How To Keep Your Grass Green in The Summertime

In Florida, where MaintenX is headquartered, many of our clients struggle to keep grass green in the hottest summer months. This can also be true for those throughout the Southern United States, where high temperatures and sporadic rainfall can make grass either dry out or drown rather than thrive. It can be difficult even at home, let alone at your business where you don’t have the time to put in the yard work on your own.

While it’s best to hire a landscaping company to manage the grass for your facility, if you are a small business there are many ways you can improve the look of your grass without a professional. Below are just a few ways we help our clients keep a green lawn all year long:

Let it grow out.

One of the biggest mistakes property owners make is cutting the grass too short when they mow it. While it may look nice and clean-cut immediately after mowing, you’re likely tearing the grass out at its root in many areas. This will lead to patches of dead grass across the lawn in a few days. If you raise your mower blades by just a few inches you can help maintain healthier grass.

Install a sprinkler system.

In Florida, we experience sporadic downpours followed by days of intense heat and humidity in the summertime. If you want to avoid the drowning/dry-out cycle for your grass, install a sprinkler system to ensure your grass is watered every day. We recommend opting for a manual one to ensure you’re not overwatering on rainy days.

Water in the morning.

If you water our grass in the morning, the water is less likely to evaporate in the heat and can sink down into the soil where it needs to be. The earlier you can water, the better. In areas of intense summer heat, we recommend as early as sunrise to ensure the water soaks in and can provide for your grass all day.

Aerate the grass.

As people walk over your grass and the elements solidify the soil, it becomes more difficult for oxygen to penetrate the ground and reach the roots. Aeration is the process of loosening up the soil so that oxygen can reach the roots and provide a healthier environment for your plants. Aeration every few weeks or months can help maintain a healthy environment and doesn’t take any special equipment other than a garden rake.

MaintenX can help you with landscaping and exterior maintenance services throughout the summer. If you’re interested in what we have to offer in your area, contact your local MaintenX team today!

Three Times You Don’t Need To Call Your Maintenance Service

At MaintenX, we always want our customers to call us first for repairs and preventative maintenance on their buildings. However, we also want to save our customers as much money as possible so they can keep coming back to us year after year. We strive to provide fast and affordable service, but there are some regular maintenance tasks we believe management can handle on their own if they want to save a few bucks.

If you’re looking to cut costs in your maintenance plan, these three services are easy and safe for you to DIY:

Cleaning the gutters or outdoor HVAC units.

These may be dirty jobs, but they don’t necessarily require a professional HVAC technician or roofer to complete. Gutters can be cleaned by janitorial staff as long as they have the equipment to safely go on top of the roof. Outdoor HVAC units can typically be cleaned of leaves and dirt along with landscaping service but should be serviced for mechanical maintenance annually by your HVAC team.

Unclogging drains (the first time).

Before you call your plumber for help, there are several options you can try for a clogged drain in the restroom or commercial kitchen. We don’t recommend you ever use drain cleaning solutions as they can be corrosive, but you can make a makeshift snake with a wire hanger or other piece of long wire as a hook. For hair or food particles stuck in the drain, you can sometimes fish out the clog or break it apart this way if it is close to the surface. You can also use a plunger if the clog is relatively recent and hasn’t been building up for some time. However, if you have tried these DIY measures and are still having a slow-draining sink or toilet, call a licensed plumber for help.

Paint interior rooms.

Unless you have unusually high ceilings, painting rooms within your facility should be a simple DIY project you as the owner or manager can do yourself. Painting only requires a few tools and a day or two of work per wall. But will save you hundreds of dollars and major headaches depending on the service available in your area. While you can hire a professional if you want to save time, this is an easy cost-saving project you can take on at your facility.

While there are plenty of other tasks you can complete on your own as a small business owner or manager, there are some areas where you should never take chances. Your HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and roofing repair are some areas where it’s always best to call a professional, even if you think you can get the repair done cheaper by someone else. When it comes to the systems that keep your business open, don’t take chances and instead call MaintenX for fast, reliable service!

Hiring a Handyman vs. a Contractor For Minor Repairs

Small businesses are always looking for ways to cut costs on operations. A more efficient piece of equipment, a simpler closing process, or a cheaper repair can all help toward keeping a burgeoning business afloat. However, there are some places where cost-cutting simply isn’t the best solution.

Hiring a handyman may be tempting if your facility needs a minor repair and they’re cheaper than calling in a specialist. A friend or your home handyman may be able to cut you a deal, but will that deal cost you in the long run when the repair doesn’t last?

There are some times when cheap maintenance service is the right decision and other times when it can lead to ongoing problems at your facility. Here’s how to tell which situation you’re in:

Does the service technically require licensing?

