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. 

The Most Common Commercial Handrail Mistakes to Avoid

Feb 01, 2022

Commercial handrails are more integral to a commercial building than one might think. They provide support for people who have trouble walking and also prevent fall hazards. So they must be installed correctly according to OSHA Guidelines. Unfortunately, many mistakes in handrail installation and repair have occurred. Because of this, many injuries have happened, and subsequently, injury costs piled up. 

According to the National Safety Council, “The total cost of work injuries in 2019 was $171.0 billion. This figure includes wage and productivity losses of $53.9 billion, medical expenses of $35.5 billion, and administrative expenses of $59.7 billion. This total also includes employers’ uninsured costs of $13.3 billion, including the value of time lost by workers other than those with disabling injuries who are directly or indirectly involved in injuries, and the cost of time required to investigate injuries, write up injury reports, and so forth.” As a result, keeping building occupants safe means building managers need to know the most common commercial handrail mistakes and how to prevent them. 

Improper Installation

We’ve talked about giving handrails the proper attention due to their importance in commercial buildings. However, some contractors choose to install the railings themselves, which  can lead to them being installed incorrectly. To ensure it’s done right in the first place, hire an expert who specializes in handrails.

Inaccurate Measurements

Another commercial handrail mistake is installing them with inaccurate measurements. All railings must adhere to OSHA guidelines,  but the size of railings will vary depending on intended use and location. Inaccuracies can occur when trying to measure them. Building contractors must understand the requirements for different railings before getting them installed.

Not Adhering to Required Rail-To-Wall Spacing

Depending on the structure, the spacing between the railing and wall differs based on load-bearing requirements. If there are discrepancies in the rail-to-wall spacing, the railing in question may require a repair or replacement by an expert.

Choosing the Wrong Type of Railing

Railings come in various types of material, and depending on the environment, certain substances are more suitable than others. However, using the wrong material for the railing often leads to damages like rust or corrosion. If this is the case, it’s best to get it replaced but the next time you do, use the proper materials. 

Poorly Securing Handrails

Another common commercial handrail mistake is not securing the handrails properly. Installers must ensure that rails are firmly attached to the surface to withstand varying degrees of pressure and prevent falls. If a railing is not secure, an expert can repair it.

Not Cleaning up After Installation

Everything that goes into a building needs the appropriate care, including commercial handrails. Failing to clean up after installation or repairs is another commercial handrail mistake and one that can become a dangerous fire hazard for patrons and employees alike. Ensure that workers remove all excess materials and tidy the area and that the railing itself is clean and functional. 

Non-Continuous Handrails

Handrails are supposed to go across the surface where they are attached. A gap along the surface can prove fatal to people using it to maintain balance. Continuous handrails also help preserve the integrity of the railing so that it lasts longer. If you find that a commercial handrail is not continuous, have an expert install it correctly. Be sure to measure the gap between the rails, and note the material so that an expert can install the appropriate one.

Not Graspable

Handrails are not graspable for various reasons, whether it’s wear and tear or environmental factors. Be sure that all railings are fortified and are appropriate for their locations. And make sure that the rails are not slippery when pressure is applied to them.

Avoid Commercial Handrail Mistakes by Choosing the Right Building Service Partner

Commercial handrail mistakes can be a hindrance to the overall function of a commercial building. But with the right experts, they can be avoided, provided building owners and managers know what the most common mistakes are in the first place. Request a consultation with The Valcourt Group to learn more about how your building can increase value and safety with an expert in commercial handrails.

Signs It’s Time to Repair Commercial Railings

Jan 25, 2022

Commercial railings are an integral part of any commercial building. They provide support for people as they traverse through the premises. But constant usage and even weather conditions can cause severe wear and tear on railings installed outdoors that could compromise the structure’s integrity. Several visible and hidden signs or indicators show commercial railings need repair. This blog focuses on those signs and how to recognize them. 

1. Visible Damage or Cracks to the Railing

Various factors can cause cracks and damages to commercial railings. Often, it’s due to the constant pressure of continuous usage by patrons that will cause the railings to lose their integrity over time. Environmental factors like wind, rain, or sun can also cause decay of the material, such as worn-out wood or rust on metal rails. It’s crucial to repair these damages immediately, especially if the railing is on a high-rise platform like a rooftop. When deciding how to fix these damages, it’s best to consult an expert who knows the proper procedures to repair commercial handrails.

2. Replacement or Repair of Banisters

By design, banisters or balusters help prevent small children from falling off a balcony, deck, or other elevated platforms. For stairwells, they provide the elevation for the railing along the staircase. Balusters can also offer additional support for commercial railings. But, banisters also tend to loosen or break over time, especially ones made out of wood. Since they are part of the railing, they require prompt attention if it seems like their integrity is compromised. Railings on concrete steps usually have banisters attached to them as one piece. So in the event of damage, the whole piece would have to be reinstalled, which could factor into the cost.

