Is Greenwashing Destroying the Environment?

It’s popular to be a ‘green’ company, however being green isn’t always easy. That’s why it is important for consumers to be aware of greenwashing, or when a company provides false or misleading information to seem more environmentally conscious than they really are. These claims are unethical and can also create more harm on the environment.

When a company engages in greenwashing, it is purposefully trying to appear more environmentally friendly than it is. For example, if a hotel chain claims to be “green” because it allows guests to reuse sheets and towels, but does not work to conserve water through better appliances or widespread corporate practices, it could be considered greenwashing. The same could be said for grocery stores that allow shoppers to reuse bags, while at the same time still engaging in environmentally unsound practices. These are marketing tactics, not eco-friendly actions.

How can greenwashing harm the environment? If consumers believe in the false practices of a company, they may choose to purchase and support that company, thus perpetuating non-sustainable business. This allows companies to continue with such practices. To combat this, it is important that consumers do research before buying into the “green” labels that companies present. By being aware and informed, consumers can support companies that align with their environmental beliefs.

At MaintenX, we believe in helping the environment, not just saying it. Therefore, we are always ready to help you install and maintain eco-friendly equipment at any business or commercial facility. MaintenX technicians can also assist you with any other facility maintenance needs. To learn more about the kinds of services we offer, please contact us today!

5 Common Summer Facility Maintenance Projects

For many parts of the country, the summertime is a season of fun and enjoyment, but it is also a time to complete some of the home or business maintenance projects that may be too difficult or time-consuming for the rest of the year. In addition to convenience, there are some maintenance projects that are best to complete during the summer. Here are some of the most common projects that businesses and homeowners engage in during the hot summer months.

HVAC System

One important summer facility maintenance project is the renovation or upgrading of the air conditioning system. During the summer, it is common to consistently run the HVAC system, especially in warmer parts of the country. This means right before the summer, is the perfect time to perform minor maintenance on the HVAC system to prevent it from breaking down or causing problems when it is needed most.

Windows and Roof

Pollen and dust can be particularly bad during the summer months, so outdoor cleaning is more pressing. It is easier to perform heavy cleaning or power washing when it is sunny and warm than when it is cold or snowy. Windows and roofs are particularly important to clean during these months, as they tend to collect the most dirt.

Flood Protection

When the summer rains come your way, you want to be sure that your facility can handle it. While flooding is somewhat rare, you still want to be sure that your facility has safety measures in place to block out flood water and fix any leaks or problems that would allow unwanted water to enter.

Landscaping

Summer rains wreak havoc on your landscaping. If the rains are heavy, and grass and plants are growing quickly, additional lawn work may be necessary to ensure that the exterior of the facility is being well maintained and doesn’t look overgrown. On the flip side, if there is not enough rain, you want to bolster the lawn so that it doesn’t look barren and unattractive.

Ventilation

Finally, the summer is a good time to invest in the ventilation system of your facility. This is different from the HVAC system in that ventilation systems promote good air flow rather than manipulate temperature. Installing new ceiling fans, for example, is a popular choice.

Whatever your summer maintenance plan may be, MaintenX has the skills to help you accomplish the task. With over 30-years of experience, MaintenX technicians will have your facility set for the summer – and all year round. Contact us at any time to learn more about we can help.

3 Best Facility Maintenance Practices

Being a facility manager is not always an easy job. It takes skill, dedication, patience, and experience to truly excel in this industry and it can take time to learn the trade. However, there are a number of facility maintenance practices that you can implement right now to maximize efficiency and accelerate your professional growth.

One of the best facility maintenance practices is developing a schedule for performing preventative maintenance. The mark of a great manager is not necessarily the ability to deal with problems as they arise, but the ability to prevent problems from happening before occur. Preventative maintenance is the first step to take to help prevent catastrophic problems from arising. It is more efficient and cost-effective to routinely perform minor fixes than it is to make a major emergency repair on a facility part or piece of equipment.

