Why Should Buildings Use Post-Tensioning Systems?

Sep 23, 2022

Commercial concrete management, including post-tensioning systems, is critical to any residential or commercial high-rise and multi-level parking garage construction project. Post-tensioning involves placing prestressed steel “tendons” tightened once the concrete hardens. The additional stress of tightening compresses the concrete into its strongest state, ensuring it can support the external service loads (weight) once using the structure. 

Failing to factor in the load-bearing capability of a structure can lead to catastrophic events, such as the collapse of the Hotel New World in Singapore in 1986. The six-story building collapsed in 60 seconds, resulting in 33 deaths. More recently, investigators are still trying to determine the cause of a partial parking garage collapse in Baltimore in July 2022.

This article looks closer at post-tensioning systems, explaining what they are, how they work, and their benefits to construction and architecture. We’ll also present some practical applications of post-tensioning concrete, criteria to consider when evaluating such systems, and where to turn for post-tensioning repairs.

What is Post-Tensioning?

Post-tensioning is a unique design technique that reinforces concrete in commercial building construction. This process helps strengthen concrete, allowing it to hold up better post-construction, keeping structures secure and stable. Post-tensioning tendons generally consist of stainless steel and reinforced cable bundles. These run inside plastic coatings or sleeves, placed inside the casings where concrete is poured before filling. Afterward, the cables are tensioned and anchored against the other concrete edges. 

The post-tension acts much the same as support beams and improves the safety and stability of concrete pillars, foundations, columns, and other structures. Post-tensioning concrete is critical in the commercial building process, and proper execution gains maximum benefits.

How Does Post-Tensioning Work?

Post-tensioning works within commercial building structures as a form of prestressing. Steel is stressed and put under tension before the concrete has hardened to support the service loads and stress of the building. Most precast, prestressed concrete has this process done as well. Post-tensioned concrete means that the concrete gets poured, and then tension is applied—but there is stress before applying the loads, leaving it prestressed. It is a way of preparing the structure to support the loads and stress of large commercial systems adequately. 

Reasons concrete is popular in commercial buildings and commonly seen in post-tensioning construction include:

With so much in favor of concrete construction, the ability to improve the features of stability, durability, and longevity with post-tensioning only adds to the appeal of concrete usage in commercial structures.

Why Post Tensioning & What are the Benefits?

Concrete is the most popular construction material in the world, and for a good reason. It’s widespread in commercial buildings, not only for basements and foundations but also for exterior walls. And, of course, it’s used frequently for sidewalks, ramps, and parking garages. The concrete used in commercial buildings is often subject to more significant pressures and stressors than concrete for residential use. When used in massive commercial building projects, this requires additional support and design considerations.

Concrete may be among the most common construction materials, but it can still come with a high price tag. Industry estimates show that a concrete parking garage could range between $4 and $7 per square foot. This price typically includes the cost of materials and labor. A smaller structure may run $5,000 to $14,000, whereas a larger building could be as much as $174,000-$490,000. Larger commercial structures, whether office buildings or parking garages, require more structural performance, which may change how you need to utilize concrete. This is where post-tensioning makes its impact. 

Considering all these features and benefits, one critical aspect of commercial concrete management and upkeep regarding degradation makes all the difference post-tensioning. 

Post-tensioned concrete has a variety of benefits, including:

Finding the balance between affordable concrete usage and durable post-tension elements remains crucial in planning and maintaining commercial structures.

What Exactly is a Post-Tensioning System?

The post-tensioning concrete method was first developed in the early 1950s by industry specialists such as VSL in Switzerland. Post-tensioning is often a solution for addressing design and engineering issues. It enables the operational definition of the internal load path in concrete structures by superposing a favorable state for the internal stresses. This stress reduction minimizes deformations, reduces the thickness of concrete segments, reduces reinforcement congestion, joins components without relying on wet joints, and allows high-strength steel to reinforce structural components further. 

The post-tensioning system is a structural support mechanism essential to many commercial concrete structures built today. Experts who specialize in concrete repair and upkeep utilize this system for three main reasons:

Post-tensioning lightens the structure’s weight, reduces load-bearing packages, and helps improve the overall aesthetic appearance.

It can be used in a wide variety of structures and often occurs in a wide range of systems that vary in size and usage.

Post-tensioned construction offers the most suitable solution for combining production and application to create a final uniform structure.

Common Applications for Post-Tensioning 

This act of prestressing has several advantages over standard rebars:

Criteria of a Post-Tensioning System to Evaluate

Building designers looking for a post-tensioning system should first consider three factors to avoid  costly damages and repairs down the road.

Type of structural element – the depth of the structural component plays a key role:

Structural design – taking into account specific structural design requirements:

Protection against corrosion – Protection needed to safeguard cables against corrosion: 

Get Quality Building Repair and Management Services From Industry Experts Familiar With Post-Tensioning Systems

Finding the balance between affordable yet durable materials is vital in planning and maintaining commercial structures. Post-tensioning concrete systems allow the utilization of the durable and versatile nature of concrete, while the addition of steel cables and tension support add required structural stability. 

The post-tensioning system is the structural support working behind the scenes to provide long-lasting strength, durability, safety, and protection. Professional building management services are integral in maintaining post-tensioning systems to guard against building collapses. 

Make sure your team is ready to deal with the maintenance and upkeep of post-tensions systems. Contact The Valcourt Group today and work with industry experts who can keep your building in good working order.

Characteristics of Best in Class Rapid Commercial Building Leak Detection & Repair

Sep 15, 2022

Commercial leak detection and repair might seem farther down the to-do list with everything building managers have to track and monitor. However, knowing how to find and address a water leak in a commercial building is a significant point facility management teams cannot afford to overlook. A simple little water leak might seem like a minor issue, but in reality, must be addressed as soon as possible before it becomes a situation that needs emergency leak repair services

If a little leak is ignored, it can eventually lead to significant water damage and other issues, leading to thousands of dollars in repairs. Home Advisors offers the following estimates for home repairs, which can be much higher for commercial properties. They estimate the cost of a plumber averages from $175 to $450 for a typical job, and average hourly rates can be as high as $200. Depending on the job, some plumbers will also tack on a flat rate or service fee that could be hundreds of dollars as well. 

This is why commercial leaks and signs of water intrusion must be dealt with sooner rather than later. A water leak in a commercial building can be much more complicated and involved to fix, and the damage caused by delays in detection and repairs can be significant.

Common Areas For Water Leaks in Commercial Buildings

As a business owner, not much will frustrate and disrupt the way unexpected interruptions to daily operations and routines. These interruptions can pull attention away from vital services and processes or, even worse, directly cost the company time, money, and resources. Knowing and identifying degredation causes and signs is a vital part of building management. Leaks and water damages in commercial buildings are of major concern, especially as buildings age and begin to degrade and become more prone to breakdowns, system failures, and water intrusion.

According to FacilitiesNet Water damage causes billions of dollars in financial losses across the real estate industry, and these claims can get extremely costly for businesses. Direct costs for cleanup, repairs, replacements, and mold remediation, as well as indirect costs, such as legal fees, delayed projects, or business interruptions, can wreak havoc on an organization’s profit and loss statement.” These expensive costs can all arise from the common leak and water infiltration points within commercial buildings:

There are countless ways that even a seemingly minor leak from one of these points can turn into a major headache. Here are a few examples commercial building managers should be aware of:

Facility managers and maintenance teams can stay on top of all this with best-in-class commercial leak detection, repair, and waterproofing services.

What Best-In-Class Rapid Commercial Building Leak Detection & Repair Services Look Like 

Valcourt specializes in water leak detection services directed at commercial properties. Rapid leak detection and repair become accessible with a skilled and experienced team, state-of-the-art technology, and reliable services. A water leak pinpointed correctly saves companies time, money, and resources. Knowing how to avoid leaks and address problems sooner rather than later can also save companies a significant amount of time and money.

