Daily Facility Maintenance Checklist: Keep Your Facility in Tip-Top Shape

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Your facility is a representation of your business, so why wouldn’t you want it to speak volumes? Future employees, visitors, and clients will walk through the doors and immediately take notice of issues that could sway their opinions. Staying on top of daily facility maintenance is crucial in keeping your facility in tip-top shape.

We’ve compiled this facility maintenance checklist that can be used daily to help spot any potential issues within your facility. You’ll also learn some helpful tips and tricks to make your facility’s clean and inviting appearance last longer.

  1. Take Preliminary Steps Toward a Cleaner Floor 

    One of the first items that should be at the top of your maintenance checklist is cleaning your facility’s floors. Dirty floors are an eyesore. They stick out immediately. The good news is, there are some steps you can take to help avoid tracking in dirt and waste.

    Welcome mats are highly effective in reducing the amount of dirt that makes its way into your facility. It’s smart to have a welcome mat outside the entrance. You’ll also want another mat inside the foyer or lobby to help collect more dirt. Using an exterior and interior mat, you’ll help keep your floors cleaner longer, and potentially reduce maintenance costs.

  2. Keep Storage and Lockers Clean 

    If you have cubbies, lockers, or general storage compartments, you already know how dirty they can get. When they’re constantly being opened, dirt tends to build up, which makes those lockers and cubbies unsightly.

    Whether these compartments get scuffed up or drawn on, you’ll want to ensure that you can keep them as clean as possible. The type of material you choose can play a big role in facility maintenance. For instance, (HDPE) plastic lockers are resistant to scratches, dents, and even unwanted graffiti. Due to its high durability, HDPE never needs to be repainted, resulting in less volatile organic compound emissions that could be harmful if inhaled. It’s also one of the easiest plastics to recycle, so by installing these HDPE compartments, your facility takes a big step toward sustainability.

  3. Spruce Up the Bathroom 

    The next item to address on your maintenance facility checklist is the bathroom. It’s one of the most visited rooms in your facility, and with that much foot traffic, you’ll need to take some steps to ensure a pleasant experience for everyone. It’s always wise to keep plug-in air fresheners on hand, but how are your stalls holding up? This is another area where materials matter, especially when you consider the threat of rust often faced in commercial restrooms. Materials like steel or wood are prone to damage when they encounter moisture. However, other materials like HDPE are completely rust and mildew resistant.

  4. Keep Maintenance Cleaning Materials Stocked 

    Things like cleaning materials, toilet paper, and paper towels should always be on hand with plenty of backup to accommodate higher than anticipated volume. You also want to make sure your waste baskets and trash cans are easily accessible and not tucked in the corner. If they’re easy to get to, waste is more likely to make it in the trash without winding up on the floor.

    By utilizing this facility maintenance checklist daily, you’re on the way to keeping your facility in tip-top shape. If you’re interested in learning more about bathroom cleaning and care, learn more in our article regarding how to care for your commercial bathroom vanities.

In addition, you can download our free eBook, Commercial Restroom Cleaning Checklist, here:

 

How to Conduct an Effective Facility Audit for Your School

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As a school facility manager, it’s important to perform routine facility and safety audits so the students, faculty, and staff can enjoy a comfortable environment while you ensure that everything is up to code. Learning how you can improve your facility or update your systems is crucial.

Here are a few helpful tips to show you the proper facility audit procedures.

Facility Audit

There are many factors at play when it comes to conducting a facility audit. The audit will require time and resources but only to ensure that everything is running as efficiently as possible. Whether you have an outsider come in to inspect or the school district has a professional at their disposal, it’s important to have an updated inventory checklist on hand so the process can be as efficient as possible. The facility audit is performed to gauge the status of your facility and determine if any updates or repairs would be necessary.

Necessary Inspections

When you’re conducting a facility audit, you should have your inventory checklist with the equipment and the date that said equipment was manufactured and installed. This will help the auditor determine the life cycle of the equipment and systems in your facility. By providing the auditor with the necessary resources, the actual audit should be fairly easy to compete.

Facility Audit

The auditor will carefully inspect your HVAC system to determine its quality and effectiveness and if it requires any repairs to pass inspection. If you’ve kept up with routine maintenance, this shouldn’t be a problem. Your water system will also be inspected to ensure the water quality and the functionality of the pumps and pipes.