3. Pest Problems for Outdoor Commercial Railings

Most commercial railings placed on outdoor platforms, such as commercial decks and platforms, are traditionally made of wood. While outdoor metal railings face problems like weather conditions that can cause the rails to rust or corrode, wood railings have an enemy in pests such as termites and carpenter ants. These bugs will destroy the railing from the inside out. The best course of action would be to hire an exterminator to come in and terminate them. Then, depending on the amount of damage, an expert can repair or completely replace the rail.

4. Railings Feel Loose

As mentioned above, railings can lose their integrity due to the constant pressure of continuous usage. Because of this, commercial railings, especially ones that rely on balusters for support, can start coming loose or feel wobbly when anyone grips them. To test a railing’s sturdiness, simply push or lean on it. If it seems as though the rail is moving around too easily, then it’s time to repair it. 

5. Failing Grades on Inspections From Governing Bodies

Routine inspections of railings help ensure they are up to OSHA standards. Railings can fail inspection for various reasons, such as missing or uneven rails if they’re on stairways or even due to the reasons mentioned above. If governing agencies give failing grades during an inspection, they will usually detail why in a written report. Building maintenance staff or third-party service providers can refer to this document when doing the proper repairs so that the railings will pass the next inspection.

Streamline Commercial Handrail Repair With The JOBS Group

Commercial handrails should be installed with safety in the mind. To function as designed, they must receive the proper attention and care—meaning routinely scheduled inspections and maintenance and immediate repairs when needed. The JOBS Group helps connect building managers with certified experts who are guaranteed to be perfect for whatever job is needed. Click here to connect with one of our experts today.

Handrail and Guard Definitions to Know

Jan 20, 2022

When installing, repairing, or replacing handrails and guards throughout a commercial building, contractors can use terms and vocabulary that may seem intimidating. Luckily, we are here to help! Knowing some of these handrail and guard definitions will come in handy when hiring a contractor to work on them.

Load Requirement

Load requirement refers to the amount of weight that the handrail can withstand. Uniform load applies to the load capacity of the railing per foot. The weight capacity of a railing in a single point of the handrail is defined as a concentrated load of the rail. Building owners and managers can manage load requirements depending on the materials used.

Toe Board

A toe board is a part of the guardrail placed on the walking surface that serves as a protective barrier to notify people of potential hazards, such as tools or other objects falling from elevated surfaces or someone falling from a floor opening.

Top or Midrails

Top rails are the part of a structure that should always be elevated and make up more handrail and guard definitions to know. Top rails provide support for people when walking, climbing stairs, or navigating any angled platform. Midrails refer to the railing between the top rail and the surface. They provide additional reinforcement for the railing and can also double as support for small children. 

Handrail and Handrail Systems

Handrail and guard definitions also include knowing what forms true handrail systems. A handrail is a rail fixed across staircases and other elevated surfaces to support people while climbing or walking. A handrail system is a barrier in the form of balusters or sheets of commercial glass, on which the top rail is affixed to provide additional support for users. 

Handrail Continuity

Handrail continuity refers to how far the railing goes up. In accordance with OSHA Guidelines, the handrail must continue along the entire length of the stairway or ramp. 

Handrail Size Limitations

Handrails must be within ¼” – 2” in diameter, as this is the size that provides equivalent graspability. Railings must be between 34 to 38 inches high measured across the sloping plain so that it runs smoothly along the stairway or ramp.

Equivalent Graspability

Equivalent graspability is usually applied to handrail gripping surfaces that have a non-circular cross-section. These handrails must have a diameter of a minimum of 4” and a maximum of 6”. The cross-section should have dimensions that are no more than 2 ¼”. 

Bracket Clearance

Bracket clearance refers to the required clearance between a handrail and other building elements. Clearance is different for horizontal and vertical brackets. Horizontal clearance must be 1 ½” “ between a wall and railing and have a maximum of 4 ½” projection. 

Vertical Clearance

Vertical clearance must be 1 ½” between the underside of the handrail and bracket arm. However, the International Code Council (ICC) and Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) have since reduced it to ⅛” for each ½” over 4” of the railing.

Railing Extensions

Railing extensions refer to the amount the railing extends from the ramp runs on either end of the handrail. Railing extensions must extend at least 12” from either end of a wall-mounted ramp rail as well as for staircases.