This accuracy helps to avoid unnecessary property damage that less experienced water leak detection methods can’t prevent. Ultimately, these best-in-service features make facility management more manageable and make property upkeep more affordable. Valcourt Building Services is the premier provider of all commercial property repair, inspection, and maintenance needs. With over 30 years of experience and tens of thousands of repairs and maintenance jobs completed,  our team can assist facility management personnel with all building maintenance and leak repair services. No matter what your building requires, we have the knowledge and expertise for all commercial exterior maintenance needs.

Valcourt’s high-quality and best-in-class leak services translate into quick, accurate, and affordable benefits when and where they are most needed. With the following best practices and services, commercial building maintenance and upkeep becomes much more streamlined and efficient:

Fast and Reliable Service From Industry Experts

Best-in-class leak-related service providers provide commercial property owners with the fastest and most reliable services. They utilize the latest and safest access equipment in the industry in the hands of trained and experienced professionals to find, address, and prevent leaks when possible.

Real-Time communication and On-Demand Data Access

The best service providers provide a customer-focused approach to each project and will communicate effectively with all involved parties throughout the process. Fast response, prompt work completion, detailed follow-ups, customized services, and on-demand support ensure quality service for facilities management

Professional Team of Local FM Providers

Best-in-class commercial facility managers and technical teams are trained and dedicated to providing quality service for all property owners. They know how to identify problem areas, implement appropriate solutions, document concerns, identify potential concerns, and communicate effectively.

Facility Protection and Security Options

Quality facility maintenance providers focus on keeping commercial buildings safe, secure, and operational by finding and repairing leaks that threaten daily functions and activities.  If a building is behind on maintenance or not up to code, they can offer facility protection and security options to address this issue.

Proactive Management to Reduce Disruptions

Routine building checks and inspections of common leak areas can help ensure that minor issues are detected and addressed effectively. Disruptions and downtime can be minimized, and bottom-line profits become easier to manage with a proactive approach to commercial leak detection and repairs.

Commercial building maintenance and upkeep can become less stressful for facility maintenance teams with these best practices and services. Small leaks can quickly grow and lead to costly damages. This is why finding the best in class rapid lead detection and repair services, such as ProExpress from Valcourt, are vital for any facility management and maintenance program.

The ProExpress Valcourt Difference for Commercial Building Leak Detection

ProXpress covers all best-in-class services as part of Valcourt Building Services’ premier services, including restoration, waterproofing, and building inspections. Partnering with property owners and property managers, their team works to service all aspects of a building’s exterior. 

The ultimate goal is improving facility management, monitoring building integrity, and unlocking the benefits of keeping buildings well maintained and in good condition. Benefits that include:

Dealing with water leaks and issues is not something building managers want to face. But it is, unfortunately, a common occurrence today. Knowing who to call for best-in-class services remains a critical first step. Valcourt Building Services’ premier ProExpress leak detection and repair services are the best in the industry.

Keep Buildings Safe and Dry With Quality Commercial Building Leak Detection Services From Valcourt

Commercial leak detection and repair might seem like a little thing in the grand scheme of commercial building management and upkeep. However, knowing how to find and address a water leak in a commercial building remains vital to ongoing operations and the safe management of commercial properties. 

Facility management teams cannot afford to overlook the warning signs of commercial building leaks and must ensure rapid leak detection and repair services are easily accessible. There are many ways that unaddressed leaks and water intrusion can turn into a major headache, all of which can be addressed with best-in-class services from Valcourt. Call today to get started.

What Are the Commercial Building Services Needed to Take Care of My Building?

Sep 08, 2022

Running and managing commercial properties requires specialized care and attention, especially building maintenance and repairs. Routine and emergency facilities maintenance and repair services remain in high demand. Maintenance collaboration and service coordination can help ensure facilities are properly managed and maintained when things are good and when things aren’t so good. Valcourt does all the work of facilities management and commercial building maintenance using their staff of highly skilled and experienced professionals. They work to provide services for commercial buildings and high-rise building maintenance services that have remained in high demand for many years.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) 2018 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey, an estimated 6 million U.S. commercial buildings contained 97 billion square feet total as of 2018. The number of commercial buildings requiring routine maintenance and upkeep increased by 6%, and commercial square footage increased by 11% since the prior CBECS in 2012. The number of commercial properties has continued to grow, though some estimate at a slower rate than in previous years. People spend nearly 80–90% of their time in commercial buildings, whether for work, errands, or dwelling. Building managers constantly look for ways to improve maintenance and upkeep operations to make their lives easier and to improve the lives of workers, tenants, and the general public. Here is why commercial building maintenance companies remain in high demand in 2022.

Damages Caused by Neglected High Rise and Commercial Building Maintenance 

Many issues can arise when building maintenance and repairs get ignored. Increased risk of property damages, injuries, fires, collapses, leaks, electrical problems, system failures, and more can arise and quickly worsen without proper inspection and maintenance of commercial buildings and properties. Severe injuries and even death can occur from seemingly minor issues that go unchecked and unaddressed for long periods, as highlighted by a 2019 article by the New York Post:

A woman was killed in a freak accident in late 2019 when a chunk of building facade fell off a Midtown tower and struck her. Police pulled city building records which showed that the property was cited a few months earlier for “failure to maintain exterior building facade and appurtenances.” Building inspectors also noted “damaged terra cotta at areas above 15th floor in several locations which pose a falling hazard for pedestrians.” Management never did the work necessary to correct the issue and repair the facade, leading to some falling away and killing pedestrians as they passed by below. 

These are often called “freak accidents” because they happen at random. Still, they occur more frequently as building maintenance continually falls to budget cuts, poor financial planning, and inefficient commercial building management. When building management needs arise, it is time to take swift action.

Common Areas of Concern For Commercial Building Structure Violations

Keeping up with commercial building management and repair often comes down to knowing and following codes and regulations that facility management teams must follow. Building codes can be somewhat of a double-edged sword for commercial property owners. 

On the one hand, they require time, money, labor, and resource to follow and maintain. On the other hand, building codes help provide a guideline to ensure commercial properties are properly maintained and remain safe.  

Watching for damage and degradationsigns is crucial building maintenance and management. Here are a few of the most common areas facility management teams should focus on when dealing with commercial property maintenance:

Means of Egress

The means of egress building code is a vital one for overall property safety and security. It deals with the number of exits a commercial building must have, the minimum width of aisles, hallways, doorways, and other evacuation route specifications. Maintenance in these areas is critical and a top priority.

Air Sealing of Penetrations 

All commercial buildings have entry and exit points for plumbing, wiring, and other systems. The proper sealing of these points relates to the energy codes needed for commercial buildings. It is also important to control air and water penetration and ensure air quality remains high for those inside the building. 

Fire Blocking

Fire blocking is another vital aspect of maintenance and upkeep within commercial properties as it helps prevent the spread of fire through the concealed, open cavities in the building.

Flashing Install

Commercial roof flashing is also essential and needs proper installation and regular maintenance. Flashing on roofs and wall structures keeps the building dry and durable, preventing water intrusion, corroding, decay, and moisture damage. 

Erosion Control

Building codes also have considerations for maintaining proper erosion control around commercial properties. Rainwater from downspouts, as well as flow from neighboring property and natural lands, must be managed to ensure foundations are not compromised. Careful monitoring and fast repairs are essential for structural integrity.

Drainage Controls

Many state regulations and building codes state that all commercial roofs, decks, balconies, and other structures should have a properly installed and maintained drainage system. Drainage control can often involve secondary or emergency overflow drain systems that must be maintained and repaired regularly.

Handrail Height or Spacing

Having the proper handrail and guard railing height and spacing is integral to building safety and is a common location for maintenance repairs and upgrades and areas of safety concerns.

Stair Rise and Run

Likewise, stairs must be maintained and kept in good condition, ensuring no cracks or chips, no missing steps, and all stairs remain spaced and aligned correctly.

ADA Compliance

The final area that many commercial property managers must focus on, with the help of facility maintenance service companies, is ensuring adherence to ADA compliance regulations. From wheelchair accessibility to keeping aisles and hallways safe to navigate, building managers must ensure all visitors are safe while visiting or using the property. 

