Owning a building for your business or residential property involves substantial investment and comes with monumental responsibilities. One of the most important things you can do to protect your investment is to be diligent about timely preventive building maintenance. It can save you money in the long run and keep your clients, employees, and family safe and comfortable, while maintaining maximum efficiency, reducing energy use, protecting and preserving your assets, maintaining staff efficiency at work, and protecting your reputation and credibility as a property owner in the event of an accident.
Preventive maintenance includes everything from your computers and office equipment to plumbing, heating, and cooling systems, electrical systems, fire-protection and life-safety systems, plus building maintenance like doors, gutters, trim, skylights, reskins, additions, and insulation packages. In COVID times, building owners and operators face heightened maintenance requirements toward providing safe, clean buildings that have better air quality than ever, thus providing freedom from harmful contaminants and contagions which, in turn, leads to improved staff morale and efficiency.
The consequences of relying solely on reactive building maintenance can be serious, including unplanned downtime, idle employees, halted production, missed deadlines, and even long-term damages to your brand. Being diligent about maintenance, on the other hand, leads to decreased equipment downtime, conservation of assets, improved reliability, improved safety, increased equipment efficiency, and more. If it all seems overwhelming, you’ll be happy to hear that Lincoln is home to multitudinous businesses that can help you keep your business and company safe and efficient and your employees and clients happy and thriving.
Greenleaf Commercial Real Estate (greenleafcommercial.com) in Lincoln provides comprehensive property-management services that include facility- and asset-management components. Facility management covers the physical aspects of the property, while asset management focuses on increasing the value of the owner’s investment.
“A few keys components of our facility-management services include full takeover and start-up inspection; annual property inspection reports; identification and implementation of routine maintenance, coordination of vendor repairs and services, quick response to maintenance requests, and 24/7 emergency response,” said Greenleaf Property Manager Talisha Parsley.
Asset-management services include: analyzing current leases to ensure information is correct; forming an annual operating budget; completing an annual budget reconciliation for the prior year; invoicing tenants and collecting rents; making vendor payments; providing monthly owner reports and quarterly and year-end financial statements; accessing financial matters regarding operation of the property, annual cash flow, and Pro Forma statements; listing and marketing property to aim for 100% occupancy; and a yearly meeting with the owner to review the property as a whole. Think about the confidence and peace-of-mind you could gain by handing all of that over to a highly reputable company like Greenleaf.
“It is always better to be proactive rather than reactive,” Talisha said. “Doing routine and ongoing maintenance can save significant time and expense in the long run. For example, heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) routine maintenance like changing filters and replacing belts is an upfront cost each year but can prolong the life of the heating and cooling units by several years. If not maintained, the unit likely won’t function efficiently and runs the risk of breaking down, leaving you in an emergency situation.”
Talisha adds that quality property management maximizes the value of a commercial real-estate asset by increasing tenant satisfaction and controlling costs. Higher tenant satisfaction correlates directly with lower turnover and vacancy rates, while overall tenant satisfaction—combined with close attention to reducing operating and capital expenses keeps the asset competitive in the marketplace and increases the value of the asset for owners.
Keep Critters Away!
Discovering rodents, bats, or squirrels in your business is far more than an inconvenience. It can ruin your reputation if customers see signs of the critters; present health hazards in the form of diseases and germs they spread via their blood, urine, and droppings; damage products in your business (especially anywhere with food!); cause expensive structural damage, and deliver odors and sightings that distract your employees. The good news is that Bats to Rats Wildlife Control and Prevention, LLC (batstorats.com) can help you avoid infestations and, in the case of a sighting, respond quickly with humane removal, identify the source of entry, and repair it and any damage they might have caused.
“We offer interior and exterior inspections for both home and commercial buildings to make sure your property is sealed up, so no unwanted rodents, animals, or wildlife can get in,” said Bats to Rats Owner Daine Patton. “Just something as simple as an unsealed AC line or any utility line into your home or business can allow entry for rodents and other small critters. Bats to Rats will provide a complete inspection of your building’s exterior, interior, attic, and basement or crawlspace. We will then consult with the owner and go over any and all possible wildlife and pest issues, and provide a graph or layout of problem areas and the solutions we offer to effectively and efficiently address any issues.”
