Windows have several functions but do yours have the capability to accomplish these all at once?
Not all windows are equal and some may be better than the other on a certain function.
What makes them different, though? The answer to that is the technology used, one of which is the glazing. It allows windows to do more than allowing you to see through it.
It's present in every window, but not all people may know about it. What is window glazing and is it important to buildings? Read more to learn everything about it.
Window glazing is the sealing of the glass panes and the window frame to make it weathertight. Some windows use putty to create a seal. Some may use gas trapped between the panes to boost their efficiency.
In the past, windows have a simple purpose: to let the light flow in. Although that's still one of its purposes now, windows have come a long way since then.
With the use of glass, windows can then protect people against the outside elements while allowing the sunlight to enter. However, they still came with some problems, such as heat loss.
Today, they come with a system that allows for better efficiency and functionality. They now minimise heat loss, condensation, and air leakage.
Because of these features, windows can do more than protect us from the outside elements. They now help us keep the inside comfortable and keep the bills low through glazing.
Every home and building needs window glazing, but if you need the exact reasons why, here are some:
Windows and doors are some of the biggest culprits of heat loss or heat gain. This can cause the bills to skyrocket, whether you're trying to stay warm or cool. It helps trap in most of the heat coming from the winter sun or block the heat from the summer sun from coming in.
With engineered and glazed glass windows, you minimise these processes. You can continue to enjoy the sunlight without having to worry about the temperature.
As a consequence of the benefit above, you also get to enjoy reduced energy bills! The thermostat won't have to work as much to maintain a comfortable temperature for the employees in an office.
Ultraviolet light can be beneficial; after all, it's a key component in our bodies' production of Vitamin D. That's why getting exposure to the sun is advisable to some extent.
However, too much of UV light can turn to be quite dangerous. Even when we're inside the building, we're still vulnerable to prolonged exposure to UV light if we don't get protection, such as a sunscreen lotion.
That's why glazing window panes is important - it provides protection from the harmful rays. At the same time, we get to enjoy the benefits of sunlight and its warmth.
Another benefit is that it protects our furniture pieces, too. Exposure to UV light also causes fading in your carpets, chairs, drapes, and other items.
Thanks to glazing technology, glass panes can also now provide protection against other elements, such as strong winds and people. Some types of windows are resistant to force with a bulletproof glass as the best example.
This is why high-end stores can have peace of mind with having glass panes instead of concrete walls. Humans with ill-intent will have a hard time breaking them, if they can at all.
Some technologies nowadays also minimise the risk to humans should the glass break. Modern glass breaks into sand-like particles, which are less harmful than shards that can pierce and cut the skin.
Sound-proofing is also a huge benefit of glazing, especially for homes along a busy street. It's also ideal for buildings, wherein the sounds of the busy street need to stay out so employees can focus on their work.
A high-performance glazing can reduce the noise that's coming in by a huge amount. It will allow you to work in peace or to let your baby sleep through the night.
Condensation is bad for buildings. It provides a good environment for moulds to take over your home.
This isn't only bad for the structural integrity of your building, but it's also bad for your health. Window glazing prevents this by reducing the excess moisture on your windows.
Ever want to resell your home in the future? Window glazing is a good way to increase its value. This is especially helpful for older homes without this technology.
It can make them more appealing to home buyers, knowing that they can enjoy the benefits above.
The next question is: what features of window glazing does your office need? There are a lot of issues you might need to address with your office windows, such as heat gains and losses, shading, thermal comfort, and energy requirements among others. You'd need to discuss these with a professional who will then provide the best solution for you.
An example of a great window glazing is a double-pane or triple-pane windows. These refer to windows with 2 or 3 glass panes, which traps a layer of gas in-between the panes. Depending on your heat control and soundproofing needs, you might use one or the other.
One way to add features and alter the properties of windows is to add coatings or tints. An example is the low-emissivity (low-e) coating. It's a layer of metallic oxide reducing the amount of heat passing through the glass.
Tints are great for changing the colour of the glass for aesthetic purposes. However, it can also be in use for reducing solar gains.
You now know what is window glazing and why it is important. The next step is then to talk to a professional who can provide the best solutions for your office windows.
Don't hesitate to talk to the professionals. Contact us now for inquiries and get window glazing down for your own business.
While you might not spend too much time thinking about zoning, studies have found a correlation between commercial zoning and crime. If you don't have a safe and secure commercial building, you'll have a tough time renting out to tenants. You need to fix and repair issues in your buildings or else face the ramification of vacancies and angry tenants.
Here are five of the most important things that you need to fix as soon as you see an issue.
If there's a water leak in your commercial building, you might think you could throw a bucket underneath and get to it when you get to it. Little do you realise that with every drip, you're inviting a whole host of problems that are racking up costs by the minute.
If your leak is on the 3rd floor, you might have an unseen leak on the 4th, 5th, and all the way up to the roof. If a leak in your roof has gotten bad enough to be seen on lower floors, it means that you've got water running all the way down, leaving rot and mildew behind. As the water leaks, it leaves the structure of your building weaker as it rusks and rots your building from the inside.
A leaky roof is serious business.
If your leak is contained, it still needs to be addressed as soon as possible. A leak that runs through the wall or through the ceiling tiles will break down the pipe it originates from and any material that it's dripping through.
If you end up with a leaky toilet, you need to get on top of that immediately. The kinds of bacteria and microbes that run from your toilet could be a health hazard. If that gets in your walls or floorboards, it will eat away at the material and could cost you thousands to fix.
