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Winter Preparation Checklist for Facility Managers

October 11, 2021
Winter Preparation Checklist for Facility Managers
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As a facility manager, you know how important a winter maintenance plan is. Without it, and without a facility management checklist to keep things in order, businesses can quickly find themselves struggling to maintain a steady and safe flow of customers in and out of your building.

At Earth Development, we help businesses across the Midwest stay open every winter, and in this piece, we’ll explore the things you can do to keep your building safe for customers, clients, and employees.

Check Roofs, Windows, and Gutters

Along with our de-icing services, the Earth Development team recommends that you check your roofs, windows, and gutters before the winter weather arrives.

Remember that long periods of rain during the fall season can lead to leaking window frames or make cracks in your double glazing get worse. Your roof may have been damaged since the last winter, too, and you’ll want to ensure all these problems are fixed before the snow and ice arrive.

This is also true for your gutters. If they don’t function properly now, they’ll only get worse in the wintertime – and it’s harder to get issues like this fixed during the cold, wintery weather.

Repair and Protect Concrete

The freeze-thaw process is what causes cracks and holes in concrete. As water seeps into cracks, it freezes, expands, and then thaws and leaves behind bigger cracks than before. It can cause serious structural damage and make outdoor surfaces like pavements and parking lots dangerous to use.

There are lots of things you can do to protect concrete in winter and we recommend you take action before the snow and ice arrive to ensure your outdoor surfaces are safe.

Secure Entrances & Exits

One of the big snow removal responsibilities you need to remember is clearing entrances and exits and making them safe for everybody to use.

This not only protects your customers and employees but also demonstrates your commitment to the local community. It also ensures that you remain compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that requires all businesses to have entrances accessible for people with special mobility needs.

Inspect, Repair, and Update Your HVAC Units

The last thing you need during the winter is your HVAC unit breaking down.

If you can’t heat your building, you can’t provide a safe environment for employees or customers – and fixing these issues is much easier during the fall when you might not need to have the heating or air conditioning switched on while customers are in your building.

Be sure to check your filters and hire professionals to perform a full analysis of your system, so you’re prepared for the winter ahead.

Be Prepared for Power Outages

Power shutdowns are something every facility manager should have on a building management checklist. It’s an inconvenient reality that power loss happens during the wintertime.

Consider getting a backup generator if this will help you stay in business, but also be aware of things you should do when the power goes out. Remember to turn off your equipment, including computers and machinery, to protect them when the power comes back on. You may also wish to hire an electrician to ensure that surge protectors are working and safe.

Pay Attention to the Winter Forecasts

At Earth Development, we work with expert meteorologists to predict bad weather. It’s what allows us to take pre-emptive action for our clients, providing deicing services and more before the bad weather arrives.

When you follow the winter weather forecast, you give yourself an opportunity to lay deicing agents that stop ice from forming when the temperature drops. That minimizes any potential downtime and keeps your outdoor surfaces safe.

Be sure to add checking the winter forecast to your management winter maintenance plan!

Plan Your Snow Removal

Proper snow removal requires a lot of work. At the very least, you will need:

  • Vehicles and tools to clear the snow
  • Fuel to power those vehicles and machines
  • Staff trained and prepared to remove the snow and operate any machines
  • Storage space to pile the snow while it melts
  • A good understanding of how to keep customers and employees safe
  • Time to clear the snow before, during, and after adverse winter weather

Snow removal is a tough job, especially for businesses that need to focus on keeping the doors open. We have some great tips on snow emergency preparations, but we also recommend you get in touch with a team member to learn how we can make snow removal easier for you.

Prepare For Deicing

Just like snow removal, deicing is a big job in itself. Our successful deicing services are made possible with the following:

  • Trained staff familiar with different de-icing agents
  • A good understanding of weather patterns
  • Tools and vehicles that make large deicing areas easier
  • Time

We have some great tips on the best ways of deicing, but again, we recommend you get in touch to see how we can make deicing easier for your business this winter.

Why Not Leave It to the Experts This Winter?

As a business owner of a facility manager, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your business stays open this winter. With that in mind, Earth Development recommends hiring a local contractor who can deliver all the deicing and snow removal services you need.

Our team will handle the complicated and time-consuming matter of keeping your property safe during cold and snowy weather while you run your business and keep serving your clients.

Click here to learn more about our snow removal services, and call the team today at (866) 475-2807 for a free quote!

Let Us Help You
The amount of snow Minnesota gets each winter fluctuates, but it’s typically safe to expect a consistent amount throughout the winter months. Last year, did you have enough space on your property to store plowed snow?