If unwanted nuisance pests damage your property—from your yard to roof, soffits, fascia, deck, and more—Bats to Rats can not only remove them but also repair any damages and prevent future entry. In addition to damage repair, they’ll clean out gutters, dryer vents, install chimney covers, and more. Hiring someone to help point out simple maintenance fixes early can save you lots of money in the long run. We recommend Bats to Rats, as they have been a leader in wildlife and pest management and prevention in the Lincoln and surrounding areas for nearly a decade and are licensed, permitted, and insured!
The Power of CLEAN!
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the power of CLEAN! In light of heightened awareness of the dangers of bacteria and volatile organic compounds, ServiceMaster Professional Building Maintenance (servicemasterclean.com) (PBM) has taken the necessary steps to adapt.
“We have created a whole new service program for sanitizing workplaces on a routine basis, as well as after suspected or known COVID-19 exposure,” said ServiceMaster PBM Owner and COO Jon Paolini. “We also have products that can be applied to provide ongoing antimicrobial protection for up to six months before needing reapplication.”
ServiceMaster PBM is a full-service janitorial company that cleans manufacturing, medical, government, financial, and commercial facilities, including restaurants. They also offer carpet, ceiling, and floor cleaning—including stripping, refinishing, scrubbing, recoating, and buffing vinyl and vinyl composition tile (VCT), and cleaning ceramic, porcelain, and other tiled floor types. They take great pride in using green cleaning products that are environmentally friendly. Caring for all of surfaces in any building is crucial to their efficiency, their lifespans, and the first impressions of your brand.
“If you don’t keep up with regular maintenance, hard floors can become scratched or stained and grout discolored beyond being able to resolve them, and carpet wears much faster when soils are not properly removed,” Jon said. “Using the wrong service provider can make these situations worse. Using a provider with the right experience rather than a Johnny-come-lately to provide sanitizing services is very important, especially during the pandemic. If you are going to stay open and operate, we can help make it safe for your employees and guests or clients.”
ServiceMaster employs professional experts who are trained, screened, and tested to ensure top-quality service, and their professional cleaning services will not only leave your business looking spotless, but will also enhance its overall appearance.
Protection Against Extremes
Protecting your home from extreme weather is part of a comprehensive preventive maintenance program, too. Whether it’s the summer heat and humidity or the cold, icy winters in Nebraska, failing to protect your home or business from extreme temperatures and weather conditions will lead to skyrocketing energy bills and increased risk to your physical assets. Streamline Energy Solutions (streamlineenergysolutions.com) offers a solution for you: Reinsulate and air-seal your home!
“One of the biggest things we recommend to create the maximum impact when someone wants to insulate their home is to air seal it,” said Streamline Co-founder and BPI-Certified Auditor Jen Keller. “We’ll locate all the accessible crevices in your attic, including around your fixtures and top plates, and seal them to prevent conditioned air from leading into the attic space. That preps the attic for us to insulate with blown-in fiberglass. We prefer this product over cellulose because it doesn’t settle over time, does not absorb moisture, and is a lot cleaner product. Of course, the baffles we install in an attic are a crucial step in the process, too, because they keep the insulation from blocking air flow through your soffit vents and provide necessary ventilation.”
According to Streamline, nearly 80 million homes in America are currently under-insulated. That’s 90% of all the households in our country! Insulation codes also change regularly, so if your insulation was up-to-code 10 years ago, that doesn’t mean it still is. Keeping your insulation up-to-date will mean improved energy efficiency, reduced energy costs, the comfort of your family, clients, and employees, and more.
In establishing a reliable building-maintenance plan, Engineered Controls (engineeredcontrols.com) emphasizes the importance of teamwork between the business owner, building owner, property manager, and key industry professionals. They offer custom maintenance plans that can be tailored to fit the needs of each customer, including a complete suite of building management services and cloud-based resources designed to monitor energy and operational efficiency and put your facility on a path to optimization.
“A well-maintained system can be cost-neutral when considering both the energy savings and the extended life of the equipment,” said Engineered Controls President and CEO Pat Killeen. “From Engineered Controls’ perspective, there are five main benefits for a building owner to work with a maintenance provider: reduced hassles from equipment breakdowns; management of business expenses; optimization of energy use; improved employee comfort and overall health; and increased peace of mind.”