Types of Commercial Property Maintenance FM Teams Need to Consider When Planning Services

There are two primary areas of commercial property management that facility maintenance teams need to focus on- Hard Facilities Management (Hard FM) and Soft Facilities Management (Soft FM). 

Specific Commercial Property Maintenance Areas of Concern

Proper management, repair, and maintenance of commercial buildings must not get overlooked. To do so can be disastrous and lead to significant financial loss for property owners and managers. According to a June 2022 release from NPR, “A Florida judge has approved a $1.2 billion settlement for unit owners and families of those who died in the collapse of a condo tower in Surfside last year. It was finalized one day before the anniversary of the disaster in which 98 people died.” This catastrophe  is just one example of how putting off maintenance and repair work can lead to catastrophic problems. Building managers and property owners can avoid these issues and significantly reduce their risks of costly damages by including the following areas in their routine inspection, maintenance, and repair routines:

Commercial building owners and managers have a lot to keep track of and monitor, and on-demand building repair services can help make the entire process easier. Keeping these critical areas at the top of building maintenance and repair checklists can save time and money in the long run and ensure commercial properties stay safe and operational.

Partner With the Best Commercial Building Maintenance Company Today

There is no denying the importance of proper commercial building maintenance and repair services and what can go wrong when minor issues are allowed to grow into significant problems. Investing in reliable, high-quality commercial property maintenance services is always worthwhile. Contact Valcourt today to get started and to see how quality commercial property maintenance and repair can make a difference for your business or property.

Budget-Saving Tips in Time for Hurricane Season

Aug 25, 2022

Managing buildings is a tall task. And as if you don’t have enough on your plate, it’s also budgeting and hurricane season. Fortunately, creating a spending plan and storm preparation go hand-in-hand. Follow these strategies to simplify budgeting, preserve your building assets, and protect the people within.

#1 Stick with a Routine

One of the most common challenges that building facility managers face is deferred maintenance. The dangers of delaying maintenance are numerous. But it goes beyond affecting aesthetics and asset longevity. It also impacts budgeting. The easy solution? Put an end to putting it off. Performing routine maintenance on all your building surfaces leads to consistent scheduling and spending from month-to-month. Historical spend helps you budget and secure proper funding in the future.

And here’s a tip for those with buildings in hurricane-prone locations: recurring maintenance should be performed on building joints. Properly sealed joints are your first line of defense against water infiltration.  Joint irregularities that are caught and repaired early keep water out and expenses down. Therefore, periodic maintenance such as caulking and sealing is recommended between the months of June through November (the length of the Atlantic hurricane season).

Joint Failures

#2 Keep Surfaces Clean

Budgeting may seem like a dirty word to building owners and property managers, especially because there are many unbudgeted expenses that can pop up. However, it’s possible to minimize this with regular window cleaning and pressure washing of façades, parking garages, roof membranes, and all exterior features. When exterior systems are clean, they work and function properly, which lowers the risk for unplanned repairs.

Furthermore, buildup such as dirt or debris can prevent stormwater from properly draining off surfaces causing rot, mildew, or other damage. Stains may also obscure problem areas which—if not recognized— can worsen and become costly issues.

Pressure Cleaning

#3 Get Eyes on the Envelope

Speaking of recognizing issues, you can’t budget for what you don’t see. That’s why it’s important to inspect and take photos of your building exteriors on a semi-annual basis. Photo documentation will help you identify damage or deterioration, estimate when it occurred or how long it took to worsen, prioritize repairs, and spend smarter.

Similarly, you can’t prepare for the unknown. Prior to hurricanes or other predicted storms, examine your photo records for clear insight on areas that need to be re-assessed and addressed ahead of severe weather.

Need help getting eyes on your sites? Not all building service contractors provide photographic documentation. Insist on a provider that takes and shares photos of all inspections and repairs as standard operating procedure.


Don’t let numbers and nature cause stress this season; Valcourt is here to help!  Contact us for all your building service needs including budgeting assistance, building inspections, rapid leak repairs, and more.

The Role of Rooftop Anchors & Systems for a Building’s Fall Protection system

Aug 18, 2022

All manner of roof work and exterior work can present safety risks as part of on-demand building repair work. The simple task of replacing shingles, tarps, or washing windows on a four-story building can result in a fatal fall. Something as seemingly innocent as a strong gust of wind can lead to a trip and fall from a roof, scaffolding, or other precarious perches. 

An example of this was on a terrifying display in Florida in December 2021 when workers cleaning a high-rise building were left hanging high in the air. A partial scaffolding collapse at Hallandale Beach High Rise saw two workers rescued after dangling from their harness lifelines. Both workers escaped severe injury due to the harness and anchor systems that were up to code and operational.

Regulations passed and updated by OSHA regarding standards for fall protection help ensure workers have as safe a work environment as possible. Employers must provide adequate safety gear and equipment and ensure commercial buildings get appropriately outfitted with a roof anchor system. Falls are one of the leading causes of traumatic and fatal workplace injuries in the United States. However, adequately utilized roof anchors and an up-to-date fall protection system can significantly reduce these risks and eliminate fall injuries and deaths. 

What are Rooftop Anchors? 

Rooftop anchors are straightforward yet vital components of any high-rise building safety system. They help establish rooftop anchor systems and fall prevention methods that offer enhanced fall protection and increase the safety of your building. It is essential to conduct rooftop anchor inspections and meet regulations and various certifications so any commercial property is compliant and free from liability should something go wrong.

As OSHA training materials on fall prevention highlighted, “Preventing falls can mean the difference between life and death. Hundreds of workers die from falls each year. [Mangamenet] can prevent such deaths by planning to get the job done safely, providing the right fall protection equipment, and training all workers to use the equipment safely. ….Workers perform tasks at a height that requires protection from fall hazards. Having a serious injury or death occur at work affects everyone at a worksite. A fall can occur in a split second without any time for the worker to react.” Rooftop anchor systems help prevent severe injury and death from falls from heights during maintenance and repair work on high-rise commercial buildings. 

The importance of risk management practices, appropriate gear, and reliable equipment in rooftop work is evident. Simple things like roof anchors, safety harnesses, and lead lines can make all the difference in whether or not a slip and fall or a structural issue end in severe injury or death.  Something as simple as ensuring workers wear a harness and lead securely tied to a fall arrest system anchor can keep a worker from falling to their death. 

However, as vital and mandatory as these safety features are, sometimes employers are tempted to cut corners and skirt some safety protocols. Employers must pay for this equipment and ensure the gear is appropriate for the individual worker. Every employee will need a suitable fall prevention setup; no cookie-cutter approach will do. Facility management supervisors must also ensure the proper setup and the fall prevention system remains appropriately maintained and compliant with all safety laws and regulations. This requirement can be a lot to manage. However, understanding the value of rooftop anchors and how they prevent falls/serious injuries makes it easier to absorb those expenses and keep workers safe when they leave the ground.

What Does a Roof Anchor Look Like?

At first glance, roof anchors seem simplistic, and in theory, they are. Most are simply a basic post with a u-bar attached to the top. However, looks can be deceiving, and when it comes to roof anchors, these metal posts are what stand between a worker from surviving a fall or getting killed. Several factors must come into play when designing and manufacturing a roof anchor. Worker weight, use and location, and workplace applications all impact what style, size, and design anchors are best suited for any building or use.

What is a Roof Anchor Used For?

Rooftop anchors are a vital part of a building’s fall protection system and usually come standard on any skyscraper or high-rise roof system. Anchor points are commonly found on the roof and are used to connect lanyards, lifelines, and other forms of tie-offs. Sometimes, additional anchors are required to accommodate workers and other systems such as scaffolding, lifts, and other equipment. The same anchor that would work for roof repair might not necessarily be the best for window washing or facade repair work. Likewise, a worker who is six foot six would need a different harness and fall prevention setup than a coworker who is only five foot three. Knowing proper anchor system usage is closely tied to matching the right approach to the right team member.

Methods of Creating an Anchor Point

When looking at fall prevention systems setups for high-rise repair and maintenance work, there are three basic ways to make an anchor point to accommodate required commercial building maintenance work.

