Florida COVID Cases Are Rising — Here’s What Your Facility Can Do To Help

The coronavirus pandemic has, in many ways, forever changed the business environment. It has put extra pressure on those who have been able to stay open to reinvent their business practices and put customer safety above all else. WHile it may have upended many brands, it has also created long-lasting positive change for employees and customers. Their safety and satisfaction are put as the first priority, and their standards have been raised. This will encourage businesses to raise the bar not only in the present, but in order to compete in this new business landscape. 

 

If you want to be at the top of your industry, this shift in mindset is paramount. Below are a few ways in which you can create a better facility environment for tenants and employees alike: 

 

Maintain proper maintenance and sanitization.

This should be the first priority for all brick and mortar businesses at this time. Your facility should be in constant cleaning mode, ensuring that the spread of germs is minimized through proper sanitization. This practice should not only be where customers can see it, but in every aspect of your facility operations. 

 

Offer up to date information on COVID.

In addition to the practical applications of sanitization practices, you can offer information for personal protection to employees and tenants. Help them understand CDC guidelines, and provide clear information on how your facility is staying safe. For example, many companies are providing COVID-19 statements that show how their facility is taking precautions for employee safety. Include this as well as general information from the CDC to your tenants and staff. 

 

Empathize with their financial situation

COVID-19 has put financial pressures on everyone, including your customers and staff. If your employees have reduced hours, or if your target market was particularly hit hard by the economic downturn, communicate and offer assistance where you can. Many federal and state programs exist to help businesses provide benefits to employees with reduced hours. You may also consider providing discounts or special offers to customers that are struggling at this time. 

 

Above all, make sure to stay healthy and safe

COVID-19 has created many struggles for businesses, but it has created even more hardships for the people. Our health and safety is of primary importance. It is up to business owners and managers to protect their community and make sound decisions with everyone’s wellbeing in mind. 

 

MaintenX is here to support you through the COVID-19 crisis. We provide maintenance services with your safety in mind, and can help you maintain a clean, germ-free work environment. To learn more about our commitment to safety and sustainability, contact us today. 

Do Your Tenants Care About Energy-Efficiency? 

When a facility manager hears the words “energy efficiency,” they think of two things: cost-savings and initial investment. It is true that most energy-efficient systems, whether they be HVAC units or solar panels, are more expensive than their traditional counterparts. However, the long-term cost analysis is favorable for those who make the switch. 

 

These may be your primary concern, but there is a third factor to consider when shopping for new commercial appliances. Your tenant satisfaction can and will be impacted by the purchasing decisions you make. So, do they care about energy efficiency? And if so, how do you know which investments will make the greatest impact?

 

Facility managers may not realize that tenants prefer energy-efficient appliances because they will save them money in their power bill. It seems like a no-brainer, but you need to think about how costs trickle down and impact your renters. AN energy efficient HVAC system will not only keep them cooler, but will help reduce their overall costs and make your commercial property more attractive. 

 

Tenants may choose your facility based on its environmental footprint as well. As more businesses focus their efforts on creating environmentally sustainable business practices, they may search for a facility that is equally committed to the same goal. When you choose energy-efficient upgrades you can use this as a sales point when trying to attract new tenants. 

 

You will also be able to rent longer if you choose modern energy efficient systems. These pieces of equipment generally have longer service lives, meaning you won’t have to invest as much in upkeep. An energy-efficient HVAC system, for example, will be able to run for many more years, and can reduce the need for repeat maintenance service requests. This affects your long-term capacity and costs for renting a commercial building. 

 

Finally, choosing energy-efficient equipment will lead to fewer interruptions and downtime for your tenants. This will keep them happy long-term and show your care for the tenant as a whole. Your choice to make a stellar commercial space will show when you are searching for tenants, and translate to higher prices later on. 

 

If you want to make your tenants happy and make the most out of your commercial facility investment, choose energy-efficiency whenever possible. If you want to learn more about practical applications and energy-efficient options, contact your local MaintenX team today!

 

Creating A Sustainable Workplace 

Sustainability is a hot topic in the business world. As our country continues to battle COVID-19, we are taking a closer look at how businesses interact with the community, and how they impact the lives of individuals. A greater concern for public health — and in a broader scope, a concern for the health of our nation and its natural resources — is sparking innovative ideas among top businesses to create more sustainable work environments that can benefit all involved. 

