Why Choose Polymer Roofing for Historic Buildings?

Historic buildings are some of the trickiest sites for us to work on as commercial contractors. While we want to preserve the historic integrity of these buildings and keep them as true to their original form as possible, we also want the best in technology for our customers. Finding the right balance of modern technology with historic preservation efforts can be tricky, but is well worth the effort. 

Historic roofing is one sector in commercial construction that has made great strides in this area. Historical preservationists often want to keep the natural slate or wood shake roofing on historic buildings for as long as they can, but this can pose safety hazards for the building and leave it less energy-efficient for modern appliances. The lack of proper insulation can make these roof types struggle to cope with modern heating and cooling needs, and can even become a greater fire risk. But, there is an alternative on the rise that is becoming more and more popular with historical preservationists. 

Polymer roofing is a new option for historic buildings that preserves the structural integrity of the building itself while maintaining the same look of different periods throughout American architecture. Polymer roofing can be designed to look like natural slate or wood shakes, but provides a much more durable installation with modern flashing that will ensure the roof is well-insulated, safe, and built to last as long as other modern roofing options. Other benefits of polymer roofing include: 

  • Decreased fire and natural disaster hazards as compared to original historic roofing
  • Increased roofing lifespan
  • Comparable aesthetic appeal to wood shake or slate roofing
  • Reduced risk of water damage due to improper insulation
  • Increased energy-efficiency
  • Value-add option for commercial property

Historical sites across the country are using polymer roofing to create the look and feel that old stone and wood shake roofing had, but with every bit of durability, that modern roofing provides. If you’re interested in restoring a historic commercial building with this modern roofing tech, contact MaintenX today! We offer expert roofing repair and restoration services from coast to coast. 

 

Maintenance Red Flags To Look for In A New Property

Finding the right property for your business can be incredibly tricky. If you’re lucky, you can find a property that was used for a similar business previously so all of the basic structure is ready. However, many small to midsize businesses must either look for new properties to rent or redesign their office space to better accommodate their needs. This can get tricky for medical facilities and restaurants especially, because of the regulations and permitting that is required to make such adjustments.

Regardless of what you’re looking for, there are some red flags you can spot when scouting commercial properties. If you notice any of these maintenance red flags, be wary about renting because you may be dealing with unnecessary headaches as you try to open.

Neglected flooring.

Flooring is not cheap to replace, and can often cue you into bigger foundational issues beneath the surface. If you notice cracks in hardwood, major stains, or gaps between tiles, you can assume that either the previous tenants didn’t take care of the flooring, or a contractor did a poor installation that you’ll have to deal with later on. 

A noisy A/C.

If you notice that the A/C is constantly running or is making strange noises, you can bet that it wasn’t properly maintained with the last tenant. HVAC systems should not have to run 24/7 to keep the facility cool. If they are, that means they are not running at peak performance and may need to be replaced soon. Rattling or banging noises means that there are internal issues that you’ll have to address, so be sure to ask the property management about repairs before you move in. 

An overwhelming scent.

Mold and mildew are common problems in run-down facilities, and can leave a distinct odor that property managers may try to cover up. If you feel like the air freshener is a bit strong in one room or you can detect a musky scent underneath, ask about previous water damage to ensure you don’t discover it later on.

DIY wiring.

Electrical issues are a big issue when permitting a new business. If even the slightest issue is discovered, it can delay your opening and cost you thousands of dollars in renovations. If you notice any wiring issue, even a cosmetic one, ask the property owner about previous work done. 

These red flags and others can help you detect future issues for a prospective commercial rental property. To learn more about maintenance issues you need to look out for, contact your local MaintenX team today!

Five Hacks for Commercial Window Cleaning

Window cleaning is often neglected at commercial facilities, despite its many benefits for both tenant and customer. Clean windows allow for a more beautiful view inside and outside of your facility. They also create a new and clean appearance for visitors and show pride in the maintenance of your building. Plus, window cleaning is typically easy to maintain on the first floor of any building, where it is most likely to be noticed. 