The grounds of your facility will also be carefully inspected. The auditor will look for any damage to the exterior of the building as well as the quality of the parking lots. The auditor will also assess the landscaping and athletic fields to ensure student safety.

Areas to Focus On

Every facility or school has its weak spots, or areas that require a lot of focus and perhaps even maintenance. Bathrooms can be one of these areas, as several factors can contribute to a less-than-adequate audit. Air quality is an important aspect in the bathroom audit, so as a facility manager, you should take steps to ensure that everything is acceptable and up to par.

Bathrooms can be a breeding ground for mold and fungus, which have a negative effect on the air quality. Due to the overwhelming moisture and humidity, several components of your bathroom can be susceptible to mold growth. Your bathroom stalls and partitions may have mold sprouting inside them, so think about replacing these stalls with a more durable material like HDPE (high-density polyethylene), which is resistant to moisture, scratches, and even graffiti.

If you’ve kept up with your facility’s systems in terms of maintenance and repairs, you should expect good results from an audit. However, a variety of measures can help you to achieve a great audit. You may even want to consider some renovations. Learn more by downloading our eBook The Complete Guide to Renovating Your School’s Locker Room.

Why You Should Consider Maintenance Costs When Designing a New Building

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It’s easy to overlook maintenance costs when designing a new building, but it could end up hurting you. That’s because administrators, contractors, architects, and other building officials are under constant pressure to keep costs down and stay within budget. However, choosing the cheapest materials or building methods can have expensive maintenance requirements.

In this post, we take a closer look at why it’s important to consider maintenance costs when designing a new building as well as the difference between initial cost and life cycle cost.

Understanding Initial Cost and Life Cycle Cost

When you create a budget for a new building design, you’re looking at the initial cost. The budget specifies how much of the allocated funds will be used for each component, including supplies and labor. Although it’s true that every project relies on this number for approval, shooting for the lowest initial cost isn’t always the best decision.

For example, when purchasing building materials, the least expensive option might be of the poorest quality. In most circumstances, you pay more for higher quality and longer material life span.

Life cycle cost, on the other hand, is a way of budgeting that considers the entire cost of a material over the course of its life span. This includes any anticipated repairs, replacements, or maintenance. For example, let’s say one lamp cost $100 and another cost $200. The first lamp is cheaper, but the life expectancy of the second lamp is three times as long.

Thus, you’d spend more money in the long run by purchasing the $100 lamp since you’d have to replace it twice before you’d need to replace the more expensive lamp.

Calculating Maintenance Costs

Now that you’ve learned the difference between initial and life cycle costs, it’s easy to see why buying for life cycle costs is the smarter choice. But how exactly do you know if a material or building method will help to lower maintenance costs? Here are a few ways to help you make the right decision.

Is It Easy to Clean?

Clean materials tend to outlast those that aren’t, so opting for materials and products that are easy to clean and care for is a great idea. But not only might the material last long, it could also save you money on cleaning costs since less cleaning materials will need to be used.

Maintenance Costs

Does It Resist Damage?

Being durable is a good sign that the product or material is going to help cut your long-term maintenance costs. The good news is, products that are resistant to damage like dents, scratches, or graffiti will usually showcase that aspect as one of the primary features of the product. If you’re not sure, talk with your architect or contractor.

What Kind of Regular Care Does It Need?

Lights will need to have their bulbs replaced, HVAC systems will require routine maintenance, but it’s important to know these things before you make a purchase and factor that into the life cycle cost. For example, HDPE bathroom partitions are colored throughout and don’t require painting or repainting, whereas metal partitions do.

As you can see, it’s vital for you to consider maintenance costs when designing a new building. Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to building a cost-effective facility.

Green Buildings: Common Construction Problems and Solutions

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Far from a fad, green building and green design have entered the mainstream. What was once a novelty for designers and architects has now become a staple in the industry. Some of what’s helped to make green buildings so popular is their ability to solve some of the most common construction problems, especially those having to do with energy and water consumption.

In this post, we take a close look at the types of construction problems that can be solved by building green.