1. Using a Jamb Anchor

This anchor point often mounts on a work area’s window frame or doorframe. They are easy to install and function in other areas where similar applications are possible. These are simple to obtain and install but are bulky and somewhat difficult to move.

2. Using a Sling

A polyester web strap—often called a Pass-Thru anchor or strap—can help secure workers during high-rise building work. These commonly use fixed points such as a rafter, a chimney, crossbar, I-Beam,  or other solid and approved anchor access points.

3. Using Fixed Points

Numerous fixed anchor points exist in construction, repair, maintenance, and commercial building upkeep. These styles are safe and readily available, making them the most common and accessible of today’s fall prevention anchor systems.

What Are Roof Anchor Systems? 

How many anchor systems are there, and how can anyone tell which one is best? These are common questions many facility managers have when it comes to addressing fall risks and ensuring proper safety system, anchor points, and personal safety equipment is available to all workers. There are three basic types of anchor systems for fall protection: 

  1. Designed Fixed Support – load-rated anchors specifically designed and permanently installed with the explicit intention of use with fall prevention and safety system setups.
  2. Temporary Fixed Support – anchor systems that connect to the structure according to the approved fixation process and using only certified safety materials.
  3.  Existing Structural Features or Equipment – locations not intended as anchor points but verified as having adequate capacity to serve as safe and anchor points for a time.

How Many Anchor Points Are Necessary?

This question comes up frequently among facility management teams and work staff. There is no one size fits all answer. Minimum numbers of anchor access and fall prevention points depend on several factors. Anchor locations must help reduce the risk of a worker hookup becoming suspended by their harness and lines or from flashing into walls, commercial glass windows, or other structures. The ultimate goal should be to keep workers on the roof, scaffolding, lifts, and other solid footings.

A swing over the roof’s edge creates an entirely different set of challenges and an urgent rescue timeline.  Suspension trauma is a real thing. Depending on how the worker falls and is left hanging and how long they are handing for, injuries can range from internal bleeding, breathing difficulties, spinal injuries, and more. Utilamntely, it is meant to be a fall prevention system. Saving a worker from hitting the ground is well and good, but keeping them from falling off any structure, to begin with, is the number one priority when considering commercial maintenance tips. 

Determining how many anchor points are necessary depends on how facility manners answer one question: How many anchors will it take to immediately and safely perform the task of the day?  The number deemed necessary to ensure worker safety, reasonably accommodate work, and provide a safe work environment is the minimum that should be available at any time.

Anchor System Types — Sub Categories to Know

Anchor points as a whole fall into these even more specified classifications, which can further assist building management teams in selecting the proper setup for any commercial high-rise safety and fall prevention needs:

Regardless of anchor point setup and installation, regular maintenance and inspections ensure that workers remain safe. Professional roof anchors and safety support teams will regularly check the system and analyze the current status fall protection system to improve the safety of any high-rise commercial building. 

What is Rooftop Anchorage System Assessment? 

A compliant rooftop anchorage system requires all commercial and high-rise residential buildings to remain up to code. They remain vital for ensuring workers’ safety when utilizing façade access systems to complete facility maintenance and repairs. Unfortunately, safety measures are often the first to be overlooked and neglected. Corners get cut, pennies pinched, and workers’ lives put at risk. 

Today, most commercial high-rise buildings are currently non-compliant, even if existing anchors have been previously inspected and certified. A one-time check is insufficient to keep fall prevention systems in good working order. Rooftop anchorage inspections and safety checks must occur regularly by industry leaders like Valcourt. At a bare minimum, workers should inspect all anchor points and system components before they get used. Routine inspections by certified safety experts also should be part of regular facility management and upkeep for all systems used for face repair, window washing, waterproofing, and other risky repairs and maintenance work.

Working with industry experts with a proven track record for quality, safety, and reliability can ensure roof anchor systems are code compliant and suited for use. The time and money invested in fall prevention system installation and upkeep is well worth it compared to the cost of workers’ compensation and injury claims, or worse, a wrongful death lawsuit. Working with Valcourt facility management and safety experts can ensure every commercial property is up to code and appropriate.

Roof Anchors for Fall Protection: The Legislation Requirements

Valcourt’s expert service team has the expertise to keep commercial facilities and property sites up to code and maintain 100% compliance. A skilled and experienced team of professionals will assess the existing anchor system and certifications to identify any areas needing further analysis or updating. All work done is according to OSHA and other safety standards and requirements concerning accessible and adequate safety gear and well-maintained equipment and structures.

As highlighted by Diversified Fall Protection, “There are two paths to OSHA compliance when it comes to fall protection anchorage: OSHA 1910.140(c) (13)(i) states that anchors “shall be…capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds (22.2 kN) per employee attached.” OSHA 1910.140(c) (13)(ii) specifies that anchors shall be “Designed, installed, and used, under the supervision of qualified person, as part of a complete personal fall protection system that maintains a safety factor of at least two.…” Valcourt safety inspection experts will ensure all anchor points and fall prevention components are up to code, properly installed, well-maintained, and safe for use.

How Should You Choose an Anchor Point?

The safest option is the most desirable when choosing a fall protection anchorage. If an engineered system is available, it should be used over any non-engineered anchor point. Temporary anchor points are better than nothing. Any viable anchor point must be certified by someone who knows or can determine the load capacity and overall structural integrity of that anchor point. 

Knowing and avoiding unsafe anchor points improves the chance of a safe and appropriate fall prevention setup.  The following points should never become anchor sites with any high-rise, parking garage, or other commercial structure:

It is essential never to use structures or items that fail to meet OSHA standards. Doing so could be just as dangerous as not using anything at all. But all these worries and concerns fall to the wayside when you have an expert team of fall prevention and safety experts, like Valcourt, working for you and with you every step.

Contact Valcourt Building Services for Roof Anchor Fall Protection Services and Inspections 

Valcourt Building Services works with building owners and property managers to provide preventative maintenance, leak repairs, safety consulting, facility management and maintenance, and comprehensive building envelope restorations to extend the life of a structure and protect property value.  Contact Valcourt today to learn more and to ensure your rooftop fall protection setup is up to par.

We Have a Leak! Why Hiring an Expert Service Is Key to Avoiding Costly Damage

Jul 29, 2022

Owning commercial buildings comes with expenses, and the last thing an owner wants to do is pour more into facility management services. In actuality, facilities management is a service that, over time, may save your business money in the long run. Preventative maintenance is the best way to avoid costly facility repairs and stay ahead of the game with routine maintenance. 

In fact, according to Statista.com, “In 2020, the global facility management market was worth approximately 1.34 trillion U.S. dollars. Facility management involves delivering support services like cleaning, catering, accounting, and IT services for professional organizations.” Facility management is an industry that has a great future ahead. 

What Kinds of Costly Damages Are Commonly Seen?

In facility management services, costly facility repairs and damages occur at any given time. Being prepared is vital for any of these occurrences. Ensure staff is well equipped and knowledgeable on handling each specific situation, whether it is an act of mother nature or a human mishap. 

The most common types of commercial property damage claims consist of: 

Characteristics of a Reliable Maintenance and Management Expert

Reliable maintenance and expert building management providers should be leaders in their field. Their team should be fully staffed and trained to handle any maintenance issues, routine or emergency, to avoid facility damages safely and effectively.

Some key characteristics of an expert building management team are:

Benefits of Industry Experts and Customized Facility Maintenance Services

Leveraging industry expertise in facility management services and implementing emergency facilities maintenance services are benefits of using an expert. A few examples of these advantages are:

Avoid Facility Damages and Related Expenses With Expert Management Services Today

There are several key factors to consider when looking for expert facility management services. Possessing specific characteristics makes for a reliable expert in this field. Avoid damages and costly facility repairs with expert management services and contact The Valcourt Group today.

What Goes Into Professional On-Demand Building Repairs

Jul 27, 2022

On-demand building repairs are an essential component of managing and managing and owning a commercial building. Typically routine facilities maintenance is the preferred maintenance that avoids downtime of the building’s functionality and features. According to Plant Engineering, “The cost of unplanned downtime includes more than just that of the parts and labor needed to fix a piece of equipment. Both tangible and intangible costs must be considered.” However, even with a routine maintenance plan, emergencies and unforeseen circumstances will still arise, and a plan to address these concerns must be in place. 

