred. Like a detective, get down to the details of why the damage occurred so you can take measures to prevent it from happening again. Most importantly, make sure you document everything. A rock-solid maintenance history isn’t just for peace of mind; it’s a financial safeguard for future budgeting and planning.

As a building professional, managing the myriad of maintenance challenges, such as washing windows hundreds of feet off the ground or addressing complex façade issues, requires a level of expertise and equipment that specialized service providers like Valcourt offer.

Collaboration with professionals ensures that all activities adhere to the highest safety standards and comply with OSHA regulations, significantly reducing the risk of liability.

Here are key advantages professionals provide, forming the cornerstone of a thriving, long-lasting property:

  1. Safety and Compliance: Experts strictly adhere to OSHA regulations and standards, significantly reducing liability risks and ensuring a safe working environment.
  2. Consultative Approach: Regular interactions and check-ins with professionals offer services and invaluable insights and recommendations, fostering a proactive approach to building maintenance.
  3. Reliability and Efficiency: A skilled maintenance partner acts as a one-stop solution, offering comprehensive, customized solutions emphasizing efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and, most importantly, reliability.
  4. Building Lasting Relationships: Beyond transactional interactions, the ideal partnership is about cultivating lasting relationships that enhance the value and longevity of your property. The right partner offers solutions tailored to your property’s unique challenges, ensuring safety, efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and, most importantly, reliability.

The right partnership in commercial preventative maintenance is integral to managing your property’s health, meeting timelines, and exceeding expectations. This collaborative approach goes beyond exterior maintenance; it’s about creating a sustainable, safe, and compliant environment for your property, ensuring its long-term success.

Commercial Building Preventative Maintenance Checklist

Keeping your commercial building in top shape requires regular and thorough preventative maintenance. Our checklist covers the most prominent aspects of your building’s upkeep so you can ensure it stays in peak condition.

Building Envelope 

  • Inspect for cracks, gaps, or damage in the exterior walls, siding, or façade: Regularly check these areas to prevent water ingress and structural damage.
  • Check for loose or missing cladding, bricks, or stucco: This helps maintain the building’s structural integrity and aesthetic appeal.
  • Examine windows and doors for gaps or seals that need replacing: Proper sealing ensures energy efficiency and prevents moisture issues.
  • Inspect for cloudy glass/window staining, even after cleaning: Clear windows are essential aesthetics and energy efficiency.
  • Check the condition of gutters, downspouts, and drains: Ensuring these are clear and functional prevents water damage.
  • Examine any exposed metal surfaces for rust or corrosion: This helps maintain the durability of metal components.
  • Inspect facades for mold, mildew, or discoloration from dirt or pollution: Regular cleaning maintains the building’s appearance and structural integrity.
  • Exterior damage due to birds & bird droppings: Addressing this prevents damage and maintains cleanliness.

Grounds and Walkways

Well-maintained and safe grounds and walkways enhance the property’s curb appeal. This section focuses on the upkeep of outdoor spaces, ensuring they are safe, functional, and visually appealing.

  • Check for loose pavers or uneven walkway surfaces: This is important for safety and accessibility.
  • Check irrigation systems for leaks & ensure they are pointed away from glass: Proper irrigation maintains landscaping without damaging the building.
  • Ensure signage is clean and easy to read: Clear signage is essential for navigation and branding.

Safety Systems

This section emphasizes the importance of regular inspections and maintenance of safety equipment to ensure compliance with regulations and the protection of occupants.

  • Schedule annual rooftop anchor & safety system inspections: OSHA mandates annual inspections of anchorages conducted by a qualified person to ensure system safety and functionality.
  • Schedule certifications of rooftop anchors every five to ten years.
  • Check that emergency response systems are in working order: Ensuring emergency readiness is crucial to the occupant’s safety.
  • Ensure compliance with OSHA, ANSI, and local safety regulations: This helps maintain a legally compliant and safe environment.

Miscellaneous

The miscellaneous portion of the checklist includes reviewing and updating the maintenance plan for your building’s unique needs.

  • Review your preventative maintenance plan and make necessary updates: Keeping the plan current ensures that it addresses all potential issues.
  • Document maintenance activities, inspections, repairs, and warranties: This helps track the building’s maintenance history.
  • Create a schedule for regular maintenance tasks: A well-planned schedule ensures all aspects of maintenance are covered timely.
  • Train staff on safety procedures and maintenance protocols: Well-trained staff are essential for effective maintenance and safety.

Adhering to this comprehensive preventative maintenance checklist ensures your commercial building remains visually appealing, structurally sound, and safe for all occupants. It’s an investment in your property’s longevity and operational excellence.

Ensuring the Future of Your Commercial Property with Valcourt

The upkeep of your commercial property is not just about responding to problems as they arise—it’s about preventing them. The strategies highlighted throughout this article provide a roadmap for maintaining your building’s exterior, with regular inspections, a robust preventative maintenance program, and the expertise of seasoned professionals.

A reliable maintenance partner will keep you informed about your building’s health and the preventive measures they take and consistently meet timelines and exceed expectations. In essence, the ideal partnership goes beyond transactions; it’s about building a lasting relationship that elevates the longevity and value of your property.

Valcourt stands at the forefront of commercial building maintenance, offering specialized services to keep your property in prime condition. Our expertise ranges from waterproofing, window cleaning, fall protection systems, rooftop anchors, and more. Contact Valcourt today to request a quote and learn more about how our services can enhance your building’s performance and aesthetic appeal, ensuring peace of mind and long-term success.

commercial caulking

Caulking & Sealing Commercial Buildings: Why It’s Important to Use Expert Services

Your commercial building is an essential component of your success, and it is your command center, public face, and a sense of pride for your employees. Protecting your building is of the utmost importance, which is why commercial building service professionals are crucial for maintaining such a significant investment.

Expert caulking and sealing protect your asset by sealing off gaps and cracks that might result in air, moisture, and pests penetrating your commercial building.

Why Use Caulking/Sealing?

Every building is susceptible to gaps and cracks forming between different materials. When moisture penetrates your facility, it further deteriorates and compromises the structure, opening the door to even more severe problems. Air entering your building causes uncomfortable drafts that make energy bills much higher.

Caulking the exterior of your commercial building remedies the normal wear and tear that comes with seasonal contraction and expansion. As old caulk loses its elasticity, it is necessary to replace it to maintain the protective shield that is your building’s exterior.

As exterior caulking reinforces your building’s protective shield, interior commercial caulking prevents drafts and water damage on the inside. Many areas of your building’s interior need a regular caulk refresh, including the following: 

  • Plumbing fixtures
  • Expansion joints
  • Control joints
  • Baseboard and trim
  • Tubs and showers
  • Countertops
  • Vents and pipes
  • Areas where different materials meet (gas and electrical entrances, air conditioners)

Sealing includes weatherproofing concerns that go beyond caulking. Just as building expansion and contraction impact joints and materials, so are surfaces like windows. Reglazing window systems with commercial window sealant and addressing skylights and curtain walls prevent air, moisture, and pests from entering the building at those crucial points.

Complete waterproofing goes beyond just caulking windows, and services will include:

It sounds like a lot but bringing in commercial building caulking pros will ensure every external and internal gap gets sealed.

What are the Different Types of Caulking and Sealing?

The variety of building areas and surface types that require commercial caulking and sealing services makes it necessary to ensure you use the proper caulk and sealant. Building services professionals will evaluate the different types of caulk and apply the appropriate one depending on the application.

Silicone and polyurethane calking products are classified as elastomeric materials, as both fill gaps and allow for contraction and expansion. Despite being similar in their classification and general uses, these materials have significant differences, impacting their suitability for different applications.

The most significant consideration is how the materials will break down as time passes. The two primary concerns of performance and life-cycle costs are applied to determine the benefits of silicone versus polyurethane-based sealants.

Silicone

Silicone is an inorganic material, giving it an advantage in areas exposed to UV light from the sun. Because it is inorganic, it is less reactive to UV light. The lower UV reactivity of silicone makes it the superior choice for your commercial building’s facade.

Silicone also offers a much longer lifespan due to its excellent resistance to UV light and temperature fluctuations. Many manufacturers provide 20-year warranties, making silicone caulk vs. sealant the perfect choice when durability matters.

An extended lifespan and lower reactivity to UV light and temperature fluctuations mean a significantly higher price for silicone sealants over polyurethane. Your commercial building services company will weigh the trade-offs of cost and expected sealant lifespan when determining which sealant is appropriate for each application.

Polyurethane

As an organic material, the sun, elements, and temperature break down polyurethane much faster than silicone. Typically, polyurethane’s lifespan will max out at ten years, reflecting this shorter lifespan in its much lower price.

When weighing silicone vs. polyurethane caulk, silicone will always be the best investment for areas exposed to the elements or subject to more variation and use.