 

If you want your windows and glass doors to look better at your facility or office space, follow these five tips: 

 

DIY cleaners

Toothpaste, baking soda, and vinegar solutions all work well for tough stains on your windows. They can also be used for multi-purpose cleaning, which is ideal for a large facility where specific cleaning supplies can become both costly and difficult to store. 

 

Cleaning on an overcast day

The heat of the sun can make window and glass cleaners dry too quickly, which can result in unsightly streaking. If you are wiping windows and glass doors, choose an overcast day so you don’t develop streaks while trying to clean tough spots. 

 

Wipe down once a week 

Many businesses go weeks or months without cleaning their windows. This leads to mold and dirt buildup that can be a pain to remove. Instead, wipe down both the inside and outside of windows once a week with a simple glass cleaner to keep them looking great. This can improve the view and aesthetic appeal of your building and prevent expensive deep cleans later down the line. 

 

Microfiber cloths for cleaning

Many people use paper towels or regular cleaning rags for windows, but a microfiber cloth is best for reducing scratches and cleaning windows thoroughly. Never use a hard scraper for stuck-on dirt, no matter how difficult the stain may be. If necessary, let the cleaning solution sit for several minutes before scrubbing rather than using abrasive surfaces. 

 

Rinse with clean water 

If you notice streaks in your windows after you’ve wiped them, you can simply wet your cloth with water to remove the residue. This won’t leave additional streaks on the window because the water will quickly evaporate. This can also protect your window from years of cleaning solution buildup. 

 

MaintenX offers professional window and exterior cleaning for harder-to-reach windows and tough build-up. If you have questions or would like to schedule a professional cleaning service, give us a call today!

How To Prevent Mold And Mildew In Your Restrooms

Mold and mildew are common enemies in commercial building bathrooms. Due to higher foot traffic and the occasional leaky faucet or messy visitor, you can develop these types of fungus quickly from water damage. While mold and mildew can be removed with chemical products and some elbow grease, it is much better to prevent it from developing in the first place. 

 

Below are three different strategies to implement in your daily maintenance routine to keep mold and mildew out of your restrooms: 

 

Ensure proper ventilation

Ventilation is your first defense against mold and mildew growth in your facility. Fungus thrives in a damp, dark environment, but with proper ventilation, water will evaporate quickly and mold won’t have a chance to thrive. This is important not only in your bathroom but in kitchen spaces where water and other contaminants also cause mold growth. 

 

Fix leaks immediately

Leaky faucets and drains are another common culprit of mold growth inside the bathroom. They can become especially problematic around toilets, as they are less likely to be noticed and cleaned as thoroughly as the sink. If you see or receive a report of a leaking pipe or faucet in the bathroom, call for service that day. The longer you let the leak drip, the more likely you are to experience mold and other problems, not to mention the water you waste. 

 

Clean your restrooms with antimicrobial cleaners

Most commercial cleaners use some sort of antibacterial or antimicrobial chemicals in them to ensure they are properly sanitized at the end of the day. If you’re using an all-purpose cleaner, you may want to consider switching to prevent mold and mildew growth. You’re not just trying to kill germs, but kill the microorganisms that grow into visible mold and mildew. By using the right cleaners on a daily basis, you can kill mold before it starts to grow. 

 

Mold and mildew can be health hazards if it persists in your restrooms. Don’t let this affect your indoor air quality or guest experience – contact MaintenX today for help removing mold and mildew from your facility. We offer maintenance programs to fix faucets and leaks and service ventilation systems for proper care of your bathrooms. To learn more, contact your local MaintenX today!

15 Spare Parts You Should Always Have On Hand

MaintenX strives to make our clients’ maintenance programs as efficient as possible. That is why we encourage all clients to implement preventative maintenance protocols to reduce emergency repairs and make their operating equipment last its intended service life. However, even with the best preventative maintenance service, emergency repairs will happen from time to time. 