It is impossible to avoid all emergency building maintenance situations. Commercial buildings have a business at stake. Avoiding routine or on-demand maintenance is detrimental to business flow, resulting in reduced profits, loss of goods, decreased customer satisfaction, and safety concerns. On-demand building maintenance services are essential to the overall functionality of a building. 

What Are On-Demand Building Repairs?

An on-demand building repair occurs when a repair is necessary and urgent. For example, when a piece of equipment or the structural integrity of a building is at risk, on-demand building repairs need to addressing immediately. On-demand building repairs occur unplanned and require quick action as they can provide a threat to the safety of the building, occupants, and employees. Some on-demand building repairs require a complete shutdown or even an evacuation, which might result in a loss of sales and profits for owners as well as compromise the safety and well-being of customers. Minor repairs are simple to put off since they don’t seem to be a big deal at first, but if put off for too long, they will become huge issues, costing thousands in damages or missed income. Therefore, timely and efficient responses to emergency maintenance are essential to the building’s lifetime.

The Costs of Reactive Maintenance–On-Demand Repairs

Equipment does not function at its best because of reactive maintenance. Systems and mechanics degrade quicker than ones that are continually adjusted and maintained. When equipment isn’t maintained correctly, it requires more energy. Equipment and structures are being run into the ground, testing their performance and causing the need for building repairs.

Reactive maintenance is still necessary even with the most robust preventive and proactive maintenance programs. Like life, unexpected emergencies happen. Although these tactics for preventative care can be helpful in some situations, they are not always successful. With proactive maintenance, there will still be unexpected breakdowns. Therefore, it is essential to have trained professionals that react appropriately to reactive issues since they will be addressing these unforeseen incidents. 

Reactive maintenance costs building owners in several ways. A few of these concerns are:

  1. Lowered Life Cycle of Assets – The life expectancy of assets, including the building itself, is reduced significantly when preventative maintenance goes ignored. This applies unnecessary stress and strain on parts and components, ultimately leading to failure. 
  2. Costs – Unexpected costs are a significant issue regarding reactive, on-demand building repairs, with unexpected downtime at the top of the concern list. Ignoring a proactive approach leads to missing typical indications or concerns that a system has issues, creating the need for costly on-demand building repairs. It also leads to delays in day-to-day business, which is detrimental to revenue.
  3. Safety – Not maintaining a building routinely increases employee and building occupants’ safety and increases the risk of emergency hazards. Predictive maintenance raises the chances of avoiding potential issues by staying ahead of any problems with assets before they occur.
  4. Difficult Maintenance Scheduling – Since on-demand building repairs are not on a schedule, they can throw a wrench in plans, the daily flow of business, and routine maintenance. Reactive maintenance creates urgency, and building managers must bump the tasks to the top of the list to maintain safety and prevent profit loss. 

Implementing a Preventative Maintenance Checklist 

Preventative maintenance is proactive maintenance, which includes routinely inspecting and servicing all working parts of the structure and its components to maintain structural integrity. A preventive maintenance checklist decreases the likelihood of failed parts while increasing the longevity of the building. Performing regular inspections also aids in reducing the occurrence of on-demand building repairs and downtime of machines. According to AssemblyMag.com, “Fortune Global 500 manufacturers lose approximately 3.3 million hours annually to unplanned downtime. That translates into $864 billion, equivalent to 8 percent of their annual revenues.” Therefore, downtime costs are detrimental to a business, and prevention is needed. This is done through preventative maintenance. 

A few various repairs or needs of critical preventative maintenance tasks are:

Quality Control and Time Efficiency

Response time is critical when an emergency occurs. Ensure the right service partner is efficient, responsive and maintains excellent customer service.  Quality and time efficiency increases customer satisfaction by meeting your needs quickly. 

Emergency maintenance professionals are skilled and capable of upholding professionalism even under a lot of stress. When performing on-demand building repairs, customer, tenant, and staff safety and health is the top priority. Prompt and quality work provides a safe and effective environment that allows the building owner to concentrate on getting their business back up and running as usual.

Experience and Access to On-Demand Network of Vendors

Things can go sour fast without proper experience and access to multiple vendors. Therefore, facility managers must have a successful and active network of vendors that building managers can contact at all hours of the day, week, and year. 

Every building is different and has its specific upkeep demands, requirements, and maintenance needs. Professional on-demand teams have training and expertise in all facets of management and maintenance for each particular type of building and its components. They are also up to date on all safety regulations and code requirements. These teams are also trained in emergencies and know how to handle each in all circumstances. Collaborating with qualified industry partners in emergency maintenance decreases risks.

Tips to Utilize the Latest Technology & Stay a Step Ahead 

Technology in the facility management world is constantly changing. As a result, there are more technological options than ever to help perform routine and on-demand building repairs. Fortune Business Insights states, “Cloud-based solutions provide a safe and secure way to host facilities management software. They also assist companies in reducing expenses by improving security and cooperation across teams and subsidiaries across numerous regions. 

In addition, the secure hosting of sensitive data, better security and scalability, and rapid disaster recovery are all advantages of cloud-based facilities management solutions. The backups are saved on a public or private cloud hosting platform, allowing businesses to retrieve vital server data quickly. In addition, secure logins enable data to be accessed with a reliable Internet connection.”

Current technology has provided a more straightforward way for facility managers to stay on top of changes and maintenance and is vital to the success of facility management. With current technology, facility managers can maintain control of all business operations and needs in one central location, creating clear communication, transparent maintenance operations, and straightforward avenues for tenants to submit and check on maintenance concerns. In addition, utilizing these tools makes a smooth process for proactive and on-demand building repairs

Below are a few tips for business owners to utilize the latest technology:

What to Look for in an On-Demand Service Provider

A capable on-demand building repairs service provider ensures the safety and comfort of the building structure, employees, and occupants. In this day and age, the expectation is instant gratification in nearly every instance. Therefore, a quick and efficient repair to prevent structure deterioration must be the main priority of an on-demand service provider. With this as a priority, the impact on the overall business should be minimal. An effective service provider should always combat loss of business and revenue, loss of products and goods, and risk of injury.

There are many things to consider when choosing an on-demand service provider. But, unfortunately, sometimes providers do not have a business’s best interest at heart which is detrimental to a professional relationship. 

Some features to look for in an on-demand building repairs company are:

Partner With The JOBS Group to Streamline Your On-Demand Building Repairs

Building maintenance and upkeep are crucial to managing and owning a building. Therefore preferred routine and preventative maintenance are the ideal methods to prevent major issues. There are many different ways to implement preventive maintenance versus reactive maintenance.

 However, not every situation is fortunate enough to dodge emergencies. When emergencies do occur, on-demand building repairs are needed. They must be implemented immediately to reduce maximum damages to the building, its occupants, staff, and the maintenance team.

When choosing a professional maintenance team, ensure that a preventative maintenance checklist is in place, that they are capable of professionalism and efficiency, and that they leverage the latest technology while providing a quality product. Taking advantage of the newest technology is a game-changer for routine and emergency maintenance services. Partner with The Valcourt Group to streamline your on-demand building repairs today!

How to Reduce Costs When Building Management Needs Arise

Jul 14, 2022

High maintenance, restoration, and repair expenses affect the profitability of a building and company. Keeping these costs to a minimum is ideal but is necessary to maintain a profitable business. Working to reduce these costs with building management systems and building energy management is vital. A reactive approach to building repairs and maintenance can result in excess spending and expenses. Investing in a proactive approach will change the game and reduce structural deterioration

1. Work to Eliminate Reactive, Unplanned Maintenance Backlogs

It might be tempting to put minor main concerns on the backburner when it comes to building repairs and maintenance, such as commercial glass restoration. However, this is never the best route to take. Ignoring, what appears to be minor issues, can lead to much more severe problems down the road. Before these problems become an emergency in building management systems, address them immediately. 

