Adding Quiet Outdoor Space to Your Facility

You have the perfect office, set up to be ergonomic and promote productivity. You have filtered air, natural light, and have created a healthy environment for your employees. What about the outside of your building? I’m not talking about how beautiful your landscaping is or how safe the lighting. Do you have a quiet, harmonious space for your employees to relax or enjoy a meal? Studies show that employees with access to a great outdoor space are not only more productive but also use fewer sick days. Creating that space for recharging could be your next facility facelift.


First, you need to select the best location. This space should not be in the front of the building, where higher levels of traffic occur. You want the space to be semi-secluded, which will help to promote privacy and comfort – ultimately leading to relaxation and recharging.


If you have limited space and a higher-traffic area is your only option, you can use clever landscaping to create more privacy. Trees or a strategically planted hedge can section off this quiet space from the otherwise chaotic world.


The next thing you must take into consideration is furniture. You need to balance the need for durability with comfort and design. If you are creating any space for your employees, you need to encourage them to use it by making it appealing. Nobody will want to go sit on a hard, wooden picnic table. Outdoor furniture with soft cushions is still practical and can really add to aesthetic appeal.


Another, and highly important, factor to consider is ambiance. You don’t need to make it over-the-top like a fine dining experience, but you do need to make sure that the right lighting and amenities are present. Many businesses have overnight employees who need proper lighting to feel comfortable and safe when using the outdoor space. You also want to consider local weather and climate. Outdoor fans or space heaters maintain comfortable temperatures, and if you’re in a wet climate, like Florida, you should provide overhead shelter.


If you’re ready to step up your facility’s game and offer a top-notch outdoor space, just know that it isn’t hard to accomplish. With the right amount of planning ahead, and engaging the right team to help bring your concept to fruition, you can easily offer a quiet outdoor space that will be happily used to your firm’s benefit and your employee’s well-being. Call MaintenX today to discuss options and start the process.

Protecting your Facility from a Hurricane

Florida has always been a hurricane hotspot. Over the past two decades, the state has been riddled with powerful storms during the late summer. After taking several seasons off from significant damage, Florida was given a humbling reminder of how brutal Mother Nature can be, in the form of Hurricane Irma. Almost a year later, we all prepare for the 2018 hurricane season – one that meteorologists predict will be even more active than the last. Here is what you need to know to get your facility prepared and protected in case the weather folks are correct.


Have a backup plan. I don’t mean a “Plan B”; it must be comprehensive. Having a backup of your critical data is often overlooked in facility prep. If you don’t already have it in place, utilize an interior closet as a server room that feeds to an offsite backup. Doing this will keep your work and your data protected, and allow for remote work access in case of major damage to your structure.


Have the structural integrity of your roof checked. The roof is usually the first thing to go during a massive storm, and thus is a main source of water intrusion. Having a skilled team inspect your roof and attic can give you insight on any preventative maintenance necessary prior to storm season.


Install storm shutters to protect your most vulnerable entry points. Windows are prime targets for tree limbs and loose debris. By utilizing storm shutters, you protect all your glass (and therefore your interiors) from projectiles propelled by hurricane-force winds.


Survey the landscape for possible threats. This includes everything from tree inspection and trimming to the grade of your pavement and planted areas. Having a professional assess the condition of your trees is an easy way to prevent unnecessary damage. Trimming branches that are unhealthy or too close to your building is much easier than dealing with the fallen aftermath. Also, you want to make sure the grade of your surrounding grounds funnels water away from your building, rather than toward your doors or foundation.


Now is the time to prepare your facility for the upcoming hurricane season. There is much to consider before the next big storm hits, and you need to call a professional for a consultation before they get booked up in the thick of the season. Call MaintenX today to schedule your storm season consultation.

What to Do When There is Water Damage

One of the most gut-wrenching experiences is walking into your office and coming face-to-face with serious water damage. This scenario could be caused by several things – busted pipe, storm or flood damage, leaky roof – but the result is the same. Here is what to do if your building is faced with water damage.


