Protecting your Building and Occupants from Severe Weather

When severe weather is headed your way, you as a facility manager want to protect your building not only for the sake of the business, but also for its occupants. Weather can sometimes be unpredictable, so you don’t want to leave preparations to the last minute. If you live in an area prone to natural disasters, make sure to have a plan for your facility ahead of time.

The first is to assess the areas of your facility that are most susceptible to water, wind, and fire damage. Typical weak areas include doors, windows, and skylights; if it was designed for people to pass through it, the elements will be able to more easily. A thorough inspection of your building will reveal less obvious vulnerabilities.

Once you know this, you can begin fortifying those areas to make them stronger. If windows and skylights are the main weaknesses and you face high winds, consider installing hurricane-proof glass. If you’re vulnerable to water, make sure doors and windows have tight seals and that the roof has no leaks. If there is electrical equipment near potential water entry points and you know a big storm is on the horizon, move them to safer areas.

If your location is vulnerable to sudden disasters, have an evacuation plan as well. If your building is strong enough, consider offering it as a shelter for your employees.

Proper planning goes a long way to protecting your building and occupants from severe weather, so you want to begin developing this now. To learn more about how we at MaintenX can assist you in this, please contact us anytime.

Tips for Maintaining Commercial Refrigeration Equipment

All parts of a business facility are important, but if you are a restaurant or food service company, then maintaining your commercial refrigeration equipment is a major priority. You pay for poorly maintained equipment not only in repairs, but in lost inventory as well as downtime. To avoid that, devise a good plan for maintaining your refrigeration equipment through preventative maintenance and thorough cleanings.

The key to effectively maintaining commercial refrigeration equipment is meticulous cleaning. This doesn’t just mean doing a sweep of the inside, it means taking apart the whole machine and cleaning what’s inside as well. This kind of cleaning should be done at least a few times a year, but up to once a month depending on usage.

In addition to cleaning, inspect the vital components regularly and replace them as necessary. This includes coils, fans, motors, ice makers, etc. If the equipment is running inefficiently, you will spend more in energy bills and the risk of breakdown will rise.

Overall, the best thing you can do in maintaining any facility equipment is to devise and execute a preventative maintenance plan. It allows you to plan your hardware expenses, and makes for a safer and more efficient workplace. To learn about how the technicians of MaintenX can assist you with this, please contact us today!

Why Fall is the Best Time to Schedule HVAC Installation and Maintenance

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units are some of the most important pieces of equipment in a facility. Without a properly functioning HVAC system, employees and customers will feel uncomfortable. In places with more uncomfortable climates, business will suffer as a result; if no one wants to work in or shop in your building, nothing will get done or sold. Pursuant to that, it is important to properly maintain these systems, and there is no better time to get on this than in fall.

Because they represent temperature extremes, summer and winter see the heaviest use of HVAC systems. Usage decreases in the fall, making it an ideal time to install a new system or perform maintenance on your existing one. If HVAC downtime is necessary, your business can best bear it in autumn.

The maintenance should be both forward and backward-looking. After summer’s heavy use, parts may have worn down or come loose. Inspecting them will prevent system breakdown later on. As well, however, months of disuse may have similarly deteriorated heating elements. Fix them thoroughly for a worry-free heated building during the winter.

We at MaintenX know the importance of a functioning HVAC system and want to ensure your facility has one. To schedule an inspection, installation, or repair this fall, please contact us anytime.

Common Facilities Maintenance Problems (and How to Solve Them)

Your company’s building or facility requires a lot of maintenance to continue running efficiently. With so many different critical systems, such as air conditioning, electrical and plumbing, there is a lot of room for things to malfunction. To avoid that inconvenience, here are a few common maintenance problems and how to solve them.

Air Conditioning Issues

Any business owner or facility manager knows, if your company’s air conditioning goes out, you probably have to close down until its fixed. To prevent this downtime in your company, there are a few easy steps to take with your air conditioning unit. Make sure to change your air filters every month, or at least every 90 days. Clean condenser coils and drain pans regularly to ensure your unit is working at its peak efficiency. Finally, check all windows and doors to ensure there are no air leaks. Replace weather stripping where necessary to avoid cold air leaving the building.

Clogged Drains

Clogged drains and sinks can be a pesky problem in the workplace. If this is happening in your bathroom or kitchen, use a snake to try to unclog the blockage yourself. This tool can be found at your any local hardware store. You can also mix a half cup of baking soda and a half cup white vinegar and pour it down the drain. After letting this sit for several hours, run warm water down the drain to flush out the mixture. This remedy can break down any buildup in your drain pipes.