Are Your Current Sealants Still Effective? When To Replace

Depending on your sealants’ location, type, and application, they can break down at differing rates. If polyurethane was used extensively in the past, it could break down and crack over a significantly shorter period.

It could be time to replace sealants if it has been some time since you last had them inspected. One way to confirm the need for a replacement is if you see a loss of elasticity and separation from the surfaces. Other indicators would be visible cracks or splitting.

Exterior sealant might show visible evidence of weathering, including chalking, blistering, discoloration, or cracking.

Of course, the best estimate of sealant effectiveness will come from calling commercial building professionals for a comprehensive inspection.

Working With an Expert for Commercial Wall Coating

Your company’s commercial building is essential to the organization’s identity. Maintaining one of your most important assets is a crucial task that requires expert attention.

Every wall is different based on the construction approach, the material used, and exposure to the elements. An established and expert building services provider knows how to identify issues that could become more extensive problems and remedy them.

Proper caulking and sealant application ensure the building continues to serve its essential purpose best. Turn to experts to ensure your commercial building is in its best shape and focus on what you do best, running your business.

Valcourt Ensures Expert Protection for Your Building

Valcourt is the building services provider for property managers and building owners. We have 35+ years of experience providing industry-leading waterproofing, window cleaning, and facade restoration services.

Caulking and sealing are essential components of building maintenance. Contact us at EDS today to ensure your building keeps water, air, and pests where they should be; outside.

wall_coating

The Benefits of Commercial External Wall Coating Services

Walls are an essential part of any building, and their integrity and strength are critical barriers that prevent the interior from being exposed to the elements outside. Walls also accentuate the cosmetic and decorative beauty of architecture, and it’s the exterior surface that everyone recognizes when they get a chance to see it. Walls need protection, just like any other architectural surface on a building. That’s why exterior wall coatings are so important for commercial buildings and why property owners across the United States partner with building service companies specializing in exterior wall coatings. This article looks at some of the benefits of maintaining your exterior walls, offering readers a summary of the type of service options available to protect your structure.

What are Wall Coatings?

Wall coatings refer to a specialized decorative layer that is applied directly to the exterior surface of a building. Applying external coatings protects walls from the constant bombardment they receive while being exposed to the outside world. Dirt, ultraviolet rays, moisture, salts, chemicals, and other debris can cause building surfaces to crack, break, blister, chip, warp, and erode.

External wall coatings principally act as a moisture barrier and line of defense from outside exposure; however, they also enhance the architectural beauty of a structure to improve the building’s overall aesthetics. Wall coating systems are generally much thicker than a layer of paint, providing a weather-resistant barrier that helps increase the lifespan of the commercial wall. The thickness of the wall coating also helps cover up any cosmetic blemishes that may appear on the building. In other words, wall coatings serve a critically important function of extending the longevity of your wall’s structure and act as a makeup to give your building a facelift.

What are the Different Types of External Wall Coatings Available?

The following is a list of the different types of wall coatings that building services professionals offer to property owners on their commercial walls.

Acrylic Coating 

Water-based, low-VOC coatings provide excellent adhesion and durability. They are commonly used in commercial and residential buildings to protect against moisture, dirt, and staining.

Epoxy Coating

These two-part chemical coatings provide exceptional protection against chemical and physical wear. They are highly durable and resilient, making them ideal for commercial applications.

Urethane Coating 

Solvent-based coatings are highly resistant to abrasion and chemical degradation. They provide outstanding protection against UV radiation, making them ideal for exterior applications.

Polyurea Coating 

These two-part chemical coatings provide outstanding protection against water and chemical damage. They are highly elastic, making them ideal for commercial applications that require flexibility.

Fluoropolymer Coating 

These solvent-based coatings provide exceptional protection against UV radiation, making them ideal for exterior wall applications. They are highly resistant to corrosion and provide superior adhesion and durability.

The Benefits of Exterior Wall Coatings

The facade of your commercial building is key to understanding what type of wall coating is right for your property. That’s why working closely with a building services provider that specializes in commercial wall coatings is important. Look for companies with experience understanding the proper surface preparation necessary for the various types of external wall coatings your building needs. Trained building technicians can help building owners prolong the life of their structure, improve the exterior appearance, and raise the market value of their property.

Protect your Building this Winter with Valcourt

When property owners look for help protecting the physical and cosmetic integrity of their building, they look for a company with industry knowledge in building services that specifically provide external wall coating systems. That is why thousands of property managers around the United States turn to Valcourt. Valcourt is the leading exterior maintenance company specializing in restoration, waterproofing, and external wall coating services. Their company combines over 35 years of building services experience, along with a dedicated team of technicians that offer a no-hassle consultative approach to customers looking for the best solution to their restoration needs.

Don’t brush off the importance of your building’s exterior walls! Connect with an expert at EDS today!

post_tensioning

Why Should Buildings Use Post-Tensioning Systems?

Commercial concrete management, including post-tensioning systems, is critical to any residential or commercial high-rise and multi-level parking garage construction project. Post-tensioning involves placing prestressed steel “tendons” tightened once the concrete hardens. The additional stress of tightening compresses the concrete into its strongest state, ensuring it can support the external service loads (weight) once using the structure. 

Failing to factor in the load-bearing capability of a structure can lead to catastrophic events, such as the collapse of the Hotel New World in Singapore in 1986. The six-story building collapsed in 60 seconds, resulting in 33 deaths. More recently, investigators are still trying to determine the cause of a partial parking garage collapse in Baltimore in July 2022.

This article looks closer at post-tensioning systems, explaining what they are, how they work, and their benefits to construction and architecture. We’ll also present some practical applications of post-tensioning concrete, criteria to consider when evaluating such systems, and where to turn for post-tensioning repairs.

What is Post-Tensioning?

Post-tensioning is a unique design technique that reinforces concrete in commercial building construction. This process helps strengthen concrete, allowing it to hold up better post-construction, keeping structures secure and stable. Post-tensioning tendons generally consist of stainless steel and reinforced cable bundles. These run inside plastic coatings or sleeves, placed inside the casings where concrete is poured before filling. Afterward, the cables are tensioned and anchored against the other concrete edges. 

The post-tension acts much the same as support beams and improves the safety and stability of concrete pillars, foundations, columns, and other structures. Post-tensioning concrete is critical in the commercial building process, and proper execution gains maximum benefits.

How Does Post-Tensioning Work?

Post-tensioning works within commercial building structures as a form of prestressing. Steel is stressed and put under tension before the concrete has hardened to support the service loads and stress of the building. Most precast, prestressed concrete has this process done as well. Post-tensioned concrete means that the concrete gets poured, and then tension is applied—but there is stress before applying the loads, leaving it prestressed. It is a way of preparing the structure to support the loads and stress of large commercial systems adequately. 

Reasons concrete is popular in commercial buildings and commonly seen in post-tensioning construction include:

  • High durability and resiliency over long periods.
  • Relatively low maintenance and upkeeps are required.
  • Affordable and easy maintenance and repairs.
  • Affordable for mass projects and large-scale production.
  • The versatility of applications allows greater design creativity. 
  • Easy to source locally for more affordable rates.
  • It can be used in all climates and temperature extremes.
  • Highly resistant to rust and corrosion.
  • It is fire resistant and doesn’t burn easily.
  • Fewer issues with pests, mold, and other issues.

With so much in favor of concrete construction, the ability to improve the features of stability, durability, and longevity with post-tensioning only adds to the appeal of concrete usage in commercial structures.

Why Post Tensioning & What are the Benefits?

Concrete is the most popular construction material in the world, and for a good reason. It’s widespread in commercial buildings, not only for basements and foundations but also for exterior walls. And, of course, it’s used frequently for sidewalks, ramps, and parking garages. The concrete used in commercial buildings is often subject to more significant pressures and stressors than concrete for residential use. When used in massive commercial building projects, this requires additional support and design considerations.

Concrete may be among the most common construction materials, but it can still come with a high price tag. Industry estimates show that a concrete parking garage could range between $4 and $7 per square foot. This price typically includes the cost of materials and labor. A smaller structure may run $5,000 to $14,000, whereas a larger building could be as much as $174,000-$490,000. Larger commercial structures, whether office buildings or parking garages, require more structural performance, which may change how you need to utilize concrete. This is where post-tensioning makes its impact. 

Considering all these features and benefits, one critical aspect of commercial concrete management and upkeep regarding degradation makes all the difference post-tensioning. 

Post-tensioned concrete has a variety of benefits, including:

  • Allowing concrete to be used in higher and longer spans to create larger spaces
  • Providing increased strength and support for load-bearing areas of construction
  • Compensates for poor site conditions and improves structural stability
  • Installs and hardens faster than other conventionally reinforced concrete structures
  • It uses much less concrete, saving money and resources
  • Provides flexibility and options for primary formwork and final aesthetic touches
  • Increases the overall safety and durability of the structure
  • Provides a faster and more practical manufacturing option
  • Safe to use in nearly every building situation
  • Reliable structure strength with post-tensioning
  • Easily scalable for use in small, medium, and large commercial buildings

Finding the balance between affordable concrete usage and durable post-tension elements remains crucial in planning and maintaining commercial structures.

