Commercial Pre-Winter Property Checks discussed by BPS Facilities
Before winter really sets in there are some Pre-Winter Checks you should arrange with a qualified company to make sure your property and business aren’t impacted by the cold or wet weather. Roofs leaking, heating systems breaking down and plumbing emergencies can cause you major headaches and will impact the operational running of your business for you, your teams and your customers. Pre-winter checks of your commercial property may seem like you are paying for a service that you don’t need at that point in time, however, it will benefit you during winter, and the whole year through knowing your roof isn’t leaking, your heating system is safe and working as it should do and giving you peace of mind that there are no signs of pipes or plumbing systems leaking or malfunctioning.
What Pre-Winter Property Checks Should you Arrange as a Business or Commercial Property Owner?
Heating System Pre-Winter Property Checks
Most commercial buildings require a lot more maintenance compared to domestic properties as they are typically bigger with commercial systems in place. There are also legal requirements you need to adhere to when it comes to your commercial heating and gas systems. An annual boiler check or HVAC service will keep your boiler working safely throughout the year, reducing the risk of carbon monoxide emissions, keeping it in good and efficient working order, maximising its performance, reducing energy bills, minimising breakdowns, as well as limiting wear over time, so extending its working life. If your commercial boiler is under warranty then an annual service by a qualified gas engineer is normally required to ensure its warranty stays valid.
You should only ever use a qualified Gas Safe Registered Gas Engineer as by law they are the only tradespeople that can legally test and service a commercial boiler system. They will check and service your boiler, gas appliances and flues to ensure everything is safe and in good working order. The legally required checks include boilers and other gas appliances such as gas stoves and fireplaces.
Gas, fuels and products of combustion can be extremely dangerous so there is a huge amount of legislation when it comes to gas appliances, boiler plants and any work undertaken on them. The legislation regarding work on gas boilers and appliances is extensive, so using a reputable and professional Facilities Company will ensure that a qualified gas engineer who has the required knowledge of ‘gas safe’ compliance will service your boiler annually for you.
What are the benefits of servicing your Commercial Boiler or HVAC System as part of your Pre-winter Property Checks?
- Keeps it running efficiently, reducing or maintaining your energy bills
- Results in it lasting longer without the need for an earlier than necessary replacement
- Minimises costly breakdowns
- Minimises disruptions from a boiler breakdown resulting in no heating or hot water
- Keeps you and your employees safe, preventing gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning
- Reduces the likelihood of flooding which can damage your property and its contents, as well as disrupting your business
- Gives you peace of mind it is running safely and efficiently
- Keeps you compliant with UK Commercial Boiler regulations
You should also ask your facilities company about power flushing. Power flushing is a process that internally cleans and improves your heating systems efficiency and performance which can dramatically decrease your energy bills if your pipes and radiators are full of dirt and debris. Some heating systems have poor circulation resulting in lukewarm radiators, lack of hot water, increased noise and sludge build up over time, and ‘power flushing’ will rectify this as the sludge and built up residue is removed by inline magnetic filtration, making your boiler system work more efficiently.
When a system is professionally power flushed it is flushed in different directions dislodging sludge and debris build-up which is then subsequently drained. Special chemicals are also used to ensure the sludge breaks down inside the system before it’s removed. Power flushing your central heating system will extend the life and efficiency of your boiler.
What are the signs that your commercial boiler needs repair?
- You don’t have heat or hot water
- Your boiler switches off regularly and it needs to be restarted frequently
- Your property is not feeling warm even when the heating is on
- The water temperature isn’t hot enough
- The water isn’t hot at all
- It is making noises, creaking, humming, buzzing, groaning noises
- Your energy bills are increasing
- There are signs of water leaks (these can sometimes lead to floods and property damage if not looked at quickly)
Boiler repairs and servicing ensuring your boiler is in safe working order is your responsibility as a business or commercial property owner. Being pro-active and servicing your boiler before winter prevents costly breakdowns and can save you money, whilst ensuring you’re not without heat or hot water in the colder months.
Plumbing Pre-Winter Property Checks
Any plumbing, pipes and drains can be impacted by adverse weather conditions, whether its freezing temperatures or heavy rain. If your plumbing system and drains haven’t been serviced and maintained prior to winter as part of your pre-winter checks then they can crack, burst and result in reduced or increased flow rates, potentially flooding your commercial property which can damage your heating systems and pipework and costly repairs.
Regular and preventative maintenance helps to prevent unnecessary repair bills and by having a plan for winter and taking care of issues quickly, however, small they are will prevent more major and costly issues arising.