Handrail Returns

Handrail returns are the individual segments that connect the end of the railing to the wall and another part of the handrail and guard definitions building owners need to know. They help protect people from the sharp edge of the rail. The returns traditionally should be towards the wall. However, there has commonly been a gap between a return and the wall. But this is usually frowned upon by inspectors.

Know the Handrail and Guard Definitions to Ensure Your Building Adheres to All Required Codes

Handrail and guard definitions can be challenging to memorize. But hopefully, this served as a handy little guide for them. The right partner will have several resources to help you become more knowledgeable about all aspects of commercial building maintenance. Connect with The Valcourt to schedule a consultation now.

Top 5 Considerations in Commercial Handrail Repair or Replacement

Jan 18, 2022

Handrails are an integral part of any commercial real estate. They provide safety and security for the building’s employees and clients who interact with the building. Commercial handrails offer support for those who require it, and when installed on the rooftops of buildings, can also prevent fall hazards. However, factors such as constant usage by patrons, weather conditions, and more can cause wear and tear, leading to repairs or replacement. But apart from damage, there are a few other factors to consider when facing a commercial handrail repair or replacement. This blog will explore a few of the things to think about when fixing or replacing commercial handrails. 

1. Is the Railing for a Walkway, Stairwell, or Balcony?

Commercial handrails are different depending on where they are placed, per OSHA Standards. Various locations in buildings have different requirements. 

Before scheduling a commercial handrail repair or replacement, be sure to inspect your handrails and determine their logistics, such as measurements and materials, so that the expert can plan accordingly.

2. How Will the Railing Be Supported?

 Many railings are required to have a mid rail to provide extra sturdiness. These can also serve as support for small children. Along with this, regularly maintaining and cleaning the handrails will ensure their longevity and, as a byproduct, will improve the aesthetic of the building. If appropriate, there’s also the option to strengthen the handrails with concrete ensuring that the railing will be stationary.

3. What Are the Load Requirements for the Commercial Handrail?

Commercial handrails should withstand a load of at least 50 pounds throughout or a concentrated weight of 200 pounds if placed atop the railing itself. Inspectors cannot test these requirements, so the building managers must provide engineering data that confirms the same. 

4. Is the Rail Cost to Repair Going to Exceed a Likely Replacement Cost?

When deciding whether to do a commercial handrail repair or a replacement, it is important to inspect the condition of the railing. For example, if the handrail on a concrete stairwell is damaged to the point where the “repair” basically turns into a full-on replacement job, says Angi.com, it’s much cheaper to get a new one installed. So the managers need to make that executive decision based on what makes the most sense for the safety of others.

5. How Much Will Long-Term Maintenance Cost for a Railing of a Specified Type?

Depending on the material the handrail is made from and how durable it is, the cost of maintenance will vary. Rails can be made of anything ranging from strong metals like aluminum and zinc to plastics, vinyl, and even wood. The resilience of every substance will vary, which will factor heavily into the cost of installation and maintenance. 

Make Better Handrail Repair and Replacement Decisions by Choosing the Right Partner

Finding the right commercial handrail repair specialist can be challenging, especially if you don’t know where to start. JOBS Group connects you with licensed experts who specialize in specific aspects of facilities management, including handrail repairs and replacements. Request a consultation with The Valcourt to get started.

What Are Commercial Handrail Installation Services and Why an Expert Is Key

Jan 13, 2022

Commercial buildings are required to have handrails installed on the premises. Per OSHA guidelines, railings must address fall hazards, especially on rooftops. From a consumer’s point of view, this may seem like a trivial issue. However, commercial handrails are a vital part of any public establishment to ensure that the customers are safe within the confines of the building. Depending on the area of the structure, OSHA also dictates the materials used and dimensions of commercial handrail installation. On top of installing commercial handrails, it’s important to periodically get them inspected by a professional and subsequently get them repaired or replaced if necessary. For example, commercial handrail installation might not seem as important as laying the foundation of a building. However, ensuring the safety and security of the public who utilize the facilities in the building Is very important.

What Are Commercial Handrails and Where Are They Required?

Commercial handrails are railings that support people as they navigate through an establishment. Commercial buildings are required to install as per OSHA regulations. Handrails are required along staircases, along with mid-rails, which should be placed halfway between the handrail and the surface for reinforcement. Mid-rails can also provide support for small children who need  it. Commercial handrail installation is also required on rooftops and must be between 39 to 45 inches above the surface. Railings must be made of durable material with a smooth texture to avoid injuries. The diameter of the handrail should be at least one-quarter-inch thick. It is best to rely on experts to provide commercial handrail installation services. They will handle everything from installing the handrails to routine inspections and repairs or replacements, depending on the status of the railings.