What Exactly is a Post-Tensioning System?

The post-tensioning concrete method was first developed in the early 1950s by industry specialists such as VSL in Switzerland. Post-tensioning is often a solution for addressing design and engineering issues. It enables the operational definition of the internal load path in concrete structures by superposing a favorable state for the internal stresses. This stress reduction minimizes deformations, reduces the thickness of concrete segments, reduces reinforcement congestion, joins components without relying on wet joints, and allows high-strength steel to reinforce structural components further. 

The post-tensioning system is a structural support mechanism essential to many commercial concrete structures built today. Experts who specialize in concrete repair and upkeep utilize this system for three main reasons:

  • Structure Strength with Post-tensioning

Post-tensioning lightens the structure’s weight, reduces load-bearing packages, and helps improve the overall aesthetic appearance.

  • Wide Application and Usage Area

It can be used in a wide variety of structures and often occurs in a wide range of systems that vary in size and usage.

  • Professional Touch and Service

Post-tensioned construction offers the most suitable solution for combining production and application to create a final uniform structure.

Common Applications for Post-Tensioning 

This act of prestressing has several advantages over standard rebars:

  • Significantly removes the risk of shrinkage cracks, so fewer joints are required. Shrinkage cracks occur naturally in poured concrete during the curing process as the concrete loses its moisture.
  • Cracks that do occur are held tightly together and do not grow and spread.
  • It allows structural concrete pieces to be thinner and lighter than they would normally.
  • Engineers and designers can build slabs over expansive areas or on softer soils.
  • Post-tensioning supports longer spans in elevated areas like floors, beans, and ceilings.

Criteria of a Post-Tensioning System to Evaluate

Building designers looking for a post-tensioning system should first consider three factors to avoid  costly damages and repairs down the road.

Type of structural element – the depth of the structural component plays a key role:

  • Use of slab tendons with flat designs for thin structural elements such as floor flaps and ceilings.
  • Multi-strand tendons can be used for any other application and are common in thicker heavy construction areas.

Structural design – taking into account specific structural design requirements:

  • Post-tensioning can be introduced and might utilize internal or external tendons or, in some cases, a combination.
  • Concrete slab post-tensioning tendons are bonded or unbonded based on the location, application, and desired results.

Protection against corrosion – Protection needed to safeguard cables against corrosion: 

  • The tendon encapsulation depends on the required protection level (PL) – PL1, PL2, PL3, typically subject to location and environmental exposures.
  • Corrosion protection is the application of anti-corrosion chemicals to prevent damage to equipment or facilities caused by corrosive processes.

Get Quality Building Repair and Management Services From Industry Experts Familiar With Post-Tensioning Systems

Finding the balance between affordable yet durable materials is vital in planning and maintaining commercial structures. Post-tensioning concrete systems allow the utilization of the durable and versatile nature of concrete, while the addition of steel cables and tension support add required structural stability. 

The post-tensioning system is the structural support working behind the scenes to provide long-lasting strength, durability, safety, and protection. Professional building management services are integral in maintaining post-tensioning systems to guard against building collapses. 

Make sure your team is ready to deal with the maintenance and upkeep of post-tensions systems. Contact The EDS Group today and work with industry experts who can keep your building in good working order.

Commercial Building Leak Detection

Characteristics of Best in Class Rapid Commercial Building Leak Detection & Repair

Commercial leak detection and repair might seem farther down the to-do list with everything building managers have to track and monitor. However, knowing how to find and address a water leak in a commercial building is a significant point facility management teams cannot afford to overlook. A simple little water leak might seem like a minor issue, but in reality, must be addressed as soon as possible before it becomes a situation that needs emergency leak repair services

If a little leak is ignored, it can eventually lead to significant water damage and other issues, leading to thousands of dollars in repairs. Home Advisors offers the following estimates for home repairs, which can be much higher for commercial properties. They estimate the cost of a plumber averages from $175 to $450 for a typical job, and average hourly rates can be as high as $200. Depending on the job, some plumbers will also tack on a flat rate or service fee that could be hundreds of dollars as well. 

This is why commercial leaks and signs of water intrusion must be dealt with sooner rather than later. A water leak in a commercial building can be much more complicated and involved to fix, and the damage caused by delays in detection and repairs can be significant.

Common Areas For Water Leaks in Commercial Buildings

As a business owner, not much will frustrate and disrupt the way unexpected interruptions to daily operations and routines. These interruptions can pull attention away from vital services and processes or, even worse, directly cost the company time, money, and resources. Knowing and identifying degredation causes and signs is a vital part of building management. Leaks and water damages in commercial buildings are of major concern, especially as buildings age and begin to degrade and become more prone to breakdowns, system failures, and water intrusion.

According to FacilitiesNet Water damage causes billions of dollars in financial losses across the real estate industry, and these claims can get extremely costly for businesses. Direct costs for cleanup, repairs, replacements, and mold remediation, as well as indirect costs, such as legal fees, delayed projects, or business interruptions, can wreak havoc on an organization’s profit and loss statement.” These expensive costs can all arise from the common leak and water infiltration points within commercial buildings:

  • Roofing Leaks
  • Plumbing Leaks
  • Basement Leaks
  • External Leaks

There are countless ways that even a seemingly minor leak from one of these points can turn into a major headache. Here are a few examples commercial building managers should be aware of:

  • Suppose a pipe is allowed to leak for long periods of time, or suddenly bursts and goes undetected. In that case, it can cause significant damage to commercial building structures such as parking garages by the time visual signs identify it.
  • Commercial leaks often occur in walls, which also causes some of the costliest damage to commercial properties. A small leak could go undetected for months behind a wall or even longer, leading to devastating structural damage.
  • A source of water intrusion might not originate inside the building but rather seep in from outside. Poor roof and facade envelop maintenance, gaps in windows and doors, and degrading foundations allow water to seep in slowly.
  • Even a minor pipe leak can cause severe damage to ceilings, carpet, and hardwood flooring. Even without structural damage, replacing ceiling panels and carpets and cleaning up afterward can be costly.

Facility managers and maintenance teams can stay on top of all this with best-in-class commercial leak detection, repair, and waterproofing services.

What Best-In-Class Rapid Commercial Building Leak Detection & Repair Services Look Like 

Valcourt specializes in water leak detection services directed at commercial properties. Rapid leak detection and repair become accessible with a skilled and experienced team, state-of-the-art technology, and reliable services. A water leak pinpointed correctly saves companies time, money, and resources. Knowing how to avoid leaks and address problems sooner rather than later can also save companies a significant amount of time and money.

This accuracy helps to avoid unnecessary property damage that less experienced water leak detection methods can’t prevent. Ultimately, these best-in-service features make facility management more manageable and make property upkeep more affordable. Valcourt Building Services is the premier provider of all commercial property repair, inspection, and maintenance needs. With over 30 years of experience and tens of thousands of repairs and maintenance jobs completed,  our team can assist facility management personnel with all building maintenance and leak repair services. No matter what your building requires, we have the knowledge and expertise for all commercial exterior maintenance needs.

Valcourt’s high-quality and best-in-class leak services translate into quick, accurate, and affordable benefits when and where they are most needed. With the following best practices and services, commercial building maintenance and upkeep becomes much more streamlined and efficient:

Fast and Reliable Service From Industry Experts

Best-in-class leak-related service providers provide commercial property owners with the fastest and most reliable services. They utilize the latest and safest access equipment in the industry in the hands of trained and experienced professionals to find, address, and prevent leaks when possible.

Real-Time communication and On-Demand Data Access

The best service providers provide a customer-focused approach to each project and will communicate effectively with all involved parties throughout the process. Fast response, prompt work completion, detailed follow-ups, customized services, and on-demand support ensure quality service for facilities management

Professional Team of Local FM Providers

Best-in-class commercial facility managers and technical teams are trained and dedicated to providing quality service for all property owners. They know how to identify problem areas, implement appropriate solutions, document concerns, identify potential concerns, and communicate effectively.

Facility Protection and Security Options

Quality facility maintenance providers focus on keeping commercial buildings safe, secure, and operational by finding and repairing leaks that threaten daily functions and activities.  If a building is behind on maintenance or not up to code, they can offer facility protection and security options to address this issue.

Proactive Management to Reduce Disruptions

Routine building checks and inspections of common leak areas can help ensure that minor issues are detected and addressed effectively. Disruptions and downtime can be minimized, and bottom-line profits become easier to manage with a proactive approach to commercial leak detection and repairs.

Commercial building maintenance and upkeep can become less stressful for facility maintenance teams with these best practices and services. Small leaks can quickly grow and lead to costly damages. This is why finding the best in class rapid lead detection and repair services, such as ProExpress from Valcourt, are vital for any facility management and maintenance program.