Another excellent facility maintenance practice is to surround yourself with a team that is prepared to assist you through any challenges you may face. Take the time to train employees to be able to handle different aspects of facility maintenance and help run the facility with you. It is more efficient to split the work among many people than to take it all on yourself. If you are not a business that staffs a maintenance team, consider partnering with a maintenance company that you can trust.

Finally, be proactive with facility upgrades to reduce costly breakages or equipment failures. While many facility improvements are contingent on budget, it is important to be aware of what upgrades will be necessary and prioritize them accordingly. If you know a certain piece of equipment is nearing its end of life, replace it now before it fails and causes unnecessary downtime. This applies for parts of the building as well as the equipment in it.

Becoming a skilled facility manager takes time and determination, but you don’t have to do it alone. At MaintenX, we are here help you use facility management best practices and execute any projects you have planned. Contact us to learn more.

Latest Sustainability Program Trends

Sustainability has become an important aspect of managing a facility. A sustainable building is resource efficient and environmentally friendly. There are a number of trends that are on the rise for facility sustainability that can help you run a more cost-effective and eco-minded business facility.

Energy conservation is at the forefront of the sustainability movement. Businesses across the globe are finding ways to reduce energy use and cutting emissions. Many of them do this by lessening the amount of fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, that are burned for business processes. Instead, companies are turning to energy sources like solar, wind, or hydroelectric power.

The sustainability movement doesn’t just affect big business; there are a number of things that smaller businesses and offices can do to be more environmentally friendly. One simplest way reduce water and energy consumption is to install new appliances and systems, as newer products can often run on less. For example, lighting that is equipped with motion sensors cuts down on power usage, while faucets that are motion sensitive limit water waste. Both of these types of systems cut down on the usage of energy and thereby also save the business in utility costs.

Businesses can also install appliances that actually generate power. Solar panels are the most popular apparatus for this, however they are most effective in locations that receive ample sunlight. Windmills are also a viable option depending on geographic location. Either way, these devices help recoup energy costs by providing their own power.

At MaintenX, we believe in the power of sustainability and are willing and able to help you transition to more sustainable technology. If you have plans to update existing systems or install new equipment at your facility, please contact MaintenX today.

Green Technologies that are Actually NOT Green

The concept of “going green” is popular with business owners and facility managers across the country. Unfortunately, not all green technologies are created equal, and some are much better at reducing your environmental impact than others. It is important to be aware of these inconsistencies so that you are installing systems that truly help your facility go green.

One item that gained popularity was a lightbulb that could last for 15 years. It sounds too good to be true – because it is; such a lightbulb was never invented, although prototypes were tried. Be aware that lightbulbs may not last as long or save as much technology as you assume. Always read reviews and fact-check marketing material when looking for the right kind of energy efficient lighting for your facility.

Water-based appliances can also over-sell their ability to protect the environment. There are a number of energy-saving washing machines, faucets, and toilets on the market. It can be helpful to do research when shopping for appliances that are meant to be environmentally and economically friendly to ensure you’re buying a product that does what it says.

Finally, even though an appliance may be certifiably “green,” it is important that you practice green behaviors in your facility. For example, you may be using longer-lasting light bulbs, but if you leave the lights on at all times, you are still likely wasting energy. In this scenario, a lighting system with motion sensors would be better suited for helping the environment and cutting down on energy costs.

At MaintenX, we value the environment and that many facility owners want to be more eco-friendly. We can help you go green by installing updated technologies and performing preventive maintenance. To learn more about the services we offer and what we can do for your facility, please feel free to contact us at any time.

5 Things Every Security System Needs

An important aspect of facility preparation is security. While you may not necessarily house “high-end” materials, it doesn’t always protect you from burglary or vandalism. Thankfully, there are many things facility managers can do to bolster security systems and protect their facility.

More than Alarms

A security system should be more than just alarms that activate when an intruder is detected. Advancements have allowed security systems to perform numerous functions to help keep your facility safe. Some of the more popular systems alert law enforcement and can even notify users about environmental dangers, such as toxic gases or dangerous temperatures.

