Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Building’s Plant & Equipment
April 23rd, 2020
Last updated: October 7th, 2022
With many facilities currently laying empty and dormant, employers still need to keep a close eye on preparations for starting back up again. For many businesses this is an unforeseen opportunity to carry out critical maintenance work to make the most of the current circumstances, but to also ensure your facility is ready to spring back into action when allowed to do so.
Any facilities manager will know that operations can’t just necessarily start up again with the flick of a switch, and much preparation and planning will need to go into safety, servicing and maintenance checks to ensure all equipment and services will function efficiently as you need them to.
This means that you should be looking to undergo a thorough ‘spring clean’ of your building whilst you have this unique opportunity, and while all organisations will differ in terms of specific equipment and operations, there is key infrastructure that will be common between most properties and which you should be looking to tend to at this time.
Boilers, Heating & Hot Water
Although we are out of the critical winter months, hot water supplies will still be important when operations return to normal. Boilers are prone to being unreceptive to periods of shutdown, particularly if they are quite old, so it is worth carrying out a service of your boiler to ensure it is clean, blockage-free and fully functioning.
There are various types of boilers and other plant and equipment which provide hot water and heating which all need their own maintenance program to ensure optimum efficiency. Efficient running is vital to a boiler proving its worth, so you can’t afford to have your boiler expending more energy than is required when operations start up again.
Air Conditioning & Ventilation
Similarly, a major justification for air conditioning and ventilation units is the cost savings from its efficient running, so now is the time to ensure air filters are cleaned or replaced, refrigerant is checked and fans are operating properly. It is likely that we will be into the much warmer months when your employees return to work, so air conditioning is going to be an important feature in welcoming people back into the workplace. A routine service visit would make sense during this shutdown period, so nobody is inconvenienced by the system not working for a short period and to ensure your staff benefit from fresh clean air.
Any installation testing of your electrical systems would be a practical task to undertake now, but also your routine PAT testing can be completed whilst all tools and equipment are available and not being used. The practicality of PAT testing is a common hindrance to it being completed in a timely fashion, with testing personnel having to wait for a convenient opportunity to test certain items. Now is a unique occasion where this will not cause any disruption to your normal operations and any remedial action can also be undertaken to ensure all tools and equipment are in safe working order ready for operations to re-start.
In addition you could also look to ensure any lifting equipment is fully serviced and complaint with the LOLER regulations, get an up to date fixed wire test (EICR) completed or make sure your fire alarm and extinguisher systems are robustly tested and fit for purpose.
Plumbing & Cold Water
Whilst facilities are quiet it is a good time for water leak checks to be undertaken in and around the facility, but where more complex water systems are in operation, some routine maintenance checks can also be carried out now. These may include checking the water pressure of systems or testing the water chlorination in water cooling systems. You may also be able to flush the whole system to ensure they are cleaned and that legionella growth is minimised, before re-filling the systems when you are able to fully prepare for a re-start.
Water safety risk assessments are also an important consideration during this time, particularly with mains cold water systems where facilities such as this haven’t been used during your building’s shutdown.
In addition to our core services highlighted above, it is important not to overlook the other HVAC and electrical services that are also essential to a building’s ongoing maintenance. For example, if you have a lightning protection system installed or have commercial catering equipment then it is essential that these are serviced regularly and properly maintained. As part of any routine spring clean for your building, don’t forget about the other things that are often less visible yet play an important part in keeping your building running smoothly.
Robinsons Facilities Services are available during this shutdown period to help you prepare for an operational re-start, and to ensure your systems and facilities are fully serviced and maintained, and ready to perform as they’re meant to, with the functionality and efficiencies you need when they are eventually called upon. Contact us today and we can arrange for your ‘spring clean’.