The ProExpress Valcourt Difference for Commercial Building Leak Detection

ProXpress covers all best-in-class services as part of Valcourt Building Services’ premier services, including restoration, waterproofing, and building inspections. Partnering with property owners and property managers, their team works to service all aspects of a building’s exterior. 

The ultimate goal is improving facility management, monitoring building integrity, and unlocking the benefits of keeping buildings well maintained and in good condition. Benefits that include:

  • Leak investigation, water intrusion testing, waterproofing maintenance, and repairs for water infiltration and damages.
  • Minor exterior repairs for sealant, and waterproofing issues as well as concrete and facade repairs on commercial buildings and structures.
  • Emergency safety concerns related to water intrusion, building leaks, and related damages and structural issues.
  • Temporarily secure cracked or broken glass to avoid further damage while repair work begins in earnest.
  • Proactive planning, scheduling, and monitoring of potential problem areas during and after renovation and construction projects.
  • Prompt services to find, diagnose and address commercial leaks and offer quality assistance when needed the most.
  • Fast, reliable, and proficient communication with team repair teams and building staff before, during, and after repairs. 
  • Trained and professional staff are always available to answer any questions and address any concerns that arise.
  • Personalized protection of commercial properties focuses on individual needs and goals and offers best-in-class service.
  • Proactive planning and preventative maintenance to ensure issues are caught early and addressed promptly.

Dealing with water leaks and issues is not something building managers want to face. But it is, unfortunately, a common occurrence today. Knowing who to call for best-in-class services remains a critical first step. Valcourt Building Services’ premier ProExpress leak detection and repair services are the best in the industry.

Keep Buildings Safe and Dry With Quality Commercial Building Leak Detection Services From Valcourt

Commercial leak detection and repair might seem like a little thing in the grand scheme of commercial building management and upkeep. However, knowing how to find and address a water leak in a commercial building remains vital to ongoing operations and the safe management of commercial properties. 

Facility management teams cannot afford to overlook the warning signs of commercial building leaks and must ensure rapid leak detection and repair services are easily accessible. There are many ways that unaddressed leaks and water intrusion can turn into a major headache, all of which can be addressed with best-in-class services from Valcourt. Call today to get started.

Commercial Building Maintenance

What Are the Commercial Building Services Needed to Take Care of My Building?

Running and managing commercial properties requires specialized care and attention, especially building maintenance and repairs. Routine and emergency facilities maintenance and repair services remain in high demand. Maintenance collaboration and service coordination can help ensure facilities are properly managed and maintained when things are good and when things aren’t so good. Valcourt does all the work of facilities management and commercial building maintenance using their staff of highly skilled and experienced professionals. They work to provide services for commercial buildings and high-rise building maintenance services that have remained in high demand for many years.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) 2018 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey, an estimated 6 million U.S. commercial buildings contained 97 billion square feet total as of 2018. The number of commercial buildings requiring routine maintenance and upkeep increased by 6%, and commercial square footage increased by 11% since the prior CBECS in 2012. The number of commercial properties has continued to grow, though some estimate at a slower rate than in previous years. People spend nearly 80–90% of their time in commercial buildings, whether for work, errands, or dwelling. Building managers constantly look for ways to improve maintenance and upkeep operations to make their lives easier and to improve the lives of workers, tenants, and the general public. Here is why commercial building maintenance companies remain in high demand in 2022.

Damages Caused by Neglected High Rise and Commercial Building Maintenance 

Many issues can arise when building maintenance and repairs get ignored. Increased risk of property damages, injuries, fires, collapses, leaks, electrical problems, system failures, and more can arise and quickly worsen without proper inspection and maintenance of commercial buildings and properties. Severe injuries and even death can occur from seemingly minor issues that go unchecked and unaddressed for long periods, as highlighted by a 2019 article by the New York Post:

A woman was killed in a freak accident in late 2019 when a chunk of building facade fell off a Midtown tower and struck her. Police pulled city building records which showed that the property was cited a few months earlier for “failure to maintain exterior building facade and appurtenances.” Building inspectors also noted “damaged terra cotta at areas above 15th floor in several locations which pose a falling hazard for pedestrians.” Management never did the work necessary to correct the issue and repair the facade, leading to some falling away and killing pedestrians as they passed by below. 

These are often called “freak accidents” because they happen at random. Still, they occur more frequently as building maintenance continually falls to budget cuts, poor financial planning, and inefficient commercial building management. When building management needs arise, it is time to take swift action.

Common Areas of Concern For Commercial Building Structure Violations

Keeping up with commercial building management and repair often comes down to knowing and following codes and regulations that facility management teams must follow. Building codes can be somewhat of a double-edged sword for commercial property owners. 

On the one hand, they require time, money, labor, and resource to follow and maintain. On the other hand, building codes help provide a guideline to ensure commercial properties are properly maintained and remain safe.  

Watching for damage and degradation signs is crucial building maintenance and management. Here are a few of the most common areas facility management teams should focus on when dealing with commercial property maintenance:

Means of Egress

The means of egress building code is a vital one for overall property safety and security. It deals with the number of exits a commercial building must have, the minimum width of aisles, hallways, doorways, and other evacuation route specifications. Maintenance in these areas is critical and a top priority.

Air Sealing of Penetrations 

All commercial buildings have entry and exit points for plumbing, wiring, and other systems. The proper sealing of these points relates to the energy codes needed for commercial buildings. It is also important to control air and water penetration and ensure air quality remains high for those inside the building. 

Fire Blocking

Fire blocking is another vital aspect of maintenance and upkeep within commercial properties as it helps prevent the spread of fire through the concealed, open cavities in the building.

Flashing Install

Commercial roof flashing is also essential and needs proper installation and regular maintenance. Flashing on roofs and wall structures keeps the building dry and durable, preventing water intrusion, corroding, decay, and moisture damage. 

Erosion Control

Building codes also have considerations for maintaining proper erosion control around commercial properties. Rainwater from downspouts, as well as flow from neighboring property and natural lands, must be managed to ensure foundations are not compromised. Careful monitoring and fast repairs are essential for structural integrity.

Drainage Controls

Many state regulations and building codes state that all commercial roofs, decks, balconies, and other structures should have a properly installed and maintained drainage system. Drainage control can often involve secondary or emergency overflow drain systems that must be maintained and repaired regularly.

Handrail Height or Spacing

Having the proper handrail and guard railing height and spacing is integral to building safety and is a common location for maintenance repairs and upgrades and areas of safety concerns.

Stair Rise and Run

Likewise, stairs must be maintained and kept in good condition, ensuring no cracks or chips, no missing steps, and all stairs remain spaced and aligned correctly.

ADA Compliance

The final area that many commercial property managers must focus on, with the help of facility maintenance service companies, is ensuring adherence to ADA compliance regulations. From wheelchair accessibility to keeping aisles and hallways safe to navigate, building managers must ensure all visitors are safe while visiting or using the property. 

Types of Commercial Property Maintenance FM Teams Need to Consider When Planning Services

There are two primary areas of commercial property management that facility maintenance teams need to focus on- Hard Facilities Management (Hard FM) and Soft Facilities Management (Soft FM). 

  • Hard FM deals with physical assets related to the building and includes things such as plumbing, wiring, facade, sidewalks, elevators, heating and cooling, windows and doors, and the like.
  • Soft FM focuses on the less tangible side of facilities management and includes tasks performed by people on the building, such as custodial services, building security, landscaping, trash and cleaning services, and the all-important repair and maintenance work services.

Specific Commercial Property Maintenance Areas of Concern

Proper management, repair, and maintenance of commercial buildings must not get overlooked. To do so can be disastrous and lead to significant financial loss for property owners and managers. According to a June 2022 release from NPR, “A Florida judge has approved a $1.2 billion settlement for unit owners and families of those who died in the collapse of a condo tower in Surfside last year. It was finalized one day before the anniversary of the disaster in which 98 people died.” This catastrophe  is just one example of how putting off maintenance and repair work can lead to catastrophic problems. Building managers and property owners can avoid these issues and significantly reduce their risks of costly damages by including the following areas in their routine inspection, maintenance, and repair routines:

  • High Rise Window Cleaning – Maintinting windows involved more than just keeping up with washing and cleaning. Windows should get inspected for cracks and loose glass panes often and will also need checks for caulking, sealants, shade coats, and more. 
  • Waterproofing – A large part of building repair and facility management is envelope maintenance. Waterproofing roofs, sealing building facades, and performing moisture and airflow checks all play into keeping a building waterproof and tight.
  • Rapid Leak Investigation and Repair Small leaks can quickly grow into big leaks and cause significant building integrity and safety problems. Building maintenance experts’ rapid detection and repair services are critical to keeping structures safe.
  • Fall Protection Systems & Roof Anchors –  Commercial buildings can be dangerous to work on, so fall protection systems must be in good working order. Roof anchor systems must be code compliant and inspected regularly.
  • Safety Systems – Vital safety systems such as fire escapes, stairwells, entry and exit points, and so forth must be well maintained. All systems must be in good condition, code compliant, accessible, and easy to use without undue risks or concerns.
  • Facade Maintenance & Repair – As already seen, neglecting facade maintenance and storage can lead to expensive and even deadly consequences. In commercial building facades, cracks and loose mortar need quick and professional servicing.

