How To Fix Roof Ponding

Flat roofing is most common in commercial buildings because it is sturdy, affordable, and ideal for roofing options like concrete. The larger the building, the more likely it is to have a flat top roof. While these roofing systems are ideal for most conditions, they retain water much more easily than a sloped roof. With no place for rain to runoff, your roofing may begin to pond which can lead to structural water damage. 

Options to Fix Ponding ASAP

If you are struggling with ponding on your flat-top roof, you have two options to fix it: 

  • Leveling your roof – There are products you can use to level your flat roof and prevent ponding in low/sloped areas. These leveling products are great options for DIYers looking for a simple solution to a small slope on their rooftop. 
  • Installing drains – Drain systems are ideal for flat roofs because they prevent ponding every single time it rains. These act similarly to the way a gutter does on a sloped roof and will ensure any low spots on the roof don’t develop ponding. 

When To Call A Professional For Help

Ponding can lead to structural issues such as ceiling staining, mold and mildew growth, and long-term water damage that can compromise the health and safety of your building. If this has happened as a result of ponding, you need to contact your MaintenX roofing contractor immediately. 

The MaintenX team can help you repair the water damage and renovate your roof to prevent future ponding issues. We also offer preventative maintenance services for roofing to ensure you don’t experience any issues due to water damage. 

If you’re interested in investing more in your roofing care, contact your local MaintenX today! We are happy to go over preventative care options tailored to your business needs. 

The Pros and Cons of Overlay vs. Tear-off Re-Roofing

When renovating a commercial or residential roof, you have more than one option depending on what is being used to replace your existing roof. Most property owners assume you must remove the roof entirely before adding new shingles or tiles, but this is not always the case. In many instances you can overlay, or “re-roof” your building without taking off the existing shingles, saving both time and money. 

Meet with your contractor to discuss the pros and cons of re-roofing vs. tearing off the existing roof before you begin your remodel: 

Reroofing is considerably less expensive. 

The labor cost of tearing off the existing roof will be comparable to installing the new shingles, so a simple overlay can cut your remodeling bill almost in half if you go this route. 

Reroofing reduces waste.

If you decide not to tear off the existing roof, there is considerably less cleanup and waste sent to the landfill afterward. The old roofing can also provide additional insulation, making it a practical “upcycle” for roofing that is no longer aesthetically pleasing or fully effective. 

Reroofing won’t last as long. 

While it is cheaper to overlay in the beginning, it may be more expensive long-term because the new roofing won’t last as long. The first layer of shingles may last 20 to 25 years, but the second layer will only last 15-20 even with proper care. 

Reroofing makes inspections and later renovations more difficult.

Repairs and inspections become much more difficult when you’re dealing with two layers of shingles instead of one. And, because the overlay won’t last as long the second time when the roof needs to be remodeled again, it will be significantly more expensive to take off both layers of shingles and start over. 

Reroofing is safer during the summer.

Reroofing makes it easier to cope with summer storms because your building won’t be exposed while the original roof is being torn off. During a tear-off installation, the flashing and interior may be at risk of water damage.

Weight and wind may be a problem with overlays. 

An overlay may be simpler, but the added weight can cause stress on the underlying structure. The additional layers of shingles may also be more likely to come up during high winds than a roof that is directly installed on the foundation. 

Not all roofing can be overlaid. 

Tile, slate, and wood shakes require tear-off installations, as will any shingle roof that has significant damage. Before you count on an overlay installation, ask your contractor about your available options. 

MaintenX can help you make the most of your roofing remodeling project and future maintenance needs! To learn more about our roofing services, contact your local MaintenX roofing team today. 

What Is Included In a Preventative Maintenance Plan?

At MaintenX we talk a lot about preventative maintenance (PM) planning, but many of our clients confuse this for the list of manufacturer recommendations for their assets. While manufacturer recommendations are a great guide, they do not comprise even half of what is necessary for an effective PM strategy. 

Below are the five elements you need in order to have an effective PM program for your electrical, plumbing, roofing, and HVAC systems: 

A schedule for cleaning and inspections

Your manufacturer recommendations will likely help you with the bulk of this schedule. Skipping cleaning or tune-ups on major appliances can affect your system performance, so be sure to make a plan and stick to it. 

A CMMS software

A computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) is essential for keeping track of maintenance history, service requests, technician notes, and more. If you’re still relying on a simple paper trail for all of your maintenance history, you’ll never be able to improve your processes over time. Digitalizing the process makes for a more efficient maintenance scheduling process. 

A long-term plan

Your cleaning and inspection schedule comprises your short-term plan, but how do you plan to adjust for building aging, changes in maintenance technologies, and performance changes as your equipment becomes outdated? By planning for maintenance five and ten years down the road, you can better shape your building for long-term efficiency. 