 

While our focus in this time is on public health sustainability, environmental sustainability is just as important. We rely on natural energy sources for almost all business operations, and care for these resources is paramount to long-term success. The term “sustainability” is not just about the environment, but our ability to create human and business structures that cooperate within the limitations of our natural environment

 

However, here are not just environmental and moral advantages to creating a sustainable work environment. These technologies can help reduce costs substantially by reducing your resource consumption and reusing what waste you create. The long-term cost benefits make it easier for many facility managers to justify the investment in sustainable technology and the implementation of eco-friendly business practices. 

 

Energy-efficient lighting, HVAC-R, and electronics

Energy-efficient appliances used to be costly, complicated, and not very powerful. However, innovations in the past few decades have made green lighting, HVAC-R and some electronics more favorable for businesses across the board. Energy-efficient lighting, for example, is now more powerful and long-lasting than traditional lighting options for commercial facilities. While they require a greater upfront cost, you can make up for this with energy savings and an increased service life.

 

Energy alternatives

Alternative energies used to only be a reality for top businesses and some brands in highly progressive states or municipalities. However, the push to go green has expanded across the country, and many states now offer incentive programs for clean energy such as wind, geothermal, solar, and nuclear power. You may even be able to find these options within your service provider, or can opt to install small solar systems at the facility itself. Talk to your MaintenX team to learn about the available energy alternatives in your area. 

 

Energy auditing

If you really want to learn about energy-efficiency and its best practices, schedule an audit for your facility. This will allow you to create a customized plan for your facility, incorporating your limitations and budget where necessary.  Energy auditing is free by some service providers and can be your first practical step towards creating a more sustainable business environment. 

 

MaintenX is committed to creating sustainable workplaces for all of our clients. We provide repairs, installations, and custom consultations for energy-efficient systems across the country. To learn more, contact your local MaintenX team today!

Five Values That Lead To Facilities Management Success 

Facilities management is equally a cultivated mindset as it is a set of practices and procedures. As the leader of your facility, you must set the tone for how your operations will be treated by employees. If you only focus on cutting corners, you’ll set your facility up for subpar work across the board. However, if you focus on the pillars of quality work in your facility maintenance, this attitude will become infections throughout the company. 

 

Proper facility maintenance aims to reduce operational errors, downtime, and onsite accidents. It also works to enhance the efficiency of the equipment onsite, as well as those who rely on that equipment. You know you’re following facility maintenance best practices if minimal maintenance service is leading to lower costs and a longer lifespan of equipment, as well as higher employee satisfaction. 

 

Here is what you should instill in our facility maintenance plan to make it fully geared toward  success: 

 

Smart planning

Scheduling maintenance services should not simply be a “by the book” decision. You want to make plans for maintenance based on a facility or piece of equipment’s history, as well as the experience of the maintenance team. When you plan your upkeep this way, you can reduce downtime from reactive maintenance services. This will also help shape your maintenance plan for the future, making it sharper each year. 

 

Accountability where it matters

All maintenance tasks should not be put in the hands of the professional maintenance technicians. For example, the equipment operator should be aware of basic maintenance tasks and complete them on a set schedule, thus reducing the need for expensive specialist calls for basic services. Cleaning, lubrication, and minor repairs can be handled by the operator or office staff to reduce downtime and expenses simultaneously. 

 

Education and training

Education and training is the first step toward progress in any field. If you want your staff to understand the importance of maintenance request reporting and basic preventative care, they must be properly trained. They will not only better understand the role of facility maintenance in total productivity, but will be able to reduce costs by performing basic maintenance on everyday equipment and appliances. 

 

Quality over efficiency

If your maintenance team is to be truly efficient, they must be able to identify the root causes of problems before they manifest into expensive repairs. They must understand that a total repair is better than a quick fix, and be encouraged to take their time in providing a great service. If you push your maintenance team to cut costs and time, you will not achieve the results you truly want. 

 

An employee-first approach

Employee safety and health is paramount to a productive facility. It is why you do facility maintenance programs in the first place. By looking for the maintenance problems that affect employee safety, health, and productivity first, you can identify the true problems that are holding your company back. 

 

This comprehensive facilities maintenance approach will help you achieve long-lasting results for your facility and company. To learn more about comprehensive maintenance services and preventative care for commercial facilities, contact us today! 

 

Don’t Get Caught Greenwashing — Work Sustainably Instead

Environmental sustainability is something all businesses should strive for in their practices. Choosing to create green products or sustainable solutions not only helps your consumer, but helps your company distinguish itself from competitors. However, in this pursuit there is an increasingly common practice, known as greenwashing, which accomplishes none of the real goals of business’ environmental consciousness. 