A gas leak is an immediate call for alarm. If someone in your building reports the smell of gas, you should rush over and call someone immediately. If you don't have your own gas tester, you should call the gas company to come and check things out.
Gas leaks can cause all sorts of problems. If one of your tenants services children or elderly customers, their clients could become seriously ill. It doesn't bode well for you if your negligence causes people to get sick when they come to your building.
If someone in your building runs a small jewellery business, they could be using a handheld torch. Even a small candle shop could become a huge liability if you don't monitor the gas lines in your building.
A passing smoker could set your building on fire if you're not careful.
Pests aren't a serious problem in all commercial buildings but if there's one thing that your tenants will expect you to take care of, it's bugs and rodents. If one of their customers or clients sees a roach crawling across the floor while they discuss high-end services, your tenant will lose that customer.
The credibility of the people working out of your commercial building will be compromised if they are subject to pests.
Someone in your commercial building could be running an e-commerce website. Imagine if they send out products that have been chewed by rodents. They'll lose clients left and right if there are mouse droppings found in their shipments.
Your elevators and stairways are important to keep clean, clear, and functioning smoothly. If you don't take care of your elevator, you'll get lots of complaints from tenants and from their customers who are troubled by it. When someone with disabilities comes to one of your buildings, they rely on a working elevator to ensure that they can get around.
If you don't take care of your stairwells, they can become covered in trash, spiderwebs, and pests. Stairs that are broken or damaged need to be replaced. Stairways are also a huge liability as they need to be kept up to code for the local fire department. If there's an emergency in your building and people can't use the stairs, get ready for a massive lawsuit.
Working elevators are also a big plus if you're renting out space in your building. People don't want to rent an office in a building where the elevator is slow, old, or constantly in disrepair.
Making sure your building is secure is an absolute must when you own a commercial building. In residential buildings, people come in and out all the time and a potential thief would be seen. In a commercial building, there's a safe bet the building is all but empty after 5 PM and on weekends.
If the front door of your building isn't secure, you need to have some kind of security measures in place. You should put cameras around your building so that you'll know if someone breaches the entrance who shouldn't be there.
Every major door or individual office should have a strong working lock. If the locks on your building fail, you could be liable for every single office that gets robbed. Since you don't know what kind of valuables your tenants could have hidden in their desks, you're better off being safe than sorry.
If you don't fix and repair things as they're brought to your attention, you risk upsetting your tenants. Since you rely on them to pay your bills, every commercial tenant should take the complaints of their tenants seriously. It takes a high degree of annoyance to go through the trouble of contacting you, so you can rest assured that if you hear about it, it's probably an issue.
If you suspect you've got an HVAC issue plaguing you, check out our guide to find out what you should do.
Becoming a DIY maintenance director of your building or office isn't going to help you out in the long run. Instead, you will spend more money because of the lack of expertise you have.
In this article, we will go over some of the signs to watch out for in your building or office space.
Keep reading to learn about ten things to watch out for when deciding if you need to call a plumber!
Do you want to make certain you are prepared for the next plumbing situation? It is important to take preventative measures as well as be informed about potential problems that could occur.
When a pipe breaks or backflow happens, make sure you call an expert. Keep a list of contractors you've heard through word of mouth that are excellent and skillful workers.
Here, we are going to go over ten things to look for in your office or home. This will help you decide when to call a plumber.
If there is delayed draining of water in your sink, then you know something is wrong. This is a sign that something is clogged up and the usual flow of water is unable to move.
With kitchen sinks, sometimes it's because of grease or insoluble from leftover food that's hardened in the pipe.
In bathrooms, typically its gel and hair that cling together, forming a ball. Buildup begins around the walls of the draining pipe.
If you notice that water is taking longer than usual to drain, you may need to call a plumber.
Backflow is a terrible thing that happens to homeowners or business owners.
Smelly and bad water can ruin rugs, carpet upholstery, and flooring forever.
Frequently, the return of smelly water or the overflow of the sink is called back-flowing. This happens if there is a sudden change in the water flow. A reversal of water up the drain occurs.
The worst version of this is having a sewer backflow.
Typically, the main valve must be shut down. Backflow occurs because a valve can't close the water that's been drained.
Despite turning the faucet handle many times, if the water pressure is still weak, this is often a sign that something is inside the facet and holding back the amount of water that can be released.
It may seem like a simple process, you could damage the inside of the faucet pipe if you try and poke holes in it. This could lead to a leak.
Instead, call a plumber and have them take a look at it.
Bad smells in a house or office are an indication that the valve isn't performing well and must be replaced or repaired. This isn't an easy fix, so you should call a plumber.
They will be able to ensure your house doesn't smell like sewage water or rotten eggs.
Gurgling water occurs when water is trapped in the faucet of a toilet, laundry machine, or dishwasher. The drain may be clogged by something. If the draining system is trying to get air, gurgling can occur as well.
If you don't turn off the water, it could back up the entire house.
If you hear water running behind the walls even when the kitchen or bathroom isn't in use, this means there is a leak someplace.
You shouldn't be able to hear it run. Call a plumber and have them come to take a look.
If you don't, the leak could grow into a bigger problem.
Have you run out of water before? There may be an active leak that you don't know about. Most pipes are either behind walls or underground, so this can be a severe problem to inspect.
Call a plumber and have them discern what's going on.
If an appliance has broken in your office or one of your apartments, there may be a problem. Water heaters, washing machines, dishwashers, and any other appliances that are connected to water may cause an issue when broken.
Call in a professional to examine your appliance and fix this plumbing problem.
This will keep your space protected from water damage as well as preserve your device.
If you do not have a main shutoff valve, make this is a priority to be installed and learn how it works.