Commercial building owners and managers have a lot to keep track of and monitor, and on-demand building repair services can help make the entire process easier. Keeping these critical areas at the top of building maintenance and repair checklists can save time and money in the long run and ensure commercial properties stay safe and operational.

Partner With the Best Commercial Building Maintenance Company Today

There is no denying the importance of proper commercial building maintenance and repair services and what can go wrong when minor issues are allowed to grow into significant problems. Investing in reliable, high-quality commercial property maintenance services is always worthwhile. Contact EDS today to get started and to see how quality commercial property maintenance and repair can make a difference for your business or property.

rooftop_anchors_systems

The Role of Rooftop Anchors & Systems for a Building’s Fall Protection system

All manner of roof work and exterior work can present safety risks as part of on-demand building repair work. The simple task of replacing shingles, tarps, or washing windows on a four-story building can result in a fatal fall. Something as seemingly innocent as a strong gust of wind can lead to a trip and fall from a roof, scaffolding, or other precarious perches. 

An example of this was on a terrifying display in Florida in December 2021 when workers cleaning a high-rise building were left hanging high in the air. A partial scaffolding collapse at Hallandale Beach High Rise saw two workers rescued after dangling from their harness lifelines. Both workers escaped severe injury due to the harness and anchor systems that were up to code and operational.

Regulations passed and updated by OSHA regarding standards for fall protection help ensure workers have as safe a work environment as possible. Employers must provide adequate safety gear and equipment and ensure commercial buildings get appropriately outfitted with a roof anchor system. Falls are one of the leading causes of traumatic and fatal workplace injuries in the United States. However, adequately utilized roof anchors and an up-to-date fall protection system can significantly reduce these risks and eliminate fall injuries and deaths. 

What are Rooftop Anchors? 

Rooftop anchors are straightforward yet vital components of any high-rise building safety system. They help establish rooftop anchor systems and fall prevention methods that offer enhanced fall protection and increase the safety of your building. It is essential to conduct rooftop anchor inspections and meet regulations and various certifications so any commercial property is compliant and free from liability should something go wrong.

As OSHA training materials on fall prevention highlighted, “Preventing falls can mean the difference between life and death. Hundreds of workers die from falls each year. [Mangamenet] can prevent such deaths by planning to get the job done safely, providing the right fall protection equipment, and training all workers to use the equipment safely. ….Workers perform tasks at a height that requires protection from fall hazards. Having a serious injury or death occur at work affects everyone at a worksite. A fall can occur in a split second without any time for the worker to react.” Rooftop anchor systems help prevent severe injury and death from falls from heights during maintenance and repair work on high-rise commercial buildings. 

The importance of risk management practices, appropriate gear, and reliable equipment in rooftop work is evident. Simple things like roof anchors, safety harnesses, and lead lines can make all the difference in whether or not a slip and fall or a structural issue end in severe injury or death.  Something as simple as ensuring workers wear a harness and lead securely tied to a fall arrest system anchor can keep a worker from falling to their death. 

However, as vital and mandatory as these safety features are, sometimes employers are tempted to cut corners and skirt some safety protocols. Employers must pay for this equipment and ensure the gear is appropriate for the individual worker. Every employee will need a suitable fall prevention setup; no cookie-cutter approach will do. Facility management supervisors must also ensure the proper setup and the fall prevention system remains appropriately maintained and compliant with all safety laws and regulations. This requirement can be a lot to manage. However, understanding the value of rooftop anchors and how they prevent falls/serious injuries makes it easier to absorb those expenses and keep workers safe when they leave the ground.

What Does a Roof Anchor Look Like?

At first glance, roof anchors seem simplistic, and in theory, they are. Most are simply a basic post with a u-bar attached to the top. However, looks can be deceiving, and when it comes to roof anchors, these metal posts are what stand between a worker from surviving a fall or getting killed. Several factors must come into play when designing and manufacturing a roof anchor. Worker weight, use and location, and workplace applications all impact what style, size, and design anchors are best suited for any building or use.

What is a Roof Anchor Used For?

Rooftop anchors are a vital part of a building’s fall protection system and usually come standard on any skyscraper or high-rise roof system. Anchor points are commonly found on the roof and are used to connect lanyards, lifelines, and other forms of tie-offs. Sometimes, additional anchors are required to accommodate workers and other systems such as scaffolding, lifts, and other equipment. The same anchor that would work for roof repair might not necessarily be the best for window washing or facade repair work. Likewise, a worker who is six foot six would need a different harness and fall prevention setup than a coworker who is only five foot three. Knowing proper anchor system usage is closely tied to matching the right approach to the right team member.

Methods of Creating an Anchor Point

When looking at fall prevention systems setups for high-rise repair and maintenance work, there are three basic ways to make an anchor point to accommodate required commercial building maintenance work.

1. Using a Jamb Anchor

This anchor point often mounts on a work area’s window frame or doorframe. They are easy to install and function in other areas where similar applications are possible. These are simple to obtain and install but are bulky and somewhat difficult to move.

2. Using a Sling

A polyester web strap—often called a Pass-Thru anchor or strap—can help secure workers during high-rise building work. These commonly use fixed points such as a rafter, a chimney, crossbar, I-Beam,  or other solid and approved anchor access points.

3. Using Fixed Points

Numerous fixed anchor points exist in construction, repair, maintenance, and commercial building upkeep. These styles are safe and readily available, making them the most common and accessible of today’s fall prevention anchor systems.

What Are Roof Anchor Systems? 

How many anchor systems are there, and how can anyone tell which one is best? These are common questions many facility managers have when it comes to addressing fall risks and ensuring proper safety system, anchor points, and personal safety equipment is available to all workers. There are three basic types of anchor systems for fall protection: 

  1. Designed Fixed Support – load-rated anchors specifically designed and permanently installed with the explicit intention of use with fall prevention and safety system setups.
  2. Temporary Fixed Support – anchor systems that connect to the structure according to the approved fixation process and using only certified safety materials.
  3.  Existing Structural Features or Equipment – locations not intended as anchor points but verified as having adequate capacity to serve as safe and anchor points for a time.

How Many Anchor Points Are Necessary?

This question comes up frequently among facility management teams and work staff. There is no one size fits all answer. Minimum numbers of anchor access and fall prevention points depend on several factors. Anchor locations must help reduce the risk of a worker hookup becoming suspended by their harness and lines or from flashing into walls, commercial glass windows, or other structures. The ultimate goal should be to keep workers on the roof, scaffolding, lifts, and other solid footings.

A swing over the roof’s edge creates an entirely different set of challenges and an urgent rescue timeline.  Suspension trauma is a real thing. Depending on how the worker falls and is left hanging and how long they are handing for, injuries can range from internal bleeding, breathing difficulties, spinal injuries, and more. Utilamntely, it is meant to be a fall prevention system. Saving a worker from hitting the ground is well and good, but keeping them from falling off any structure, to begin with, is the number one priority when considering commercial maintenance tips

Determining how many anchor points are necessary depends on how facility manners answer one question: How many anchors will it take to immediately and safely perform the task of the day?  The number deemed necessary to ensure worker safety, reasonably accommodate work, and provide a safe work environment is the minimum that should be available at any time.

Anchor System Types — Sub Categories to Know

Anchor points as a whole fall into these even more specified classifications, which can further assist building management teams in selecting the proper setup for any commercial high-rise safety and fall prevention needs:

  • Non-Engineered – Simply put, non-engineered anchors have not undergone manufacturing or inspection by a qualified person. These anchor points may include attachment points installed after the fact to existing structures such as roofs, ledges, facades, and other appropriate attachment points. They must meet OSHA’s 5,000-pound weight-bearing requirement and be carefully examined before each use to ensure they are in good working order and have no signs of wear and tear.
  • Engineered – These anchor points come installed specifically for fall protection and get installed as part of the original building plan and creation. They meet all safety requirements and regulations and should also be routinely checked and inspected along with all other safety system components.
  • Permanent – As their name suggests, you cannot move permanent anchor points. These fixtures can be non-engineered or engineered depending on when and how they got installed initially. They’re fixed permanently into the existing setup.
  • Portable – Portable anchor points are versatile and suitable for work on buildings that are either not very regular or require a lot of movement and relating during work. They can be set up quickly and easily and are ideal for temporary jobs or sites with hazards in multiple locations. Portable anchors and mare to support standard weight limits and can change location without damaging surrounding structures. 

Regardless of anchor point setup and installation, regular maintenance and inspections ensure that workers remain safe. Professional roof anchors and safety support teams will regularly check the system and analyze the current status fall protection system to improve the safety of any high-rise commercial building. 