 

“Greenwashing” is when a company makes general claims about their business’ or product’s environmental sustainability which are exaggerated or not true. By inflating their green practices, they reap the benefits of marketing as a sustainable brand without actually making the environmental impact that customers believe they are. This is an unfair and misleading marketing tactic that hurts not only customers, but the business and the environment itself.

 

Companies that are truly committed to environmental sustainability will take the steps necessary to make real change at their facilities. Below are just a couple of ways you can ensure you’re really making an environmental impact, and not just greenwashing to customers:  

 

Incorporate environmental sustainability into your mission. 

Any company can make the choice to incorporate green practices into the core of their brand mission. No matter what product or industry you’re competing in, you can make environmental sustainability or eco-friendly design a part of your goals. Even if your company is not focused on green technology, you can make the choice to reduce your environmental impact in business operations, charitable giving, and much more. 

 

Look for the small ways to change. 

Environmental sustainability starts small. For example, you can choose a biodegradable packaging for your products rather than a plastic to reduce your environmental footprint. You can start by reducing your paper waste, or by organizing a company fundraiser every year to help a local environmental protection group. You don’t have to go big to make a real impact — and market yourself as a green company — as long as you are honest about your intentions.

 

Be specific in your promises to customers. 

One method that is common for companies to “greenwash” is by generalizing their environmental claims. For example, they may call a product eco-friendly, but have no evidence to back it up. If you truly want to help you customers make a better buying decision, list the ways in which your product is environmentally-friendly. Examples include:

 

  • Reduced waste packaging
  • Using natural or organic ingredients
  • Sourcing materials from organic or sustainable farms
  • Reducing or eliminating plastic and non-biodegradable materials in the product itself
  • Using renewable energy sources in your facility operations
  • Designing an energy-efficient model of a product

 

Never lie by omission. 

This is an especially troubling greenwashing practice because it is so common, and so hard to see. Companies often make claims about the one way in which their product or service is sustainable, but fail to recognize the many ways in which it isn’t. The best way to avoid this is by constantly reviewing your environmental practices, and owning up to the mistakes of the past. You won’t get everything right the first time, but by showing customers how you’ve evolved to become a more sustainable company, you are exemplifying true transparency. 

 

MaintenX wants to help all of our clients create more sustainable and green work environments. To learn more about ways you can create a more energy-efficient facility, contact us. 

Janitorial Services And COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way all small businesses operate. From day-to-day operational practices to long-term sustainable planning, we see the world differently and are planning for the future differently. One of the biggest changes commercial facilities have seen is in their janitorial staffing and procedures. Businesses are prioritizing cleaning and maintenance above all else to reduce the chance of exposure to COVID-19 for their employees and customers. 

 

This reframing of priorities is both a day-to-day change and a long-term sustainable solution for many businesses. Customers are more aware of local business’ health standards, and are more concerned of these when they step foot into a facility or office space. A higher demand from janitorial staff has been set forth, and it’s time for facilities to incorporate this into their strategic planning. 

 

While many facilities are doing this just fine, there are some key takeaways from the coronavirus scare that facility managers should learn from. This is what we encourage all facility managers to do to ensure their janitorial programs are meeting higher standards: 

 

Prioritize maintenance worker health.

Make sure your maintenance workers are in good health and follow proper protocol in their janitorial duties. Excessive cleaning and sanitization will not be effective if your maintenance staff is overworked, or if they are not being tested regularly for the virus. Checking temperatures and sanitizing hands should be a top priority for everyone on your staff, but especially for your janitorial team. 

 

Increase your janitorial budget.

It is no surprise that your facility is going through more cleaning products than usual. It is important to plan accordingly, and reassess your maintenance budget to accommodate the extra demand. Your maintenance team knows what it’s like on the ground floor, so pay attention when they ask for funding for more supplies or better equipment. 

 

Look for innovative cleaning solutions. 

In the wake of COVID-19, many novel cleaning solutions have come to market for commercial disinfectant. If your facility deals with a lot of foot traffic, you may want to consider more expansive cleaning methods such as vapor sanitization and whole room disinfectants. These cleaning sprays sanitize an entire facility, and can even circulate through the HVAC system for a more complete clean. 

 

Don’t stop at sanitization. 