Some services – such as roofing repair, electrical maintenance, and plumbing renovation – require licensing to be legally provided by a company. If your service typically requires some sort of license to perform, you need to hire a contractor. This is especially important for commercial facilities as not hiring the right person may lead to troubles with your own permits and licensing.

Does it require special equipment?

Contractors invest in high-quality equipment to provide service that a handyman may not have on their truck. Even if the handyman is able to complete the repair, they may put themselves at risk or not be able to complete the service properly without this needed equipment.

Does the handyman list this service on their website or brochure?

Typically, a handyman will have a list of provided services that you can select from. If the service you’re looking for is not explicitly listed, you should look for a contractor to make sure the job is done right.

Was previous work done by a licensed contractor?

If you’re having trouble with your HVAC system and a previous contractor has already done work on the unit before, you should call a licensed contractor to finish the work, especially if you think something was done wrong. A handyman may not be able to accurately diagnose problems or work on a piece of equipment that has had previous faulty service. Prevent the problem from getting worse by hiring the right help.

MaintenX helps small businesses find affordable and quality work for HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and roofing repair across the U.S. If you need work done by a specialist, contact us to connect with the best subcontractor network in the U.S.

Understanding Commercial Restroom Maintenance

Contrary to what you may believe, your restroom is likely the most visited place within your entire facility. While your floor plan or office rooms may seem like the most important spaces because they are where work gets done, the restroom is a safe place for people to retreat, relieve themselves, and find solace after a long day of work.

Restrooms aren’t solely a place for relief and handwashing. They’re a place for people to find a quiet moment during a busy day. They offer privacy to change clothes or take a phone call, and mirrors for one to reapply makeup or wash their face after a long workday. Restrooms also make a very clear impression to customers about how you handle your facility. If the restroom is dirty, they will likely assume you don’t take pride in your business or your work.

To understand your restroom maintenance plan, you need to think about all of these elements of restroom use. Ask yourself these questions to determine if your restroom maintenance plan is up to par:

  • Is there bright lighting for people to feel safe and be able to check themselves in the mirror?
  • Are the stalls spacious enough for comfortable use?
  • Are the floors clean enough for someone who needs to take off their shoes to change?
  • Are the mirrors clean when someone checks themselves in one?
  • Are the faucets leaking and causing a mess?
  • Are the paint colors and decor calming and inviting, or are they cold and harsh?
  • Are there enough stalls to prevent a line (except during especially busy times)?

If your restroom does not meet all of these standards, you may think about remodeling to ensure it provides a comforting experience for both guests and employees.

MaintenX offers restroom remodeling, maintenance, and repair services to businesses across the U.S. If you’re interested in learning more about ways you can improve your restroom experience, contact us or visit our Resource Center.

Top Three Maintenance Issues That Drive Customers Away

For most small businesses, appearances are everything. The way your building is presented makes just as much of an impression on the customer as the quality of products and services. This is true for any business, whether you’re a retail or restaurant space, medical facility, or industrial complex. To make a great impression on clients, it’s important that your building is clean and in peak working condition every day. However, maintenance issues can easily get in the way of this goal.

Below are the top three maintenance issues that customers will automatically notice, and how you can prevent them from ruining your reputation.

Leaks in the restroom.

Restrooms are a critical part of your building’s operation. They often serve as a representation of how you operate your facility – if it is clean and tidy, your clients will know you take pride in your building. However, if the restroom is dirty, low stocked, or has leaking faucets, they will know you aren’t interested in maintaining a clean appearance. Don’t let something as simple as a faucet leak ruin your reputation with a customer. Call your MaintenX plumber instead to fix the leak the same day.

An overworked HVAC system.

In Tampa, Florida, where MaintenX is headquartered, many of our clients struggle to keep up with the A/C in the summertime. If they have an older or outdated system, they may have to run the A/C to keep the building cool at all, and it is typically still noticeably warm to customers. On a hot day, the last thing your customers want is to walk into a hot building. Make sure you schedule regular HVAC preventative care services to maximize your HVAC system’s performance.

Dirty flooring.

You may think that floor cleaning can be put on the back burner because it’s not at eye level to your customers, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. It doesn’t matter what type of flooring you have – carpet, hardwood, marble, or basic tile – customers will notice if it is scuffed or stained in any way. Investing in daily cleaning as well as a high-quality floor installation can ensure your building looks presentable to customers.

MaintenX offers preventative maintenance, repair, and installation services for businesses across the U.S. If you are looking for ways to improve the customer experience, talk to your MaintenX team about a preventative maintenance program that can improve efficiency and performance across the board.