Energy Loss through Heating & Cooling Systems

One of the most common construction problems has to do with wasted energy. Architects and contractors are tasked with creating a facility that can optimize energy use. This can be especially difficult with heating and cooling units when doors are frequently opened, letting in outside air. Windows can also be a source of energy loss, allowing air to seep in through cracks or gaps.

To help the HVAC system run more efficiently, you can use energy-efficient windows, which lock in air and block outside air from entering. You can also create a double door entrance to prevent outdoor air temperatures from affecting the indoor climate control system.

This method uses one door that leads from outside into a small room. This climate-controlled room has another door that leads into the rest of the building. This prevents untreated air from rushing into the building or treated air from rushing out every time the door is opened.

Would you like more information about making your building more green friendly? Download our FREE eBook Sustainable Building Products: How to Make Your Facility Eco-Friendly from Top to Bottom.This free guide will teach you about using recyclable materials, reducing harmful emissions, and much more. 

High Water Consumption in Restrooms

Water consumption is another primary concern when creating a new building, especially if you’re responsible for the building’s future operational costs. Bathrooms are notorious for consuming high volumes of water. Using green building design, you can help to reduce the amount of water used.

This can be achieved by installing low-flow toilets or urinals, which use no more than 1.6 gallons of water with every flush. Similarly, low-flow faucets in the restroom can help to minimize water waste when guests are washing their hands without reducing the effectiveness of the sink itself.

Wasted Energy in Unoccupied Spaces

Facilities waste large amounts of energy (and revenue to pay for that energy) due to lighting unoccupied areas. An easy solution for this common construction problem is to install motion-activated lighting that’s on a timer. This is perfect for buildings that have areas staffed 24 hours as well as areas that are only occupied for part of the day.

These automatic lights replace traditional switches, so there’s no risk of someone accidentally leaving the lights on in an unused area, and it ensures that the lights are only running when needed.

 

How to Remove Mold in Your Shower & Locker Rooms

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Mold inside the shower or locker rooms of your facility can be a big problem. Not only does it discolor grout and weaken wood, but it’s also potentially hazardous to your health and the health of those using your facility. So to make sure that your locker rooms and showers are safe and mold-free, it’s important to remove any signs of mold or mildew once they appear.

In this guide, we’ll tell you how to remove mold properly as well as how you can prevent mold from coming back.

locker replacement checklist

What You Need for Mold Removal

Having the proper supplies is an important part of mold removal. After all, if the mold isn’t removed properly, there’s a good chance it will come back and spread to other areas of your facility. Not only that, but without the right gear, your cleaning team could get sick when trying to clean the infected areas.

Here’s what you need:

1.      Old clothes or a jumpsuit: You want to launder or dispose of any clothes you wear when cleaning the mold-infected area. Otherwise, you could unintentionally spread mold to other rooms or experience an adverse reaction to the mold spores.

2.      Rubber gloves: These are important to protect your hands from coming in contact with mold or the cleaning chemicals used during removal.

3.      N-95 or P-100 respirator: These respirators are specially made to block out mold spores, which can be as small as 3 microns. For reference, a strand of human hair is about 125 microns.

4.      Safety goggles: These will protect your eyes from any mold spores that might be floating in the air as well as any harmful vapors from the cleaning chemicals.

5.      Spray bottle: You can use a simple spray bottle filled with water to gently wet any visible mold before you start cleaning to limit the number of spores released into the air.

6.      Box fan: It’s vital to keep the room well ventilated. If there’s a window or door leading outside, use a large box fan to remove any mold spores. Be sure to cover any part of the window or door with a plastic drop cloth or cardboard so the spores can’t accidently blow back into the room. DO NOT use fans if blowing into another room in the facility – only use if there’s a direct path outside.

7.      Bleach: Use bleach and water to treat mold-infected areas.

8.      Bucket for cleaning

9.      Scrub brush

10.  Flathead screwdriver for grout lines

How to Remove Mold

After you’ve put on your protective clothing and set up any appropriate ventilation, it’s time to start treating the mold-infected areas. If you can’t ventilate the room properly, seal it off from the rest of the facility until cleaning is complete. Be sure to cover any air vents or turn off the ventilation system.

