Hurricane Season Is Here, and MaintenX Is Here to Help

June 1 is the first day of a month that many of us associate with the start of the relaxing days of summer, but it’s also the first day of a time of the year that is one of the most important for business owners – hurricane season.

While we hope for a calm and uneventful season, which will last until Nov. 30, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), it’s crucial that we remain prepared and vigilant in the face of potential storms. Hurricane season brings with it the potential for severe weather conditions, including heavy rains, strong winds, and storm surges. By taking proactive steps now, you can minimize the impact of a hurricane on your life and your business.

Whether it’s your first time weathering the storm or you’ve grown up in a hurricane zone, understanding how to prepare for one of these catastrophic weather events can mean the difference between minor damage and major destruction for your business. And as we continually build our knowledge of hurricanes, we understand more and more just how destructive their power can be.

Consider that between 2019 and 2021, there were 56 weather and climate disasters, including hurricanes, with losses greater than $1 billion, according to NOAA, and that while Hurricane Katrina was the most expensive hurricane in recent history, with approximately $161 billion in damage, Hurricane Ian, which struck Florida and South Carolina last year, as a category 4 Atlantic hurricane, was the second-largest insured loss after Katrina, according to the reinsurer Swiss Re.

MaintenX, as one of the largest national facility maintenance and repair companies in the U.S., has a long history of helping business owners understand the risks of hurricane season, and, as we do each season, we’re here to offer our expertise as a resource in helping prepare for storms, make it safely through storms, and address any damage after storms as best as possible.

This year we’re kicking off this effort with a rundown of the most common types of commercial property damage risks from hurricanes to keep in mind as well as some of our top tips on how to prepare your business for a hurricane. We invite you to peruse them and stay tuned for more in-depth blog posts on many of these risks and tips throughout the next several months, as hurricane season reaches its peak, from mid-August and mid-October.

Most Common Types of Commercial Property Damage Caused by Hurricanes

  1. Roof damage – Water intrusion, gutter damage and metal roof panel destruction are the most common type of damage. Metal canopies can be blown away from the wind, and modified materials can similarly be torn apart.
  2. Interior damage – A powerful storm can cause doors and windows to be torn from their hinges or broken by flying debris.
  3. Structure and foundation damage – Extremely powerful wind gusts can cause a building to shift and leave cracks in the structure or foundation below.
  4. Equipment damage – It’s common for heating and air-conditioning units, appliances, and generators to be damaged.
  5. Utility damage – Infrastructure including power lines, internet connections, water systems and vital power grid components is almost always damaged after a hurricane.

Top Tips for Preparing for a Hurricane

  • Understand your property insurance – Check your policy or call your agent well in advance of hurricane season to discuss how to be prepared for a hurricane and to figure out any additional coverage you may need.
  • Put up plywood to seal off windows and doorways – This is the most practical method for protecting these openings.
  • Clean your gutters – This is particularly important during hurricane season. It allows water to flow properly and move away from a building.
  • Secure outdoor items – Anything left outside has the potential to become a missile, so it’s important to bring in or secure outdoor items, like trash cans, tables, and chairs.
  • Prepare an emergency kit – If you have to remain at or near your business, include fresh water for drinking and sanitation (one gallon per person per day), several days’ worth of non-perishable food items, a flashlight, a first-aid kit, and a charger for mobile devices. And don’t forget to pack extra batteries.

The key to reducing the risk of damage to your business is to begin preparing now. We hope you plan ahead using the insights here, and we hope everyone stays as safe and protected as possible this storm season.

ADA Compliance for your Plumbing and Restrooms

ADA compliance is not only required for most business types, but ensures you create a welcoming space for everyone who walks through your doors. ADA compliance covers not only entrances and exits, but a great deal of your bathroom design and the subsequent plumbing installations required to fulfill them.

Below are the general guidelines you must follow for ADA compliant bathrooms, as well as the considerations you’ll need to make for your plumbing installation and maintenance:

Bathroom dimensions for ADA compliance

Bathrooms must be large enough for a wheelchair to complete a 180 degree turn easily within the accessible stall and the common space. This is generally considered 60+ inches.

