Maintenance and Painting Projects You Can Have Done Now to Get Your Commercial Building Ready for Fall and Winter
Summer is quickly coming to a close, and before we know it the colors of Fall will be lining the streets of Chicago. From apple picking to changing leaves, to everything pumpkin spice, many of us look forward to the change of seasons bringing a crisp, fresh air to our beloved Chicagoland.
With the change in weather coming soon, commercial building owners and operators are busy planning and preparing for regular maintenance and cleaning that their businesses need. With the impacts of the coronavirus to consider, preparing your commercial space for the colder months may (require additional steps) look different than in past years.
If you don’t have a set schedule for maintaining your building, here are a few tips to keep in mind as we enter the fall in the windy city.
Window Repair & Caulking
Window maintenance is one of the simplest and quickest projects you can do to care for your building’s exterior. From a simple cleaning to a full replacement, windows are an important piece to protect your building from the weather and the elements. However, there are some inspection points that need to be addressed after your windows have been cleaned.
Areas around windows can be target points for moisture to enter and cause wood rot and leaks. Dried, cracked, and old caulk around windows can cause these leaks and allow moisture to seep into your building.
Condensation inside your windows is an indicator that there is a break in the seal of a window. Recaulking is the only way to prevent these cracks from becoming a larger issue. Painting contractors know the signs to look for, not only on windows, but trim, doors, windowsills, and other previously caulked areas.
Ask your painting contractor about which caulk is compatible with your exterior paint to increase the protection of your building. Caulking should be done first, before any exterior trim painting is started, to ensure a proper seal. We recommend caulking before evening temperatures begin to drop so that paint can dry properly.
Interior Cleaning & Touch-ups
Getting your building’s interior repainted is a feat in and of itself. Once you’ve gone through the process of painting your interior, upkeep and cleaning are imperative to maintain the beauty and quality of the interior paint job. Most professional contractors offer a cleaning service for your painted and stained surfaces indoors as well as outdoors.
Once surfaces are cleaned, repairs should be made to any surfaces that are showing signs of wear. Buildings that are mostly or completely occupied and used for their intended purpose are being used for ‘highest and best use,’ though sometimes that means either normal wear and tear or, worse, cosmetic damage often occurs.
From scuffs caused by office chairs to dents in walls, painting contractors are typically able to repair these surfaces with ease. It is worth noting many commercial building owners save paint from initial projects for touch-ups to ensure an exact color match. This saves time and the expense of trying to color match months or years after your painting contractors complete your job and leave your site.
Nowadays, with so much focus on COVID-19, many employees are working at home, either in shifts or on a full-time basis. If your employees or occupants of your building are working from home, this is an opportune time to deep clean, both the exterior and the interior, of your building. This deep cleaning can be done by air blasting or power washing, and by utilizing safe treatment solutions in spaces that are going to be sanitized.
If your building’s occupants are present and working, such as in a coffee shop or a chiropractor’s office, for example, it’s still a smart time to have everything deep cleaned. Your tenants and their customers or clients will appreciate the care you take to remove unwanted dirt and bacteria, giving them more peace of mind when they come into your building.
For buildings that get direct sunlight, there may be areas that have faded due to sun damage. If you’ve noticed fading, water damage, cracking, or peeling paint, it is time to focus on these projects before the cold weather returns. An attractive, well-maintained building is always good for business, and exterior upkeep and painting projects are crucial to the long-term maintenance of your building.
The appearance of your building speaks volumes as to your priorities with regard to your existing and potential clients. Maintaining exterior paint, as well as other outdoor features, communicates attention to detail and care for the wellbeing of those who are connected with your building. The care you take of your building can be the difference between your building's success or failure for the seasons ahead.
Additional steps, such as the upkeep of landscaping and the cleaning of walkways are also beneficial projects to undertake. A well-manicured lawn and a pristine walk to your building can influence how people feel before stepping inside your building. Your level of exterior building maintenance can influence whether your clients return to your business or stay away.