When you’re ready to start, use the spray bottle to gently wet the mold. This will help to prevent spores from flying into the air as you clean. Then use a 1:8 bleach/water mixture to clean the infected areas. Scrub using a tough cleaning brush or use a flathead screwdriver to gently scrape mold from grout lines. Consider adding some detergent to your cleaning mixture to make it easier to lift the mold.

Rinse surfaces well. Wipe down the walls, floors, and any other treated surface and launder or dispose of the used towels. Place them in a large trash bag to try to keep any of the mold from escaping.

Preventing Mold from Returning

Treating mold can be a relatively quick and inexpensive process, but it’s even easier to prevent mold and mildew from occurring in the first place. One of the best ways is to reduce the amount of moisture in the room. However, this is difficult to do in locker rooms and showers.

So the next option for preventing mold is to use materials in your facility that are naturally resistant to mold and mildew. Materials like high-density polyethylene, or HDPE, are known for their high resistance to mold. Not only that, but HDPE is also resistant to bacteria and rust.

Water Conservation Challenges & Strategies for Maintenance Managers

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One of the biggest issues plaguing commercial and institutional facilities today is water waste. Whether it’s due to old pipes, leaks, or faucets that aren’t turned off, maintenance managers are desperate for solutions that can help them to keep the water bill down and improve their building’s water efficiency.

In this post, we take a closer look at a few water conservation challenges as well as strategies for maintenance managers.

Finding Opportunities for Water Conservation

One of the initial water conservation challenges that maintenance managers face is pinpointing where to focus their efforts and where opportunities lie. The first step, of course, is to gather some benchmark data. Find out how much water your building uses every day, month, quarter, or year, whatever number makes the most sense for your project and company.

Next, you want to focus on the water use of individual fixtures. For example, how many gallons of water are used with each flush of a toilet in your building? How many gallons are those toilets using each day/month/quarter/year? Gather as much information as possible.

Consider the following areas:

  • Toilets
  • Urinals
  • Showers
  • Sprinklers
  • Irrigation systems
  • Sinks/faucets
  • Pipes and plumping

Once you can identify where your building is using the most water, you’ll be able to target those areas first for the biggest benefit. Then you can concentrate on areas that use smaller amounts of water.

[READ MORE: How to Cut Energy Costs in Your Facility]

How to Get Upper Management to Buy In

Although you might see the benefit of investing in water conservation, it’s not always easy to get the board to agree. It’s common for maintenance managers and their teams to spend months, if not years, proposing water conservation tactics before receiving final approval. So how can you help to speed up the process?

Step one is to do your homework. Make sure that you have all data on current consumption rates as we discussed in the previous section. Then clearly spell out what the initial investment will be for all necessary replacement fixtures, repairs, or updates and pair it with a total return on investment or total savings.

By having these numbers ready, you’ll be able to clearly explain to anyone that needs to give approval how much the project will cost, how long it will take before that cost is recouped, and how much the company or building will save after those costs are returned.

[READ MORE: Identifying and Resolving Energy Inefficiencies in Your Building]

Recycling Water

In areas where collecting storm water is possible, this might be an opportunity to reduce your water expense with necessarily reducing consumption. Collected rain water can be great for use in irrigation or flushing toilets. Consider using the roof of your building for collection and storing the water in tanks for later use. Though this method won’t work in every situation (especially if your building has a small roof), it’s certainly something worth looking into.

Also, be sure to check with local ordinances since, in some parts of the world, it’s illegal to catch rain water in large quantities.

For more information on how you can make your facility eco-friendlier, check out our free eBook Sustainable Building Products. This helpful resource will teach you about using recyclable materials, how to combat harmful air pollutants indoors, environmentally friendly products, and more!

School Facility Maintenance Plan to Enhance Education

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There are a lot of ways to improve the effectiveness of your educational institution. Better books, state-of-the-art equipment, and top-notch instructors are all terrific starting points, but what many administrators don’t think about is how the facility itself inhibits or enhances education.

With the proper maintenance plan, your school or facility can improve its ability to educate by providing a safe environment that promotes learning.

locker checklist

A School Facility Maintenance Plan Starts with Design

When designing a facility, it’s important to consider what materials you’ll use. These materials will dictate not only what kind of maintenance will be required down the road but also how much maintenance and how often it will need to be performed over the life of your facility in order to maintain a clean and safe environment.

