maintenance ideas now that christmas is over
With the festive period over, many sites have shut down for a week or two and maintenance activities tended to be at minimal levels. That said, winter is a challenging season for outdoor facility maintenance, and freezing conditions can cause various challenges and potential damage. To make things worse, UK winters also tend to be stormy and wet, all of which combine to make a Christmas shutdown challenging. It is worth making a checklist for maintenance tasks that should be looked at once the festive season is over.
Potholes and Pothole Repairs
Potholes are a common problem during and after winter. The fluctuating temperatures cause constant freezing and thawing of water, leading to the freeze-thaw effect. This process weakens the asphalt, and means that the weight of cars breaks through the weakened areas, forming potholes. Potholes on roads and car parks damage vehicles, pose safety hazards to visitors and cyclists, and disrupt traffic. To replace a broken section of asphalt, a crew will need to remove the damaged asphalt, fill the hole with fresh material, and compact it firmly to create a level and durable surface. It is advisable to regularly inspect entry roads, car parks and loading bays regularly for the formation of potholes, and to repair them promptly to prevent further damage and maintain road safety.
This is a lengthy and expensive process but our specialist mastic solution can speed up the process considerably. Small fixes to extend the life of your tarmac are significantly more financially efficient than wholescale tarmac removal and replacement. Our mastic solution is a repair that is finished in a couple of hours max, whereas tarmac removal and replacement means the car park is out of action for the better part of a week.
Heavy snow and high winds are a combination that can bring down trees, causing significant damage to property and posing safety risks. Trees that topple over because of autumn and winter storms can damage buildings, cars, and pose a hazard to visitors and staff.
Proper tree maintenance throughout the year can help to reduce the risk of trees falling during storms. This includes removing dead or diseased branches, trimming branches that are too close to power lines, buildings, footpaths or roads, and ensuring that trees are well-rooted and not damaged by pests or diseases.
When a tree falls, it is always an urgent task to have it dealt with, but our advice would be that regular maintenance beforehand can spot and ameliorate problems before they occur. In the event of a tree fall over the Christmas period, contact our tree teams who will assess the situation and take the necessary steps to remove the tree safely.
Gutter Clearance and Cleaning
Snow and ice can accumulate in gutters, forming ice dams and preventing water from draining properly. This can lead to water overflowing from the gutters and damaging the roof, siding, and foundations of a building. It can also create a hazard for pedestrians and visitors once the facility reopens if the ice dam becomes too much of a burden and the gutter collapses and falls. To prevent clogged gutters and downspouts, it is important to maintain them regularly, especially during winter. Gutter guards can also be installed to prevent leaves, twigs, and other debris from collecting in the gutters. Maintaining your gutters helps to protect the building from water damage and ensures proper water drainage. Contact our Asset Maintenance teams for a check and clean of your gutters.
Gritting and Repairing Footpaths
The constant freezing and thawing of water can cause also cause cracks to form in footpaths and paving. Such cracks trip and injure people, especially in poorly lit areas. To repair cracked footpaths, damaged paving slabs or bricks need to be replaced with new ones. The surrounding area should also be levelled and compacted to ensure a smooth and even surface. Regular maintenance and inspection of footpaths can help to identify cracks early on, allowing us to come in for for timely footpath repairs and preventing potential accidents.
Leaves, blocked drains and other slip hazards
One of the most visible risks posed by fallen leaves over autumn and winter is their tendency to leave surfaces slippery. When wet, leaves become particularly hazardous, transforming concrete paths, car parks and other areas into slippery walkways. This can lead to a spike in slips and trips, resulting in minor injuries or even serious accidents. For businesses that don’t have the manpower to handle the routine annual drudge task of leaf clearance, hiring a team in from us for some leaf clearance is the obvious solution. Our asset maintenance division provides one off leaf clearance services for businesses of all sizes and has the manpower and apparatus available nationally to meet your specific needs, whatever they may be.
Winter Gritting and Snow Clearance
The most visible of winter’s hazards, the winter season means that your roads and footpaths may freeze over or even be covered in snow, which of course means that site managers need to take measures to keep their site safe and operational once they are open again.
Many businesses and facilities in the UK are forced to focus on their own winter gritting to keep their sites safe, which leads us to give the following advice. Put your grit or de-icing salt down in the late afternoon before the cold sets in – too little grit will not be effective at preventing ice from forming.
A general rule of thumb is to use approximately 20-40 grams per square meter. 40 Grams is about a fistful of material. Grit, or as it is also known “rock salt” is the cheapest, effective at melting ice but tends to stain carpets and depending on how frequently its used tends to contribute to blocked drains.
De-icing salt and grit are suitable for most surfaces, but can be corrosive to metal – it is better to buy in a specialist medium for metal. Establish a regular gritting schedule to maintain consistent coverage throughout the winter months. A regular proactive approach is more effective than sporadic applications and helps prevent the accumulation of ice on surfaces. Keep a log of all your gritting activities, noting the date, time, and quantity of grit used- this can be valuable for demonstrating that you met your duty of care if facing legal challenges for a slip or a trip.
Quick Asset Maintenance Check
If your site was closed over the Christmas period and you’d like someone to come in to give it a look over and see what needs to be fixed, why not use on of our specialist local teams to give you a steer for the year ahead of what needs doing?
Related posts from OUTCO
While prioritising pedestrian and automobile safety is crucial, we would issue a warning that businesses should be responsible about excessive salt usage in their winter gritting, as it can be both costly and environmentally harmful
The aftermath of a winter storm maybe somewhat daunting, but our asset maintenance services are available on call to quickly assess damage, repair and prevent further deterioration, making sure that none of your outdoor assets leave you with a health and safety headache for suppliers, visitors or staff