Guidelines for Choosing the Right Building Service Provider

Dec 28, 2023

Choosing the right building service provider is paramount for property managers and building owners. The stakes are high, as a poor selection can lead to inadequate maintenance, increased liability, and even property devaluation. Making an informed decision means considering expertise, safety standards, and customer feedback.

This comprehensive guide will assist you in navigating through the selection process, ensuring you partner with a service provider who aligns with your property’s specific needs and maintains its value and integrity.

Consequences of Poor Selection: Liability and Cost Implications

With so much on the line, the consequences of choosing a substandard service provider can lead to significant liability claims, fines, and costly repairs.

Selecting a reliable and competent service provider is crucial for efficient property management, property value, and avoiding repeated interventions, hassles, and expenses.

Selecting the Right Building Service Provider

The ideal building service provider should not only fit within your budget but also possess the capabilities to meet your property’s unique demands. Make it a priority to choose a building service provider who aligns well with your objectives and ensures that your property is maintained effectively, enhancing its value and appeal. This decision is about more than just immediate service needs; it’s about forming a partnership that supports your property’s ongoing success and sustainability.

1. Evaluate for Expertise and Experience

Evaluating a building service provider’s expertise and experience is a crucial step. You can achieve this by exploring several avenues, such as online reviews, the provider’s website, and direct inquiries.

These methods can collectively provide a comprehensive understanding of a provider’s expertise and reliability in the field.

2. Assess the Provider’s Service Offerings

When selecting a building service provider, it’s vital to ensure they offer a comprehensive range of services that cater to the diverse needs of your buildings. This adaptability is crucial for addressing unique maintenance requirements effectively.

A building service provider’s ability to offer wide-ranging, specialized, and flexible services, supported by adequate resources and a preventative approach, is crucial in selecting the right partner for your building’s maintenance needs.

3. Ensure Safety Standards and Compliance

Prioritizing safety in building maintenance is non-negotiable. Ensure the provider adheres to industry-standard safety protocols and requires OSHA-required certifications & inspections when suspending from your roof anchorages. A commitment to ongoing employee training and safety education is vital.

This commitment to safety protects workers and ensures the integrity and security of your property.

A safety-minded building service provider adheres to regulatory compliance and fosters a safe working environment, safeguarding the workforce, tenants, and property.

4. Review Risk Mitigation Capabilities

Assessing risk mitigation capabilities involves examining whether the provider is sufficiently equipped to manage and minimize potential risks associated with building maintenance, repairs, and emergencies. Such capabilities are pivotal in ensuring the provider can support your property effectively, not just under normal circumstances but also in unexpected situations that may arise.

A building service provider who prioritizes risk mitigation understands the impacts on your tenants and property when things don’t go as planned. A provider who has this mindset ensures prompt building repairs and takes measures to prevent future problems.

5. Making Your Selection

After narrowing down your choices based on expertise, service offerings, safety standards, and risk mitigation, it’s time to make the final selection. This crucial step involves a detailed evaluation of how each candidate aligns with your needs and goals.

Choose the provider who best fits your criteria and demonstrates the capability to maintain and enhance your property effectively. Remember, the right provider is not just a contractor but a partner in maintaining your property’s value and functionality.

Valcourt’s Expertise in Building Services

At Valcourt Building Services, we pride ourselves on offering an extensive range of specialized building services. Our expertise encompasses waterproofing, window cleaning, facade repair and restoration, rapid leak repair, comprehensive safety system installations, and anchor inspections & certifications. We are committed to delivering high-quality services tailored to meet the unique needs of each building.

Our team, equipped with industry-leading knowledge and tools, ensures every project upholds the highest standards of safety and excellence. Contact Valcourt today and partner with a team dedicated to preserving and enhancing the value and functionality of your property.

Check out our Building Facade Assessment Tool!

Quick and Efficient: The Importance of Rapid Commercial Leak Repair

Dec 12, 2023

Devastating hurricane rains and roaring floodwaters aren’t required to inflict damage on a building. Even small, persistent leaks can have a profound impact. Over time, these leaks can expand and contract with freezing and thawing cycles, exacerbating the damage.

Water leaks gradually undermine the structural soundness of your building, posing a persistent threat. Leaking pipes, often due to corrosion, bursting, or failure, are a significant source of water damage in commercial buildings, frequently leading to insurance claims. Given these statistics, the urgency for rapid commercial leak detection and effective leak control services becomes paramount to limiting water damage.