What is Rooftop Anchorage System Assessment? 

A compliant rooftop anchorage system requires all commercial and high-rise residential buildings to remain up to code. They remain vital for ensuring workers’ safety when utilizing façade access systems to complete facility maintenance and repairs. Unfortunately, safety measures are often the first to be overlooked and neglected. Corners get cut, pennies pinched, and workers’ lives put at risk. 

Today, most commercial high-rise buildings are currently non-compliant, even if existing anchors have been previously inspected and certified. A one-time check is insufficient to keep fall prevention systems in good working order. Rooftop anchorage inspections and safety checks must occur regularly by industry leaders like Valcourt. At a bare minimum, workers should inspect all anchor points and system components before they get used. Routine inspections by certified safety experts also should be part of regular facility management and upkeep for all systems used for face repair, window washing, waterproofing, and other risky repairs and maintenance work.

Working with industry experts with a proven track record for quality, safety, and reliability can ensure roof anchor systems are code compliant and suited for use. The time and money invested in fall prevention system installation and upkeep is well worth it compared to the cost of workers’ compensation and injury claims, or worse, a wrongful death lawsuit. Working with Valcourt facility management and safety experts can ensure every commercial property is up to code and appropriate.

Roof Anchors for Fall Protection: The Legislation Requirements

Valcourt’s expert service team has the expertise to keep commercial facilities and property sites up to code and maintain 100% compliance. A skilled and experienced team of professionals will assess the existing anchor system and certifications to identify any areas needing further analysis or updating. All work done is according to OSHA and other safety standards and requirements concerning accessible and adequate safety gear and well-maintained equipment and structures.

As highlighted by Diversified Fall Protection, “There are two paths to OSHA compliance when it comes to fall protection anchorage: OSHA 1910.140(c) (13)(i) states that anchors “shall be…capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds (22.2 kN) per employee attached.” OSHA 1910.140(c) (13)(ii) specifies that anchors shall be “Designed, installed, and used, under the supervision of qualified person, as part of a complete personal fall protection system that maintains a safety factor of at least two.…” Valcourt safety inspection experts will ensure all anchor points and fall prevention components are up to code, properly installed, well-maintained, and safe for use.

How Should You Choose an Anchor Point?

The safest option is the most desirable when choosing a fall protection anchorage. If an engineered system is available, it should be used over any non-engineered anchor point. Temporary anchor points are better than nothing. Any viable anchor point must be certified by someone who knows or can determine the load capacity and overall structural integrity of that anchor point. 

Knowing and avoiding unsafe anchor points improves the chance of a safe and appropriate fall prevention setup.  The following points should never become anchor sites with any high-rise, parking garage, or other commercial structure:

  • Standard guardrails
  • Ladders, rungs,
  • Scaffolding
  • Light fixtures
  • Plumbing
  • Conduit and wiring harnesses
  • Ductwork and pipe vents
  • Rebar
  • Lanyards
  • Handrails 
  • Vents and fans
  • Roof stacks

It is essential never to use structures or items that fail to meet OSHA standards. Doing so could be just as dangerous as not using anything at all. But all these worries and concerns fall to the wayside when you have an expert team of fall prevention and safety experts, like Valcourt, working for you and with you every step.

Contact Valcourt Building Services for Roof Anchor Fall Protection Services and Inspections 

Valcourt Building Services works with building owners and property managers to provide preventative maintenance, leak repairs, safety consulting, facility management and maintenance, and comprehensive building envelope restorations to extend the life of a structure and protect property value.  Contact EDS today to learn more and to ensure your rooftop fall protection setup is up to par.

facility_management_services

We Have a Leak! Why Hiring an Expert Service Is Key to Avoiding Costly Damage

Owning commercial buildings comes with expenses, and the last thing an owner wants to do is pour more into facility management services. In actuality, facilities management is a service that, over time, may save your business money in the long run. Preventative maintenance is the best way to avoid costly facility repairs and stay ahead of the game with routine maintenance. 

In fact, according to Statista.com, “In 2020, the global facility management market was worth approximately 1.34 trillion U.S. dollars. Facility management involves delivering support services like cleaning, catering, accounting, and IT services for professional organizations.” Facility management is an industry that has a great future ahead. 

What Kinds of Costly Damages Are Commonly Seen?

In facility management services, costly facility repairs and damages occur at any given time. Being prepared is vital for any of these occurrences. Ensure staff is well equipped and knowledgeable on handling each specific situation, whether it is an act of mother nature or a human mishap. 

The most common types of commercial property damage claims consist of: 

  • Storm Damage – Storm damage can be highly destructive. They have the potential to destroy the entire structure, knock down trees, crack windows, cause the need for commercial glass restoration, cause damage to equipment or inventory, and even create power outages.
  • Fire Damage – Fires can be highly detrimental to the structure of a building. If not immediately contained, the entire building and its contents are in jeopardy of the fire. 
  • Water Damage – Often caused by unknown window leaks and roof leaks, water damage can be extensive.
  • Window and Door Damage – Window and door damage are not always prominent, which is why routine building maintenance services are highly recommended. Cracks can quickly turn into shattered glass. Door and window seals also pose a problem for the safety and efficiency of the building.
  • Roof Damage – Strong winds and storms cause most roof damage and are unpreventable. Normal wear and tear issues need immediate attention to avoid costly facility repairs
  • Flooring Damage – Most flooring damage on exterior plaza decks results from exposure to the elements. Interior damage is likely caused by dropping something heavy, a water leak, or a fire. 
  • Electrical Damage – Faulty wiring and storms are the leading causes of electrical damage. Routine inspection is the key to maintaining up-to-code electrical wiring. 
  • Facade/Exterior Damage – Weather is critical in exterior building damage. It is the first impression for visitors and is therefore vital in getting fixed as soon as possible. 
  • Interior Finish Damage – Typically for aesthetic purposes, these finishes can be damaged by water, fire, and storms. 

Characteristics of a Reliable Maintenance and Management Expert

Reliable maintenance and expert building management providers should be leaders in their field. Their team should be fully staffed and trained to handle any maintenance issues, routine or emergency, to avoid facility damages safely and effectively.

Some key characteristics of an expert building management team are:

  • Preparation and Preemptive – A reliable team prepares for any situation. They should also have a plan, such as a routine maintenance checklist, to help prevent issues.
  • Professional Attitude and Motives – Characteristics in facility management services to not be overlooked are confidence and professionalism. 
  • Exemplifies Leadership Skills – Taking a situation into their own hands, prioritizing, and being self-motivated are non-negotiables for facility management services
  • Open to Communication – A qualified expert building management leader should always be open to hearing all points of view to have a building’s best interest at the top of their list. 
  • Problem Solving Skills – They must be able to think critically and analytically to avoid facility damages
  • Balance of Hard and Soft Skills – A good leader can balance all aspects of the job. 
  • Motivated Problem Solver – Being self-motivated is a must. A reliable team does not sit idly by and watch things unravel.
  • Knowledgeable Industry Trends – Staying up to date on the current trends is a vital way for facility managers to help their properties stay organized and avoid costly facility repairs.
  • Technology Minded and Driven – It is 2022, and technology is unavoidable. A reliable expert must be driven by this trend and use it to their advantage. 

Benefits of Industry Experts and Customized Facility Maintenance Services

Leveraging industry expertise in facility management services and implementing emergency facilities maintenance services are benefits of using an expert. A few examples of these advantages are:

  • Improved facility safety standards
  • Higher productivity for maintenance
  • Better environment for staff and customers
  • Faster and more reliable response to issues
  • Enhanced cost and expense management

Avoid Facility Damages and Related Expenses With Expert Management Services Today

There are several key factors to consider when looking for expert facility management services. Possessing specific characteristics makes for a reliable expert in this field. Avoid damages and costly facility repairs with expert management services and contact The EDS Group today.

on-demand building repairs

What Goes Into Professional On-Demand Building Repairs

On-demand building repairs are an essential component of managing and managing and owning a commercial building. Typically routine facilities maintenance is the preferred maintenance that avoids downtime of the building’s functionality and features. According to Plant Engineering, “The cost of unplanned downtime includes more than just that of the parts and labor needed to fix a piece of equipment. Both tangible and intangible costs must be considered.” However, even with a routine maintenance plan, emergencies and unforeseen circumstances will still arise, and a plan to address these concerns must be in place. 

It is impossible to avoid all emergency building maintenance situations. Commercial buildings have a business at stake. Avoiding routine or on-demand maintenance is detrimental to business flow, resulting in reduced profits, loss of goods, decreased customer satisfaction, and safety concerns. On-demand building maintenance services are essential to the overall functionality of a building. 

What Are On-Demand Building Repairs?