Working With an Expert in Handrails Lowers Your Building’s Risk to Occupants

Having a handrails expert handle commercial handrail installation is an industry best practice. An expert practitioner will know how to install the railings according to regulations and ensure that there is ample longevity for all the handrails in the building so that it can withhold various amounts of pressure from the people utilizing it. It’s also important for the expert to make sure of the longevity of the railing so that the metals do not corrode or rust, consequently compromising the railing’s integrity. When using a licensed expert for commercial handrail installations, there is a higher guarantee of the building’s railings being sturdy, providing peace of mind to the building contractor.

Tips for Choosing a Handrail Installation Service Provider

Finding Experts in commercial handrail installations is a lot more accessible than one might think. However, the key is partnering with the right expert who will  adhere to the building requirements. Here are some tips that can help find the appropriate contractors for anything required to ensure the safety and security of their building. 

 

 

 

Those are just a few tips to get the best specialist for the job. 

Streamline Commercial Handrail Installation With Valcourt Building Services

Commercial handrail installation is imperative to the safety and security of any piece of commercial real estate. The best-laid plans for the building will be at risk without care and attention to your handrails. Ensure you choose the right service provider to maximize safety during and after installation. Valcourt building services can streamline the process of installing handrails seamlessly. Click here to get started.

How to Avoid Leaks When Making Window and Door Repairs

Jan 06, 2022

Commercial buildings are significant energy  consumers in the United  States, but much of that energy goes to waste. As reported by Energy.Gov, “On average, 30% of the energy used in commercial buildings is wasted.” It’s equally important to recognize that such waste doesn’t derive solely from lighting systems. The HVAC (heating, ventilation, air cooling, and ventilation) system is responsible for maintaining indoor temperature and humidity levels. Leaking windows may result in a greater delta in the indoor air temperature and introduce ample humidity to the building. Such factors increase the risk of mold and mildew growth, putting building occupants’ safety at risk. Meanwhile, making window repairs is not simply about choosing the cheapest glass panes, and building owners and managers need to know a few things about how to avoid leaks when making window repairs to maximize return on investment. 

Know the Status of Your Windows and Door Repairs

The first true step to making proper improvements and knowing how to avoid leaks when making window repairs begins with a thorough evaluation of the building’s status and needs. Building managers cannot really understand the full scale and size of window repair needs without regular, scheduled inspections. Such inspections should consider the risk of air or water penetration, the age of the window, and whether such conditions have damaged the adjoining structural components. 

Choose the Proper Glazing or Sealant

Choosing the correct glazing and sealants is another factor in completing proper commercial window repairs or replacements. Glazing is comparable to a sealant designed to hold the pane in place, but it may dry to different colors depending on its chemical structure. Consider the overall aesthetic when choosing a glaze for your building. Furthermore, selecting the proper sealant for the building envelope also depends mainly on the materials used in the exterior building architecture. Not just any random sealant is the best sealant for making window and door repairs

For instance, the differences between silicone and polyurethane may affect the quality of work performed. Polyurethane may be better suited for wood exteriors or where ultraviolet rays are a concern. Meanwhile, silicone is generally the preferred type of commercial sealant for glass, metal,and tile. 

Properly Install All Sills and Trimming

Much of the risk of window repairs done improperly comes from a failure to reinstall all sills and trim. Poorly attached sills or improper trimming may result from a hasty job or inexperience, leading to premature commercial windows and doors replacement. Regardless, the key is to know the needs of the building intrinsically and use that information to complete all window repairs properly. 

Consider Full Replacement When Repairs Are Extensive

There will always be times when repair versus replacement decisions come under the microscope. In general, repairs are cheaper , but they may not be the soundest option. When damage and repairs are severe and extensive, it may be better to replace the full window and cut your losses. Such measures may sound drastic, but they can help save money in the long run. 

Think About the Impact to the HVAC System, Scheduling Repairs in Tandem

Proper maintenance of ductwork and the HVAC system coincides with proactive window and door repairs. Buildings.com further explained, “While replacing your doors and windows can be an efficient solution for a better-weatherproofed building, it’s important not to overlook your ductwork. If air is leaking out of your ductwork, that means your HVAC system will need to work harder to create a comfortable environment and temperature for occupants.”

Follow Through to Ensure Your Contractor Inspects All Repairs, and Remember to Choose the Right Repair Contractor or Service

Any successful building window and door replacement strategy should include a robust inspection to ensure the repair is up to code and is going to be ideal for the building. However, such outcomes are mainly dependent on the experience of your building partners. Avoid the risks by working with the right partner from the beginning. Reach out to Valcourt Building Services to get started now.