Ask A Plumber: Five Most Frequently Asked Questions

When managing a commercial site, plumbing maintenance is one service you don’t want to skip. The plumbing system at a commercial site is not only responsible for sanitation but can be essential for services in medicine, hospitality, and the food service industry. Finding the right commercial plumber for your facility should be first on the list for creating your maintenance team. 

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about commercial maintenance service, and what you need to know to get it right for your building: 

Is commercial and residential plumbing similar?

Residential and commercial plumbers go through similar training, but their qualifications are not the same. Both go through a technical school or apprenticeship program but commercial plumbers must complete additional training and become certified specifically for commercial systems. All work done at your commercial site should be done by a commercial plumber as opposed to your favorite local technician. 

How often should I schedule plumbing inspections?

Before remodeling or new construction work is done. You should also schedule a preventative maintenance check approximately every two years to catch maintenance issues early and to adjust your preventative care plan as equipment changes over time. 

Where can I find a commercial plumber? 

Many commercial plumbers work with a facility maintenance company that handles the dispatch and communications with the client. This gives you access not only to the best plumbers, but electricians, HVAC technicians, roofers, and other service specialists who can keep your facility in tip-top shape. 

What should I expect from my commercial plumbing contractor?

Most commercial plumbing contractors provide plumbing and pipework repairs, installations, remodeling, hot and cold water service, hydro jetting, backflow testing, and many other services for your commercial facility. Most top-rated contractors will also provide preventative maintenance services to prevent damage and emergency repairs on your plumbing system. 

Can I do basic cleaning and maintenance without a plumber?

Some on-site managers would prefer to do basic tasks like drain cleaning and the replacement of fixtures by themselves, but there are several reasons why you shouldn’t. Some plumbing cleaners, like caustic cleaning solutions, will do more harm than good if repeatedly used over time. Other seemingly simple tasks like replacing faucets and fixing leaks can not only go poorly if done the DIY method but can cause troubles with your permits and licensing come inspection time. 

MaintenX works with top plumbing contractors across the country to provide you with the best service in your area. If you’d like to learn more about your plumbing options with MaintenX, contact us today!

Three Things Your Plumber Wants You To Stop Doing at Your Business

Plumbing is one of the most essential systems for any commercial facility. Whether you’re operating a commercial kitchen or medical center, proper plumbing care ensures your employees and guests are in a healthy and clean environment. However, there are still plenty of mistakes we see clients make when it comes to their plumbing care. 

 

Below are three common plumbing mistakes we often see, and what you can do to avoid making them: 

 

Washing anything and everything down the drain.

We see this most often in commercial kitchens, but it can happen in restrooms or industrial facilities as well. Commercial plumbing is not bullet-proof and will corrode or clog over time if the wrong things go down it. Avoid flushing or washing large pieces of waste like food, grease, non-flushable paper products, or any other solid object down your drain as often as possible. This will prevent clogs and backups later down the time, which are much more burdensome than fishing food out of your sink. 

 

Using DIY drain cleaners. 

Drain cleaning chemicals are incredibly harsh and corrosive and will lead to plumbing problems down the line. While they will work, it is much safer for you to call your plumber for a snaking or hydro-jetting service when a severe clog is found. For smaller clogs, use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar rather than chemical cleaners.

 

Skipping preventative care. 

Commercial facilities put a lot more pressure on the plumbing system than you do at your home. This is especially true for foodservice, healthcare, and industrial facilities where water is used all day long. Sit down with your MaintenX plumber to discuss a preventative care schedule that works for you. Simple maintenance steps like drain cleaning can help you prevent plumbing disasters and keep our system in good shape for decades. 

 

MaintenX is happy to answer all of your plumbing questions or provide service for your local business. To learn more about our plumbing preventative maintenance, contact your local MaintenX today!

Five Tips for Designing a More Elegant Commercial Bathroom

As a customer in any other business, you know how much of an impression restroom facilities can make. A spacious, well-designed bathroom can make your entire experience feel more relaxed and comfortable, while a dull, crowded, and messy bathroom can make a facility feel cheaper. However, this real-world experience often doesn’t translate when property owners design their own restrooms. 

 

If you want your facility to provide comfort and impress guests, follow these five bathroom design tips for your remodel or new construction: 

 

Make it low maintenance. 

Bathroom cleanliness is the most important element for visitors. If your bathrooms are spacious and easy to clean, they will make a better impression and keep janitorial costs to a minimum. Wider stalls make cleaning in crevices much easier, and simplistic fixtures can ensure your nightly cleaning is fast and simple. 

 

Prioritize privacy. 

Privacy for guests is a top concern as well, so be sure to design your stalls to minimize visibility. Choose doors with very little space at the hinges, and install durable locks that won’t break or cause problems when shutting. 

