Facilities managers and spring cleaning: The time is now
Thursday, March 28, 2019
There’s something about the spring and its warm air, the brightness of the sun between the showers, and the buds of the morning’s flowers that motivate us to clean. The end of the internal hibernation of winter is no different for facilities managers.
As the days get longer and warmer, there’s no better time than now to evaluate the building you manage to ensure it survived the brutality of winter and is ready for the coming dog days of summer.
For those professionals who have been in the facility management game for a bit, the following information likely is routine. For newcomers, there’s no better time than the changing of the season than to make spring cleaning and maintenance a routine.
The first place to start is with a general assessment, the walkthrough. The point of this exercise is to take detailed notice of any potential issues that may have crept up over the winter. You’ll want to be looking for any problems with door stops and sticking locks; sidewalk cracks; tile and grout; the gutter, roofing fascia or shingles; window sealants and caulking; and fire extinguishers or security lighting.
During the outside inspection, take inventory of the work that’s going to be needed. For example, the grass, trees and shrubs may need to be cared for. The early spring is a great time to re-engage your landscaping firm and get them back on the calendar.
Next, consider the most obvious step: getting rid of the clutter, inside and out. Make an effort to get the common areas cleaned up, and encourage organizational employees to pitch in, too.
Clutter and junk get in the way of productivity. Get any junk out of the way to improve productivity and keep the place safe. In so doing, consider getting the carpets cleaned and the tiles refinished and sealed. Snow and salt can be hell on flooring materials; spring is the perfect time to revitalize what’s under foot.
Spring also means the heating elements will be turned off. The days of needing the air conditioner are coming quickly; in Southern regions, they may already be in use. Thus, it’s a great time to get the HVAC system service assessed and inspected.
Along with maintaining any failing window elements, consider having them all cleaned inside and out. Doing so will help improve the mood of employees and may save on lighting costs — clean windows allow in more natural light, so there might be less need for electrical lighting. While you’re at it, service any lighting that may need repair and replace any blown bulbs.
Step into spring with a full assessment of the buildings and follow through on whatever needs to be addressed. It’s better to start while something is small. And, if nothing needs more than a good cleaning, ‘tis the season for such activities; they can be a good team-building exercise, too.
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