A budget for renovations and upgrades

You don’t want to wait until a major system fails to start thinking about an upgrade. Set aside a budget for HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and roofing upgrades so that when the opportunity arises to replace equipment, you’re ready and can invest in the best options on the market. 

A sustainability plan

The world and its resources are changing rapidly, with energy becoming more expensive and environmental sustainability becoming a more common concern in building design. As your facility equipment ages, you’ll want to plan for renovations that include environmentally-sustainable design. 

These five elements create a PM program that takes your building’s future and performance into account far beyond simple appliance repair. To learn more about how you can plan for your building’s future through maintenance planning, visit our Resource Center.

What is a Gemba Walk and How Can It Help Improve Your Maintenance Plan?

Most of modern manufacturing and industrial standards come from Japan, home of the Toyota lean manufacturing and Kaizen processes. As some of the greatest innovators in manufacturing, we can learn a lot from the Japanese style of facility maintenance and how they achieve peak efficiency at all times. 

One of the ways we use this at MaintenX is by implementing the Gemba walk practice with our clients. This simple step in our preventative maintenance programs improves our own efficiency on the job as well as the overall performance of our clients’ facilities. 

What is a Gemba walk?

“Gemba” is a Japanese word that roughly translates to “the real place.” From a maintenance standpoint, we refer to this as the place where the work actually happens – on the ground floor. The point of doing a gemba walk is to connect theory and plans to practice, and see what really works on the factory floor. 

The gemba walk aims to show facility managers how their plans and solutions work in practice, and to get feedback from ground floor employees on what needs to be done from the maintenance department. A real gemba walk is planned with an open mind and will immediately create improvements in your facility maintenance program. 

What to include in your Gemba walk process?

A gemba walk is not simply a walk around your facility checking for maintenance issues or service requests from employees. It’s a planned and calculated assessment of your preventative maintenance plan as opposed to the actions proceeding on the ground floor. For a successful gemba walk, you need the following elements: 

  • A regular time and date for your planned facility walkthrough
  • A focus (for example, your spring gemba walk can focus on cost-savings, while your summer walk can be focused on employee training and handling of facility equipment)
  • A list of questions for employees and maintenance staff
  • A list of metrics you planned to achieve (for you to compare against real results on the factory floor)

However, the most important thing to keep on your gemba walk is an open mind. If you’re simply looking to confirm your plan, you’ll miss valuable information that can help you improve your facility in the long-run. The more you listen and observe, the better your gemba walk will help you to improve performance across the board. 

To learn more about lean manufacturing and PM performance, visit our Resource Center. 

 

Three Quick Tips for Improving Your Preventative Maintenance Plan

It’s difficult to strike the right balance between preventative maintenance (PM) and run-to-fail or reactive maintenance for large commercial facilities. You don’t want to implement a strictly run-to-fail program because of the enormous risk this strategy takes; however, preventative maintenance is not a simple set-it-and-forget-it strategy either. 

Many preventative maintenance strategies are determined solely by manufacturer recommendations, but your MaintenX team can help tailor your program to your assets’ unique histories and needs. Below are just three ways you can easily improve your PM strategy without starting from scratch: 

Prioritize the right way.

Are you prioritizing PM of non-critical over critical equipment because it’s older or has more problems? Or, are you simply avoiding rearranging your PM schedule and following a list? If so, you’re not doing your building or your maintenance team any favors. Prioritization is the most critical step to making your PM plan work, so go over it with your maintenance technicians to ensure you’re getting the most important work done first. 

Invest in a CMMS software.

A computerized maintenance management software can help you keep track of your assets’ maintenance history, service requests, technician notes, and much more. Without one you’ll likely be fixing the same problems over and over with no information on the root cause. CMMS programs can also ensure that routine maintenance requests don’t fall through the cracks and inconvenience your employees or tenants. 

Review frequency of PM tasks.

Oftentimes, we see facility managers either overscheduling or underscheduling their PM tasks without any real understanding of why they’re doing so. It’s often the case of “that’s what we’ve always done,” rather than a clear understanding of the needs of the asset and its maintenance schedule. If you’re looking to save on maintenance costs and avoid unexpected breakdowns, review this schedule with your maintenance technicians as well. 

MaintenX can help you refine your PM strategy for better asset performance across the board. To learn more about our PM services or to schedule an onsite consultation, contact us today!

 

Rethinking Your Office Space Design for 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic changed more than our health protocols throughout 2020 and 2021. The already shifting workforce was suddenly thrust into a purely tech-driven world, where remote working digital efficiency was paramount even for the most traditional brick and mortar businesses. Everyone from retailers to medical facilities and even restaurants switched to digital shopping and work experiences, with some deciding to never look back. 