It’s impossible to avoid all emergency maintenance, but having a proactive maintenance plan in place will help alleviate a lot of the stress that comes with urgent and emergency facilities maintenance and repairs. Such a plan must include clearly defined procedures, checklists, and building management sensors to ensure that after-hours emergency maintenance goes as smoothly and swiftly as possible. 

2. Use Digital Building Management Tools to Understand Your Maintenance Schedule

Multiple digital and technological tools are available to facility managers and building management systems. Accessing and implementing these tools, including building management sensors, is a game-changer in understanding a maintenance schedule. Technology intelligent building management solutions streamline tasks. Applications, systems, and software provide a control point for building repairs and maintenance. 

Work smarter, not harder. Digital tools will make a project manager’s job simpler, boost the project’s productivity, and improve efficiency. Additionally, it helps to minimize cost overruns. These tools help keep maintenance on schedule and avoid unnecessary expenses. To properly plan, monitor, and carry out building management systems and maximize company operations, ensure facility management uses digital building management tools.  

3. Conduct Regular Inspections and Testing of Core Building Systems, Including the Building Envelope

Regular inspections and testing of the main components of building repairs and maintenance are vital in protecting and maintaining the longevity of all systems and structural integrity. Facility managers should schedule routine inspections of building management systems to stay updated regarding each moving part’s condition,  productivity, and efficiency. The interior of the building is not the only part that needs to be routinely checked. The plaza deck systems, waterproofing, and building envelope are exterior features that need frequent testing. They are possibly even more crucial as these features protect the entire interior and its components.

4. Educate Tenants and Building Maintenance Teams on How to Recognize Signs of Problems

Educating tenants and maintenance teams are vital for building management systems. All parties involved must receive education and training to help them understand possible dangers and the steps to ensure the building’s safe and effective environment.

Teaching occupations and staff what to look for is critical in building repairs and maintenance, such as failed bird proofing. Some ways to communicate this to tenants are distributing newsletters with information, maintenance tips, and building safety solutions, or even posting in frequented areas such as an elevator cab interior. Train staff and maintenance teams with clear communication and warning signs to look out for. For emergencies, ensure clear communication, assigned control points and duties, alarms, and a clear evacuation plan if needed. 

5. Set a Clear Procedure for Reporting and Submitting Work  Orders 

A process is typically ignored or avoided if it is complicated or not easily accessible. Creating a straightforward way for tenants and occupants to report and submit work orders for building repairs and maintenance improves the likelihood that the issue is raised and dealt with promptly. Streamline this process with the available intelligent building management solutions, technology, and software for facilities management and building management systems.

6. Properly Train In-House or Outsourced Staff on the Use of Your Building Safety Systems

In-house and outsourced staff must be adequately trained with the appropriate building safety systems and intelligent building management solutions. Each building has unique needs and requirements, and teams must be trained accordingly. Know the local, state, and federal guidelines for required training and safety. Building management systems must have documented safety regulations and adequately communicate them to all employees, team members, and contractors involved in building repairs and maintenance. Everyone has a responsibility and must be informed of their duties and expectations. Another critical tip to remember is to retrain as necessary. 

7. Don’t Forget to Perform Regular Maintenance on Your Assets Used for Maintenance, Such as Scaffolding and Window Washing Equipment

Typically when thinking about maintenance needs and building safety solutions, the building itself and its appliances, such as the HVAC system, come to mind. Things that easily slip through the cracks are assets used for maintenance solutions. These items can include scaffolding and window washing equipment. Ensuring this gear and all assets are in tip-top shape and are routinely maintained is just as vital as the maintenance of the building. The safety of the crew and personnel is at stake, and it is mandatory to take all appropriate actions to ensure security is maintained. 

8. Communicate Maintenance Expectations Clearly and Concisely

Managers should clearly communicate all expectations to achieve the desired results. The facility’s staff and third-party vendors must be fully aware of all rules and safety and maintenance regulations. Everybody has a responsibility, and they should receive appropriate and concise training and communication on the obligations and standards that go along with it.

9. Have a Pre-Vetted Field Service Vendor Network

The right service partner and building management systems provide a pre-vetted list of vendors and building repairs and maintenance services.  If one resource is not immediately accessible,  building management systems should have access to a strong network of professionals who could do the task. Having a backup plan is necessary when it comes to intelligent building management solutions

All vendors are pre-vetted and handle maintenance situations professionally and competently. Using their network of on-call vendors, facilities managers manage the on-demand building maintenance services while quickly recognizing issues, responding, and resolving emergency maintenance as soon as feasible.

10. Eliminate the Hassle of Paying Multiple Vendors With a Single Point of Contact

A single point of contact limits any confusion with communication and payment. It allows building management systems to remain organized and streamlined and increases customer satisfaction. 

Intelligent building management solutions run much smoother when communicating and paying one vendor versus multiple vendors. Relieve the stress of the back and forth communication and get everything under one roof. 

11. Consider Retrofitting Simple Assets With Energy-Management Resources

Retrofitting simple assets can be cost-efficient to improve energy management resources in building management systems. It can improve the building’s energy management and sustainability, lower energy costs, and reduce the carbon footprint of the structure and business. 

Simple things such as adding a greenscape on the commercial plaza deck, changing out light bulbs, or switching from landscaping to xeriscaping are some ideas to retrofit a current building. 

12. Know Your Energy Use Trends

Knowing a building’s energy usage trends is vital in reducing costs. This information allows building energy management to understand where spending is occurring, how much, and how often usage is happening. This data is beneficial when budgeting, knowing where to cut back, and deciphering which appliances or equipment need upgrading to be more economical and efficient. 

13. Consider a Full Building-Wide Retrofit 

A complete building-wide retrofit has proven to improve the building and the energy usage, the overall satisfaction of employees and personnel, and the ROI. This includes but is not limited to smart energy, insulation, creating a “smart” building, and creating a green space.

A report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) states that :

“Building owners who complete a large-scale efficiency overhaul of their property through a deep retrofit can increase the asset value of their property, allowing them to charge higher rents, attract quality tenants, and reduce tenant turnover (Pearce, Dearth, and Schantz 2018). Because comprehensive retrofits include multiple measures across building systems, they can deliver several benefits simultaneously.” 

Further, there are many benefits to retrofitting an office. Some examples are:

These results in intelligent building management solutions are significant. The changes have shown that it not only increased maintenance costs but also improved employee morale and occupants’ satisfaction. Retrofitting a building provides value to facilities that it did not have before. 

Choose The JOBS Group to Streamline All Building Management and Unplanned or Planned Maintenance Needs

High operating and maintenance costs can significantly impact a building’s overall profitability. With intelligent building management solutions, it is vital to keep expenditures as low as possible. A professional building management systems and building energy management service provides preventative maintenance checklists, proactive planning, energy tracking, and all retrofitting needs. Contact The Valcourt Group today!

Tips for Better Urgent and Emergency Facilities Maintenance & Repairs

Jul 05, 2022

Facility managers play a vital role in building emergency maintenance service management. Facilities managers are the control point for all maintenance, restoration, and repair concerns, including emergency maintenance. Therefore, they must be able to communicate and allocate resources effectively and as quickly as possible during building maintenance emergency scenarios. 

Emergency maintenance services include critical elevator cab concerns, water leaks, flooding concerns, and safety features. With preparation and professionalism, facility managers can handle emergency repairs swiftly without affecting the business flow and its occupants. 

As the facilities management industry continues to grow, facility managers’ jobs are expanding to include more duties and skill sets, including emergency maintenance service. In addition, the physical environment of buildings is becoming more crucial to how modern society conducts business, enjoys entertainment, and enjoys lifestyles leading to increased facilities management budgets, which means managers have a more significant influence. But first, it’s essential to understand what urgent maintenance truly is and how it differs from standard maintenance.

What Constitutes a Maintenance Emergency?