Naturally, some materials require less maintenance than others. For example, metal is stronger than wood but is prone to denting and rust. Wood, meanwhile, is subject to rotting and chipping. Both of these are also easily scratched or defaced by graffiti.

HDPE plastics, on the other hand, are resistant to mildew, rust, scratching, denting, and even graffiti. Plus this heavy-duty material is easy to clean and requires little maintenance to stay in good working condition.

Practical Applications of HDPE in Your School Facility

The first way that HDPE can help to enhance education in your facility is by using HDPE lockers. As opposed to metal lockers, HDPE lockers provide a number of benefits. First and foremost, the lockers will never rust, making them ideal for facilities in areas that have a high level of moisture in the air. This also helps to prevent sharp or jagged edges that students could be injured by during a trip or fall.

Another benefit of HDPE lockers is that they’re significantly quieter than metal lockers. This helps to cut down on noise in the hallways and other places where lockers are present that might otherwise distract students from learning.

But HDPE isn’t only used for making lockers. Manufacturers also use it to produce vanities, bathroom partitions, shower stalls, dressing compartments, and more. On top of that, HDPE promotes a healthier environment, keeping indoor air quality high. Color is integrated throughout, meaning no harmful painting and no volatile organic compounds emissions.

A Safer Facility for Enhanced Learning

It’s no secret that people learn best when they feel safe. With HDPE materials, administrators can operate an educational institution with less risk of rust, mildew, air pollutants, and other potential hazards. This results in an overall safer environment that promotes learning. Not only that, but HDPE can also significantly lower your maintenance costs compared to other materials.

If you’d like to learn more about HDPE applications and how they can reduce your maintenance requirements while increase education capabilities, download the free eBook The Ultimate Guide to HDPE Plastic Lockers. We provide a wide selection of HDPE brands, from lockers to bathroom vanities and more, to help to improve the quality of your facility.

Building Better Maintenance Operations: How to Optimize and Streamline Your Processes

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Maintenance Worker

Managing facilities and working in maintenance operations means you’re always looking for ways to improve and be more efficient. On one hand, you want to make sure that the people utilizing your facilities are happy and getting the most out of them. On the other hand, you want to make sure that you’re reducing costs where possible.

It can be difficult to take a step back and ensure that your operations are running efficiently, but taking a look at maintenance operations best practices can help you to reevaluate your facility.

According to Facilitiesnet.com, there are several crucial items that facility managers need to accomplish to achieve improved operations. Take a look at these tips below to find out how you can optimize and streamline your maintenance processes.

Create a Preventative Maintenance Plan

Developing a preventative maintenance program is crucial in facilities management. One of the main goals of this is to establish consistency throughout the facility among maintenance employees. Facility managers often fail to set up a preventative maintenance plan because it can be time consuming, but it’s definitely worth establishing. Your plan can decrease equipment downtime and repair costs while also eliminating the premature replacement of tools. Preventative maintenance also improves safety for everyone involved in it.

When creating your plan, start with critical equipment and systems, such as utilities and the major HVAC system. Have your technicians weigh in on the plan as well by looking at and touching the equipment.

Hold Regular Meetings

Keeping an open line of communication between managers and maintenance employees is crucial for operations to run smoothly. During these regular meetings, all parties involved should discuss what’s currently happening in the facility and what the plans are for the future.

Hold these meetings on the same day of the week at the same time of day every time so it becomes a habit for employees to attend. Make sure that everyone knows that attendance is required.

Always have an agenda for every meeting. Briefly summarize what was covered in the meeting the previous week, discuss what’s going on during the current week, and review plans for the upcoming week.

Empowering and Enabling Technicians and Staff

Facilitiesnet.com says, “By making workers better reactive maintenance technicians, managers allow them to complete more reactive work, which frees up a little bit of extra labor to begin the good stuff.” It’s important to make sure that your technicians and staff are properly trained to complete the jobs required of them.

Provide them with additional training so they’re continuously working on sharpening their skills, which will lead to better results. In addition to ensuring that they have the proper training, it’s also important to provide them with the tools they need to do the job properly.

Your maintenance operations can always be improved on to optimize your process and make the day-to-day easier.

If you’re looking for attractive, durable materials for your facility, click here to find out where to buy Scranton Products.