Top tips: Winter-proofing your office space
The winter months can wreck havoc on an ill-prepared property, causing all kinds of issues that can put an office space out of business for a period of time.
Ensuring space is still suitable for work by maintaining a pleasant, constantly-temperate climate is vital in the winter, but is more than just turning the thermostat up. A range of prevention techniques can mean the difference between a productive workforce and an empty office space.
Here are some measures that can be taken, to ensure your building is well-maintained and invulnerable to the elements:
- Inspect roof space thoroughly. If you're dealing with a tiled roof, ensure there are no cracked or damaged panels, and replace where necessary. This will help prevent any leakage and drafts over the wetter months. If the roof is flat, ensure drainage can take place easily.
- Consider protecting exposed chimney pots with ventilation cowls.
- Check insulation is in good shape. Insulation is your number one defense against the elements, and rising energy costs.
- Ensuring piping is properly insulated is vital as the freeze approaches. Frozen pipes can present a host of problems, not limited to expensive damage and even, in rare instances, electrical fires. Insulation is an extremely cost-effective solution to what could become a much bigger problem later on.
- Clear all gutters of debris. Leaves and other winter debris collecting in guttering is inevitable, and can lead to real problems as stagnant water freezes. Similarly, overflow can be a real issue, that can lead to other expensive structure-damaging problems.
- Insure cavity insulation is up to scratch. As much as 33% of total building heat is lost through the walls, so minimising this by proper insulation is important. A strong cavity insulation program will extend the life of a building, and can add value, too.
- Make sure water can run off any and every surface of the building. Flat roof? Ensure water can't collect and freeze over, as this can cause problems if left untreated.
- Ensure paving assist in proper drainage. Avoiding water collection is important on a number of levels, so make sure water drains into your (leaf debris-free) drains effectively.
- Water collecting on a windowsill can be dangerous to the structure, and should be addressed. Checking the sill is effectively sealed against the window frame should prevent problems from occurring.
- Double glazing cuts the amount of heat lost through windows by up to 50%. If windows in your office space aren't double glazed, it's definitely worth considering upgrading, to minimise on future energy costs and increase the value of the property. However, if that isn't an option this winter, there are polythene window coverings that can work to reduce energy loss in a similar way.
- Consider putting down rugs on wooden, tiled, or linoleum floors. This will act as another form of insulation.
- Always ensure snow is cleared away from the entrances of your property.