A professional and reputable Facilities Management Company will complete all of your plumbing pre-winter checks for you and these can include:
- Checking internal and external pipework for any leaks or signs of wear and repairing or replacing them
- They will ensure any external pipework which has the capacity to freeze in the colder months are fully insulated which will also help to reduce your energy bills. Insulating exposed pipework safeguards them against the cold and eliminates the risk of pipes bursting and causing damage. A professional plumber will supply the correct standard of insulation and install insulation to pipes in hard-to-reach places, or even re-route pipes in exposed areas
- Drain any pipes, drains, cisterns or any other water-containing structures that aren’t needed in winter
- Clear any drains and grates and remove any leaves, mud or debris to prevent freezing, drains blocking or flooding
- Check that your pipes and water tanks are protected with lagging to prevent the likelihood of them freezing, especially those in unheated areas such as lofts or outdoor areas
- Fix any dripping taps which can result in frozen pipes
Plumbing systems that freeze can cause pipes to burst and a qualified plumber will check to ensure that the systems and pipework in your commercial property are in good working order to minimise any risk of breakdown, damage or repair in the winter.
Roof Pre-Winter Property Checks
Roofs need to be checked to ensure they are safe and watertight in preparation for the winter months and a professional and reputable Facilities Management Company will know the pre-winter checks that are required. If it snows then flat roofs should be checked as snowfall which subsequently melts quickly can lead to standing water on flat roofs and result in leaks or severe damage to your roof which will be costly.
- Flat roofs are quite common on many types of commercial buildings and these are more prone to leaking due to water, debris and, or snow or ice build-up so they need regular inspection and maintenance to check their membranes and seams which can often split and subsequently leak
- Tiled roofs should also be checked as part of your pre-winter checks to ensure there aren’t any damaged or loose tiles that may result in leaks into your property causing damage to electrics, systems, decor, furniture or stock
- All gutters and drains should be cleared prior to winter to enable rainfall to flow into the drains as it needs to. If there is a build-up of dirt and debris in your guttering then this will result in leaks and drainage problems or blocked drains will overflow and can cause structural or physical damage
- Check that all roof flashing is flush, secure and undamaged. Flashing is a material usually aluminium or galvanized steel that is used over roof and wall joint construction to prevent water seeping in and causing damage
- Check that shingles and roof vents are secure, clear and undamaged
- Check roof-edge waterproofing and seals to prevent unwanted drafts
- Trim back trees or branches that could damage your roof or property if there are high winds
General Pre-Winter Property Checks
As a business or commercial property owner its always a good idea to have plans in place for any eventuality that could happen during the winter months and these can include, loss of power, heating, water, snow, burst pipes and these should include plans for colleagues, customers, stock, property, data and Health & Safety processes and procedures.
As a business or commercial property owner, preventative measures, including pre-winter checks are a good investment in terms of safety, cost management and a healthy work environment.
Professional and reputable Facility Management Companies will ensure all of your pre-winter checks for your business or commercial property are carried out by fully qualified team members in good time for the colder months. They will know and understand the things that need to be checked, serviced and maintained to ensure you have a hassle and stress-free winter where any impacts to your business are minimised. If you have a maintenance contract with a Facilities Management Company then you will also have the peace of mind that if you do have an emergency or breakdown with your boiler, heating or cooling system, roof, pipework, gas, electrics and much more they will come out to your property quickly and efficiently resolve or manage your issues directly.
What should you look for in a Facilities Management Company?
- Gas Safe Registered
- A company that has their work regularly assessed to ensure ongoing competence and by which body
- A company that has valid insurance including public liability insurance and to what amount
- A company that offers installation, repair, maintenance and emergency services
- A company that offers a full planning and design service for new installations or any work that needs carrying out
- A company that offers boiler control and management systems
- A company that can tell you who they have worked for in the past
- A company that has excellent customer reviews and reputation
- A company that has been recommended by another business
- A company that has an employed team of skilled tradespeople that can service, maintain and repair your property, its systems and its appearance
There isn’t one solution when it comes to maintaining a commercial property as each one and every business is unique in its own way so you should always look for a facilities management company that will offer you a maintenance contract that is specific to you, your property and business.
About BPS Facilities
BPS Facilities is an independent company whose excellent reputation has been built on providing quality work for Businesses and Commercial properties throughout Wales, the South West of England and the M4 Corridor. We offer our planned and reactive building maintenance services to a wide range of customers in a variety of business sectors.
Our team of professional, qualified, polite and proficient staff offer a complete engineering, repair and maintenance service for commercial and industrial companies, 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.
Our Services include servicing, repair, installation and maintenance of; boilers and boiler control systems, gas heating, plumbing and pipework, air conditioning and ventilation, electrics, building construction, building development and roofing.
If you are looking for a Facilities Company that offers Pre-Winter Property Checks or you need a Commercial Maintenance Service then contact us today on 029 20 484114 and one of our team will be able to answer any questions you may have or arrange an appointment for one of our Facility Managers to come out and meet with you.