7 Signs That It’s Time to Replace Commercial Windows and Doors

Dec 28, 2021

Glass is a major component of many commercial buildings and accounts for a large part of the care and attention given to commercial windows and doors in skyscrapers and facilities. According to Facility Executive, the type of glass used, the coatings and sealants used, and their position in the building can help improve energy usage and maximize energy efficiency. In northern climates, this can help keep heat and reflected light inside the building; in southern climates, it can help keep heat out of the building.

With so much riding on the use of glass in windows and doors, it is important to stay on top of facility management and ensure staff replaces commercial windows and doors when necessary. It is important to look for the following signs indicating it is time to replace commercial glass components.

1. Age of the Glass

Replacing commercial windows and doors is necessary when the glass itself gets to an age where it is more prone to breaking and damages. It is usually better to replace older panes before anything serious happens. Preemptive work can save time and money in the long run for building managers.

2. Clarity of Visibility

When management needs to replace commercial windows and doors, one deciding factor is visibility. As glass ages and is exposed to the elements, it can grow cloudy, stained, and otherwise difficult to see through as easily as before. This is a telltale sign that replacements are needed.

3. Changes in Utility Costs

Another sign that glass components need replacing is when utility bills increase. When nothing else changes and it costs more to heat or cool a space, the windows and doors are the first places to look for issues. Replacing glass and checking the seals is key to repair and inspections.

4. Visible Damages

Visible signs of wear, tear, and damage to the glass is a rather obvious sign that it is time to replace commercial windows and doors. Cracks, chips, scratches, peeling, and other indications of excessive damage should not be ignored and must be addressed as soon as possible.

5. Issues Opening/Closing

If there are reports or complaints that it is becoming difficult to open or close commercial windows and doors, it is time to consider glass services or replacements. Sticking, grinding, gaps in seals, and difficulty locking and unlocking can all be signs of underlying issues and structural concerns.

6. Condensation

While it is normal to get water accumulation on the outside of windows due to external weather and environmental factors, the same should not happen on the inside. Condensation is a significant concern and should not be ignored as it shows issues with commercial window and door integrity. 

7. Air Flow

Another sign that building management might need glass repair or replacement services is indications of excessive air flow around windows and doors. Air exchange can be a serious issue in commercial buildings, so it is vital to check for air leaks when checking for water leaks around windows and doors.

Improve Your Building’s Efficiency by Replacing Commercial Windows and Doors Properly and When Necessary

Facility managers and building maintenance teams must keep a close eye on commercial windows and doors to ensure they stay in good working order. So much depends on the safe installation and upkeep of glass in windows and doors in commercial buildings, skyscrapers or high rises, and other facilities in nearly every major city today. It is no wonder the need for professional glass cleaning and maintenance services is in such high demand. Facilities maintenance crews, building management and staff must stay on top of glass inspection and maintenance routines and be willing to replace commercial windows and doors when necessary. Connect with a Valcourt Building Services expert to get started and partner with professional glass care experts today.

The Guide to Commercial Glass Repair, Replacement and Maintenance

Dec 14, 2021

Of all the issues commercial building managers have to keep up with, high-rise window replacement and maintenance is perhaps one of the most vital yet overlooked. The biggest reason many building managers decide not to invest in high-performing glass products or choose to put off vital repair and maintenance work simply comes down to cost. Oftentimes, the best quality products are budgeted out of a project simply for the sake of saving money on the initial cost of installation and building maintenance. However, the price tag for quality glass installation should be compared to the long-term costs of building construction and maintenance. In almost all cases, investing in the highest possible quality right from the start will more than pay for itself in less maintenance and repair expenses and overall energy savings. Commercial glass replacement can be pricey but dealing with massive cleanups and replacement costs can cost a great deal more.

Commercial glass maintenance is about more than just keeping windows and doors looking nice. Choosing the right quality glass and glass treatments can greatly reduce energy expenses and lighting costs and help building management to better control waste and maintain sustainability all year round.  According to Glass Magazine, “HVAC systems account for about 40 percent of total energy use in commercial buildings, according to the Department of Energy. Meanwhile, lighting systems capture about 16 percent of electricity costs.” This can greatly expand the expenses associated with keeping large high-rise buildings and offices light and temperature controlled. However, building owners can offset these costs by opting for high-performance glass and glazing products, utilizing smart window placement,  applying commercial glass tinting, and being energy-minded with the rest of their glass-related maintenance and upkeep.

What Is Commercial Glass Repair?

If a window in a home gets damaged and needs to be repaired or replaced, the homeowner simply calls a contractor or window installation expert to take care of things. The job itself is fairly easy and the worst that may be needed is a ladder to reach second-story windows or any decorative windows in an attic or crawlspace area. The process is fairly straightforward. However, this is far from the case when dealing with commercial glass repairs in large buildings, high-rises, and skyscrapers.  