 

When a maintenance emergency occurs, you want to be prepared for an immediate fix. You can help out your MaintenX team by keeping some tools and supplies on hand to ensure your team can begin repairs as soon as a diagnosis is made. In addition to a basic toolkit, keep these 15 items on hand for plumbing, electrical, and HVAC repair. 

 

For electrical repair: 

  • Fuses and trip switches
  • Wall switches
  • Plug sockets
  • Electric wire and cables
  • Electric tape

 

For plumbing repair: 

 

  • Hoses
  • Ball valves
  • Rubber gaskets
  • Insulation
  • Silicone for minor seals

 

For HVAC repair: 

 

  • A motor and reducer (these can take up to for weeks to get, so if yours breaks down, you’ll want a spare)
  • Seals and o-rings
  • Bearings and burner gaskets
  • Air filters
  • Hot surface igniters

 

With these spare parts on hand, you can make your MaintenX technician’s job much easier and faster, thus expediting your emergency repairs. Make sure to choose parts based on your manufacturer’s recommendations, or call your MaintenX technician for help ordering. 

 

While most of these parts are cheap and easy to store, the more expensive ones are the parts you should prioritize, as they can take several weeks to arrive (thus the need for parts on hand). However, if you don’t have these parts on hand, MaintenX will ensure your dispatch includes everything you need to be up and operating as soon as possible. 

 

To learn more about our emergency repair services, give MaintenX a call today!

3 Tips To Reduce Wrench Time

Wrench time, or the time it takes for a technician to complete a work order, is a critical metric to track in order to analyze the performance of your team. While wrench times do not necessarily need to decrease over time if the quality of work is above standard, it can help you identify either pieces of equipment that are draining resources, or technicians who may need more training with an experienced team member to improve the overall quality of work. 

 

At MaintenX, we use wrench time studies to help identify recurring maintenance issues as well as help our younger technicians grow at a pace that meets their abilities. If you also want to use wrench time studies to your advantage and reduce repair time, follow these tips for success:

 

Identify the core issues slowing down repairs 

A longer-than-average repair could indicate several problems. Perhaps one of the technicians is new to the team and is still learning proper protocols for your company. Or, your technicians are using outdated tools or looking for spare parts on the job, indicating an investment in maintenance equipment is needed. You may simply have an outdated appliance that takes more time to repair due to its various problems. Look across different wrench time studies and service notes to find patterns and determine your causes for slow-downs on the job. 

 

Organize your maintenance department

Improper labeling, mismanaged work orders, or a lack of easily accessible spare parts can make your wrench times lag due to no fault of your maintenance department. If you want a more efficient team, you need to first create a system in which they can operate seamlessly. For tips and advice on how to improve your work order management system, click here.

 

Audit repairs

If you see a problem with your wrench times, take the time to audit repairs to identify core issues within the service. Do you have outdated repair protocols that need changing? Or do you have a new team that needs additional guidance onsite? By auditing repairs, you can also see the quality of work and service issues causing repeat repairs. 

 

Reducing wrench time can make your facility a more efficient, performance-oriented place to work. To learn more about how MaintenX delivers fast, quality service every time, visit our resource center for additional tips and advice.

Mindset Road Blocks That Are Hurting Your Maintenance Performance

Maintenance management is typically approached in a highly practical, rote manner. Tasks are assigned, a backlog of preventative repairs is created, and technicians perform the basics without any foresight into how their performance may affect the future of the facility. However, this strategy doesn’t engage the maintenance staff, nor does it help improve your bottom line. But, is there a way that could? 