ADA compliant toilets

An accessible toilet stall must meet a certain height and stall capacity size to ensure a wheelchair can fit and that the toilet is easily used. ADA compliance requires:

  • Each appliance must have a minimum width of 60 inches and enough space around to accommodate a wheelchair.
  • Seat height must be between 17 and 19 inches above the floor.
  • Flush controls must be placed no higher than 44 inches above the ground and placed on the open side of the toilet
  • Grab bars must be placed behind the toilet and on the nearest wall or partition
  • Toilet paper dispensers must be between seven and nine inches in front of the water closet.
  • Dispensers should allow for continuous paper flow rather than control flow.

ADA compliant sinks and mirrors

In addition to stall requirements, The ADA requires certain sink, soap dispenser, and mirror heights and design elements to ensure accessibility:

  • Sink or counter height must not exceed 34 inches above the floor.
  • If hand soap and/or towel dispensers are available, they must be between 15 and 48 inches above the ground and not be obstructed by other design elements.
  • Hand dryers must either be motion-activated or touch-free devices and not protrude more than four inches from where they are installed.
  • Mirrors should be installed 40 inches maximum above the ground if located near a sink or countertop; stand-alone mirrors should be installed 35 inches maximum above the floor.

ADA compliant drinking fountains 

While drinking fountains are not required for most businesses, they can be integral to public buildings, schools, playgrounds, and recreational facilities. If your facility has drinking fountains, they must be between 38 and 43 inches above the ground, and provide a stream of water that is between four and five inches from the spout. This is to ensure that a cup can be used under the stream.

To meet these standards, you must ensure that your plumbing system is set up to meet height and space requirements and provide the correct water pressure for water fountains. If you are upgrading your facility to meet ADA compliance, talk to your MaintenX team to learn more!

Three Tips to Improve Retail Communications

Most retail outlets are either small brick-and-mortar counterparts to a larger corporate chain, or are run by a sole proprietor who manages all operational needs of their boutique. While it may seem as though these two business models would have vastly different operational styles, they both have the same Achilles’ heel: communication breakdowns

Whether you’re a major retail chain or a local mom-and-pop shop, communication is essential to effective operations and marketing. Communication issues often arise when the corporate liaison or owner is unaware of issues on the floor, and store employees are not informed of marketing, operational, and other directives from higher up, impacting your bottom line. 

If you want to improve your retail store’s performance, follow these simple communication tips:

Centralize communications. 

Retail employees are often much more active than office workers, which means that email communications are not your most effective option. You don’t want to have too many options either, as some stores will prioritize certain types of communication over others. A mobile-friendly communication system that is used by in-store employees, as well as the corporate team or ownership, will make sure everyone is on the same page at all times. 

Skip meetings for virtual connections. 

In-person meetings are becoming somewhat old-fashioned as more businesses are embracing virtual communication more and more. Online meetings and group chats can save you time and ensure that everyone remembers important details of discussions by providing a written log of meeting notes in real-time. 

Integrate communications with partners and vendors. 

How you communicate with the outside world is just as important as how you communicate with each other. By investing in a communication platform with vendors, service providers, and partners, you can ensure that important information is relayed and your ground floor employees aren’t left without proper resources to perform at their best. 

MaintenX offers a streamlined communication platform to help you manage service requests and preventative maintenance with ease. We make it simple for your employees to put in requests for service and for you to schedule upgrades, renovations, and annual maintenance on a schedule that works for you. To learn more about how we manage communications using our automated work order management system, contact your local MaintenX today. 


Core MaintenX Values That Make Our Service Stand Out

MaintenX is one of the nation’s top total facility repair companies. With over 40 years in business, we’ve built a reputation for excellence that stems from our contractors and their skilled technical work. However, it’s more than a job well done that makes MaintenX the top preventative and corrective repair team across the U.S. Our brand is about integrity, and about keeping your business afloat in times of struggle. 


MaintenX trains each of our employees to follow these company principles, and through this we are able to create a cohesive, positive work environment. This is what we’re all about, and what makes MaintenX so popular among customers in retail, restaurant, medical, manufacturing, and all other industries: 


Empowerment to Improve

MaintenX is built from a nationwide network of self-performing technicians, subcontractors, and strategic partnerships in key areas. We believe in empowering this network with all of the tools and resources they need to improve upon their work every day, while enjoying the freedom and meaning that comes with subcontractor work. Our teams are highly trained and valued within the MaintenX network, which makes them even more enthusiastic to be your service providers.