For these sorts of glass repair and maintenance services, only highly trained and specially licensed workers are allowed to handle the glass and ascend to such great heights to deal with these sorts of glass repair and commercial window maintenance needs. In a nutshell, commercial glass repair focuses on addressing issues with cracks, chips, seals, and leaks that occur on glass panes typically found on commercial buildings and commercial high-rises.  These services often focus on larger buildings such as apartments and condos, office buildings, commercial centers, skyscrapers, and other large buildings with many glass windows and panels. It takes a highly specialized high-rise glass repair team to safely handle this sort of work.

Working with a fully trained and reputable contractor or glass company is essential when it comes to commercial glass care and maintenance. From specialized cleaning services to waterproofing membranes, to tints and glazing, many specialized services exist that can present a unique challenge when it comes to the care and upkeep of these glass panels. At these kinds of heights, with so many glass windows and panels, and so much care and attention needed, cutting corners and trying to cut costs by skimping on quality services is never a good idea. It is critical to work with skilled and experienced experts any time any work needs to be done on these sorts of glass panels, glass doors for commercial buildings, and other glass structures. 

What Causes Damage to Commercial Glass?

As is the case with any pane of glass, similar factors can lead to the commercial glass being damaged to the point it needs to be repaired or replaced. The difference is in the details and the specific ways these factors damage and impact the glass. Some of the things that can damage commercial glass include:

Sometimes certain situations arise that really could not be fully prepared for or avoided. Maintenance workers could accidentally bump the glass while working and cause it to crack or shatter. Someone inside the building could fall into the glass and damage glass windows. Or a freak mishap with a bird crashing into the glass could cause damage to the glass.

When to Repair Glass Versus Replace Commercial Glass

If your glass windows or a glass door for commercial buildings has suffered minor damages, the question that has to be answered is how are you going to deal with it. Obviously, the damage needs to be dealt with, but is it better to repair damaged windows or just outright replace them? This can be difficult to determine at times but generally, the following considerations can help building owners decide what the right course of action is:

When to Repair
It generally is ok to simply repair commercial glass if the minor damages impact small or non-essential parts of the window structure. Leaking caulking and seals, a stubborn window that is hard to open, air and water infiltration, small scratches in tint and glaze coatings, and similar issues can all generally be repaired with relative ease. This does not mean you can put off commercial glass maintenance and repair indefinitely. Caulk and sealant issues can allow for water intrusion and can affect the stability of the window. Scratches and issues with window coatings can make the panes more susceptible to further damage. And it is a major health and safety risk to have anyone in a high-rise office with windows that are meant to be opened that cannot be opened easily. In case of minor damages and issues such as these, the cost of repairing the windows may turn out to be lower than replacing them outright.

When to Replace
On the flip side of the repair or replace debate is a situation where the window or glass in a commercial high-rise has been so damaged or compromised to such an extent that it is too dangerous to leave it in place. Major damage can include large cracks and chips in the glass, deep scratches in the coatings or window surface, windows and glass panes that appear loose, and of course, major breakage or signs of imminent failure of the glass. Keeping up with necessary high-rise window replacement work is vital to preserving the structural integrity of the glass. Any sort of major glass damage or window failure needs to be immediately reported, people need to avoid the area, and professionals need to be called in to remove the damaged glass and replace it as soon as possible. The risks of severe injury far outweigh the costs involved with overall building façade maintenance.

Considerations in Making Commercial Glass Work

When your building requires commercial window maintenance and glass repairs it is important to carefully consider several important aspects of this high-rise and high-risk task. It is no easy feat to get to windows 100 stories in the air and it is an even greater challenge to work on glass windows or replace huge glass panes at those altitudes.

Right from the start, there is an obvious concern over the safety of the workers doing the repairs. They are working at high altitudes, off the ground, moving around cranes and lifts and other pieces of equipment, and working with huge panes of glass. Getting everything up to the right level is a challenge in and of itself. Then they have to repair or replace the window and move new glass panes into place and follow detailed and precise protocols. All the while, they are dealing with high winds, low temperatures, and other hazards. Working with a skilled and professional high-rise glass repair team is vital, not just to ensure a successful repair job, but also to ensure the safety of everyone in the general vicinity.

On the flip side of things is the fact that ignoring the damage to a window or glass door for a commercial building can end up costing a business a great deal financially. A recent report highlighted by Buildings.com estimates that 39% of commercial heating energy use and 28% of commercial cooling energy use are impacted by windows in the building. The same study showed that more than 34% of all commercial space energy consumption waste is attributable to windows. Fortunately, improvements in window design have made it easier to maximize the protection and performance of window and glazing systems. New types of glass and improved window designs can also help guard against issues with heat transfer through the windows. This is why keeping up with commercial glass window washing, routine inspections, and testing, and regular maintenance and upkeep is important for building owners. 