How often do you think about the answer to, “what is emergency maintenance?” Emergency maintenance is a repair that occurs on an as-needed basis and requires immediate attention. An emergency repair must be made immediately when a piece of machinery or the structural integrity is in jeopardy, causing an emergency maintenance concern. Emergency repairs can happen at any moment and need a fast response as they could pose a danger or safety hazard to building occupants and staff. Some building maintenance emergency circumstances can cause a complete shutdown or even an evacuation, which can cause a loss of product and profit for business owners while also affecting the safety and health of patrons. Therefore, the longevity of the building is dependent upon prompt and effective responses to emergency maintenance and emergency maintenance service

After-hours emergency maintenance and facilities management is an undisputed necessity for building owners. Fortune Business Insights states that “the global facility management market is projected to grow from $1,260.36 billion in 2022 to $1,856.44 billion by 2029, at a CAGR of 5.7% in the forecast period…The global facility management market is projected to grow from $1,260.36 billion in 2022 to $1,856.44 billion by 2029, at a CAGR of 5.7% in the forecast period”. 

When unanticipated emergency maintenance occurs in a building, a reliable professional must repair it swiftly and affordably. However, most contractors are neither prepared nor created to tackle all the emergency maintenance demands during a building maintenance emergency. Seek a professional with an entire staff that assists building owners and property managers with critical and urgent emergency repairs.

Work with industry leaders that create and implement proactive and preventative maintenance that will inevitably increase building value by keeping it in tip-top shape. Implementing planned maintenance will help prevent future fixes, problems, and emergency maintenance. Below are upkeep practices and maintenance tips to remember to reduce the cost and frequency of emergency repairs and maintenance needs:

1. Address Issues When First Detected to Ensure Timely Response and to Reduce Further Risks

Routine and emergency maintenance issues can be detrimental if not addressed promptly. Putting off minor leaks, commercial glass restoration, loose floor tiles, and other repairs can be tempting. Still, these minor issues can quickly grow, leading to emergency repairs and even safety issues when ignored. 

Repairs should be dealt with as soon as possible before they become emergency repairs and become more severe by producing additional risks to the building and its occupants. For example, a leaking outdoor faucet does not seem like a deal. Still, suppose a water leak is ignored for a long time or goes undetected. In that case, it will cause after-hours emergency maintenance, incurring extensive damage and costing thousands of dollars in lost revenue. Response time is vital. A safe and effective maintenance plan must be adequate to lower risk and maintain satisfaction. Using qualified and after-hours emergency maintenance specialists available around the clock for emergency repairs is a game-changer for facility management.

2. Define What Constitutes an Emergency and Who to Contact. 

What is a maintenance emergency? Who is in charge of an emergency maintenance situation? Facility management teams should answer these questions and implement a plan. Ensure all parties in an authoritative position know what plan to implement, what constitutes an emergency maintenance concern, who to contact, and the difference between emergency repairs and routine maintenance. 

Choose the appropriate leaders for after-hours emergency maintenance situations. Defined roles enable decisive and quick-thinking action. Share your emergency plan with others. Inform those in positions of authority and those with specific duties. Make the simplest, most straightforward after-hours emergency maintenance plan available to staff. 

What is a maintenance emergency? In a June 2022 event in Wicker Park, Illinois, part of a building’s facade fell on a woman after authorities warned the owner to make repairs weeks earlier. According to CBSNews.com, The Department of Buildings contacted the building owner and told them to ”immediately put up a heavy-duty canopy on the public way around the front of the buildings, get a licensed structural engineer to assess the building façade, [and], get a licensed masonry contractor to make emergency repairs.” Also, the same article states, “While the heavy-duty canopy was put in place, the owner did not make any repairs.”

While this building owner may not have viewed this as an emergency maintenance issue, it resulted in the critical injury of an innocent passerby due to the delay in response to this after-hours emergency maintenance. 

3. Weigh Options and Determine the Best Course of Action

Consider all available options when an emergency maintenance issue arises. Look at the best opportunity to reduce the impact of the emergency repair on other components and implement the best course of action and next step to address the situation. 

A clearly defined plan, operating procedures, and proactive checklist will help ensure after-hours emergency maintenance have as few hiccups as possible, allowing business to proceed as usual and as quickly as possible. 

4. Have a Team of On-Call Field Service Vendors Ready for Urgent or Emergency Maintenance. 

An emergency maintenance service provider guarantees that emergency repairs are met with professionalism and competence. Facilities managers can handle the demanding nature of their work while cross-identifying problems, responding fast, and resolving emergency maintenance as soon as possible by accessing their network of on-call vendors available for emergency maintenance.

According to Landport X1, “the 3 AM wake-up call is often a reality for facility managers. Only 6% of companies have a well-established maintenance department. Yet maintenance issues threaten the very existence of a business.” An expert emergency maintenance partner has a network of contacts that assists with immediate and on-demand emergency repairs

An emergency maintenance service provider with a well-established network can contact multiple resources if one is not readily available. A partner for commercial building maintenance takes the pressure off the building and business owners, allowing them to concentrate on business-oriented tasks. 

If a network of after-hours emergency maintenance vendors is not available, a Plan B must be implemented. Planning and preparing as much as possible is vital. Have a list of preferred vendors to contact when an emergency repair arises. Ensure that a dedicated team is assigned ahead of time in charge of a building maintenance emergency

5. Check Prior Emergency Routes and Evacuations and Follow Predetermined Plans as Necessary

For the health and safety of patrons, occupants, and staff, ensure that all evacuation plans are posted in the required spots in an emergency maintenance situation. When immediate action is needed, develop and implement an emergency plan, including emergency repairs and hazard and safety precautions that need to be considered. The strategy should consider immediate structure deterioration, chemicals, fire, and flood emergencies. Ensure that all staff is aware of the evacuation routes and up to date on new regulations and changes made to emergency maintenance service needs of the building. 

6. Ensure All Field Service Vendors Have Proper Training

Vendors, team members, and other personnel must know their job and responsibilities in the event of an emergency maintenance issue. They must be fully trained in carrying out those duties, including updating processes and procedures if necessary and knowing when to provide emergency maintenance services. All should also abide by all safety-related rules and regulations.

All reputable organizations that provide building maintenance emergency and routine building maintenance services are highly qualified and hold the appropriate licenses for emergency maintenance services. Having written safety policies is highly important and must be effectively conveyed to all personnel, team members, and vendors involved in the facility. Each person has a role and needs to be trained in their specific duties and expectations.

7. Only Make Emergency Repairs According to Code and Engineering Specifications

Never take shortcuts or veer from regulated codes, standards, or procedures to save time or money. Faster and easier do not equal safer and more accurate. Shortcuts are great for driving but not for emergency maintenance services. Only qualified personnel should do emergency repairs and follow all building and safety requirements.

In 2021, it was estimated that 42.5 percent of commercial businesses spent between 21 and 40 percent of their operating budget on cleaning and maintenance equipment, personnel, and supplies, according to Statista. Therefore, prioritizing a facility’s upkeep and emergency maintenance service is vital to its longevity, functionality, and prevention of emergency maintenance

9. Keep Your Window Accesses and High-Rise Platforms in Tip-Top Shape

A building’s plaza deck systems, rooftop doors, windows, window cleaning scaffolding, fire escapes, and other emergency equipment must be frequently examined to ensure they are safe, undamaged, and still in compliance with the law. 

Depending on the type of building and its location, its cleaning and emergency maintenance service needs vary. For example, if the building has frequent foot traffic and faces a busy street, the need for window and platform cleaning is much higher than that of a building used for storage and facing a parking lot. Pollution and birds can also play a significant role in the frequency of cleaning. Bird proofing and deterrents in commercial buildings are necessary preventative measures that building owners can implement to reduce the cleaning frequency and emergency repairs.

10. Coordinate Scheduled Maintenance and Repair Services to Reduce Risk of Emergencies

The final way to reduce expenses related to emergency repairs of commercial buildings is to coordinate and schedule routine checks and emergency maintenance services and stick to the emergency maintenance service schedule. 

Taking advantage of the technologies offered to facility managers is a proven game-changer for proactive and emergency maintenance management. According to FortuneBusinessInsights.com, “Computer-Aided Facility Management (CAFM) software tools streamline management and control of facility management maintenance operations. It comprises a variety of tools, including CAFM space applications, software, and systems. 