There are two things you need to do immediately when you discover water damage in your building. The first is to contact your insurance company and open a claim. The second is to engage a professional company to mitigate the damage and return you to normal operation as quickly as possible. Once you hire the right team to come in, they will be able to assess the damage, then drain and dry out any remaining water. It is important that the affected area is tested for mold and other health threatening contaminants.


Many people forget that not all water is clean. If you are dealing with water damage from a broken pipe, the water must be tested to ensure there are not any hidden chemical or waste factors to consider. Flooring aside, affected drywall can to spread contaminants rapidly due to its porous nature. If the water has been sitting for a long time, expect the service company to remove and replace that drywall.


If the water damage is significant enough, like that created by leaking roofs and falling water, you need to have the areas behind the drywall inspected. This can become a breeding ground for mold and lead to the demise of the building’s structural integrity.


If you have a building in a place like Florida, you need to prepare a checklist prior to use in the event of water damage. Florida has a lengthy hurricane season, and many buildings are susceptible to such damage. Whether you are dealing with the headache of water damage, or just planning, contact MaintenX today to determine your next and best step.

How to Create a Home Office

The face of the workforce is rapidly changing, and that shift brings with it new working conditions. Because millennials comprising an increasing portion of the working population, and they carry with them a new set of standards, half of all employees now work remotely. The key to a successful home office is to create an environment that is comfortable and stimulates productivity. Here are some tips you can pass along to your remote workers.


Location can make or break your home office. Because you will likely be spending most of your day in the office, you need to use adequate space and make sure you can be there comfortably for hours at a time. It is best to dedicate a space to this rather than simply retrofitting a desk into a bedroom or living room. Productivity is boosted when you can “go to work” and get away from the norms of a home. It is also important to make sure there is adequate natural lighting, so set up shop in a space with a window.


If you can’t dedicate an office room, partition your office space for better productivity. Maybe the corner of the living room is the only available space to work and have a desk. If this is the case, separate that space with shelving or a decorative curtain to make it feel like its own space. Studies show that offices set up in the living room or bedroom provide too many distractions, whether television or the internal desire to do work around the house that doesn’t pertain to your job.


When working from home, make sure your technology is sufficient. You need to take into consideration all the daily tasks you must complete for your job. If your job is file heavy, make sure your internet can handle the workload. While most people function strictly from a mobile phone these days, having a dedicated phone line in your house for work purposes is a must. Not only does it make the office more formal, it provides a more secure and stable connection between the worker and the outside world. You also need to ensure that all tech is reliably available and functional, including printers, scanners, and webcams.


Working from home can provide a wealth of benefits for the employee, but it can also come with a list of distractions and complications. Having a properly arranged office space can help to eliminate any negatives and promote productivity and efficiency. By issuing your mobile employees certain ground rules, you can maximize value for everyone.

Best Plants for Around the Office

The types of plants you generally see around an office building usually share one common factor: they’re all fake. Fake plants have been popular for years, because they require zero maintenance. There are, however, several living plant types that are suitable for your office space and carry intrinsic benefits beyond decoration.


Best Low Maintenance Plants

One of the easiest plants to keep alive is the Chinese Evergreen. It thrives in most temperatures and lighting environments, and does not need to be watered very often because its root system prefers to dry out between waterings. These relatively small plants can be housed on shelves or on tabletops. Another option in the low maintenance category is the snake plant. You can literally forget this thing exists for weeks at a time without consequences, as it doesn’t require frequent waterings.


Best Low Light Plants

The Philodendron is a slightly larger plant that is also simple to maintain but grows more vertically, so it’s suited to larger, more open spaces. This plant grows best outside of direct sunlight, so don’t worry about placing it near a window. The Cast Iron Plant also does well in low light situations, and offers its own unique look to compliment the Philodendron.


Best Plants to Encourage Health

While you may not think about it, plants remove toxins from the air and so promote healthier environments. Scientific studies have shown that certain plants promote cleaner breathing and happier, more productive employees. The Spider Plant, Lemon Balm, and Peace Lily are just a few on the list.


