THAN CURE Eugene Boyle, Commercial Director at

NSS, shares his thoughts on why building managers should be using planned

preventive maintenance (PPM), a proactive approach to maintenance this winter to avoid unnecessary reactive works.

The weather in the UK is notoriously unpredictable at the best of times and ever more so than in winter. And, while some emergencies are unavoidable, which we’re always on hand to help out with, others can be prevented with investment in a simple plan of action and forward- thinking. Here are my top five tips for your building maintenance that will ensure you’re prepared whatever the weather.

Don’t ignore your gutters Once autumn has taken its toll, we’re left with endless amounts of loose leaves, debris and twigs that can cause drain and gutter blockages. If these blockages aren’t cleared, the water flow will be obstructed leaving it to overflow down the building, causing issues such as damp that can be costly to fix. An annual clean of all the gutters, ideally after autumn, prevents leaks and damp patches developing.

If you’re in doubt as to whether your gutters require a clear out, head outside during heavy rain to check on the water flow paying attention to joints and hoppers for any leaks. If you do spot an issue, get it fixed as soon as possible to prevent further damage. If your building has cast-iron downpipes, don’t forget to give them a regular lick of paint. Not only will it prevent them from rusting, but it will keep your building looking tip-top.

Check for loose tiles and fixtures The UK is no stranger to strong winds during winter, and it’s all too often that a gust of wind is responsible for dislodging roof slates and tiles, gutters and cladding, leaving them to fly through the air and land on the ground. Not only is this hazardous to the general public, but it can be a costly issue to fix.

As with all maintenance, prevention is better than cure, so regular and thorough checks for loose slates and fittings


should be carried out. Weak and vulnerable areas can then be identified, repaired and replaced before damage occurs.

Conduct an electricity check Power outages cost businesses time and money, causing disruption in the workplace and leading to expensive emergency call-outs. Therefore, an annual electricity health check throughout the building can reduce the risk of a power cut caused by faulty connections or wiring.

If a power cut is out of your control, make sure you have a backup power source in the building, be that in the form of solar panels or a backup generator, to minimise disruption. Frequent checks on a building’s electrics and back-up power source will highlight any problems and provide an opportunity to ensure your property is suitably prepared for such events.

Proper window care and maintenance On average, windows and their frames have a lifespan of 30-40 years, however, this can be significantly shortened if they aren’t properly cleaned and maintained or are subject to adverse weather conditions, such as extreme wind and rain.

Frequent window inspections and a high-quality cleaning regime will ensure you get as much life out of your windows as possible. When damage eventually rears its ugly head, be prepared to fix issues quickly in order to avoid further damage down the road.

Ready for the big freeze? Now is the time to ensure that you have a stock of rock salt ready for gritting paved surfaces during freezing periods. Ensure that all loose pathing is repointed or repaid to ensure a hazard free area.

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