Types of Commercial Glass

With new advances and improved technology, glass can be made in more ways than ever before, a critical consideration for high-rise glass installation. Regular glass like what is used in homes and normal office buildings is not the same as what is found on skyscrapers and commercial buildings. Some of the common commercial glass specifications available include:

Common types of glass used in various kinds of commercial buildings include:

Window glass in skyscrapers and high-rises is designed with commercial window maintenance in mind and is usually made of shatter and break-proof glass that is designed to be less damaging if the glass falls from great heights due to window failure. Likewise, considering other features such as insulation properties, reflectiveness, color, and commercial glass tinting, and more should also carefully be accounted for. Commercial waterproofing and sealants are also worth taking note of. Matching the performance characteristics of the building and its location, as well as where in the building itself the glass is located, are also important considerations to keep in mind for commercial glass repairs and maintenance.

Tips to Improve Commercial Glass Maintenance

Keeping up with necessary commercial glass maintenance and the repair of glass structures in high-rise buildings are never-ending. According to a veteran window cleaner interviewed in the New York Times, “a standard 50-floor skyscraper would take 30 to 40 days to clean in its entirety. The Empire State Building, by contrast, with its 102 floors, takes six men about four months to clean — and once they’re done, the window cleaners have to start all over again.” With this level of frequency, glass cleaning, repair, and maintenance need to be as routine as any other interior cleaning and inspection schedule. The following tips can help building managers stay on top of commercial glass maintenance and ensure overall window cleaning safety:

Regularly wash and inspect glass for signs of damage. 

Regular commercial glass window washing is good for general window care and maintenance. The more often the glass gets cleaned the more opportunities there are to do inspections and catch minor issues and concerns before they become major problems.

Schedule a qualified inspection at least biannually or seasonally, depending on climate.

Surface level inspections by window washers and maintenance crews are good but a professional inspection needs to be done regularly as well. Water and air intrusion tests, safety checks, and code enforcement inspections are vital maintenance services as well.

Address any cracks as soon as possible.

Small cracks and chips can quickly become a big issue. Weakened glass is more prone to further breakage and can pose a major safety concern for those in and around the building. Small cracks can be repaired but major cracks require commercial glass replacement.

Ensure scratches are closely monitored.
While they are not as serious and urgent as a crack or chip, scratches on the window surface also need to be noted and monitored. In places of high winds or extremely low temperatures, scratches can open up the glass to further damage and eventual breakage.

Know the types of glass used in your buildings.

Every type of glass has slightly different parameters for what it can and cannot tolerate and support. Knowing what glass is used in the various areas of a high-rise building makes it easier to do maintenance checks and to ensure repairs and upgrades are done correctly.

Know when to repair versus replace panes. 

A quick repair job may get a damaged window stable when dealing with minor issues like commercial glass tinting damage or minor scratches. Other times an immediate replacement is needed to protect the integrity of the building and those in the area.

Test glass for signs of air and water penetration.

Along with visual inspections for signs of wear and tear or damage, professional inspections need to include air and water intrusion tests. These can help easily pinpoint issues with commercial windows and glass door for commercial buildings.

Ensure your team and service provider is using the right type of sealants. 

While maintenance and cleaning of windows are critical for high-rises, it is equally important to ensure the correct materials and products are used. Improper weather-proofing materials and harmful cleaning products can weaken and damage the glass rather than protect it.

Maintain scaffolding and platform equipment for commercial window maintenance.

With extreme high-rises and larger buildings, the need to be in the air on the face of the building is near-constant. Maintaining scaffolding and equipment means inspections and maintenance work can be done more quickly and issues can be addressed more effectively.

Realize the need to maintain the full exterior to keep the glass in the best shape.

Commercial window maintenance also involved elements of the building’s exterior beyond the glass itself. Maintaining the actual physical structure the windows are set in and all related support structures can also help ensure windows and glass panes remain intact.

The Benefits of Proper Glass Maintenance

Proper glass maintenance and commercial glass replacement can bring with it a wide range of benefits, the most obvious being a safe working environment. We have also already touched on how commercial glass maintenance and repair can help conserve energy and create a more structurally sound environment. However, there are other benefits worth considering for hi-rise exterior maintenance and upkeep.

Protects the Glass
Dirt, dust, smog, and debris will naturally accumulate on windows over time. Cleaning glass windows help ensure sufficient light passes through them so the interior space can benefit from natural lighting. This can help maintain higher comfort levels for those inside and will also ensure the living and working conditions of the inhabitants of the building don’t suffer.