Next time you think about how to decorate your office with foliage, keep the fake plants out of the equation. Consider your lighting and maintenance needs before selecting varieties. Who knows, maybe you’ll even notice some added productivity and fewer sick days around your office because of it.


Best Uses for A Small Attic

So you’ve got a great office. Sure, it’s a little smaller than you would like, but you really have it organized and are utilizing the space effectively. What if there was something you were missing? An unused space that you really don’t think about often, if at all. I’m talking about your attic. Even a small attic can give you more space. Let’s see how.


Many people in an office think of an attic as a place to store old documents or holiday supplies, never to be seen again – or at most only once a year. Sure, it’s great to have a place to store these things, but what if your small attic became a truly viable storage space? It can, and save you money and time along the way.


If done correctly, small attics can become quite usable loft areas. In most cases, removing part of a wall or ceiling can integrate the space into your building. The possibilities of this space are truly limitless. Depending on its size, you can create a common area, an easily accessible supply storage space, or even that extra office you’ve been needing.


Once the attic space is opened up, properly insulated, fitted with stairs, it is easy to decorate and create a comfortable environment. Even if you have only added an extra 100 square feet to your building, it is 100 square feet of usable space you didn’t have before.


Whether you want to turn your attic into an open loft for storage, and office, or something entirely different, this is no task to take on yourself. There are many structural and electrical implications that must be researched and considered; the best thing to do is get a professional involved. Contact MaintenX to find out your best options and see if this renovation is right for you.

Ideas for Renovating Supply Storage

If you are high on stuff and low on space, you know the struggle of keeping everything clean and organized. This is especially true regarding your supply storage area. Maybe you have a small closet tucked away in your office, or maybe all you have is a storage cabinet. Either way, having an overcrowded storage area brings productivity down and slows business processes. Here are 3 easy tips to better utilize the space you have.


Tip #1 – Use the Walls to Your Advantage

Have a small closet that you house all your materials in? Maybe you can’t install an elaborate organizational system in the limited space, but you do have the wall. Instead of installing a cabinet, which will likely take up most of the room, hang tiered shelves on the walls. By using the walls and shelves as built-in storage receptacles, you can get everything off the floor and still create an area you can walk into. Use bins with labeled drawers to store loose items.


Tip #2 – Use Risers Inside Your Storage Cabinets

The riser is a simple way to double your space inside a small area like a storage cabinet. Often what you place on the shelves does not take up all the vertical space, wasting much-needed room for materials. You can use risers, basically platforms placed on the shelf, to create a second level to each shelf. Now you have double the space in which to organize smaller items.


Tip #3 – Alphabetize

This may seem like you’re digging into your OCD subconscious, but it will truly help you stay on top of your storage game. Whether you are storing catalogs, chemicals, or general office supplies, make sure that everything is labeled and organize the goods into alphabetical order. Not only will this help you declutter your space, it will also keep things easy and quick to find.


By following these 3 easy tips, you will be well on your way to more organized and productive supply storage area. There are many ways you can utilize your limited space for maximum benefit. Contact MaintenX for more examples or to get a renovation expert out for a consultation.

Ideas for Spring Cleaning

Have you recently just gone through the process of decluttering and Spring cleaning your home? If you have, you know how satisfying it is to complete the task and bask in the glory of your newly-organized dwelling. The same is true of your office space, but if you haven’t done a cleaning in a while, the task can seem a bit daunting. Don’t fret. Here are some tips to make cleaning your office a lot simpler and achieve results you can be proud of.


Tip #1 – Create Office Zones

Creating zones around your office is an easy way to break up the task into more manageable sections. Instead of looking at the office as a whole, which can be quite overwhelming, having multiple zones allows you to divide and conquer. Common zones may include: cubicle or desk area, common area, break room, copier/printer zone, and reception. Tackle just one zone at a time and move to the next. Or better yet, assign team members to each zone to succeed as a group.