If there is an emergency at your office or in one of your buildings, you are going to want to shut off the water as quickly as possible to prevent any more damage to your property.
If an appliance breaks in the future, you will be able to easily shut the water off and make sure your kitchen floor doesn't get ruined from a leaking dishwasher.
Water quality varies significantly all over the place and depending on where you live, you might have water that has trace minerals and various additives.
High concentrations can cause green, brown, and white buildup. They can also stain fixtures and faucets.
The pipes can be affected, and this will change the water flow.
If you know that the water quality isn't the greatest where you live, it might be a good idea to install some purification systems or filters.
In this article, we examined ten different signs of when you should call a plumber. Don't try and fix it yourself. You will save yourself money and worry, in the long run. By hiring a professional, you will be in good hands.
Properties and offices must be maintained. Things will break down. You just need to make sure you know what to look out for and also when to call a plumber.
Do you want to learn how to maintain your commercial property? Read this article we wrote about ten tips for building maintenance.
Carpets are pretty essential when it comes to having a warm, safe and comfy office. With the British weather acting like a toddler throwing a tantrum in a supermarket, it's best to make sure you've covered all bases with both AC for the summer and carpet for the rest of the year.
Are you thinking it may be time to replace your commercial carpet, but aren't really sure? Are you wondering whether you can get a little more use out of it before the death knell tolls? Read on to learn the top 7 signs that time's up for your workplace carpet.
It can be difficult to spot the faults in your office carpet, especially when it's been around longer than you have. When you're seeing it day in, day out, it becomes a well-worn, familiar friend.
Still, however attached you might have grown to that carpet tile floor, it may be giving visitors the wrong impression, and affecting your business' reputation.
Signs of wear and tear include:
If your commercial carpet is showing one or more of these signs, it's likely you'll need a new one, pronto.
Carpet stains can be a major eyesore and reflect pretty badly on your business. Whether it's oil traipsed in from the mechanics' garage outside, bleach spilled by the office cleaner or a stray glass of wine from an office party, stains are part of working life.
But they can also be really difficult to get out, and multiple stains will look pretty awful. Oh, and be wary of do-it-yourself "hacks," like pouring white wine over red, or using red onions to scrub out the grease.
Most of the time, these home remedies make stains worse and cause other problems - like unwanted smells - in the meantime. No, when your carpet's stained, you're better off getting a new one and starting afresh.
Here in the UK we take health and safety pretty seriously, right? And with good reason. No business wants their employees or customers to be hurt at work, or be sued as a result.
Check your carpet over for rips, tears and slippery edges. Is your carpet loose underfoot? Are any of the tiles sliding, or curling at the corners? If you have any of these problems, call in the professionals and they may be able to repair some of the damage to your carpet.
Of course, if the damage has gone too far then yes, your carpet will need to be replaced, but it's a small price to pay versus an injury lawsuit.
Let's face it - after a few years, carpets can start to smell bad. Think wet dogs in an old pub with the sticky tables, bad. Okay, so we may be exaggerating a little, but if your office has started to smell funny or malodorous, it's time for a change.
There are a plethora of reasons why your carpet comes into contact with these smells, but the fabric absorbs them, and the odors stay. It could be anything from spilled milk, to cooking smells or damp, but if you've had your carpets cleaned and they still whiff, then it's high time you got a new one.
Okay, we've got nothing against your grandma, but you know those old photos from when your mum and dad were kids, with the sheepskin rugs and the orange wallpaper? If your carpet looks like it'd fit right in, then you need to put it out of its misery.
A good quality carpet is built to last, but sometimes it can outlive its beauty. If you want your business to look professional, modern and inviting, then a new carpet that reflects your ethos is what you want.
Cheap carpet is easy on the wallet at first, but that's about it. In fact, cheap carpets are a false economy as they wear out more quickly, often don't look too attractive, and the lack of underlay can give you foot fatigue.
A lack of padding basically leaves your floor feeling like hard tiles, and this can lead to problems like cramping, joint pain and backaches. To counter this, you should get a new office carpet, and make sure there's appropriate padding beneath it, so you and your colleagues can have happy feet through the working day.
Have you noticed you're sneezing more at work, or peoples' allergies seem to have gone into overdrive? If you have an air conditioning unit, make sure you get it cleaned and serviced regularly, as contaminated air will make people sick.
If you've checked out your AC and that's not the problem though, you may need to have a closer look at the carpet. Have you had leaks in the past, any flooding or damp? Even if these issues have been resolved, it could be you still have mold in your carpet or underlay.
Mold can adversely affect your health. Infants and the elderly are particularly at risk, so if your business is a doctor's office or care home, for example, mold could pose a serious problem.
Others who are affected are:
If you have mold growing in or under your carpet, then it's vital you get it changed right away.
A commercial carpet can make work-life better for so many reasons. Not only does it make your office or workplace look good, but it gives the room an extra layer of warmth, comfort and safety that hard floors don't.
If you've noticed your carpet has worn over time, acquired stains or smells like an unwashed armpit, you'll want to get it changed as soon as possible.
If your carpet's torn, curling or moldy though, it's a danger to others and needs to be repaired or replaced immediately. If you need to fix or replace your commercial carpet, contact us and see how we can help.
Proper cooling capacity and regular commercial HVAC maintenance are important for keeping costs low. Preventative maintenance needs to be budgeted if you want to get the most out of your HVAC system.
Of course, not everyone has the same cooling needs; it varies by climate and office environment.
Other factors determining maintenance needs include: the age of the system, type, condition, physical location, and stress on the system. Certain components need more upkeep than others, so you’ll need to adjust your maintenance schedule accordingly.