An on-demand building repair occurs when a repair is necessary and urgent. For example, when a piece of equipment or the structural integrity of a building is at risk, on-demand building repairs need to addressing immediately. On-demand building repairs occur unplanned and require quick action as they can provide a threat to the safety of the building, occupants, and employees. Some on-demand building repairs require a complete shutdown or even an evacuation, which might result in a loss of sales and profits for owners as well as compromise the safety and well-being of customers. Minor repairs are simple to put off since they don’t seem to be a big deal at first, but if put off for too long, they will become huge issues, costing thousands in damages or missed income. Therefore, timely and efficient responses to emergency maintenance are essential to the building’s lifetime.

The Costs of Reactive Maintenance–On-Demand Repairs

Equipment does not function at its best because of reactive maintenance. Systems and mechanics degrade quicker than ones that are continually adjusted and maintained. When equipment isn’t maintained correctly, it requires more energy. Equipment and structures are being run into the ground, testing their performance and causing the need for building repairs.

Reactive maintenance is still necessary even with the most robust preventive and proactive maintenance programs. Like life, unexpected emergencies happen. Although these tactics for preventative care can be helpful in some situations, they are not always successful. With proactive maintenance, there will still be unexpected breakdowns. Therefore, it is essential to have trained professionals that react appropriately to reactive issues since they will be addressing these unforeseen incidents. 

Reactive maintenance costs building owners in several ways. A few of these concerns are:

  1. Lowered Life Cycle of Assets – The life expectancy of assets, including the building itself, is reduced significantly when preventative maintenance goes ignored. This applies unnecessary stress and strain on parts and components, ultimately leading to failure. 
  2. Costs – Unexpected costs are a significant issue regarding reactive, on-demand building repairs, with unexpected downtime at the top of the concern list. Ignoring a proactive approach leads to missing typical indications or concerns that a system has issues, creating the need for costly on-demand building repairs. It also leads to delays in day-to-day business, which is detrimental to revenue.
  3. Safety – Not maintaining a building routinely increases employee and building occupants’ safety and increases the risk of emergency hazards. Predictive maintenance raises the chances of avoiding potential issues by staying ahead of any problems with assets before they occur.
  4. Difficult Maintenance Scheduling – Since on-demand building repairs are not on a schedule, they can throw a wrench in plans, the daily flow of business, and routine maintenance. Reactive maintenance creates urgency, and building managers must bump the tasks to the top of the list to maintain safety and prevent profit loss. 

Implementing a Preventative Maintenance Checklist 

Preventative maintenance is proactive maintenance, which includes routinely inspecting and servicing all working parts of the structure and its components to maintain structural integrity. A preventive maintenance checklist decreases the likelihood of failed parts while increasing the longevity of the building. Performing regular inspections also aids in reducing the occurrence of on-demand building repairs and downtime of machines. According to AssemblyMag.com, “Fortune Global 500 manufacturers lose approximately 3.3 million hours annually to unplanned downtime. That translates into $864 billion, equivalent to 8 percent of their annual revenues.” Therefore, downtime costs are detrimental to a business, and prevention is needed. This is done through preventative maintenance. 

A few various repairs or needs of critical preventative maintenance tasks are:

  • Routine HVAC Checks and Diagnostics – The HVAC system is one of the most instrumental pieces of equipment. It maintains the overall comfort and temperature of the building while providing ventilation and filtered air. Routinely checking the equipment will ensure it is kept in good working condition for all seasons and help avoid on-demand building repairs.
  • Maintaining the Building Envelope – The building envelope significantly influences a structure’s climate, structural integrity, and energy efficiency. The foundation, walls, windows, doors, exterior insulation, and other components keep the heat outside and air-conditioned air inside. Therefore, ensure that the envelope is airtight and watertight to maintain efficiency.
  • Cleaning and Maintaining the Plaza Deck – Cleaning the deck ensures the safety of all building occupants. Maintaining it ensures the waterproofing is functioning correctly and provides protection to the interior of the building. 
  • Inspecting Bird Deterrents in Commercial Buildings – Maintaining bird deterrents ensures that birds are not flocking toward the building and causing damage to the structure. 
  • Keeping up with window cleaning and Commercial Glass Restoration – Routine window cleaning allows professionals to see if they need to address any issues. Ignoring glass and window issues can lead to efficiency issues and water leaks. 
  • Maintaining Elevator Cabs – Elevator cabs are a vital part of a building. Regular inspection and maintenance will prevent minor issues from turning into larger ones. An elevator not functioning correctly will cause a slew of problems and concerns. According to ConsumerWatch.com, “Injuries from elevators affect about 10,200 people per year, with the majority of these accidents being related to elevator door malfunction, carriage misalignment with floors, and passenger safety vulnerabilities.”

Quality Control and Time Efficiency

Response time is critical when an emergency occurs. Ensure the right service partner is efficient, responsive and maintains excellent customer service.  Quality and time efficiency increases customer satisfaction by meeting your needs quickly. 

Emergency maintenance professionals are skilled and capable of upholding professionalism even under a lot of stress. When performing on-demand building repairs, customer, tenant, and staff safety and health is the top priority. Prompt and quality work provides a safe and effective environment that allows the building owner to concentrate on getting their business back up and running as usual.

Experience and Access to On-Demand Network of Vendors

Things can go sour fast without proper experience and access to multiple vendors. Therefore, facility managers must have a successful and active network of vendors that building managers can contact at all hours of the day, week, and year. 

Every building is different and has its specific upkeep demands, requirements, and maintenance needs. Professional on-demand teams have training and expertise in all facets of management and maintenance for each particular type of building and its components. They are also up to date on all safety regulations and code requirements. These teams are also trained in emergencies and know how to handle each in all circumstances. Collaborating with qualified industry partners in emergency maintenance decreases risks.

Tips to Utilize the Latest Technology & Stay a Step Ahead 

Technology in the facility management world is constantly changing. As a result, there are more technological options than ever to help perform routine and on-demand building repairs. Fortune Business Insights states, “Cloud-based solutions provide a safe and secure way to host facilities management software. They also assist companies in reducing expenses by improving security and cooperation across teams and subsidiaries across numerous regions. 

In addition, the secure hosting of sensitive data, better security and scalability, and rapid disaster recovery are all advantages of cloud-based facilities management solutions. The backups are saved on a public or private cloud hosting platform, allowing businesses to retrieve vital server data quickly. In addition, secure logins enable data to be accessed with a reliable Internet connection.”

Current technology has provided a more straightforward way for facility managers to stay on top of changes and maintenance and is vital to the success of facility management. With current technology, facility managers can maintain control of all business operations and needs in one central location, creating clear communication, transparent maintenance operations, and straightforward avenues for tenants to submit and check on maintenance concerns. In addition, utilizing these tools makes a smooth process for proactive and on-demand building repairs

Below are a few tips for business owners to utilize the latest technology:

  • Internet of Things (IoT) allows for real-time data collection and analysis. This data helps professionals find underlying issues and fix them before they cause processes to fail and require on-demand building repairs.
  • Leak Detection Tools – Leak detection is a preventative maintenance method that locates the source of a liquid or gas leak using a variety of digital instruments and technology. Professionals Technicians reduce the onset of on-demand building repairs and increase the safety of the building and its occupants by fixing problems as soon as they arise.
  • Integrated Applications – Implementing integrated applications for building management allows streamlining everything in one central location. Maintenance is entered and monitored in one place and can be updated and status viewed in real-time. 

What to Look for in an On-Demand Service Provider

A capable on-demand building repairs service provider ensures the safety and comfort of the building structure, employees, and occupants. In this day and age, the expectation is instant gratification in nearly every instance. Therefore, a quick and efficient repair to prevent structure deterioration must be the main priority of an on-demand service provider. With this as a priority, the impact on the overall business should be minimal. An effective service provider should always combat loss of business and revenue, loss of products and goods, and risk of injury.

There are many things to consider when choosing an on-demand service provider. But, unfortunately, sometimes providers do not have a business’s best interest at heart which is detrimental to a professional relationship. 

Some features to look for in an on-demand building repairs company are:

  • Availability – Ensure an on-demand team has around-the-clock availability. On-demand building repairs happen at random, unscheduled times and must be addressed immediately. Therefore, time is of the essence.
  • Trained Vendors – Professional vendors, are a must when dealing with on-demand concerns. They have the training and expertise to identify and address unforeseen issues. 
  • Cross-Functional – Ensure the team can identify all the other issues while repairing the component. This approach saves time and money. 
  • Local Team –  A local team is vital when promptly addressing on-demand building repairs. If a team has to contact a vendor four hours away, this does not have the building’s best interest. 
  • Access to Equipment – An on-demand service provider must have access to an array of equipment for various types of on-demand building repairs. From commercial windows to a bird proofing mishap – all equipment must be accessible. 
  • Cost Efficient – Ensure that provider is not taking advantage of the situation and that the costs are worth the on-demand building repairs. Be upfront with a budget. 
  • Customer Service – Providing excellent customer service is non-negotiable. An on-demand team must be efficient, responsive, and communicative. 
  • Safety – The on-demand building repairs team must be certified in all local, state, and national safety codes and certifications. Safety should be their number one priority when providing on-demand maintenance services.