Lockdown

The best security systems alert facility managers about intruders and take measures to prevent those intruders from getting in. Systems that trigger a lockdown procedure can notify you of a breach and prevent a burglary from escalating.

Backup Power

In the event of a power outage, you want your facility’s security system to be properly functioning. Therefore, it is a good idea to have a system that is able to run on batteries or on backup generators, depending on the electrical system in the facility, so that even if the power is out, your facility can still be safe.

Asset Protection

While a security system is meant to protect the whole facility, you are also able to install asset protection devices to monitor specific parts of the facility. These parts may be certain kinds of equipment, safes or areas that have more valuable property. Asset protection systems can discourage a thief from committing a crime altogether. But should a theft occur, the system alerts can help during the investigation.

Preventative Maintenance

The best thing that you can do to ensure a facility security system is in proper working order is to schedule regular preventative maintenance. It does no good to have a system that breaks down or fails when you need it most. Have it inspected regularly so that any anomalies or minor fixes can be dealt with then the system is not in use.

At MaintenX, we know the value of a good security system and can easily help you install and maintain one. To learn more about how we can use over 30-years of experience to help your business facility be as safe as it can be, please contact us at any time.

5 Tips to Increase Tenant Retention

Any landlord knows that one of the most difficult tasks of managing residential or commercial property rental is dealing with a high turnover rate for that property. As a rule of thumb, it is more expensive to bring new tenants into a building than it is to retain and re-sign the ones that you currently have, primarily due to the costs of screening and paperwork. There are things that you can do to increase tenant retention, including proper facility maintenance.

Preventative Maintenance

If a facility or residential area is well maintained, it will be more appealing to tenants in the long run. This includes fixing equipment as it breaks down and scheduling regular preventative maintenance to prevent equipment from breaking down in the future. This helps cut down on the cost of maintenance.

Move-In and Out Inspections

Similar to preventative maintenance, conducting inspections any time a tenant moves in or out is a good idea. This is because you can catch problems and make necessary fixes, which is always easier to do when the building is unoccupied.

Cosmetic cleanings

Every once in a while, and always between tenants, it is a good idea to clean the exterior of buildings and update the landscaping around them. If your lot is aesthetically pleasing, it will be more attractive to prospective tenants or those considering staying. Power washing, window cleaning, and other forms of cleaning maintenance are recommended.

Effective systems

Basic facility systems, such as plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems, are essential to the comfort and productivity of tenants. Preventative maintenance is ideal to keep these systems at their best, as it can help you catch and fix minor problems before they become a major issue.

Streamlined Processes

Maintaining rental property can be hard, but you don’t need to do it alone. By consulting with a team of experts in facility maintenance you can keep the property in the best shape possible for many years to come.

Using our own team of trained technicians and over 30 years’ experience in the field of facility maintenance, MaintenX can be this trusted partner for you. For more information about the services that we offer and how we can help with all your maintenance needs, contact us today.

Landscaping Tips for the Summer Rainy Season

With the summer comes the rainy season, and if you have a facility under your management you need to adjust your landscaping to reflect the changes in the weather. Take a look at these top tips for making sure your exterior stays in pristine condition:

1. Turn Off Sprinklers

The last thing you need is for your landscaping to become waterlogged. Extreme rainfall is characteristic of this season, so let the weather be in charge and turn off the sprinkler systems. The environment (and your expense account) will thank you.

2. Have a Plan in Place for Soil Erosion

With a large amount of heavy rain, your soil can take a beating. Reduce the opportunity for soil erosion by installing sandbags in problem areas.

3. Keep Drains Clear

With extreme weather in full swing, keep an eye on your drainage system, as it can often become overwhelmed with debris. Make a conscious effort to check and clean the drains. Keeping a log can help ensure drains are reviewed regularly. If certain drains are more susceptible to clogging, make a note to check them more often.

4. Be Vigilant with the Trees and Hedges

Trees can often be damaged by storms, so keep on top of any low hanging branches that may have been impacted by heavy rainfall. After a particularly bad storm, review the trees and hedges, and trim where needed. Prune your shrubs to encourage healthy growth, and plant any new plants that thrive in this weather.