 

Maintenance management is about more than getting the job done. It’s about creating a maintenance team that takes responsibility for their work and that goes above and beyond to ensure the proper functioning of the facility equipment. Below are some strategies to help you build this type of maintenance team, without adding time on the clock:

 

A culture of accountability

Maintenance departments are often on deck only when an issue or emergency occurs. This makes them either the heroes of the day when a repair can be done quickly and low cost, or the scapegoat when a repair is costly or results in extended downtime. This problem often stems from a lack of accountability, where the repair is “someone else’s” fault, instead of the joint responsibility of the maintenance department and upper management. By emphasizing quality work over cheap and fast repairs, you can create a more stable work environment and reduce unexpected repair time. 

 

An inclusive learning environment

Maintenance work takes a great deal of time and effort to master. Most technicians must complete technical school or apprenticeship training, and develop their skills over years of on-the-job training. Therefore, by encouraging a fault-free learning environment, you can keep good maintenance workers who will only get better with time. By punishing mistakes harshly and not providing adequate training, you instill a mindset where learning is forbidden, which hurts you in the long run. 

 

A prevention-first approach

A reactive or run-to-fail maintenance strategy may seem like the right mindset until a serious maintenance emergency is on your hands. Ractive repairs that result from a lack of preventative care, or could have easily been avoided are always more frustrating than the ones that result from true emergencies. By encouraging your maintenance team to put preventative work first, you can reduce downtime and create a healthier maintenance culture overall. 

 

MaintenX believes in fostering an inclusive, high-quality-, prevention-first maintenance workforce through our strategies and training throughout the U.S. If you’re looking for a preventative maintenance company that already has these qualities, give us a call today to learn what MaintenX can do for you!

How To Encourage Better Maintenance Technician Performance

Maintenance technicians are some of the hardest-working members of your team. They spend a great deal of time in a technical school or apprenticeship learning the tricks of the trade, as well as years on the job perfecting their skills. Technicians’ work is also demanding both physically and mentally, making only strong and enthusiastic people capable of advancing in the field. 

 

While maintenance technicians are most often hard workers, you can still help them improve performance by creating a work environment that is tailored to their needs and work style. Below are three ways you can encourage the best from your maintenance team with simple changes to your maintenance program: 

 

Be goal-oriented, not time-oriented

Most facility managers understand that good work isn’t cheap, and cheap work isn’t good. The same is true for speed. While it’s an important metric to study, speed isn’t nearly as important as the quality of service performed. If you allow your maintenance technicians to prioritize attention to detail over speed, you’ll get better service in the end. 

 

Offer training incentives 

Ongoing training is a necessary part of the maintenance field. As new technologies develop, lessons learned in technical school become obsolete. By offering training programs on the job as well as incentives for attending voluntary seminars, you can improve your team’s performance and foster individual career growth. 

 

Celebrate good work

Oftentimes maintenance technicians are only called in when something is going wrong. While this can make them heroes in times of crisis, it can also make them scapegoats for underlying problems in the facility structure. If you want your maintenance employees to enjoy their work, be sure to highlight a job well done when it happens. By appreciating the preventative maintenance services given by technicians, you will see an improvement in emergency service as well. 

 

At MaintenX, our technicians are the backbone of our facilities. We take pride in our ability to deliver excellent service and it all starts with the skill, dedication, and enthusiasm of our maintenance teams. We provide these benefits and so many more for working with MaintenX in order to grow this enthusiasm for the trade both in our current employees and in the future generation of facility repair. 

 

If you’d like to learn more about what it’s like to work with MaintenX, give us a call or visit our career center for information about open positions.

Five Examples of Reactive Maintenance Mistakes

At MaintenX, we often emphasize the benefits of preventative maintenance to help our customers see why they need these services for their facilities. Preventative care may seem like an unnecessary expense until it is neglected, and your facility equipment suffers for it. However, we also understand the benefits of reactive maintenance strategies for certain pieces of equipment, and how to utilize this run-to-fail method in our overall maintenance service. 