While modern sanitization methods are important, it’s also important to remember the basics. Have your HVAC system cleaned regularly to prevent the spread of viruses through the vents. Ensure your employees and maintenance staff are receiving proper training based on CDC guidelines, and schedule preventative maintenance on all systems to minimize other facility issues while you are under COVID-19 pressures. These small acts will make all the difference in maintaining a smooth-running facility. 

 

COVID-19 has caused permanent change in the business environment. But, you can make the choice to ensure these changes are positive long-term. For more information on how you can stay safe with janitorial maintenance, contact MaintenX today. 

Fire Safety Maintenance For Commercial Facilities

Fire safety is the responsibility of everyone at a place of business. From the property management to the individual employees, fire safety should be included in training and instilled in the minds of everyone present at the facility. As the facility manager, however, it is your job to ensure that maintenance of fire safety equipment is a top priority. 

 

A fire can cause severe disruption at your facility. In addition to property damage and potential injury, commercial facility fires can cause: 

 

  • Disruption of operations; downtime
  • Liability claims from adjacent properties
  • Loss of important documents
  • Loss of essential equipment
  • Reduced employee hours

 

Training your staff and tenants on proper fire safety is essential in maintaining a safe work environment. It can also reduce the effects of some of a fire, if the employees are able to safely evacuate, or in some cases stop the fire from spreading. However, you must also take preventative steps to reduce the chance of fire and maintain fire safety systems.

 

Fire safety maintenance should help you reduce the chance of fire, and ensure that if one occurs, all equipment is in working order. SOme of these maintenance tasks include: 

 

  • Controlling the use of smoking material and open flames
  • Electrical system preventative maintenance
  • Installation of fire-safe walls and doors
  • Maintenance of kitchen exhaust systems
  • Proper storage, use, and removal of special hazards and flammable liquid 
  • Maintenance of fire safety equipment such as detectors, alarms, and sprinkler systems

 

Some of these maintenance tasks should be carried out by a MaintenX professional. For example, proper maintenance of your electrical and fire safety systems needs the expert care of a trained electrician. If you schedule regular preventative checks with your MaintenX team you should never have to worry about malfunctioning alarms or commercial kitchen equipment. 

 

MaintenX believes in the importance of fire safety of all commercial buildings. To learn more, contact your local MaintenX team today!

Four Tips for Maintaining Vacant Rentals 

2020 has been a difficult year for many small businesses and property owners. During these tough times, you may have had to deal with unexpected vacancies, or struggled to rent out a commercial building after an old tenant moved out. While this economic downturn is temporary, it brings many unexpected challenges to property owners and managers, including how to maintain a vacant rental for an indeterminate amount of time. 

 

MaintenX wants to help our small businesses and property managers as much as possible. Below we offer several ways to cut costs on vacant rentals without sacrificing the integrity of the building. By following these tips, you can ensure your property is ready to show when a new tenant is interested: 

 

Insulate piping to avoid corrosion. 

Plumbing problems will immediately turn away the next tenant who is interested in your property. However, reactive plumbing maintenance can be incredibly expensive at a time when you can’t afford it. To avoid plumbing problems down the line, insulate them. This prevents leaks, corrosion, and breaks due to freezing. 

 

Schedule regular HVAC checks to ensure the system runs when in use again.

You don’t want to be running the A/C in a vacant property during the summer. However, you don’t want to find an interested tenant, only to have to pay for expensive HVAC repairs before you show the facility. Avoid major (and costly) repairs by having a MaintenX HVAC technician regularly service your system during vacancy. These low-cost preventative services will save you greatly in the long run. 

 

Electrical safety checks.

Safety is our first priority at MaintenX. When a facility is left vacant for some time, it can have issues when in use again. You don’t want electrical issues to surface when you finally rent out your property, so schedule electrical safety checks just as you do with the HVAC system. This is both the responsible and cost-effective decision for your facility. 

 

Schedule roofing repair. 

If your vacant property starts to show signs of roofing damage, you need to address it immediately. When someone isn’t in the building daily, you won’t notice when that missing shingle turns into a leak, and then turns into expensive water damage. Be sure to schedule roofing repairs before showing the property to new tenants as well. 

 

MaintenX provides affordable, comprehensive facility maintenance services for commercial facilities of all kinds. To learn more about what we can do for your vacant facility, contact us today! 

 

Back To School Maintenance Tips During COVID-19

Hillsborough county schools, as well as schools across the country, are preparing to reopen amidst the coronavirus pandemic. This decision has come after many months of debate, school planning, and research by health authorities to ensure that children continue their studies in a safe and healthy environment. As a maintenance and cleaning service provider, MaintenX is also here to help keep our schools safe while open. 