For more information on HVAC preventative maintenance, refer to this line of questioning and inspection.
Have Things Gotten Bad?
Are you seeking out commercial HVAC maintenance because your cooling has dropped off significantly? Is your electric bill spiking from a decreased performance? These problems must be fixed before you start planning out preventative maintenance contracts.
How Long Before Visits?
How many hours per day is your HVAC system running? The longer the system runs continuously, the more preventative maintenance you will need.
Don’t rely just on the manufacturer’s recommendation. Having 24-hour maintenance service for your system will prevent any surprising during quarterly visits, for example.
The amount of stress put on a system also depends on how many people are occupying the building on average. Constant foot traffic will greatly reduce the efficiency to keep the building cool. The temperature outside influences the energy consumption of the HVAC system, inside and out.
Your electric bill rises in the summer, but the surges that happen in between then could be attributed to a struggling HVAC system.
What Commercial HVAC Maintenance Entails
Basic maintenance should be done by an HVAC specialist when it comes to large commercial systems. This is not because it is too complicated for you to understand, but because it requires many tasks that need to be done regularly.
During the Spring and Summer, filters must be replaced, belts need to be replaced, all surfaces on the condenser and evaporator coils need to be cleaned, and that can all take some time.
On top of surface cleaning, lines need to be checked for leaks, loosened connections, and lubrication of all moving parts. The fans have to be tested for proper speed and balance for adequate air flow. The thermostat must also be tested to make sure the correct temperature is being displayed.
Additional Fall and Winter Maintenance
All of the above inspections and replacements must be made, plus heating elements as temperatures fall. Heaters must be tested and maintained to prevent a worse case scenario of improper ignition and heating element malfunction.
Starters and solenoids often go out when temperatures drop below freezing.
The heat exchanger must also be well-maintained or it will take much more power to reach the correct temperature. This is a source of many over-priced electric bills during the winter months.
Property Owners Must Be Proactive
Businesses ought to have their HVAC system checked and completely investigated a few times each year. This is to ensure the occupants are keeping up the property, and to see that there are no significant issues inside the complex. Property owners ought to incorporate the testing and repairs of their HVAC frameworks into their overhead costs.
Property administrations should be aware of their occupants’ requests with regards to warming and cooling needs. Grievances about noise, smell, and the time it takes to change the temperature of the space should be noted.
It is important to work with a specialist in HVAC maintenance. You need someone who has multifaceted experience of preventative and emergency repairs. They ought to be familiar with all variations and models of HVAC units, for example, heaters, warm pumps, and hybrid cooling systems.
Preventative maintenance is still superior to repairing as needed. A yearly upkeep calendar ought to be followed up to review, clean, and repair the HVAC unit’s most vulnerable parts.
Questions to Ask an HVAC Contractor
Ask their opinion on how large your HVAC system should be. What is the true capacity of your current system? How are they coming up with their figures for your HVAC needs?
The industry standard calculation is called the Manual J Load Calculation, so look for an experienced contractor to mention it.
What do they think about the condition of your ductwork? Find out if they charge more for the cleaning of ductwork or if they can install new ducts. The condition of your ducts has a direct impact on the efficiency of your HVAC system.
Are they bonded and insured? Don’t do work with any contractors who can’t show you they are legal to do work for you.
Contracts, Fees, and Other Services
Does your HVAC contractor offer upgrades to newer systems? What about a ductless solution–can they offer the equipment and cost to convert it? What is the SEER rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) on their HVAC systems?
Ask if they research available rebates or tax credits for businesses looking to upgrade to a more energy efficient system. Do they also handle the processing of paperwork needed to receive the permits and local code approval?
Finally, don’t be afraid to inquire about specific payment terms. Know how much you’ll be paying upfront, how long it will take to complete the job, and any fees associated with it. Ask about extended warranties offered, as it is recommended to get everything in one contract.
Finding an HVAC Provider in Your Area
The first step towards saving more on your operating costs is getting an inspection. Calling up and scheduling a system inspection is how you can weed out the pros from the posers. Remember to call them with the intention of having a long-term relationship for preventative commercial HVAC maintenance.
This inspection should include a lot of exploratory questions from both you and the HVAC tech. If they don’t ask a lot from you, take note of this. No matter how experienced they are, the more information a tech has, the better they will be able to estimate the job and costs associated with it.
If you’re ready to speak to a professional about repairing, improving, and maintaining your system, contact us today.
Is your flat roof leaking? Trying to figure out what the cause might be?
Maintaining a commercial property is essential if you’re running a business or if you’re striving to be a great commercial property manager. A damaged or leaking flat roof can cause a lot of potential problems.
If you’re experiencing flat roof leaking it can be difficult to pinpoint what the issue is. However, by knowing a few of the most common causes you can get a good idea of what the problem might be and how to proceed.
Below we’ll take a look at some of the potential causes of a leaking roof...
1. Perimeter Flashing Damage
Damage to a roof’s perimeter flashing can lead to big problems in a commercial flat roof. This type of damage is one of the most common reasons you may be experiencing a leak. If your flat roof perimeter flashing has taken any damage in the form of holes, tears, or breakages then water will probably be able to work its way into your building.
The cause of this perimeter flashing damage can vary from roof to roof. Most often, this type of damage is due to extreme weather and temperatures or they may be due to poor installation and maintenance.
2. Weather Damage
Adverse weather conditions can be a big problem and can lead to many types of costly property damage. Leaks are one of the most common issues you may face with a commercial building as a result of poor weather.