5. Use Mulch

There are a number of benefits to mulch. Mulch helps keeps plants healthy and hydrated during the hot, sunny summer months. It can also help reduce soil erosion. Mulch can provide soil with additional nutrients, help control weeds, and there are many varieties to choose from.

6. Prepare for Storms

If there is a big storm on the way, take care to prepare. Trim branches (especially those close to the exterior of the building and near power lines) and bring in any items like plant pots that might be a safety issue in high winds. Stake young trees to keep them in their place.

Facility Maintenance Tips for Rain

Florida is one of the wettest states in the US, so it’s important to ensure your facility is ship shape and watertight. The rainfall can be quite intense, so it’s essential you keep on top of maintenance to ensure no long-term damage occurs. Look at these top tips for facility maintenance in Florida’s rain:

1. Preparation

To fail to plan is to plan to fail as the famous saying goes, so take action during the drier winter months. This means repairing roofing, clearing gutters, trimming back trees, and making all windows and doors are secure. You should have a checklist in place, with any hazards identified and information about how you have addressed them.

2. Be Proactive

After preparing as much as possible, continue to be very proactive. If there are weaker areas in the building you identified in your preparation, keep an extra eye on these and continue to maintain them if needed. You should be vigilant, as a small leak is much easier to fix than a large one. Check windows and doors and remember to always keep safety at the forefront off your mind. If water seems to be collecting in certain outdoor areas, address this immediately by redirecting the water to prevent any damage.

3. Keep an Eye Out for Unwanted Visitors

Heavy rains can encourage critters of all kinds to seek shelter in your building, so look out for warning signs of unwanted visitors. If you find any, take action immediately.

4. Take Extra Care After Heavy Rainfall

If your building experiences heavy rainfall, you need to extra attentive the following day. Roofing can go through a lot, especially during the height of the rainy season, from being poured on to experiencing extreme heat and winds. Scan the roof carefully to check for weather damage.

5. Think about Appearance and Safety Issues Inside  

During a rainstorm, have sufficient mats in place for the occupants to wipe their feet in doorways and have plenty of wet floor signs available. Consider having places for wet umbrellas to be kept. By having these items, you can avoid water and mud from being trailed throughout the building, as well as reduce accidents due to floors being slippery. It is also wise to regularly check and mop the floors, even on days when the sun is shining.

5 Ways to Make Your Building Healthier

Making a building healthier has many positive impacts. A healthy building is kinder to the environment and improves the well-being of the people who use it. This helps increase employee productivity and lower absenteeism – which can have a positive effect on your business’s visitors and reputation.

There are numerous ways in which buildings can be made healthier. Consider the following tips:

1. Air Quality

Having good air quality in a building is an easy way to improve the health of your building. Look at how air is filtered, the condition of the HVAC system, and if there is any dirt, mold, or odor. Regularly maintain these systems and replace when necessary.

2. Water

Having a well-run water system is another important aspect to making a building healthier. Schedule a water audit to determine where water is being used or wasted and if it’s acceptable for drinking. Install efficient toilets, which will be kinder to the environment and cost less in utilities.

3. Perfect Plants

Maintaining well-kept grounds around a building make the whole area healthier and happier. Opt for plants that are natural to the area, as you’ll spend less time spent on maintenance and see more successful growth. You should also have plants indoors – this helps to lift the mood and add character. Looking at plants has also been shown to improve attention control and productivity, a plus for any business setting.  

4. Encourage Everyone to be Active Through a Strong Community

If there is a large sense of community, your occupants can inspire each other to make healthier choices. Consider starting programs that encourage cycling to work, car sharing, and exercise. Make the stairwells more attractive and actively promote using them to save using energy to run the elevators. Educate the people in your building on the importance of a strong recycling policy, paper saving, and the reusing of items.

5. Sustainability

Having a sustainable building is a powerful way of keeping it (and the people inside) as healthy as possible. Try to conserve energy and water while still considering the comfort of the occupants. If you opt for green products, green energy sources and sustainable waste management, your building can be healthier than ever before.