When it comes to building maintenance, the bottom line is that having someone keep it current for you will be far more expensive than regular, timely, preventive maintenance. Buildings that are continually maintained are much less likely to need sudden expensive repairs, which can snowball: “First, a hole is left unrepaired, leading to a leak in the ceiling, which causes mold in the floorboard, which weakens the structure of the building, and on and on,” Pat said. “No one wants to deal with these kinds of problems.”
Paint Your World
You’ve seen it stand out like a sore thumb—that one house on the block that is in dire need of a paint job, with chipped, peeling paint and exposed wood dragging down its curb appeal…and its value. Of course, that’s not the kind of recognition anyone wants. Regular upkeep and an occasional fresh coat of paint are crucial for maintaining or growing your property value—commercial and residential, inside and out. Walter’s Painting (walterspaintinginc.com) can help. They offer first-rate exterior- and interior-painting services, in addition to wallpaper removal, power washing, refinishing decks, re-staining, painting cabinets—basically any coating removal or application you can think of. Owner Jeff Walters has been painting homes in Lincoln for nearly 30 years and can help you identify painting priorities to help you keep your home or business looking fresh, clean, and presentable. He truly listens to customers’ needs and desires for their home or business and helps them create the overhaul they’re looking for. It’s amazing the difference a fresh coat of paint can make!
“Walter’s Painting uses only top-quality products and qualified painting crews experienced with helping clients make the most informed decorating and painting decisions,” Jeff said. “With our team of well-trained and experienced painters, we understand what home and business owners expect from a painting company, and we are at the ready to deliver.”
Their services include thorough sanding of all surfaces to create a perfect base before painting. The Walter’s service crew does all the heavy lifting for you, too, carefully moving your furniture, removing and replacing switch plates and fixtures, as well as protecting your flooring and belongings with drop cloths. Their commercial painting services in Lincoln are carried out by a fully insured, licensed, and well-trained painting team for office buildings and schools, hotels and retail stores, apartment complexes, medical facilities, and any industry that requires their services. Book your appointment today with the Walter’s Painting online scheduling tool at walterspaintinc.com!
Don’t Overlook the Overheads
Likely one of the most neglected parts of your home or business, your garage and other overhead doors need just as much TLC as the rest of your building. It’s crucial to have professionals perform biannual routine maintenance on your doors to ensure that they are in shape to keep out the weather elements, intruders, and unwanted animals that would love to nest under the hood of your vehicle. Proper maintenance also helps keep your door’s cables and springs from rusting, which otherwise can lead to failure, and it ensures that gaps don’t develop between the ground and your garage door due to warping caused by water, snow, and wind.
Maintaining proper insulation in your garage door can also help reduce your heating bills in the winter. Maybe most importantly, regular garage maintenance helps you avoid more expensive unexpected repairs and keeps your overhead doors in prime working condition all year long. The Overhead Door Company (overheaddooroflincoln.com) of Lincoln can care for all types of residential or commercial doors, from annual maintenance to occasional repairs, and door replacement or construction.
Radon Testing for Your Safety
Keeping your family and employees safe in your home or business is priority No. 1, which is why it’s wise to check for radon gas to protect against cancer. Founder of King’s Inspection (kingsinspections.com), one of Randy King’s most important personal goals is to help people understand what radon is and what to do about it. They provide the full spectrum of radon testing and mitigation. Because radon gas levels can vary across states and neighborhoods, King recommends that every home and building be tested for radon.
“Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas,” Randy said. “It comes from the decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. Radon gas is colorless, odorless, and without taste. The presence of radon in a home cannot be detected by human senses. The only way to know if your home contains radon gas is to test for it. EPA recommends that homes with a high radon concentration (above 4.0 pCI/L) be mitigated. We can provide many straightforward reduction techniques that will work in almost any home.”
As you can see, ongoing building maintenance is a lot to handle on your own. We highly recommend contacting the local businesses featured here to remove the burden from your shoulders, help preserve your property assets long-term, and keep your employees, clients, and families safe and healthy.