Now, it’s not uncommon at all for employees to work 100% from home or have hybrid office spaces where coming into the office is optional. The need for desk space is becoming less and less common, especially with the increasing efficiency of mobile devices for work. 

In this rapidly changing office world, how will your business keep up?

MaintenX has seen this change coming for a while, and the past two years have truly pushed the modern office revolution to its max. We have a few recommendations for businesses as they embrace this transformation to create a simpler, more tech-friendly workplace. 

Create healthy, safe spaces.

Even with many states going back to pre-pandemic health regulations, many professionals are still taking precautions on their own to avoid COVID-19 risks. As you invite workers back to the office, making social distancing an easy option is paramount. Open office spaces set up for smaller groups to congregate are becoming much more popular than the cramped office spaces and large conference rooms of the past. Instead of traditional office spaces, add more home-like furniture such as comfortable recliners and small desk spaces to encourage small group collaboration and social-distanced working when needed. 

Connect to nature.

So many of us spent the better half of the past two years cooped up inside. As restrictions on outdoor events are lifted, people are craving connection to nature and the ability to enjoy sunshine and fresh air again. You can meet this need in the workplace by adding larger windows, houseplants, and outdoor break spaces such as courtyards to your building design. 

This is about light and sound.

The pandemic pushed many people to work from home, which has unique comforts that many workers want to bring back with them to the office. Traditional noisy offices can be redesigned to offer quiet, comfortable spaces that resemble the home office more closely. Warm lighting, spaced out offices, and soothing ambient sounds instead of the office radio can help your more introverted employees enjoy the transition back to in-person working rather than dreading it. 

This year offers opportunities for us to modernize the work environment and make it actually work for employees. Rather than going “back to business” you can decide for yourself what you want your office space to be in 2022. 

However, no matter how you redesign your office, you’ll always need to go back to basics with your preventative care and renovations. For the care your building needs to stay up-to-date, choose MaintenX for your maintenance needs. 

5 Ways Your Building Can Improve Indoor Air Quality

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, people have become much more concerned about indoor air quality. Since the virus most easily spreads in indoor settings, many business owners are doing their part to ensure a clean, well-ventilated area for patrons and staff to enjoy. This change in perspective has created positive change for building maintenance across the board. 

If you’re looking for ways to improve your indoor air quality, either for the pandemic or for the general health of your staff, there are a few simple ways you can implement today:

Clean daily.

Dusting, cleaning bathrooms, and removing moisture from bathrooms are essential parts of maintaining indoor air quality. Not only does this make your facility a healthier place to work, but it can reduce the likelihood of mold and other indoor air contaminants building up and releasing particles into the air. 

Let in fresh air.

While it may seem normal to keep the windows shut at a large facility, smaller businesses can improve indoor air quality by opening the windows on days when it’s not too hot or cold outside. This is also a good idea on deep cleaning days. You can let fresh air in and chemical-heavy air out which reduces the likelihood of reactions from potent cleaner smells. 

Change air filters on schedule.

Air filters are easy to forget because you only need to change them once per month. However, by adding this to your calendar you can improve indoor air quality by ensuring you’re not circulating dirt and dust trapped in the air ducts. 

Invest in HVAC preventative care.

A properly working HVAC system is the best remedy for indoor air quality. An HVAC system that can properly ventilate and perform without overwork will do most of the filtration and purification you need, even for large commercial kitchens or industrial facilities. The right preventative maintenance plan can also help you maintain comfortable temperatures in the height of summer and decrease energy costs by ensuring your HVAC units aren’t overworking. 

MaintenX wants to help you improve your building’s indoor air quality through regular preventative care. To learn more about our preventative care programs, contact your local MaintenX team today!

 

How To Use Root Cause Analysis in Your Maintenance Program

Let’s take a moment to imagine a typical day on the job. You’re in the middle of a daily facility inspection when you notice something is up with your outdoor HVAC unit. You hear an unusual noise, which falls in line with some minor performance issues you’ve had recently. The unit seems to be running at full capacity during the day, but it’s not quite reaching your set temperature by midday. You call your maintenance team to schedule a consultation for the following day, and the technician says they’ve fixed the problem by that afternoon. 

Fast forward a month, and you’re running into similar issues with the same unit. You’re still hearing that noise, and even though the temperature inside improved for a few days, now it’s back to cooling inefficiently. When something like this happens, it’s likely because the technician fixed the symptom of the issue, but not the root cause. 

Root cause analysis (RCA) in maintenance is the range of practices and tools used to diagnose maintenance issues and reduce the likelihood of repeated issues within your main systems. If you want to implement root cause analysis in your maintenance program, you need to know the three R’s and teach them to your maintenance staff as the primary method for maintenance diagnostics. 

