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Avoid the FM winter blues

Author : Andy Donnelly

10 November 2022

Andy Donnelly, Elogbooks’ Technical Business Account Manager, gives his advice on how to prepare for the winter season...


As we head into the season of longer nights and colder days, FMs face a new set of challenges. Here are a few tips as to what to look out for during these months.

Roofs

All roofs should be checked before the winter, looking for missing tiles, any cracks or holes, pooling water on flat roofs, or sign of damage to the ceilings inside your premises. An audit system, such as the one in Elogbooks, is perfect for property inspections or compliance-based assessments where you need to demonstrate an inspection process, and where you want to demonstrate and track the follow up process to any identified actions. Planning a roof or any building inspection is easy and will give you a documented record of the checks, and any actions from these checks. 

Gutters

Autumn means falling leaves, which can clog gutters and cause water damage. Get ahead by ensuring any debris is removed from gutters and drains, and stay proactive during the winter months, cleaning them regularly, especially if there’s snow and ice.


Heating Systems

With the rising costs of heating bills in the UK, most FMs will see an increase in footfall into their buildings adding pressure to the heating systems. A Planned Preventative Maintenance Planner, such as that in Elogbooks, easily allows you to control your regular maintenance on HVAC systems that you should be performing this time of year to avoid any problems, like changing the filters or inspecting registers and return grills. These jobs can be planned, tracked and closed, giving you a complete view of all work due and completed, and any paperwork associated to these jobs or assets, helping you with your compliance needs too. 

Unheated Spaces

Plumbing that runs through unheated spaces is at higher risk of freezing and bursting. Consider insulating them to ensure this doesn’t happen, if it’s not possible to warm the rooms.

Asset Review 
It’s a good time to review assets and their repair records to make sure that they are fully operational and are not nearing end of life; a simple review of previous maintenance and repairs could prevent a serious problem in the upcoming months. An asset register allows you to review all previous repairs and maintenance of all assets, and should include basic information such as the model and manufacturer, as well as attached OMS documentation, or technical guides. The asset should also have system defined values that are updated on each service visit. These should be set to record an asset’s condition, but are also often used to rate its energy performance, parts availability and other measures that together help to report on the overall state of the asset with regards any asset lifecycle management and replacement programme. This, and the ability to store budget costs against the asset, can form a basic asset replacement schedule to help with capex expenditure forecasting. 

Service Providers

The last tip nearly all our FMs gave us was to make sure you work with service providers that take pride in their work and the services they provide. A Service Provider Summary Report gives a dynamic overview of a service providers’ job performance over a period of time and is also available in Elogbooks.  It’s the perfect tool to use in any kind of scheduled contractor update or performance meeting. You can quickly drill down through the exceptions to review tasks that have not been attended to or completed on time. A proven reliable service provider is essential during these months when problems may occur.

Although winter is inevitable, these few simple checks and some planned preventive maintenance can help ease any blues these long months may bring. 

Find out more about elogbooks at cafm.elogbooks.co.uk.


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