Don’t wait until something in your building gets worn out, breaks, or springs a leak – stay ahead of the trouble by performing routine building maintenance. It’s important to be proactive for several reasons. First, a well maintained building will retain the value of the property. Second, it will be more pleasing to the eye, which can attract and retain both employees and customers. Finally, it is financially beneficial and can save you money in the long run by avoiding expensive replacements for anything ranging from equipment to flooring.
In order to have a successful business, you must have a building that is in good working condition, so we went straight to the experts to learn more about how you can stay on top of your building maintenance.
Let’s talk about maintaining those unwanted guests that you aren’t sure how to kick out – we are talking about little critters, that is. Bats to Rats (batstorats.com) is a professional pest maintenance company offering interior and exterior inspection services to identify any possible entry points for bat, rodent, or other nuisance wildlife problems. They also provide solutions to fix or repair any of the issues needed.
“If you fail to keep up on general maintenance, your chances of having issues with rodents or other wildlife greatly increases,” said Daine Patton, owner. “Wild animals look for weak spots in construction or deterioration in building materials to make nests or homes inside of buildings.”
With the increase of people working from home, more are noticing scratching noises or evidence of bats or mice in the walls and attics. In addition to this, the maintenance of commercial buildings has suffered due to less people working from the office. Having an inspection can help point out potential areas before they become a problem.
“Just doing a quarterly walk around the exterior of the property and looking at the condition of utility lines, gutter lines, and entryways can help you stay ahead of this issue,” suggested Daine. “If something doesn’t look right, it probably needs some attention. Keeping up on general building maintenance is an easy and helpful way to keep costs down – wildlife infestations can be costly to remedy.”
Bats to Rats is always a phone call away to help assist you with any of your unwanted pest problems!
ServiceMaster Professional Building Maintenance (PBM, smpbm.com) is a full-service janitorial company that cleans manufacturing, medical, government, financial, and commercial facilities, including restaurants. They will not only leave your business looking spotless, but also will enhance its overall appearance for employees, customers, and clients to enjoy. Owner Jon Paolini elaborated on how ServiceMaster’s flooring services can benefit your business.
“We offer carpet and hard floor cleaning services that can extend the useful life of all types of flooring. If you don’t keep up with maintenance on flooring, however, it can shorten the life of the flooring and can void your warranty on it,” Jon advised.
Another service offered by ServiceMaster is sanitizing, which has become very commonplace over the past two years due to COVID. They perform sanitizing services as a reactive measure when there is a positive case in the office, but also as routine preventative maintenance.
“We offer free estimates, so if someone has questions about bringing our services to their office, we can stop by your business and make a plan for what is needed,” said Jon. “When looking for a company to provide services, it is important to find one you can trust and has been in the business for a long time.”
Electrical, HVAC, and Plumbing
While routine maintenance on your home or building may seem like a chore, Oak Electric (oakelectriccompany.com) wants you to keep in mind that it is a matter of safety. There’s some maintenance that you can do yourself, making it easier to take preventative measures. One example is by checking your smoke detectors. These should be tested every six months and replaced
every ten years.
“Did you know that your GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) receptacles have a shelf life of around 10-15 years?” asked Master Electrician Matt Collins. “Most GFCIs can be found in bathrooms, kitchens, basements, garages, and on the exterior of a home or building. Most manufacturers suggest testing your GFCI receptacle monthly; if you press the ‘test’ button and the circuit does not trip, it needs to be replaced. If the outlet trips but does not reset when you press the ‘reset’ button, this is also an indication that it needs to be replaced.”
In addition to smoke detectors and GFCIs, your electrical panel should be examined periodically. If you choose to examine it yourself, use extreme caution, and keep in mind that the panel cover can be rather heavy. Issues of concern to look for include moisture, corrosion, burn marks, or melting. If you see any of these problems, contact your electrician to further investigate and take care of the matter.
John Henry’s Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning (jhlincoln.com) is well experienced in both proactive and reactive maintenance. The age of the home will depend on how often you must perform maintenance.
“The older your system is, the more often you may need to have someone come take a look,” shared Joe Reinke, owner. “A plumber, for example, should perform an annual visit so that they have the opportunity to spot these potential issues and help you prevent them from becoming a bigger problem. We pride ourselves on helping our customers understand what potential problems can be fixed and giving our customers all final decisions on work to be done.”
John Henry’s opened their doors 25 years ago with a strong commitment to customer service and the motto “Quality at a Reasonable Cost”. Over the years, they’ve trained their plumbers and HVAC technicians to deliver to their customers quality service and work in each of the services they offer: plumbing, heating, air, duct cleaning, water conditioning, drain cleaning, water heater, remodeling, and hydrojetting and septic. They service all makes and models of plumbing and HVAC equipment, and their technicians are NATE (North American Technician Excellence) Certified, ensuring the safest installations and maintenance possible.
Serving the Lincoln community since 1957, Biggerstaff Plumbing, Heating & Air (biggerstaffs.com) offers plumbing, sewer, drain, heating, and cooling services. Having been in the business for 65 years, Biggerstaff has gained quite a bit of experience and knowledge in building maintenance. We spoke to Jim Johnson, who shared with us some advice to remember when performing maintenance in our home or office.
“The two biggest power consumers in any commercial office building are the lights and the heating and cooling,” said Jim. “Reduce costs by updating the light fixtures and switching to LED. For heating and cooling, high efficiency equipment with modulating/inverter technology is available.”
Jim also informed us that the way a building is used is the biggest factor in determining how often the equipment should have scheduled maintenance. Some customers require quarterly maintenance, while others are maintained just twice a year.
“Professional maintenance will not only have the systems in your building working better and last longer, but it will also promote the health of everyone who uses the building,” Jim explained. “Better quality filters and indoor air quality products make for a healthier home or work environment.”