Leaking Faucet

A leaking faucet can be a nuisance at your company, but it can also cause your water bills to increase. Although a few drips don’t seem like much, this water waste can accumulate. In most cases, your sink’s washer has to be replaced. After prying off the decorative cap on your sink handle, use a crescent wrench to unscrew the packing nut. Once complete, replace the washer and reassemble.

With these helpful tips, you’ll be able to solve your facility maintenance problems all on your own and even prevent them in the future.

Rio Olympic Village Horror Stories

By Tess Koman

The past few weeks have brought horror story after horror story about Rio’s Olympic villages, the 31 buildings meant to house close to 18,000 athletes, coaches, and staff for the entirety of the games. Though many are “confident” tonight’s opening ceremony will be “awesome,” athletes complained as early as this morning the villages are still not up to par. Below, some of the strangest and most alarming things that have happened in the Olympic village leading up and during the games.

1. The Australian toilets failed a major “stress test,” causing their athletes to move in late. When toilets were flushed on multiple floors at the same time July 25 to see if the building’s plumbing could handle several athletes at once, “The system failed. Water came down walls, there was a strong smell of gas in some apartments and there was ‘shorting’ in the electrical wiring,” Chef de Mission of the Australian Olympic Committee Kitty Chiller said. That was in addition to “blocked toilets, leaking pipes, exposed wiring, darkened stairwells where no lighting has been installed and dirty floors in need of a massive clean.”

2. Once the Australians were able to move in, they were robbed. According to CNN, a fire broke out in basement garage of the Australian Villages, and when athletes were evacuated, at least one laptop and several Zika-protective team shirts were taken.

3. Some of the villages’ fire alarms were disconnected, including the Australians’.It’s unclear how they knew to evacuate during the fire as alarms did not go off. A few of their athletes even slept through the drill. “I didn’t know it even happened, to be honest,” Australian shooter Warren Potent told CNN. Chiller said it was “completely unacceptable” the team wasn’t even told by Rio officials the alarms would be off.

4. Just last night, the Czech village flooded. It’s unclear what actually caused the flooding, but Czech cyclist Zdenek Stybar described the raining in one stairwell like a “new shower in the house.”

Great we have new shower in the house. ????????????????

A video posted by Zdenek Stybar (@stybarzdenek) on

5. There is no coffee to be found in the villages. Egyptian archer Ahmed El-Nemr told NPR when he asked about the caffeine selection, “they said we are only limited to Coca-Cola products. So…” Coffee is not an official sponsor of the 2016 Olympic Games and it is nowhere to be found.

6. The gas leak smell in the accommodations was deemed “normal” by Brazilian officials. The smell allegedly permeating the entire village and was due to gas connection tests, Yahoo! Sports reports.

7. Because the gas smell and the aforementioned plumbing concerns weren’t being addressed quickly enough, several countries brought in their own repair teams. TheItalians, in particular, hired massive amounts of manual labor as “a matter of urgency.” The Dutch hinted at retroactively charging the Brazilians for the repairs of their village damages. “It is the responsibility of the organizing committee to deliver a safe and well-functioning village,” Dutch Chef de Mission Maurits Hendriks told the Guardian. “Let it be clear that we will evaluate this situation with IOC and Rio 2016 after the Games. This applies for example to financial consequences as a result of the measures we are taking and have been taken.”

8. As of five days ago, some villages had yet to pass safety inspection tests. It’s unclear if they all have today.

9. The Jamaican team is staying in a “construction site” after arriving to unfinished rooms yesterday. Though the Jamaican Chef de Mission Vishu Tolan said, “Things will get better as we go along” and he believes the mess “today and tomorrow will be rectified,” he noted three of the team’s 24 rooms had water leakage. Footage from one of the rooms shows plaster strewn everywhere and completely unfinished accommodations.

10. Olympic officials lost the key to the Olympics. Though this isn’t technically an Olympicvillage horror story, it’s still alarming: The east gate of the games had to be cut open with box cutters after officials realized the key was gone and the women’s soccer team had to use that entrance to start their opening match.

11. Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina got stuck in a village elevator before his match with Novak Djokovic. According to his publicist, he was stuck for 40 minutes Sunday and his cell didn’t work in the elevator. He was eventually rescued by members of the Argentinian handball team.


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