Strong storms, rain, snow, or high winds can potentially cause a lot of damage to your roof and your perimeter flashing. Perimeter flashing damage may be the result of different temperature conditions in which there are fluctuating highs and lows.
When you have a flat roof leak due to weather damage, it is essential that you get it repaired as soon as possible and prevent any further leakage from occurring.
3. Poor Workmanship
Another possible reason that your flat roof may be suffering from a leak is that you simply received poor craftsmanship when the roofing system was initially installed.
A poorly designed roof can lead to flatwater problems, meaning that your roof is filled with water for an extended amount of time and fails to drain itself within 48 hours after rainfall.
Flatwater problems can occur when there aren’t enough ways for the water to drain or if the building gutters and water outlets are blocked by debris. Flat water can cause there to be too much weight on top of your roof, and can also lead to leaks.
4. The Builder Used the Wrong Materials
While the actual design or craftsmanship of the property may have led to the leak, sometimes the builder simply used the wrong materials for the job. Certain roofs work better with different building materials. The wrong materials may not be able to properly handle the rain as it should.
Some builders are just careless and didn’t consider the materials carefully enough. A builder may also have been inexperienced and didn’t know any better.
Whatever the reason, the wrong materials used on a flat roof can cause leaking and a lot of frustration.
5. Excessive Foot Traffic
Your roof may also have problems because there has been too much foot traffic on your roof. Too much foot traffic on a flat roof can lead to punctures and breaks. Breaks, breaches, and penetrations can all lead to a leaking roof and cause a lot of damage.
If you suspect excessive foot traffic has led to these breaks, it’s important to limit how many people can access your roof throughout the day or week.
6. Lack of Maintenance
A lack of property maintenance is also a common cause of problems with a flat roof. Poor maintenance may lead to your roof having leaks and experiencing damage.
If you have had a lot of other business matters to attend to, you may have postponed building and roof maintenance time and time again. However, this can be a big mistake.
There may be moss buildup, plants on your roof or in pipes, and other forms of deterioration as well. If your roof hasn’t been maintained as it should have it can lead to buildup and deterioration that make your roof start leaking.
7. Old Age
A commercial flat roof, its equipment, and other components will always deteriorate over time.
If you let your roof go for too long without adequate upkeep, it can be a real problem and you may find that leaks are beginning to occur. Holes and punctures may occur in worn-out components and equipment such as HVAC units, vents, gas lines, or pipes and drains.
Whatever the reason, some degradation should be expected with the old age of a roof. It’s important to get your leak repaired as soon as possible and to remember to stay on top of maintenance going forward.
Ready to Fix a Flat Roof Leaking Problem?
While it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of a roof leak these are a few of the potential causes that you can start looking at to get to the bottom of the problem.
With a little bit of effort, however, it is possible to get your roof repaired and back to normal once again.
If you’re experiencing flat roof leaking or another roof problem in your place you’ll want to hire quality building repair specialists We can help. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.
Running a commercial building is no easy task. Whether you have the whole place to yourself or you lease the space for other businesses, there are many details to take care of. From the security performance to the electrical bill and routine maintenance checks, you’ve got your hands full.
Thankfully, there are all kinds of services available to help you manage everything – like surveillance cameras and HVAC contractors.
A commercial HVAC contractor is someone who knows how large buildings work and the kind of care their air conditioning needs. This person can help you catch issues before they become big problems, and may even know how to save you a bit of money on that big electric bill. But, you need to find the right contractor, or team of contractors, for the job. Here are all the steps to take to make sure you choose the right HVAC company.
Get HVAC Contractor Recommendations
Don’t let your search for an HVAC contractor become a wild goose hunt. Start by asking other people in your professional network if they’ve recently had an AC work done on their building.
Chances are, they have and they know just the AC contractor you need. While this is a great sign, you shouldn’t stop there. Every person you ask is probably going to come up with a different recommendation, so you have to find a way to start narrowing down your options.
Do Your Own Research
Once you have a few recommendations from people you know well and trust, start to do a bit of your own research. Visit each contractor’s website and find out more about them.
Visit Their Websites
When you go to a contractor’s website, look into the services they offer and read a little bit about their company history. How long have they been in business? Do they work exclusively with commercial buildings or do they specialize in residential services, too? Such details will help you get a feel for their HVAC knowledge and experience. You don’t want to end up working with a team of contractors that just got into the business. It’s always better to find a company that has been doing this for years.
Check Customer Testimonials
Customer testimonials are another important detail to keep in mind. No matter how long a company has been in business if they don’t have a good amount of testimonials to show for their work, somethings up.
The most reputable AC repair contractors will have detailed customer testimonials on display. You’re likely to find these on their “About Us” page, their “Contact” page, or sprinkled all over the website.
Read Off-Site Reviews
In addition to testimonials, you should read a few reviews. What’s the difference? A testimonial is a customer review that has been hand-selected by a company for them to display. They may have even asked for a special quote from a close friend or a business they’ve been working with for years. These offer great information, but they don’t always tell the whole story.
Reviews, though, will display the good and the bad. These can easily be found on a company’s Facebook page or their Google My Business profile. You can glance at the reviews to see what kind of star rating an HVAC contractor company has or dig a little deeper and find out why people gave one star or four stars. The more information you have, the better. You can’t get carried away by the “great prices” or “speedy service” a contractor promises if their reviews reveal they’re not as great as the sales pitch wants you to believe.
Contact Your Top Choices
After reading testimonials and reviews, you should have your list of possible AC repair contractors down to two or three. Now it’s time to reach out to your top choices directly.