Partner With The JOBS Group to Streamline Your On-Demand Building Repairs

Building maintenance and upkeep are crucial to managing and owning a building. Therefore preferred routine and preventative maintenance are the ideal methods to prevent major issues. There are many different ways to implement preventive maintenance versus reactive maintenance.

 However, not every situation is fortunate enough to dodge emergencies. When emergencies do occur, on-demand building repairs are needed. They must be implemented immediately to reduce maximum damages to the building, its occupants, staff, and the maintenance team.

When choosing a professional maintenance team, ensure that a preventative maintenance checklist is in place, that they are capable of professionalism and efficiency, and that they leverage the latest technology while providing a quality product. Taking advantage of the newest technology is a game-changer for routine and emergency maintenance services. Partner with The EDS Group to streamline your on-demand building repairs today!

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How to Reduce Costs When Building Management Needs Arise

High maintenance, restoration, and repair expenses affect the profitability of a building and company. Keeping these costs to a minimum is ideal but is necessary to maintain a profitable business. Working to reduce these costs with building management systems and building energy management is vital. A reactive approach to building repairs and maintenance can result in excess spending and expenses. Investing in a proactive approach will change the game and reduce structural deterioration

1. Work to Eliminate Reactive, Unplanned Maintenance Backlogs

It might be tempting to put minor main concerns on the backburner when it comes to building repairs and maintenance, such as commercial glass restoration. However, this is never the best route to take. Ignoring, what appears to be minor issues, can lead to much more severe problems down the road. Before these problems become an emergency in building management systems, address them immediately. 

It’s impossible to avoid all emergency maintenance, but having a proactive maintenance plan in place will help alleviate a lot of the stress that comes with urgent and emergency facilities maintenance and repairs. Such a plan must include clearly defined procedures, checklists, and building management sensors to ensure that after-hours emergency maintenance goes as smoothly and swiftly as possible. 

2. Use Digital Building Management Tools to Understand Your Maintenance Schedule

Multiple digital and technological tools are available to facility managers and building management systems. Accessing and implementing these tools, including building management sensors, is a game-changer in understanding a maintenance schedule. Technology intelligent building management solutions streamline tasks. Applications, systems, and software provide a control point for building repairs and maintenance. 

Work smarter, not harder. Digital tools will make a project manager’s job simpler, boost the project’s productivity, and improve efficiency. Additionally, it helps to minimize cost overruns. These tools help keep maintenance on schedule and avoid unnecessary expenses. To properly plan, monitor, and carry out building management systems and maximize company operations, ensure facility management uses digital building management tools.  

3. Conduct Regular Inspections and Testing of Core Building Systems, Including the Building Envelope

Regular inspections and testing of the main components of building repairs and maintenance are vital in protecting and maintaining the longevity of all systems and structural integrity. Facility managers should schedule routine inspections of building management systems to stay updated regarding each moving part’s condition,  productivity, and efficiency. The interior of the building is not the only part that needs to be routinely checked. The plaza deck systems, waterproofing, and building envelope are exterior features that need frequent testing. They are possibly even more crucial as these features protect the entire interior and its components.

4. Educate Tenants and Building Maintenance Teams on How to Recognize Signs of Problems

Educating tenants and maintenance teams are vital for building management systems. All parties involved must receive education and training to help them understand possible dangers and the steps to ensure the building’s safe and effective environment.

Teaching occupations and staff what to look for is critical in building repairs and maintenance, such as failed bird proofing. Some ways to communicate this to tenants are distributing newsletters with information, maintenance tips, and building safety solutions, or even posting in frequented areas such as an elevator cab interior. Train staff and maintenance teams with clear communication and warning signs to look out for. For emergencies, ensure clear communication, assigned control points and duties, alarms, and a clear evacuation plan if needed. 

5. Set a Clear Procedure for Reporting and Submitting Work  Orders 

A process is typically ignored or avoided if it is complicated or not easily accessible. Creating a straightforward way for tenants and occupants to report and submit work orders for building repairs and maintenance improves the likelihood that the issue is raised and dealt with promptly. Streamline this process with the available intelligent building management solutions, technology, and software for facilities management and building management systems.

6. Properly Train In-House or Outsourced Staff on the Use of Your Building Safety Systems

In-house and outsourced staff must be adequately trained with the appropriate building safety systems and intelligent building management solutions. Each building has unique needs and requirements, and teams must be trained accordingly. Know the local, state, and federal guidelines for required training and safety. Building management systems must have documented safety regulations and adequately communicate them to all employees, team members, and contractors involved in building repairs and maintenance. Everyone has a responsibility and must be informed of their duties and expectations. Another critical tip to remember is to retrain as necessary. 

7. Don’t Forget to Perform Regular Maintenance on Your Assets Used for Maintenance, Such as Scaffolding and Window Washing Equipment

Typically when thinking about maintenance needs and building safety solutions, the building itself and its appliances, such as the HVAC system, come to mind. Things that easily slip through the cracks are assets used for maintenance solutions. These items can include scaffolding and window washing equipment. Ensuring this gear and all assets are in tip-top shape and are routinely maintained is just as vital as the maintenance of the building. The safety of the crew and personnel is at stake, and it is mandatory to take all appropriate actions to ensure security is maintained. 

8. Communicate Maintenance Expectations Clearly and Concisely

Managers should clearly communicate all expectations to achieve the desired results. The facility’s staff and third-party vendors must be fully aware of all rules and safety and maintenance regulations. Everybody has a responsibility, and they should receive appropriate and concise training and communication on the obligations and standards that go along with it.

9. Have a Pre-Vetted Field Service Vendor Network

The right service partner and building management systems provide a pre-vetted list of vendors and building repairs and maintenance services.  If one resource is not immediately accessible,  building management systems should have access to a strong network of professionals who could do the task. Having a backup plan is necessary when it comes to intelligent building management solutions

All vendors are pre-vetted and handle maintenance situations professionally and competently. Using their network of on-call vendors, facilities managers manage the on-demand building maintenance services while quickly recognizing issues, responding, and resolving emergency maintenance as soon as feasible.

10. Eliminate the Hassle of Paying Multiple Vendors With a Single Point of Contact

A single point of contact limits any confusion with communication and payment. It allows building management systems to remain organized and streamlined and increases customer satisfaction. 

Intelligent building management solutions run much smoother when communicating and paying one vendor versus multiple vendors. Relieve the stress of the back and forth communication and get everything under one roof. 

11. Consider Retrofitting Simple Assets With Energy-Management Resources

Retrofitting simple assets can be cost-efficient to improve energy management resources in building management systems. It can improve the building’s energy management and sustainability, lower energy costs, and reduce the carbon footprint of the structure and business. 

Simple things such as adding a greenscape on the commercial plaza deck, changing out light bulbs, or switching from landscaping to xeriscaping are some ideas to retrofit a current building. 

12. Know Your Energy Use Trends

Knowing a building’s energy usage trends is vital in reducing costs. This information allows building energy management to understand where spending is occurring, how much, and how often usage is happening. This data is beneficial when budgeting, knowing where to cut back, and deciphering which appliances or equipment need upgrading to be more economical and efficient. 

13. Consider a Full Building-Wide Retrofit 

A complete building-wide retrofit has proven to improve the building and the energy usage, the overall satisfaction of employees and personnel, and the ROI. This includes but is not limited to smart energy, insulation, creating a “smart” building, and creating a green space.

A report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) states that :

“Building owners who complete a large-scale efficiency overhaul of their property through a deep retrofit can increase the asset value of their property, allowing them to charge higher rents, attract quality tenants, and reduce tenant turnover (Pearce, Dearth, and Schantz 2018). Because comprehensive retrofits include multiple measures across building systems, they can deliver several benefits simultaneously.” 

Further, there are many benefits to retrofitting an office. Some examples are:

  • Lower maintenance costs – Reduced 9.0–14%
  • Occupant satisfaction – Increased 27–76%
  • Rental premium – Increased 2.1–17%
  • Occupant premium – Increased 3.14–18%
  • Property sale price – Increased 11.1–26%
  • More productive employees – Increased 1.0–10%
  • Sick employee days – Reduced 0–40%

These results in intelligent building management solutions are significant. The changes have shown that it not only increased maintenance costs but also improved employee morale and occupants’ satisfaction. Retrofitting a building provides value to facilities that it did not have before. 

Choose The JOBS Group to Streamline All Building Management and Unplanned or Planned Maintenance Needs

High operating and maintenance costs can significantly impact a building’s overall profitability. With intelligent building management solutions, it is vital to keep expenditures as low as possible. A professional building management systems and building energy management service provides preventative maintenance checklists, proactive planning, energy tracking, and all retrofitting needs. Contact The EDS Group today!