Customer Service First

At MaintenX, we prioritize work order and account management because that’s what makes the customer service experience a pleasure. From the moment you call us, we track your work order request and dispatch to ensure your service is facilitated by the MaintenX team with ease. If you have issues, the customer service support is here to help you resolve them with your MaintenX technician onsite or with another MaintenX representative. And, we take in all of your feedback to ensure that the technicians who do a stellar job are rewarded, and service improvements can happen when needed. We go the extra mile to ensure our customers never have to look elsewhere for quality commercial repairs. 


Thinking Ahead

During an emergency repair, all you think about as the facility manager is right now. You want your A/C mixed, your plumbing backup resolved, or your roofing repaired so you can go back to business. However, our MaintenX technicians are trained to think about your future as well. We fix your immediate problems, but also work on preventative strategies to ensure breakdowns and accidents happen less frequently. With the help of your MaintenX team, you can improve your building’s operation capacity, and therefore your business’ good name, for years to come. 


Find out how the MaintenX brand stands out by working with us for your next repair. To schedule a consultation or talk to your local MaintenX team, contact us.

Will The Delta Variant Cause Another Chaotic Holiday Season For Retail?

In 2020, retail outlets faced a variety of challenges to accommodate holiday shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the economic issues faced throughout the country, there was a record-breaking 8.3% year-over-year increase in holiday season retail sales. The seamless transition to online sales helped many companies come out of the COVID slump stronger than ever. And while it seems like life is going back to normal in many states, consumers are faced with a new dilemma: how scared should they be of the Delta variant?


Over 65% of the population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and over 50% are fully vaccinated. This means for many consumers that the risk of illness is reduced to a safe level for retail shopping, even in-store. However, there are several challenges that retail outlets will face other than a potential shortage of in-store shoppers: 


  • Staff shortages – Also known as the Great Reassessment, many retail, restaurant, and other industries are facing massive labor shortages. This is caused in many ways by the reevaluation of individuals on the careers they wish to pursue, along with the fear of being exposed to the Delta variant while at work. 


  • Supply chain disruptions – Many manufacturers are still not running at full capacity or catching up from extended closures in 2020. This is especially problematic for international supply chains, as many countries outside the US are experiencing second waves of closures. 


  • Extended shipping times – With online sales skyrocketing across the U.S. and internationally, many retail outlets will need to prepare customers for extended shipping times and higher shipping costs for rush orders. As the holiday shopping season comes closer, there will be several issues your customers have to contend with to get their packages on time, which can cause many upset customers and lost sales if you’re not careful. 


Retailers also have to resolve the practical matters of retail shopping during the pandemic. State guidelines, if any, must be followed and employees need to have safe options available to minimize exposure risk. This can be difficult depending on the size of your facility, but should be at the forefront of your mind before the holiday rush begins. 


While retail outlets are under stress this year, they are also given a prime opportunity to capitalize on a growing economy and consumers’ enthusiasm for a return to normalcy during the holidays. If facility managers are able to keep a close eye on operational issues and put safety first for both consumers and employees, they can expect to have a very successful holiday season. 


To learn ways you can prepare your retail facility with proper preventative care before the holidays, contact us. 

Investing in New Infrastructure vs. Maintenance for School Campuses

School districts are facing a multitude of problems across the country in the wake of COVID-19. Mask requirements, online learning, and an ever-increasingly smaller budget are putting pressure on many school boards to cut costs wherever possible. And, far too often those funds are being cut from maintenance and new infrastructure budgets to fund seemingly more urgent programs. 


This is understandable from the school board and taxpayer’s perspective. Maintenance is already a low priority, and even more so when many parents are opting to do online learning while the school structure remains uncertain. However, this poses a critical opportunity for schools to renovate and maintain the buildings that desperately need the extra TLC.


In 2013, a study of U.S. K-12 schools suggested that it would take over $270B to renovate existing schools across the country to their original condition, or up to $542B to rebuild and modernize these same buildings. Unfortunately, not even the $270B benchmarks were met, as school maintenance budgets are typically slashed rather than raised each year. Now, nearly 10 years later, our schools are struggling to introduce new technologies to their classrooms, let alone find the budgets for modernizing classrooms to meet educational standards. The problem only gets worse with each passing year, and the schools are running out of time to change. 