You can call them or send them an email. Either way, be sure to ask for a quote and set up a time to meet in person.
Get a Quote
A quote is an estimate of how much your HVAC contract will cost. Sure, you can look at the prices listed on a contractor’s website, but in reality, every service they do is a little bit different.
The final price will depend on how big of a commercial building you have and all the work that needs to be done. If you need a major repair versus a minor maintenance check, you can expect the price to go up.
This is why meeting in person is crucial before you make your final choice. It allows the contractor to get a good idea of the kind of rate to offer, which works for the benefit of you and them.
Meet in Person
There are more benefits to meeting in person than just to get an accurate quote (although this is extremely important). This also allows you to see how well you connect with your contractor and to gauge how much HVAC knowledge they really have.
It’s your time to ask questions about everything from what you can expect during the time of service to the intricacies of your HVAC. Use this as a chance to bring up how to lower your electric costs or to ask about what you can do to better heat or cool the building without putting so much stress on the HVAC unit.
Schedule a Service with Your New HVAC Contractors
Last but not least, make your final choice. The right HVAC contractors should be obvious after you meet with a few options. Now, all you have to do is schedule a service and let them get to work!
Don’t forget to keep us in mind as you choose your contractors. M&E Maintenance Solutions has been serving commercial and residential buildings all over the UK for over ten years. Contact us today to see how we can help you.
Sick Building Syndrome.
It’s one of the biggest problems that commercial building owners and managers face. Yet, it’s one of the most commonly overlooked.
Simply because an SBS’s occupants experience health issues and discomfort without apparent reason or identified illness or cause. Because the sickness spreads mostly through the air, and air is something we can’t really see. Hence, it can go unnoticed until people start coughing, sneezing, and having dry, itchy eyes among many other symptoms.
And in many cases, it’s a ventilation problem that causes SBS.
SBS is a huge concern. It’s one that you can’t afford delaying the solutions to. Just to let you know, this widespread ‘disease’ in buildings results in over a yearly loss of over 24 million working days.
So, to help you prevent such disasters, we’ve come up with this list of seven signs pointing out to ventilation issues.
1. Rising Number of Fatigue Complaints
Have you heard more than just a few of your building’s tenants saying how it seems like they can’t wake up? Even after they just had a long sleep and a refreshing jolt of caffeine? Perhaps many of them even feel more than just the usual sleepiness – they feel tired to the bone.
Well, in this case, that wall of fatigue they constantly hit may already point to a growing ventilation problem.
Poor ventilation almost always means poor indoor air quality (IAQ). It’s much like how IAQ affects homes throughout the United Kingdom.
A building that has poor IAQ exposes its occupants to pollutants and contaminants. When inhaled, especially in large doses, these unhealthy air particles can limit the function of the lungs. This then makes oxygen circulation more difficult, leading to symptoms of fatigue.
Those who experience this sign of ventilation issues usually find themselves feeling better once they get out of the building.
2. Headaches that Develop Only Inside the Building
Employees who work in sick buildings also often complain about massive headaches. And like with the symptoms of fatigue, the pain subsides once they leave the work premises. In any case, take this as a sign of ventilation problem in your building.
Sometimes, the culprits are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Paint, paint thinners, cleaning solutions, and even some types of carpeting are sources of these hazardous compounds.
Without proper ventilation, VOCs can float around and circulate through the air indoors. Anyone who steps into the building can then inhale them, leading to painful symptoms such as headaches.
3. Runny Nose Even When It’s Not Flu Season
Does it seem that the flu is going around? Do you hear people in the building sniffling non-stop? If so, then that’s another sign you have a ventilation problem.
This is especially true when these people only develop the flu-like symptoms when inside the building.
They’re not allergic to their jobs, but there’s definitely something in the air that makes them appear so.
Poor indoor air quality can trigger allergies and asthma in people who have them. But it can also make people who don’t have these conditions suffer from similar symptoms.
In this case, don’t let your tenants or employees suffer longer. In fact, don’t wait until they serve you with a complaint or even a lawsuit! The sooner you have the ventilation system checked, the sooner everyone gets better again.
4. Dizzy Spells and Nausea Going Around?
Feeling green around the gills whenever in the office? That’s another common sign of a ventilation problem, and one that you should stop ignoring.
Indeed, there are plenty other causes of dizziness and nausea. But if they’ve become more common amongst a building’s tenants, then it’s most likely the indoor air quality to blame.
Poor ventilation, combined with all other pollutants and contaminants that get into the building can make anyone go crazy dizzy.
Remember, fulfilling your property management responsibilities is part of your legal agreement with your tenants. Don’t let get sick or you can face serious penalties from the Government.
5. It Stinks Inside the Building
Horrible smells. Like a cloth that’s been damp for ages. Similar to what smelly socks usually smell like.
Again, these all point to a possible ventilation problem. Musty odors and the feeling of dampness surrounding you are signs you should check the building’s ventilation system.
6. The Dreaded, Disgusting Moulds
Proper ventilation allows fresh air to enter and circulate throughout a building. Without this, condensation rises and mold problems soon follow.
The scary thing about molds is that it takes as little as one to two days for them to start spreading. That’s right. All it takes is a weekend for them to take over many areas of your workplace or commercial building. And the longer you allow them to live, the more difficult it is to get rid of them. Also, don’t think that these microorganisms only thrive in bathrooms and other damp and dark areas. They can survive almost anywhere, eating away at anything organic.
From wood to paper to fabric to cotton, molds can cover them all. And don’t forget about the potential toxic effects of black mold, the most dreaded of its kind.