Large organizations widely adopt CAFM solutions to design, observe, and execute their facility management tasks precisely. It combines administration, architecture, engineering concepts, and behavioral science to optimize business functions.” These capabilities make it easier to coordinate maintenance, both planned and emergency or urgent needs, in tandem, allowing facilities managers to stay strategic and avoid the pitfalls of missing one or the other. 

11. Stay Informed of Emergencies Beyond Your Control, Such as Weather-Related Events

Staying informed and educated on natural disasters and weather-related emergencies is fundamental for emergency repairs and situations. Mother nature is unpredictable, and an event can happen anytime. Preparing an emergency maintenance service plan is the only way to ensure the health and safety of the building, its guests, and personnel. 

Given that there are only so many ways to prevent weather-related emergencies and natural disasters, it is crucial to be as informed and proactive as possible. It is essential to monitor the situation closely and have a weather-related emergency maintenance service plan for emergencies like fires or gas leaks.

12. Retrain Your In-House Building Management Team on How to Respond to Emergencies

An emergency maintenance plan is only as effective as the staff implementing it. Providing up-to-date information is vital to ensure staff and personnel are able and ready to implement an emergency maintenance service plan when an emergency occurs. Through education and training, all employees are to be made aware of potential risks and the actions needed to ensure the safety of the building and its occupants. 

Performing routine drills and practices is a simple way to keep plans fresh in employees’ minds. Use various types of scenarios and techniques that can occur. Training must include communication, an emergency maintenance service plan, designated roles, warnings and alarms, evacuation, shutting down of necessary equipment, and sheltering. 

13. Leverage Building Management Software & Partnerships While Also Tracking Lessons Learned From Urgent or Emergent Situations

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; the same goes for building maintenance, emergency management, and planning. Facility managers can learn from previous problems and emergency circumstances. This enables them to be better prepared for an emergency maintenance issue. As teams use scheduling software and cutting-edge technology, update monitoring and security systems, and collaborate with industry experts, they can avoid problems while learning what happened and why. 

Further, working with Industry partners that specialize and are trained in emergency maintenance service and preparedness reduces risk. Essentially, this level of outsourcing takes the brunt of the building owner’s responsibility and allows them to focus on maintaining business as usual. 

Stay on Top of Commercial Building Maintenance and Reduce Emergency Repair Costs by Partnering With Valcourt Today

Emergency maintenance is unpredictable and inevitable. Keeping staff trained and updated, maintaining an on-call vendor list, addressing issues immediately, and staying proactive are critical ingredients in the urgent facility management recipe. 

Reduce the risk and costs by partnering with a thoroughly trained and established partner in the field of emergency repairs. Staying prepared and on top of all proactive and preventative emergency maintenance service plans can be overwhelming and costly. Streamlining the process through a pro is the way to go. So stay on top of building maintenance, reduce building maintenance emergencies, and contact The Valcourt Group today!

What Are On-Demand Building Maintenance Services?

Jun 23, 2022

Building maintenance services are a vital part of building management and ownership. It improves the property’s overall value, enhances the satisfaction of occupants and visitors, and eliminates safety hazards. Routine and scheduled maintenance is ideal, but not all issues arise on a planned schedule. Therefore, an on-demand building and maintenance company is needed. 

On-demand maintenance meets the immediate needs of issues that have come to fruition. Commercial properties specifically need on-demand care, as their businesses are on the line. A business can be significantly impacted by maintenance issues, especially if the time to repair is excessive. As a result, companies can see a loss of product, profit, and business while creating a safety risk to customers. Therefore, on-demand maintenance, restoration, and repair are vital to companies. 

According to 2018 Building Owners and Managers Association International research, typical private building expenses can range from $0.02 to $0.06, but unplanned costs can quickly soar well above those rates. This data provides valuable information on the cost of upkeep and maintenance on commercial properties. In addition, routinely maintaining the exterior of the building, grounds, landscaping, and other equipment, such as the HVAC system, can help decrease the need for on-demand services. 

What Are Building Maintenance Services?

Building maintenance services are services provided that maintain, preserve, and extend the life of the building and its components and include various tasks and efforts. Specifically, these services include inspections, emergency repairs, work orders, requests, and the overall general maintenance of a building. As time goes on, things deteriorate, especially without routine attention. Therefore, building owners and facility managers rely heavily on building maintenance services to ensure the functionality of all parts of the building and maintain a safe and healthy environment for all occupants, visitors, and employees. 

Building maintenance services also keep everything up to code, in compliance with local, state, and national laws and regulations, and up to date on all inspections. A building that is not maintained is an accident waiting to happen. Ensuring routine maintenance is implemented is a surefire way to relieve some liability that would occur had the property been neglected. 

What’s the Difference Between On-Demand Versus Schedule Maintenance?

On-demand services occur on an as-needed basis. For example, when a piece of equipment or component of the building stops working, it requires an on-demand repair. On-demand maintenance can occur at any given time and typically requires immediate attention as it can often be a safety or health hazard. For example, pest issues, HVAC problems, broken doorways, and water leaks require swift and efficient attention to maintain the structure’s longevity and the safety of building guests and staff. 

Scheduled maintenance is preventative and proactive maintenance, regardless of the condition of the building. The building is inspected and maintained regularly to prevent major issues from occurring. Scheduled maintenance can often prevent on-demand maintenance issues from occurring. 

Examples of scheduled maintenance are changing HVAC filters, building maintenance cleaning, maintaining and cleaning concrete, maintaining the building facade, and window cleaning. Scheduled maintenance also aids in preventing safety and health hazards to employees, tenants, and building visitors.

Why Are On-Demand Costs Higher?

On-demand building services and maintenance can be much more costly than scheduled maintenance. In addition, because it is not a routinely scheduled service, it causes maintenance crews to adjust their schedules and time to fit the maintenance request. This could mean after-hours and overnight maintenance calls, expediting the shipment and delivery of parts and canceling other jobs to accommodate the maintenance needs. 

Another factor contributing to higher costs is that labor and supply costs have risen significantly over the past couple of years, affecting both on-demand and scheduled maintenance. However, urgent, on-demand needs will result in much higher labor costs as they are unplanned and urgent matters. 

Examples of When On-Demand Maintenance Works Best

There are times when on-demand maintenance is necessary and could not have been avoided even with a routine maintenance plan enforced. These maintenance issues arise due to unforeseen circumstances and need immediate attention to remedy the situation before it escalates into a more significant problem. Below are a few examples of when on-demand maintenance works best:

Examples of Scheduled Maintenance Needs

Scheduled maintenance is routine, preventative maintenance. There may not be an issue at hand; however, maintaining equipment and all components of buildings is very helpful in preventing problems and prolonging the lifespan of the building and its assets. In addition, scheduled maintenance can prevent more significant issues such as roof leaks due to age, mold, safety hazards, bird infestations, clogged pipes or drain lines, and inefficiently working HVAC systems.  

What to Look for in On-Demand Building Maintenance Companies

A competent on-demand building maintenance company helps a well-maintained business decrease the total cost of ownership while ensuring the building remains in tip-top shape. This partnership provides comfort and safety for the building owners, occupants, and visitors. Below are tips to remember when choosing a building maintenance company. 

Improve Your Team’s Efficiency With Quality Commercial Building Maintenance Companies Under the Valcourt Umbrella

Building maintenance is an essential aspect of management and ownership responsibilities. It increases ROI, removing safety hazards. Therefore, routine and regular maintenance is preferable. However, not all issues occur on a predetermined timetable. When this happens, on-demand, sometimes emergency, services are required.

On-demand costs can be higher but are frequently necessary for emergencies. There are many things to consider when searching for building maintenance services, including expertise, location, and safety certifications, to name a few. 

Any company under the Valcourt umbrella will bring top-notch attention and services to the project at hand. Specializing in communication, accountability, safety, and complete building services, choosing Valcourt won’t steer you wrong. Improve your team’s efficiency with quality commercial building companies under the Valcourt umbrella! Contact The Valcourt Group today.