Health Benefits
Sunlight is important for physical as well as mental health. Vitamin D comes from the sun, which promotes optimal physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Studies have shown that working in dark, isolated spaces negatively impact worker motivation and performance. By keeping commercial building’s windows clean and letting in natural light, this is avoided.

Prolong Building Longevity
A tall building experiences more impact from wind and debris than lower buildings. The size of the building itself can also stress windows over time due to the pressure and weight the glass experiences. This exposure will weaken glass panes over time and cause cracking and breaking if not maintained. That’s why abandoned buildings lose their windows. 

Reflect Light Not Absorb
The more grime that builds on the surface of a commercial building, the worse it becomes for everyone. Not only does the building become an ugly eyesore in the neighborhood, but it can also affect the surrounding buildings that rely on light reflecting off that building to keep them out of its shadow. Glass will reflect light, dirt, and grime will absorb light.

Considering these and many other benefits of commercial glass repair and upkeep, it becomes all the more apparent why building management teams must stay on top of high-rise window replacement, and high-rise window cleaning and general upkeep.

Lower Building Total Cost of Ownership With a Complete Building Exterior Maintenance Program From the Right Partner.

The features of commercial glass, as well as what basic type of glass used, can vary greatly depending on several factors unique to each building. A skilled and experienced high-rise glass repair team will be able to match your unique commercial window needs to the best maintenance and repair services available.

 Areas that are prone to high winds or high rain need glass with greater resistance to impact damage as well as specialized coatings to help keep things water and airtight. As you get higher above ground, it becomes more critical to use specialized commercial glass to ensure safe and effective building operations. Choosing the right quality glass and glass treatments can greatly reduce energy expenses and lighting costs and help building management better manage expenses with better commercial glass replacement and repair options.

Questions and concerns about what kind of glass to use, what additional treatments or products should be utilized, how often inspections and repair work should be performed, and whether upgrades should be done regularly or only when windows are damaged or need replacing are just some of the issues building manager teams need to consider. It can be confusing to make sense of it all and to make the right choices every single time commercial glass repairs or maintenance are needed. Working with a team of professionals, who have experience dealing with high-rise commercial buildings and commercial glass services can provide reliable guidance when it is needed the most. Request a consultation with Valcourt Group to et a commercial glass maintenance and upkeep plan, implemented by a certified high-rise glass repair team today.

What Is Involved in a Commercial Building Water Leak Investigation & Repair Service?

Sep 16, 2021

Of all the components of a commercial building that property managers must pay attention to, the waterproofing seal ranks as one of the most critical of all. The building envelope protects the inside of the building from damage caused by water intrusion. Knowing how to find a water leak in a commercial building and how to identify and correct issues sooner rather than later can significantly impact the building’s stability and the safety of employees and visitors alike.

Where Do Commercial Building Envelope Water Leaks Occur?

Routine inspections and professional testing and evaluations are critical steps in the building maintenance and management process. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory estimates that “asthma-related medical costs attributable to mold and dampness exposure add up to roughly $3.5 billion each year, and this figure does not take into consideration other health effects building mold causes.”  As damage spreads, the problems will also increase in number and severity. So, building managers need to be aware of the critical places where moisture commonly occurs:

Water infiltration can cause premature deterioration of a building’s interior components, significantly depreciating the value and posing a severe risk to health and safety in extreme cases. Protecting against water intrusion with innovative services and building envelope restoration must be the primary focus of building management personnel at all times.

Trial by Water and Air: How to Find an Envelope Water Leak in a Commercial Building

Field inspectors follow a set of specific procedures established by industry standards and record the results of all onsite tests. They check for air, water, and moisture intrusion at various levels and locations in the building. Knowing where these potential problems areas pop up can help maintenance teams tailor inspections and follow-up efforts to focus on those vital spaces. These sorts of tests and assessments will demonstrate how to find a water leak in a commercial building and why building envelope water testing procedures keep buildings safe and structurally sound. 

Actual Steps of the Repair

One of the first questions building owners and managers consider upon finding potential problem areas is,  “does building insurance cover water leaks?” In most cases, the answer is yes, so long as specific criteria are met and every effort has been made to address and fix the issues. The five basic steps for repairing water leak issues to prevent further damage include:

Overcome Water Leaks in Apartments and Other Properties With the Right Building Service Partner.

The best way to deal with water leaks in apartment buildings, businesses, high-rise buildings, and other commercial structures is through routine inspection and regular maintenance of the waterproofing envelope and seals. When the envelope fails and water and moisture seep into the building, it can cause a host of problems and cause widespread damage that can cost a fortune to fix. Keep these problems from disrupting normal business operations with professional waterproofing and sealing services from Valcourt today.