 

Choose soft lighting and colors. 

Most commercial bathrooms use blue fluorescent lighting and white walls, which can make your bathroom feel harsh and uninviting. Instead, choose soft grays and beige tones and pair them with warmer lighting to make your bathroom feel relaxed and inviting. Pair these colors with warm-toned stalls to amplify the style and create a modern, sleek style. 

 

Don’t sacrifice space for occupancy. 

A high-occupancy bathroom is important for larger facilities, but you shouldn’t sacrifice space for more stalls. A crowded line can make patrons frustrated and may even prompt them to leave early, so make sure your bathroom has plenty of space for hand washing and waiting in line. 

 

Add color and texture. 

While walls aren’t the only turn-off for commercial bathroom styles. Wall-to-wall color can make a bathroom feel claustrophobic, especially if space is limited. Add variation in color and texture, and don’t be afraid to add simple designs or novel materials such as tile and wood-like vinyl to your bathrooms to give them an appealing style. 

 

MaintenX offers bathroom remodeling and construction services including plumbing, flooring, and electrical installation. To learn more about how MaintenX can help you design the ideal bathroom space, contact us today!

Five Commercial Plumbing Terms You Need To Know

When you’re working with a plumber on your commercial site, chances are you’re in a stressful situation. Plumbing emergencies are some of the worst to deal with, and even preventative repairs can take up a lot of time and slow down your business operations. This headache becomes especially painful when during your consultation, you can’t understand a word of the technician’s terminology. 

 

As for maintenance experts, we sometimes forget what our analysis must sound like to clients. So, to help you bridge some of the knowledge gaps, these are common plumbing terms you need to know as you work on repairs at your facility: 

 

Backflow 

Backflow is the wastewater that travels back into the main plumbing after someone uses a drain. When water backs up, it can cause damage or even cause the drain to overflow, becoming an emergency repair. We offer backflow testing for all commercial facilities to ensure their pipes are in good working order and that minor repairs are caught early. 

 

Hydro-jetting

At home, you likely clean your pipes with a snake or chemical drain cleaner, but commercial facilities often use hydro-jetting as a more efficient and safer way to break up blockages. Hydro-jetting uses pressurized water to clear tree roots, clogs, and other debris from the pipes, minimizing the risk of corrosion due to chemical cleaners.

 

GPM

Gallons per minute (GPM) is the term used for the measurement of the amount of water an appliance typically uses. Low-flow faucets and toilets have a lower GPM rating, which makes them more efficient for your facility. 

 

PPM

Parts per million (PPM) is the concentration of chemicals found in a water system. This can help analyze the safety of the water for drinking, cooking, or industrial use, as well as the toxicity of the wastewater at your facility. 

 

Burst pressure 

Burst pressure refers to the water pressure required to make a pipe burst on its own. This is typically used in a rating system to evaluate the condition of the pipes, as well as to determine when piping will need to be replaced. A lower burst pressure may indicate that hydro jetting is not a safe option for pipe cleaning as well. 

 

With this knowledge, you can have a more engaging dialogue with your plumber and make better choices for your preventative maintenance schedule. To learn more about preventative plumbing repair, visit our MaintenX resource center here.

Cost of Replacing Pipes for a Commercial Facility

In an older building, you may notice over time that your plumbing does not perform as well as it should. Whether it is experiencing frequent leaks, backups, or you notice your water bill is especially high, bad plumbing can lead to a host of difficulties as you’re trying to run a business. Fortunately, you always have the option to replace your plumbing and get it up to code. 

 

Benefits of Replacing Plumbing

You may think that repiping your entire facility is too much of a hassle, especially if you are a renter and not the owner. However, there are several key benefits that can make this extensive facility improvement project worthwhile: 

 

  • Efficient piping can help reduce water consumption
  • Pipes are less likely to back up, crack, or burst 
  • You can reinsulate piping to protect it from freezing temperatures
  • New plumbing can give you new options for restroom design, water usage, and more

 

The Cost of Replacing Plumbing

Most plumbing installations cost between $1 and $5 per linear foot, plus the cost of new fixtures and accessories. New construction typically costs more than replacing old pipes, but you should talk to your MaintenX contractor about exact estimates before planning your renovation. They can help you choose energy-efficient plumbing and fixtures and help design your plumbing infrastructure for better overall performance. 

 

Call MaintenX for Help

MaintenX specializes in plumbing repair, restoration, and installation for all types of commercial facilities. We can help you replace pipes from an older building, or install more energy-efficient plumbing into a newer facility. To learn more about our plumbing services, give your local MaintenX a call today!