 

Campus cleaning and maintenance can go a long way toward keeping students and faculty safe and reducing exposure to COVID-19. WHile these measures are a second priority, they should be factored into the facility maintenance planning of all campuses. Below are four simple ways in which your school can stay cleaner and safer with the help of the MaintenX staff: 

 

Clean your HVAC systems regularly

Research suggests that certain bacteria and viruses can circulate through HVAC vents and spread quickly throughout a building with the same unit. While it is unknown whether coronavirus can spread in this manner, we encourage campuses to be vigilant with their HVAC duct cleaning and air filter replacement. This not only helps keep a building healthier overall, but provides higher indoor air quality that reduces the spread of germs. 

 

Sanitize

Most school reopening plans include measures to encourage hand washing and hand sanitization, but campus-wide sanitization is also possible through specialized services. Before you reopen or during school breaks, vapor sanitization services can be scheduled to reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses, and to circulate germ-killing chemicals through the HVAC ductwork. This step can help stop the spread of germs as soon as they arrive onsite. 

 

Schedule maintenance after hours

Having your maintenance staff onsite is essential, but it further exposes kids to others who have COVID-19. To reduce this exposure, plan all visits with maintenance staff — as well as any other services — after hours. The fewer visitors you have on campus, the better. This also protects the safety of your maintenance staff and faculty. 

 

Ask staff to do their part

Your faculty and staff will be at the front lines during this pandemic, and will be largely responsible for keeping students safe. By providing proper education and training, they can ensure that children are not exposed to COVID-19 while continuing their education in an enriching environment. MaintenX staff will also be there to help you clean, sanitize, and maintain your facility with health and safety as a first priority. 

 

To learn more about ways you can keep your campus safe during COVID-19, contact us today!

Forget These Five Maintenance Tasks And You Could Put Employees in Danger

Facility managers primarily focus on cost-cutting and facility efficiency, because that is what their own job performance is measured upon. However, maintaining low-cost efficient systems is not the only job of your maintenance staff. While we keep your costs and workflow in mind, our main job is to ensure that your facility is a safe place in which to be. With safety as our first priority, we keep your business in check. 

 

There are several reasons why MaintenX put safety first in facility maintenance. We do it for our own staff, so that they are not worried about onsite injuries. We also know that cost-cutting and efficiency aren’t worth anything if the safety of tenants isn’t guaranteed. We work hard to lay the foundation for success so that you can have a high performing facility that is also a great place to work. 

 

Here’s what we focus on in maintaining facility safety during maintenance services: 

 

HVAC cleaning

Your HVAC system is a major source of energy consumption throughout the day, and keeping it clean helps maintain its efficiency. However, this is also an important safety procedure. If HVAC systems are not cleaned properly, they can circulate harmful bacteria and other germs throughout your entire facility. This results in “sick building syndrome” where your tenants are all affected by a bacteria circulating through the vents. Keep your tenants healthy by scheduling regular HVAC maintenance. 

 

Roofing maintenance

Roofing maintenance is relatively straightforward. Most of what you need to do is clean the gutters, remove heavy debris, and replace broken shingles or leaks when you notice them. While these tasks are simple, they can save you from severe roofing damage during a natural disaster. Heavy debris and leaks will weaken the structure of the roof, and when a major storm comes, it won’t stand up to the wind and rain. Make sure your roofing is always disaster-proof by taking care of it regularly. 

 

Fire safety

Fire safety equipment is something we hope to never use, but should always be in working order. Your MaintenX team can check equipment such as the overhead sprinklers, alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and more to ensure that your facility will always be safe during a fire emergency. 

 

Electrical safety

Electrical systems are dangerous for any untrained person to work on or perform maintenance tasks. Electrical systems can cause many problems, and if they malfunction can completely stop your facility operations. Don’t do electrical maintenance yourself — contact your MaintenX technician for a professional diagnosis and service. 

 

Backflow testing

Backflow testing is required for most commercial facilities, but it also provides some safety benefits for your tenants and staff. It ensures that water quality and purity are maintained at all times, and ensures that contamination of water never occurs, whether it is for machinery or for bathrooms, drinking fountains, and other water sources where direct contact is possible. By scheduling backflow testing regularly, you keep your employees safe and healthy at all times. 

 

These simple maintenance tasks will keep your facility running smoothly and your tenants out of harm’s way. To learn more about these services and how MaintenX can help you, contact us today!