7. Stuffy, Chest-Tightening Kind of Indoor Environment
People complaining about how “stuffy” the air is or how it seems like they can’t breathe properly indoors? That’s another sign of a ventilation problem.
A malfunctioning ventilation system doesn’t allow adequate amounts of fresh air to enter, so there’s lack of fresh air circulating in the building too. Or, maybe it does let fresh air in but the indoor air quality has gone so bad that it no longer helps.
Whichever the case is for your building, it’s time you have professionals check the ventilation for any problems.
Get That Ventilation Problem Resolved ASAP
As a building owner or manager, you can’t let your property harm its occupants. Not only is it your legal responsibility. It’s the ethical thing to do.
The last thing you want is for people who stay for long hours inside your property get sick. So, before any of these happens, give us a call. We’ll set your ventilation issues straight and make sure everyone breathes in fresh air again.
Owning a commercial property is a hands-on job. One of your top priorities should be its maintenance in order to preserve the building’s value.
The wear and tear of your commercial property is only natural.
But in order to generate some form of profit, there are routine maintenance steps which should be carried out year-after-year.
Commercial building maintenance is generally quite routine. This way, you can also avoid costly renovations which could only hurt your profits down the line.
Here are some of the top 10 commercial building maintenance steps to take in order to keep your property in tip-top shape.
Commercial Building Maintenance Tips To Keep in Mind
When it comes to owning commercial property, there are two primary objectives:
1. To maintain its value
2. To generate revenue in order to earn a profit on your investment
Maintaining its value goes hand-in-hand with the condition of the building. The more maintenance is neglected, the greater decrease in value.
Generating revenue is related to the tenants who may use your building as a business premises. The better the state of your building, the higher the caliber of tenants and rent they are likely to pay.
To add to this, regular commercial building maintenance is a great way to prevent huge, unforeseen costs.
A collapsed roof, fire damage, pest infestation or flooding could spell disaster for your profits.
Here are 10 steps to take each year for your commercial building maintenance:
1. Audit Your Energy Consumption
An energy audit of your commercial building is important in establishing where you can lower your overall costs, year-to-year.
As a commercial building owner, you may find that energy costs are one of your biggest overheads. Doing an energy audit is a great way to determine what is chewing into your budget.
An energy professional will conduct an overview of your building and will determine how you can lower your costs, such as:
• Swapping out old light-bulbs for energy-saving alternatives
• Repairing insulation around doors and windows
• Replacing window glass
• Replacing roof insulation and more
An energy audit also allows you to determine whether your tenants are happy with and comfortable within your building.
2. Fix Your Fixtures
Another important aspect of commercial building maintenance is the upkeep of simple things, such as fixtures.
Leaving these damaged fixtures to sit for prolonged periods of time can only lead to further accidents or damage to your building.
Damaged fixtures such as broken lights, door handles, small windows or damaged doors can also leave your building looking shabby.
Make sure to replace damaged fixtures as and when they happen to avoid a backlog of maintenance work and unhappy tenants!
3. Conduct a Monthly Safety Audit
The safety mechanisms and fixtures throughout your commercial property should also be one of your top maintenance priorities.
When it comes to an emergency, these safety fixtures must be in full working order to avoid accidents and any potential lawsuits.
Emergency lighting systems, emergency exit signs, emergency doors and fire detector systems are just some of these safety fixtures.
Make sure to do a monthly audit of these safety mechanisms to ensure they are all operating as they should.
4. Prioritize Remodelling Projects
The remodeling of your commercial property goes a long way in keeping it looking modern and well-kept. After all, this is what your tenants pay for.
The general rule-of-thumb is to keep your commercial property in the same state as you would your own home. If you notice remodeling work is needed, don’t neglect it.
Replace ripped carpets, repaint chipped and peeling walls or ceilings, and refresh the building’s exterior with fresh paint at least once a year.
These are just some of the basic maintenance and remodeling requirements for any commercial building.
5. Stay-On-Top of Pest Control
Undoubtedly, one of the worst issues to deal with when it comes to any commercial property is a rampant pest infestation.
This can end up costing you thousands of Dollars in building extermination, as well as the temporary removal of your tenants.
Keep in mind that even if your tenants haven’t complained about pests, doesn’t mean there isn’t an issue.
Stay-on-top of pest control by conducting a pest audit with a professional at least once a year. Maintenance is the key to keeping pests at bay!
6. Eliminate All Fire Hazards
One of the most devastating hazards which faces any property owner is the potential for a fire to break out.
The only way to avoid a fire breaking out is to identify and eliminate all fire hazards throughout your property.
You will also need to do routine checks on smoke detectors throughout your building at least once a month. Batteries will need to be replaced once a year as well.
Make sure all fire exit doors are fully operational and passageways are kept clear. Ensure each floor of your building is equipped with fire extinguishers.
7. Keep Your Backup Generator Firing
Stagnant parts in a backup generator can spell disaster. As these parts remain motionless, air can creep into the unit injector solenoid and render your generator useless.
All emergency generators need to be started up for at least 5 minutes, once a week to rev up the moving parts and keep things alive.
Transfer load testing should generally be done once a month, while a scheduled full load test should be carried out annually.
8. Prioritize Maintenance of Facilities and Utilities
Staying on track with the full function of your building’s facilities is paramount to keeping tenants happy.
These facilities include the likes of elevators, escalators, public bathrooms, staff rooms and HVAC units.
It’s vital that you conduct a monthly inspection of the operation of these facilities to prevent accidents and maintain the quality of your building.
9. Inspect HVAC Systems Annually
In the summer and winter months, air-conditioning and heating systems are paramount to the comfort of your building’s tenants.