However, we believe now is a prime opportunity for many schools to start rebuilding and investing in modern infrastructure for their campuses. As online earning increases its reach and efficiency, more students are able to take a break from campus and continue with their studies. With fewer students on campus and fewer resources needed for lessons and assignments (as even in-class learning has an integral online component in most cases), there is a golden opportunity for school districts to take advantage. 


The question now is whether or not the school districts will do so, or if their hard-pressed budget will remain locked down with lower maintenance budgets each year. At MaintenX, we encourage preventative maintenance services for school campuses to help reduce long-term costs. These preventative care services, coupled with new construction projects, can help schools turn this decade into one of incredible progress. 


There is no question that campuses, teachers, and students are struggling right now. However, MaintenX has faith in our communities to take these challenges and turn them into opportunities for the future. 

The Importance of Infrastructure Maintenance

For the most part, we take infrastructure for granted. The structures that support our livelihoods and lifestyles are expected to run, but very rarely do we think about the maintenance that is required to do so. MaintenX understands this better than most. We see so many buildings that are on the edge of disaster because the infrastructures are not cared for on a regular basis. 


Your business’ facility is essential to your long-term success. By investing in the maintenance of your building (or in public works as it relates to local governing agencies), you can improve your own business and the community at large. Here’s why:


Infrastructure provides economic opportunities for rural areas. 

Increasing access to urban communities from rural areas can increase economic development in those areas. Good roads and new buildings can make it easier for smaller communities to attract economic opportunities, as well as bolster existing ones. Infrastructure that provides reliable electricity and internet can also improve the quality of life and economic opportunity for those in rural areas.


Infrastructure maintenance lowers costs for facility owners and renters.

By failing to provide adequate maintenance to existing infrastructure, the costs only surmount. Costlier repairs and complete rebuilds will eventually become necessary, and the costs trickle down to facility renters. This is equally problematic for public works, where the cost of poor maintenance is passed onto residents.


Infrastructure maintenance leads to increased productivity. 

When infrastructures such as electricity, fiber optics, and buildings themselves are not maintained, they often put the burden on facility renters to come up with temporary solutions. Investing in temporary solutions such as backup generators and waste disposal takes away capital that could be used for innovation. By keeping up with infrastructure maintenance, businesses can invest greater into the future rather than cleaning up the past. 


Public and private infrastructure is key to economic development for communities large and small. To learn more about what you can do to improve public or private infrastructure, contact us for preventative maintenance service details. 

Four Things You Didn’t Know About The MaintenX Team

If you’ve called MaintenX in the past, it’s likely because you had an emergency repair that needed attendance immediately. We are known for our emergency repair and preventative care services, but what makes us stand out from other contractor networks is our exceptional customer service. We build genuine relationships with our clients to provide them not just great service, but peace of mind whenever they call. It is through these relationships that we are able to achieve long-lasting savings through preventative care.


What goes on behind the scenes is the key to our superior reputation in facility maintenance. Here’s what you can come to expect when you work with the MaintenX team:


We serve over 20 states and have partnerships from coast to coast. 

MaintenX is a self-performing contractor network, which means we provide connections to top licensed technicians across each city and state. Our advanced dispatch service ensures that among our network of thousands, you’ll be matched with the closest and most experienced contractor in the area to provide your preventative care or emergency services. This network extends into every state within the continental U.S. through strategic partnerships and sub-contractor networks. When you call MaintenX, you can guarantee you’re getting the best!


We are there when our communities need it most. 

MaintenX specializes in emergency repairs and natural disaster relief including commercial repairs for hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, and more. If your commercial facility has been damaged, we provide fast and reliable service to your location ASAP. We also volunteer in the community to provide preparation services such as sand bagging and window boarding before major hurricanes. Our technicians are by your side no matter what.


We offer all-inclusive maintenance services. 

Typically when you work with a commercial maintenance team, you’ll be offered a short menu of services. Sometimes you may have to find a specialist for every type of repair, from roofing to HVAC, plumbing, and electrical. But not with MaintenX! We provide total facility repair including HVAC, plumbing, electrical, roofing, refrigeration, and handyman repairs. With one call you can schedule any service — it’s that easy!


We offer the best customer service in the industry.

