Though most are aware that effective building maintenance is fundamental all year round, many underestimate just how detrimental the effects of cold weather can be for buildings, and that extra steps should be taken to ensure they are protected during colder months.
The impact of cold weather can easily exacerbate existing issues as well as create new ones, and knowing how to safeguard your building can go a long way in extending its lifespan and providing added value.
What is the impact of cold weather on buildings?
Continuous rain and cold temperatures, build-ups of snow or ice as well as repeated freezing and thawing can cause extensive, long-lasting damage, and not just to older buildings.
Below are just some of the potential effects of cold weather on buildings, which are also likely to put significant strain on budgets:
- Damage to roofs and a building’s exterior
- Water lines and sprinkler systems leaking or becoming damaged
- Pipes bursting
- Undetected leaks
- Damage to building materials and potential structural instability
- Damp problems and water damage
- Clogged drains and gutters
- Build-up of dry rot
With that in mind, how can building owners effectively minimise these risks?
Focussing on Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM)
Taking the necessary precautions with a proactive approach means building owners should seek to invest in planned preventative maintenance, whereby necessary maintenance tasks for commercial buildings are scheduled with a set routine ahead of time.
PPM places focus on a proactive, as opposed to a reactive approach, where the maintenance of properties is planned while assets are still functioning properly, as opposed to waiting for them to become damaged, which as previously mentioned, is more likely to happen in the colder months.
Thinking about building management with a holistic, future-oriented approach means focusing on value over the longer term and maximising the longevity of property assets.
Preventive maintenance should therefore be a priority for building managers, providing added value due to its cost being significantly lower when compared to that of the repairs that may become necessary as a result of cold weather-related damage.
What are the benefits of Planned Preventative Maintenance for buildings?
There are a plethora of advantages for building owners who choose to implement Planned Preventative Maintenance, particularly ahead of winter.
- Cutting back on costs
Without preventive maintenance, property owners become at risk of significant added expenses, as even minor issues can turn into major faults that require costly repairs. For buildings such as offices, these would also include the cost of lost productivity.
As well as that, the cost of conducting emergency reactive repairs can be substantial, particularly when services are required promptly; and when these can’t be delivered in time, building owners could face the added costs of replacement, refurbishment or renovation.
- Lengthening the lifespan of properties
Proactively endeavouring to prevent damage with preventive maintenance naturally extends the longevity of assets, preventing decay and degradation and helping avoid the need to carry out emergency repairs.
Notably, Planned Preventative Maintenance can help determine the causes of defects or recurring issues, so that building owners can quickly and effectively identify relevant solutions.
- Reducing the risk of business interruption
Planned Preventative Maintenance can significantly minimise the risk of business interruption due to potentially unexpected issues rendering buildings unsuitable for occupancy, such as offices and other commercial buildings. In residential buildings, PPM can also help ensure the highest standards of occupant comfort.
- Ensuring the property holds its value
Even where there is no noticeable or severe damage to properties, these are likely to degrade much more quickly without proper maintenance.
For owners those looking to sell their property, being able to show a proven track record of proactive maintenance over the years can be particularly beneficial, proving that the value of the property has been preserved and thus further instilling trust in prospective buyers.
- Facilitating health and safety compliance
As cold weather can also affect structural stability and even cause roofs to collapse, those living in or utilising a building may be at increased risk, meaning that from a health and safety point of view, Planned Preventative Maintenance is essential.
PPM is also particularly useful in helping building owners and managers comply with relevant laws and regulations and statutory requirements, which may sometimes be overlooked.
Protecting your building’s health with the help of Chartered Building Surveyors
If you are looking to reap the numerous benefits of Planned Preventative Maintenance, enlisting the help of Chartered Building Surveyors can be particularly beneficial.
With a focus on helping building owners and managers obtain the most desirable outcomes in line with their needs, Arc Building Consultancy has a wealth of experience providing effective Planned Preventative Maintenance services to protect buildings during the colder months of the year.
To find out more about how our services can benefit you, simply get in touch.