 

While reactive maintenance can help you save money on some facility equipment maintenance, many technicians make mistakes when using this strategy. Below are five things to never do when implementing run-to-fail maintenance at your commercial facility: 

 

Using run-to-fail on critical equipment

Reactive maintenance is typically most appropriate for equipment that is not stable and non-essential, such as lighting or hardscape. You don’t need to plan to change light fixtures until they go out, or repair exterior structures until they become damaged if they’re not essential to your facility’s functioning. However, it’s unwise to allow your HVAC, plumbing, electrical, or roofing systems to fail because when they do, they’ll cause serious disruptions at your facility. 

 

Allowing equipment to fail over and over

Run-to-fail maintenance can be used for new equipment that doesn’t experience problems often, or for periodic repairs that don’t occur often. However, if a piece of equipment is having the same issue over and over, you need to implement a preventative maintenance strategy to address it and save money on repeated service. 

 

Using run-to-fail maintenance throughout a system’s service life

Run-to-fail maintenance is best utilized for newer pieces of equipment where preventative care is not needed. However, as your system ages, it will need more frequent service to ensure it runs properly. This can help extend your system’s service life rather than retiring early due to excess repair work. 

 

Not having a plan in place for when the equipment fails

If you’re going to run a reactive maintenance program, you need to be prepared when breakdowns occur. If your maintenance strategy is non-existent, you will end up paying the price in after-hours service calls, expensive emergency repairs, and repeat maintenance. 

 

Using run-to-fail without a maintenance team in place

If you have no one to call when a reactive repair is needed, then you don’t really have a strategy at all. It can take hours for a service technician to reach your facility in the event of an emergency, especially if you are a new customer. If you want your reactive maintenance plan to work, you need a reliable team in place to take the call. 

 

MaintenX can help you incorporate reactive maintenance strategies into your overall maintenance plan to reduce costs and improve your overall facility function. To learn more about our reactive and preventative maintenance services, give us a call today!

Four Examples of Preventative Maintenance

At MaintenX, we are passionate about preventative care. We believe it’s what makes our services stand out from the rest and keeps our customers happy all year long. However, not everyone realizes what a difference preventative care can make for their facility. We want to help you see the difference by providing different examples of MaintenX preventative maintenance that can help make your facility run more smoothly. 

 

During your MaintenX technician’s visit, they may perform any number of these tasks to make your facility equipment run smoother and last longer:

 

Change filers and clean air ducts of the HVAC system. 

Your HVAC system is incredibly important in a commercial space. It controls the indoor air quality, ensures a comfortable working and shopping experience, and provides ventilation for areas like commercial kitchens and manufacturing sites. By keeping your HVAC system clean and free of contaminants, you can feel the difference in the air every time you step inside. 

 

Clean piping via hydro-jetting service. 

Hydro-jetting is a critical service for all commercial facilities. This keeps your pipes clean and free of blockages, which can, in turn, prevent major plumbing leaks and disasters like a toilet overflow or sewage line bursts. If you want to keep your facility clean and sanitary, this simple task is a top priority. 

 

Annual roofing repair and routine gutter cleaning.

In Tampa, Florida, where MaintenX is headquartered, our customers understand the importance of this service all too well. We experience an intense hurricane season, where high-speed winds easily damage roofing and detach gutters. Plus, with as much rain as we receive, keeping the gutters clean is essential for a healthy building. Your MaintenX roofing team can periodically replace aged roofing and clean gutters to ensure your entire roofing system will last several decades without major replacement. 

 

Backup generator maintenance.

Your electrical system is typically self-sufficient, but in the event of a power outage, you can be met with a serious problem on your hands. In times of emergency, you need a reliable backup generator to power your business. However, you can only rely on generator and UPS systems if they are well-maintained by your MaintenX team. 

 

As you can see, preventative maintenance is about more than tune-ups. It’s about keeping your facility at peak performance every day of the year. If you want a team that cares about your facility as much as you do, contact MaintenX today!