The Dangers of Delayed Maintenance
Randy King with King’s Home Inspections, LLC (kingsinspections.com), has seen plenty of signs of deferred maintenance in homes and light commercial buildings throughout his time as an inspector. From furnace filters that need changed, to water pads on humidifiers, to gutters full of debris and missing down spout extensions, to garden hoses left on hose bibs in freezing weather, he knows a thing or two about preventative measures.
“When you don’t take preventative measures, you will run into problems such as early equipment failure, poor performance of appliances, and even further deterioration of the home or office,” said Randy. “Preventative maintenance includes things that you can do on your own, such as cleaning out the gutters and ensuring they have long extensions on down spouts. Failure to do so can cause water to overshoot a gutter or drain against a foundation, which invites water into your basement and oftentimes causes foundation damage.”
Other home equipment to keep an eye on includes water heaters and furnace blowers, as they have a shortened service life when they’re not maintained.
“Many modern appliances and systems are designed to require minimal maintenance, and that’s great, but the consumer often equates that to no maintenance at all,” explained Randy. “You cannot fail to change a furnace filter and expect your HVAC system to perform properly, for example. You must make maintenance a part of your routine, whether in a home or business. If you cannot do it yourself, or are unsure, it is wise to hire home maintenance services from a company that specializes in this. This ensures longevity and a minimum of breakdowns in your building, appliances, and various systems, as well as a healthier environment.”
For more than 20 years, Engineered Controls (engineeredcontrols.com) has been designing, installing, managing, and servicing building management and security solutions for buildings and facilities of all sizes and types. They are dedicated to designing easy-to-use building automation and security systems that provide the highest possible energy efficiency, while ensuring occupant comfort and maintaining a safe and secure workplace.
“Building systems that are properly maintained will run at top efficiency and for the longest possible amount of time, minimizing your operating costs and unnecessary capital expenditures,” said President and CEO Pat Killeen. “Properly controlled and maintained building systems equal maximum employee satisfaction,
maximum productivity, and cost savings.”
Engineered Controls offers custom maintenance plans that can be tailored to fit the needs of each customer. A well maintained system can be cost neutral when considering both the energy savings and extended life of the equipment. In addition, a good maintenance program will help to ensure buildings will experience smooth, uninterrupted operation for as long as possible.
“We offer an advisory service program called Adviser,” Pat explained. “Adviser is a complete suite of building management services and cloud-based resources that are designed to monitor energy and operational efficiency, and put your facility on a path to optimization. Our Adviser customers have the support of our network of energy and automation experts, backed by sophisticated analytics technology, all working to deliver the right level of service and information you need to maximize your efficiency and achieve your business goals.”
We all remember the recent storm that swept through the Midwest in December, bringing powerful winds and even tornadoes. Even if you believe your home or building to be safe from any damage following a storm like this, it’s still wise to have your roof inspected. If you live where large wind or hail storms are not common, be sure that your
roof is being inspected every two years. Finally, ensure that the team inspecting your roof is experienced and well-trained, like the crew at HomeShield Roofing & Exteriors (homeshieldroofingandexteriors.com).
“Your roof is your building’s first line of defense,” said Kristina Hill, co-owner. “Neglecting the roof for the short term can result in things like leaks, mold, and increased energy bills. Over time, these build up to become costly in the long term and can build into things like severe water damage, decreased employee safety, and decreased property value. This results in a pretty hefty repair bill!”
HomeShield reported metal roofing as becoming the more popular alternative to traditional asphalt shingle roofs. Metal roofs offer a sleek, modern look, last 40-70 years when properly installed, and use reflective paints to reflect solar radiant heat, reducing your cooling costs by 10-25%.
Furthermore, Kristina cautioned home and building owners to be knowledgeable about their material warranty and to find a roofing contractor you can trust. Material warranties specifically cover material defects from manufacturing, which represent less than 1% of reported roof failure. The most common causes of roofing system problems are due to poor installation, damage from severe weather, and lack of seasonal maintenance – all of which are not covered under your manufacturer material warranty.
“More than 80% of all roofs are replaced prematurely because building owners think their responsibility is over after the roof is installed,” said Kristina. “That is why it is so important to select a local, vetted, insured, and trusted roofing contractor to partner with for the long-term.”
More than just Curb Appeal
An easy way to freshen up the look of your home or building is with a new coat of paint. It boosts curb appeal and invites guests to enter your home or building, and makes the property as a whole appear well-kept. Many homeowners are tempted to simply do the work themselves – but do you really want to waste your valuable free time on painting your home? Give yourself a break and reach out to Walter’s Painting Inc. (walterspaintinginc.com) by scheduling an estimate on their website. They provide residential and commercial painting services to the Lincoln area all year long.
“We know that today’s fast-paced lifestyle means that many people are just too busy for home improvements like painting, plastering, and all that prep work,” shared Jeff Walters, owner. “We strive to make the entire process stress and worry-free, in addition to providing premium quality products and services that produce outstanding results.”
Did you know paint is much more than a cosmetic service? A new coat of paint on your walls can help to seal out moisture and repel dust, dirt, and allergens, keeping your home or office much cleaner. Paint on the exterior of a home or building can even prevent the wood from rotting, saving on repair costs.
“When doing exterior painting, we sometimes identify issues that have not yet been noticed,” explained Jeff. “Problems such as mold, mildew, and rotting wood are found when doing performing work like this, and thankfully, it gets brought to your attention before it turns into a much larger issue.”
Building upkeep is an important investment that will save you valuable time and money down the road. Whether it’s commercial or residential maintenance, we recommend contacting these businesses and experts today to get ahead in sustaining your building!