During the pandemic, some of our clients are requesting a complete no-contact experience, from the estimate and exterior maintenance all the way through the painting experience. With all the technology we have these days, it’s easier than ever to offer this no-contact experience to commercial building clients who want to minimize exposure to the contagious coronavirus.
For commercial buildings made with brick, wood, vinyl, or concrete, a thorough pressure washing can remove residue leftover from summer storms and late pollen dispersal. These sturdy siding materials withstand exposure to weather, so a routine cleaning (at least once a year) protects these surfaces from unwelcome dirt, molds, and other things, and avoids potential damage from these intruders. Since pressure washing these surfaces typically only uses water to clean your siding, your building’s surroundings including plants will be protected from any environmental harm in the cleaning process.
Softer siding materials such as aluminum will need a soft washing method, instead of high-intensity pressure washing. The importance of planning a pressure wash between now and the Fall is ensuring that there is a window of good weather for this project. It’s essential to work with professional contractors with knowledge of their equipment, as well as experience in timing a project like this. This is one project that should be scheduled earlier in the Fall/Winter season, rather than later, to avoid any delays in the drying process.
Treat and Remove Mold
The humidity we experience in Chicago and the surrounding Chicago suburbs can lend to mold growth due to the excessive moisture which lingers on buildings. Over time, mold and mildew can cause damage to your building as well as health problems, especially for those with compromised breathing, such as asthma. Early detection and prevention can deter mold growth and protect your building and its occupants from ever being exposed. Pressure washing can help remove mold and allergens on your building’s exterior, but the interior will need attention as well.
If you have noticed that you or your occupants are uncomfortable while you are inside your building or experience symptoms like coughing, sneezing, or headaches, you may have a mold problem. A professional contractor inspecting your building can pinpoint these problem areas. Identification and treatment from a mold remediation specialist is the only way to ensure that all the mold is targeted and removed properly. These specialists use safe and effective cleaning solutions to keep you safe during and after the project. In Chicago, these types of inspections should be scheduled at least annually or bi-annually due to our climate.
Roofs and Gutters
Cleaning gutters may often be a springtime cleaning task, however, with leaves and other tree debris coming down, these accumulations can build up in gutters causing them to back up and retain water. Water sitting on your roof can cause moss to take root and eat away at your building’s roof surface. In order to remove moss without causing damage to your roof, a professional should be contacted to inspect your roof and gutters. Professional contractors have the proper tools and experience to tackle roof and gutter cleaning projects with ease.
Roofs cleaning requires specific product and cleaning solution knowledge. Generally speaking, a soft washing with a bleach solution or commercial grade soap is best to clean and remove moss growth. Different tools to clean your roof can be used depending on the extent of moss growth and your roof material. These projects are always best left to the professionals for the warranty of your roof as well as a satisfaction guarantee that professional contractors can ensure.
Displays for the Season
If your building or business finds itself needing to stay current with the seasons, now may be a great time to begin planning your display. Fall colors, harvest themes, and Holiday displays are great ways to help your surrounding t community embrace the upcoming holiday spirit. Whatever it is that you are trying to communicate, you can effectively do so by using your building as a canvas to display your support to any cause. The beauty of a display is that you can modify and alter it as the seasons change.
If you have been thinking of making a major rebranding change, the best place to start is by repainting your building. From updating logos to mission statements, making a change, and recreating your building’s look can attract new clients and keep current ones interested in your product or services and all you have to offer. Any positive attention you can bring to your building is helpful to gain the business that you work hard to attract and maintain.
Scheduling a walk-through and inspection of your building is the first step in understanding which projects should be prioritized. Getting these projects completed will prepare and protect your building for the Fall and Winter months and for years to come. If you are making plans for your commercial building to receive these updates, a professional contractor should be your advisor in the process moving forward. At Painters Inc., our team of professional contractors has an eye for spotting areas that may need attention before the Fall and Winter arrive. Connect with us today for a free estimate for your commercial building.