What separates us apart is our advanced work-order management system, safety procedures, and dispatch team that make your experience a breeze. From the moment you put in a work order request to the time the technicians arrive, we can tell you what to expect and facilitate a quick and seamless service. Our technicians are also trained in the highest standards of safety training (SafetyX), which ensures your work will be done effectively and without any onsite accidents. Our goal is excellence in every service — that’s why MaintenX is the place to call for all of your facility repairs! 


Curb to roof and coast to coast, MaintenX is the place for all of your commercial maintenance needs. Contact us today to learn more!

How To Plan A Safe Company Fourth of July Celebration

Independence Day is one of the most important holidays we celebrate in America. It is a day to commemorate the lives that we lost in honor of freedom, and to celebrate everything that makes our country a great place to live. However, with COVID-19 precautions still in place, you may want to celebrate a little differently this year. 


Whether you’re planning a customer appreciation celebration or a company picnic, the Fourth of July is a great time to celebrate while social distancing, but you have to be safe. Below are some tips from the MaintenX team to make this Fourth of July fun and safe at your company: 


Celebrate outdoors to encourage safe social distancing

While the CDC has lifted many of the precautionary advisements for indoor gatherings, it is still best to celebrate outside when in large groups. This gives everyone the opportunity to celebrate safely while social distancing. If you live in a particularly hot climate, be sure to provide plenty of shade and water for the comfort of attendees. 


Schedule a landscaping service before the big party.

If you do decide to celebrate outdoors for the Fourth of July, it’s important to make sure your outdoor facilities can handle the party. Schedule a landscaping maintenance service a week or so in advance to ensure your facility is in tip-top shape. Your MaintenX technicians can trim the foliage, inspect hardscape, and even perform checks on your outdoor HVAC units to ensure you can stay cool and have fun outside this Independence Day. 


Skip the DIY fireworks

In some states, you are allowed to purchase small fireworks for residential use. However, the use of these products varies from state to state on commercial property, and are typically not safe in large group settings. Instead, schedule your celebration for the evening so you can watch the city fireworks from your location. 


MaintenX is proud to serve American businesses with quality preventative maintenance and installation services. We wish you a happy Fourth of July, and hope you’ll choose us for all of your commercial maintenance needs!

Practical Father’s Day Gifts For The At-Home Mechanic

At MaintenX, we appreciate all of the staff who work hard to help our clients keep their doors open. From curb to roof, we maintain commercial facilities with the help of a stellar technician crew spanning 13 states and hundreds of cities across the U.S. Many of us are fathers and mothers, and we’d like to give special thanks to all the Dads who are a part of making MaintenX a great place to work. 


If your father or husband is an electrician, plumber, HVAC technician, roofer, or repairman, consider these four gifts for Father’s Day 2021: 


A repairman’s tumbler

Maintenance technicians are often up before everyone else and go home after everyone else to get the job done. MaintenX covers emergency repairs, which can happen at any time of the day, and we depend on our faithful technicians to answer the call whenever it comes. If you want to help your Dad stay caffeinated and happy throughout the day, consider getting him a custom mechanic’s tumbler or to-go coffee mug for his daily commute. 


Try this one on Amazon


Wire stripping multi-tool knife

Pocket knives are a must-have for electricians. Most of our electricians carry one on their toolbelt, but your Dad would love a custom one that has a special engraving or print. Many online retailers sell special knives for electricians that come in a variety of designs. 


Try this one on Amazon


Flashlight gloves

Whether you’re climbing under a building to fix plumbing or inspecting an air vent, our maintenance techs need plenty of light to see in these tight, cramped spaces. Flashlight gloves are a great solution for these circumstances and can also help protect your dad’s hands while he’s working.  It’s a go-to gift for any plumber or HVAC technician. 


Try this one on Amazon


T-shirts for the HVAC tech, plumber, or electrician

Everyone appreciates a good Dad joke, especially when in t-shirt form. If your Dad is the type to look for things to fix around the house, it might seem like he never leaves work behind. Help him feel proud of his handiwork with a t-shirt that shows how much he loves his job because he is making a difference every day. 


Try this one on Amazon


A Message to the MaintenX Dads

We want to thank all of the Dads who work at MaintenX for giving their all to our mission to help businesses thrive. Every day you show up to work, you’re making a difference in the lives of business owners in your community, and for that, we appreciate you! Happy Father’s Day from your MaintenX family, and thank you for all that you do.