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Get commercial buildings winter-ready

28 September 2022

Failure to prepare for the winter months can cost facilities managers dearly...

With the nights drawing in and the weather turning distinctly autumnal, it’s time for facilities managers to get organised in preparation for winter – as failure to do so can be expensive. A whopping 96% of calls received by Darenth Valley Building Services during the winter months are emergency callouts by facilities managers with no maintenance contracts in place, the commercial property maintenance company has revealed.

 “As the temperatures plummet it affects buildings in many ways”, Oliver Davies, services and operations manager, explained.  “There are some obvious culprits that need regular maintenance, but others are not so obvious. Facilities managers that get caught out each year are using expensive emergency budgets which could be prevented.  Plus making regular checks throughout the year will ensure buildings are a little more sustainable.”

Darenth Valley Building Services has made some recommendations for facilities managers to get ahead, ready for winter – starting with boilers and heating systems. These, the company says, are the key culprits for additional winter costs. Regular servicing is essential to ensure that, even though they are not needed during the summer months, they are ready to work during the winter ones.  This includes boiler checks and bleeding radiators prior to s witching the heating on.  As Mr Davies said: “Some offices have been half empty with hybrid working and so we envisage calls increasing again this year.”  
The company also recommends that any water pipes that are exposed to extreme temperatures because they are located outside of the building should be insulated. 
Guttering also needs attention, as neglected, blocked gutters will eventually cause water unable to drain away from the building to find another outlet – and that’s usually the start of water ingress.  Gutter clearance to remove fallen leaves will significantly reduce the risks a blocked gutter carries. 

And water can get into cracks in render and brickwork, freeze and expand causing damage to the surface and potentially damp inside the building. Preventative maintenance now could save bigger and more expensive issues later.

As Darenth Valley Services points out, prevention and preparation are the best way forward to not only make sure your building is safely maintained during the winter but also that emergency budgets are not needed. 

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