The Three R’s of RCA

MaintenX uses the three R’s to correctly diagnose root causes of maintenance issues and improve your preventative maintenance strategies for long-term performance efficiency. The three R’s of maintenance diagnostics include:

Recognize

When your maintenance team comes out to fix an issue, they must first recognize the complaint as a symptom of an underlying issue rather than as the issue itself. A noisy HVAC unit or backed-up pipe is not the problem, but rather the symptom of a performance or handling issue of the system itself. 

Remedy

Once your team has diagnosed the root cause, they can begin remedying the issue with repairs and corrective action. Corrective action includes improved preventative care, change in the operation of the appliance to prevent issues, or other corrections to the facility maintenance program to avoid the root cause issue in the future. 

Replicate

Finally, the maintenance team will replicate this solution in other parts of the facility to ensure the same issue does not pop up in other systems or areas of the building. For example, if HVAC cleaning has been neglected, a revamping of the entire building’s preventative maintenance schedule will be necessary.

Using this process, you can better take care of your facility and stop performance issues at their source. To learn more about RCA best practices and applications in commercial facilities, visit our Resource Center for help. 

How To Reduce Your Building’s Carbon Footprint

Environmental sustainability is something we take very seriously at MaintenX. We are headquartered in sunny Florida, which is an area already experiencing the effects of climate change from rising sea levels, ocean pollution, and drastic changes in climate patterns that affect our hurricane seasons. While many of these issues are difficult to deal with, there is also a great opportunity for businesses to improve their environmental sustainability practices. 

If your business wants to take part in reducing its carbon footprint, there are several easy adjustments you can make:

Planning ahead.

It’s much easier to build sustainability into a building than it is to try and course-correct for an existing business. If you’re open/ing a new building or coming in as a new tenant, take advantage of the opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint through building materials, structures, and processes.

Purchasing energy-efficient appliances.

MaintenX helps our clients install energy-efficient HVAC systems and electrical appliances for several reasons. Not only do they reduce a buildings’ carbon footprint, but they help save you on energy costs. While the savings may seem small at first, the long-term cost reduction from energy-efficient appliances can help your business’  budget tremendously.

Taking advantage of renewable resources.

Solar panels and water recycling programs can help commercial facilities reduce energy needs by making use of what they already have. In Florida, where MaintenX is headquartered, our clients have access to nearly 14 hours of sunlight in the summertime. Buildings that take advantage of this and convert that sunlight into energy can reduce their carbon footprint and produce their own energy sustainably. 

Choose sustainable materials.

Sustainable building doesn’t have to be expensive. Many building materials are made from recycled materials, such as EPDM rubber for roofing and upcycled wood. When planning renovations for your building, these small changes can make a big difference in the carbon footprint of your project. 

Green landscaping.

Low-water landscaping can help reduce your facility’s overall energy consumption and make it easier to care for the grounds year-round. Landscaping can also help create a more wildlife-friendly ecosystem by partially restoring natural habitats and encouraging pollination of other native species in the area.

If you are ready to create change at your facility through environmental sustainability renovations, contact MaintenX today! We offer expert recommendations and installation services for eco-friendly appliances and renovations. 

Three Tips for Opening a Restaurant Smoothly

Opening a restaurant is one of the most difficult business ventures in which to succeed. The permitting and licensing process is much more complex than other business types, which means owners and project managers need to be especially attentive throughout the process. If you want a smooth opening, you need a trusted contractor and experienced staff by your side. 

As commercial maintenance and renovation experts, there are several things we’ve seen that contribute to a smooth restaurant opening for our local clients:

Find a good general contractor.

If you’re doing renovations on the building, you should take the time to find a reputable general contractor before starting. This makes the permitting process much easier, and will save you the headaches of going back and forth with the city on what is and is not required for your commercial space. A reputable general contractor will also be able to help you find excellent subcontractors for HVAC, plumbing, roofing, and electrical repairs that are needed before opening.

Get your building in perfect order before securing permits.

The licensing and permitting process is often the most frustrating for restaurant and bar owners. Even a small local establishment must go through an extensive process to meet local, state, and national requirements. We recommend getting as much of your renovation work done as possible with the right permits before beginning the licensing process for your business. 

Invest in quality equipment.

Opening a restaurant is expensive, and it may be tempting to cut corners when it comes to choosing restaurant equipment. However, we believe it’s always better to buy the equipment you want rather than buying a cheaper option and wishing you hadn’t a few weeks into opening. While you don’t need to overinvest in a small kitchen, it’s important to choose quality appliances from the get-go.

MaintenX is here to help with all of your renovation and repair needs for a new building. We specialize in the foodservice industry and can help you with a smooth transition as you open your new restaurant. To learn more about our renovation and repair services, give your local MaintenX a call today!