Tip #2 – If You Don’t Need It, Don’t Keep It

The minimalist mindset of only keeping what you truly need is quite the phenomenon, but it doesn’t just apply for aesthetic reasons; it holds true to your workspace, as well. Keeping old documents and trinkets does nothing but clutter your office. If the document is something you don’t have digital access to and cannot obtain again, you should keep it, but if you can easily digitize it, do so, then toss it out.


Tip #3 – Organize a Daily Paperwork System

Set this up near your copier. You should incorporate all paperwork into this concept – everything from printed documents to mail. Using paper bins, organize it using categories for incoming mail, outgoing mail, documents to distribute, documents to shred and anything else that is relevant to your business needs. By doing so, you will create a hub for everyone to use. This will not only declutter the office but also centralize everything and boost productivity.


These are only a few of the lengthy list of Spring cleaning tips. Plan ahead, organize your team for assistance and be on your way to a cleaner and healthier office environment. If you need more tips,contact MaintenX today.

Do I Need to Stain My Fence Every Year?

Fences are great for protecting your building while adding a very nice aesthetic touch. Do you remember the feeling when you looked at your newly installed fence for the first time? I remember mine, and I was completely overjoyed with how much value it seemed to add to my property. Fast forward. How does your fence look now, and how does that make you feel? Let’s talk about fence maintenance – more specifically fence staining.


Do you really need to restain your fence every year? The short answer is “it depends.” There are a lot of variables that you must take into consideration to understand your needs for maintenance on your fence. Most notably, your environment influences the deterioration of your fence. Do you live in an area with lots of heat and moisture, like Florida? Both can affect the appearance and integrity of your fence quickly; it’s just a fact of life for occupants of such places. It is also important that the wood used in the structure was properly treated and pressure sealed prior to installation. If not, you’ll need to stain your fence within a year of installation.


If you are in a place with gentler environmental conditions and your fence was properly pressure-treated, you can easily get away with staining your fence every 3 years. It’s an intensive process, and you must follow a couple of guidelines. The entire fence should first be sanded down to expose fresh wood prior to applying any new stain; you need a clean surface to work on. Also, the sanding process is a great time to check for any plank warping. Warped beams should be removed and replaced as part of the project.


If you don’t have the time or energy to sand and stain a fence yourself, or if need some advice on how to proceed with your fencing project, you need to engage an expert. Calling MaintenX will not only help you handle large projects like this and others, you will also gain a wealth of knowledge on preventive maintenance and how to stay ahead of the curve. Go ahead, call today.

Outdoor Fence Maintenance

Everyone knows that the exterior of their building is often the first impression that a new customer or client gets about their company. Too often overlooked, your fence can play a huge role in this impression – for better or for worse. When is the last time you took a good look at your fence? When was the last time you did anything to maintain or enliven it? While there are many materials used to build fences – wrought iron, PVC, wood, etc. – we are going to focus on some maintenance tips for the most common type of fencing: wooden.


Many factors play into the aging and eventual demise of a wooden fence, especially in areas with intense heat and humidity like Florida. With these conditions, it is always better to be proactive than reactive. When you first have a fence installed, it is important to seal it or paint it, which will help extend its lifespan and protect it from the elements. If you are already past this period and are dealing with a fence on the downward slope of its life cycle, don’t call it a loss just yet. There are still a few tricks you can try.


If you don’t mind a little physical activity, you may want to consider sanding your fence down. It’ll remove the moldy wood and create a fresh surface you can seal, stain, or paint. You can always hand sand your fence with 400 grit paper, but that would take forever and you would be miserable the entire time. You really want to bring power tools into the equation, like an orbital sander. This will greatly reduce the time and effort spent on the project.


Sealer, stain, and paint come in many variants to suit diverse projects. You should consult with a local expert who can help you determine the best fit for your fence, taking your environment into consideration. If you need help getting started on your project, contact MaintenX and see how they can guide you along.