As a result, the HVAC system of your building could be working overtime and close to burn out. This is where monthly inspection is so important.
Filter inspection and replacement will ensure your HVAC system works at its optimum.
If the system seems to be taking strain, call in a technician who can assess where to take some pressure off with re-balancing.
Don’t forget to check the function of HVAC thermostats too!
10. Inspect Electrical and Alarm Systems
Electrical faults play a huge role in the cause of fires breaking out in many commercial buildings – 24.5% of all fires to be precise.
Professional inspection of your wiring, breakers, and appliances throughout your building must be made a priority at least once a year.
While these systems are being inspected, it’s also a good time to double check smoke alarms and fire retardant systems.
Keep Your HVAC Systems In Top Condition With M&E Management
At M&E, our specialty lies in the expert maintenance of commercial property HVAC systems.
Established in 2007, our years of experience put us a cut above the rest, delivering an unrivalled maintenance and repair service.
If your commercial building is in need of HVAC maintenance, don’t hesitate to contact us for all your needs!
Common Signs You Need Commercial HVAC Repair
A NASA study theorised that productivity falls by 3.6% for every degree over 22C. So your heating and cooling systems have the power to keep your space feeling comfortable and productive. They can set the tone for those in your space and those who enter it.
A broken HVAC unit can make this space the exact opposite, especially on hot summer nights.
That’s why it’s important to keep an eye out for HVAC repair. Today, we’ve gathered some common signs for you to look out for. Read on for more:
If your AC unit is blowing warm air it could be many different things. The system may be out of refrigerant. If so this is a very easy fix but if your air conditioner is still blowing out this air and the refrigerant levels are normal then you should call an HVAC repair specialist.
This problem could be being caused by different areas of your HVAC unit. It could be your outside unit or there may be an air duct that is letting in unconditioned air. Either way, a professional will be able to spot the answer quickly and find a solution to have your AC running right.
Utility Costs Are Rising
This is one of the most common ways to see that you need an HVAC repair. If you notice a sudden increase in your electricity bills and you haven’t made any drastic changes recently it may be your HVAC unit.
This may be happening because your filters are dirty. Dirty filters can cause air flow to be restricted and as a result, your unit will need to work harder to make up for it.
However, if you have cleaned your filters and they are still rising the problem may be a leak in your system or bad parts.
Rooms Are Different Temperatures
If some rooms in your area are different temperatures, this is a much larger problem in your HVAC system. It could be that you need a bigger system or that some ducts have been damaged and are restricting air flow.
One common cause of this problem is a damaged thermostat. If you have replaced the thermostat and the rooms feel the same its time to call an HVAC repair professional. This problem can also be avoided with regular maintenance check-ups every now and then.
Your System Is Noisy
Noisy HVAC systems can mean different repairs depending on the noise it makes. A rattling or humming noise inside the air conditioning unit can indicate that a fan on the inside is loose or that it needs to be cleaned. If this is the problems then it’s a quick fix.
If your HVAC unit is banging or clanking, then this can be a more serious problem. Noises like this can mean that parts are loose and moving around. Trying to fix the problem yourself may do more harm than good.
If you hear a clicking coming from your system don’t worry too much. This usually just means the unit is starting up.
If you ever suspect something wrong with your unit and you see exposed wires call an HVAC repair specialist immediately. These can be extremely dangerous and pose a risk of electrocution.
If you open a heating or cooling unit and see exposed wires never try and put them back yourself. You can cause yourself serious injury.
Furthermore, if there are wiring problems with your system then this can indicate a larger HVAC system problem. A technician may be able to make repairs to get it working again but you should get ready for a replacement.
Most HVAC units only last up to 20 years. If your system is approaching that age, you might be needed an HVAC repair soon. Keep up with regular maintenance to ensure you will get the most years from the system.
Start talking with your HVAC specialists about when it will be time to replace your unit with a new one. If your system is getting old, chances are it is slowly becoming less efficient.
This means that it will probably be using more energy then it should and as a result causing a higher utility bill. Try to keep up with the unit’s refrigerant to make sure it isn’t running out. An older system will also take longer to cool your house down.
Decreased Air Flow
If you feel as though the air flow in your space has decreased suddenly it could be because of your outdoor unit. Check the condensing unit for anything that might have gotten attached to it.
If there are things like grass or branches attached it might be restricting its ability to receive air. If this is not a simple fix, the problem may be in the system. Dirty coil or clogged ducts can be the cause.
Hiring a professional can help you get to the problem quickly. An expert can also fix it correctly so no more damage is done.
If you live in an area that gets extremely humid during the warmer seasons, your HVAC system puts in serious work. The AC unit needs to not only cool your space but also remove all of that humidity out of it.
This process can wear your unit out after a long time. If your house is not removing the amount of humidity that it should, this can be a larger problem that requires a professional.
The humidity could be because your AC unit does not work hard enough, in which case a professional could optimise it for the job. Or the humidity could be due to your ventilation system.
Delays in Turning On
If your HVAC unit is slow in turning on or does not turn on at all this is an obvious job for HVAC repair. This problem may be because of a faulty thermostat, which is an easy fix.
If the thermostat doesn’t fix the problem, it is likely something more complex. One reason may be that the HVAC unit’s ignition isn’t working, or the wires on the inside of your units may be burnt out.
Contact Us For HVAC Repair
Having a broken HVAC system can cause discomfort and frustration in your living space. Identifying the signs you need a repair is only the first step.
Don’t wait to get your system looked at as the problem can get worse or spread to other parts of the system. If you want to set up an appointment to get your unit looked at contact us today.