As the seasons change, so should your facility management strategies. After all, weather-related accidents that manage to infiltrate your interiors can cause slip and fall accidents, harmful air pollutants, and expensive interior damage.
Consider the following summer occurrences, how they can compromise your facility’s safety standards, and what you can do to prevent related issues.
Summer storms, including tropical rains, are detrimental to slick lobby floors. Any facility manager dealing with tile, hardwoods, or laminate knows the danger of puddles on the floor – especially in high traffic areas. Tracking in rainwater is practically inevitable, so it’s important to implement preventative measures. If you have wood or tile floors in your facility, lay down outdoor mats made of rubber or polypropylene. These materials prevent puddles from forming on the inside of the building by soaking up rainwater that could seep under doorways or be easily carried in through wet shoes.
But what about umbrellas? Shaking them off outside of the building doesn’t always do the trick. Umbrella stands, on the other hand, automatically wrap umbrellas in protective plastic bags, so your employees, patrons, or shoppers don’t even hesitate to use them. Simply insert a wet umbrella into the automated dispenser and you have a clean, dry floor free of summer rain droplets. These stands are best placed on the interior of the building next to the main doorway, and preferably on top of an absorbent floor mat.
Humidity and Condensation
Relative humidity, or the ratio of water vapor in the air to the maximum amount the air can hold at a particular temperature, is typically high in the summer. Generally, 40 to 50 percent relative humidity is considered comfortable. Anywhere below will feel too dry, while anything higher will feel muggy and wet in the summer when temperatures are warm.
When the relative humidity is above 55 percent, condensation can form on the interior walls, windows, and doors of buildings. The moisture in warm air promotes livable conditions for dust mite populations, adversely affecting those with asthma. Apart from health concerns, condensation on windows, walls, and ceilings can damage building materials and lead to costly repairs.
In order to keep things dry and safe, wipe down doors, windows and other glass surfaces throughout the building. Further, make sure your ventilation and/or HVAC systems are operating properly before weather gets worse as the season progresses.
Mold and Mildew
The condensation discussed above is usually most obvious on conductive surfaces like glass, and can be wiped down to prevent foggy windows. However, condensation also occurs on plasterboard and other porous surfaces, leading to mold growth.
To evade mold and mildew complications, inspect the building envelope for moisture. Water spots on walls, leaking roofs, wet windows, and unsealed pipes can let moisture indoors.
Reduce humidity with effective ventilation so the air quality indoors does not reflect the highly saturated air outside. You can also install new insulation to diminish the likelihood of hot air entering your facility, preventing the potential for mold and mildew growth. Lackluster facility maintenance can make mold and mildew more common during summer months, and preventative measures will help you save more money than the costs associated with removal.
Don’t be fooled by the slow lull of summer. The crowds might decrease, but regular maintenance and cleaning are still needed to proactively prevent accidents. Keep your commercial building dry and safe with air quality regulation and facility safety floor mats.