In Commercial Buildings, Small Leaks Can Cause Significant Damage

Not only do leaks compromise building surfaces, but they can also damage electrical components and create hazardous breathing environments for tenants. Common causes of commercial water damage stem from HVAC failures, plumbing leaks, appliance malfunctions, roof and wall vulnerabilities, and flooding or sewage complications.

Water leaks can lead to mold growth, posing severe health risks such as respiratory symptoms, asthma, and allergic reactions. Promptly addressing leaks helps prevent health hazards by reducing the likelihood of mold growth and attracting unwanted pests like roaches and rodents.

Did you know?

These figures underscore the critical need for commercial leak detection and leak control services.

For Commercial Building Managers, Time is Key to Effective Leak Management

The financial and structural costs of delayed leak response can be substantial. This section delves into the importance of swift and strategic approaches to leak management, emphasizing the need to minimize damage efficiently.

Three Strategies for Rapid Commercial Water Leak Repair

So, how can you prepare for an emergency leak repair to ensure the safety and integrity of your building? Regular inspections and monitoring play a crucial role in the early detection of potential issues.

Have a Plan in Place

Leveraging experts at leak control services is a critical front-line defense. To enhance preparedness, we encourage building managers to pre-identify resources for rapid response and thoroughly contemplate ‘what if’ scenarios, ensuring readiness for any eventuality. Integral to this proactive strategy is establishing and maintaining a relationship with a reputable building maintenance and leak repair organization, which forms the cornerstone of effective and swift leak management.

Know Your Building

Understanding the specific vulnerabilities of a building allows managers to pinpoint potential issues and swiftly tailor repair strategies. Regular inspections and preventative maintenance are crucial in early leak detection and efficient management.

Having an in-depth understanding of your building’s unique vulnerabilities is particularly valuable.

Trust the Experts

Experienced professionals know what to look for when investigating a leak, offering faster diagnosis and remedies. Their expertise in advanced technologies, neighboring buildings, and industry best practices provides long-term protection and peace of mind against potential leaks.

Here’s what you can expect from such experts:

By relying on such seasoned professionals, building managers can rest assured their buildings receive comprehensive care, minimizing immediate risks and future vulnerabilities.

ProXpress: Leading the Field in Leak Repair 

As a standout division of Valcourt Building Services, ProXpress redefines efficiency in leak repair. Through an innovative approach, ProXpress goes beyond mere technical expertise, excelling in proactive communication to ensure every stakeholder is consistently informed and engaged throughout the repair process.

Effective management of commercial leaks is crucial for the longevity and safety of properties. Building managers can ensure rapid, efficient leak repairs through proactive planning, understanding your building, and trusting expert services. This solves immediate problems and safeguards the building’s future, underscoring the importance of specialist partnerships in commercial building maintenance.

Contact Valcourt today for a personalized quote and ensure your building’s integrity with our expert leak repair services.

Check out our Building Facade Assessment Tool!

Leveraging Building Facade Maintenance to Beat the Odds in a Challenging Market

Nov 30, 2023

In the face of reduced office occupancy post-pandemic, increased vacancies, and a cooling residential rental market, building managers and property owners must once again prioritize their efforts to attract tenants. Strategic façade maintenance enhances aesthetic appeal, attracting tenants and buyers; improves energy efficiency, reducing operational costs; and ensures safety, mitigating costly legal and repair liabilities. This comprehensive approach ensures that every dollar spent on facade maintenance not only preserves but also adds value to the property, making it a wise and fruitful investment in today’s competitive real estate market.

Current Market Challenges for Commercial Buildings

In today’s uncertain economic landscape, characterized by escalating costs and a squeeze on capital, commercial property owners face a crucial need to adapt. The commercial real estate sector is navigating a turbulent period marked by significant challenges:

Impact of High-Interest Rates: Rising interest rates have reduced commercial real estate lending activity. With fixed and floating-rate loan costs increasing, property sales are facing financial pressure. Higher interest rates have raised debt service payments and tightened underwriting criteria, impacting loan proceeds and necessitating additional financial safeguards.

Low Office Occupancy Rates: The aftermath of the pandemic has brought about a notable change in work patterns, resulting in decreased office occupancy rates. This change has directly influenced buyer perceptions, making it challenging for property owners to maintain or increase the value of their office spaces.

Navigating a Perfect Storm: High interest and low occupancy rates create a perfect storm. Experts predict an outcome that lands somewhere between manageable and plunging values worse than The Great Financial Crisis. Building managers must showcase their properties as attractive investments with tangible value.

In light of evolving market dynamics, including heightened interest rates and evolving office occupancy trends, savvy building management is more crucial than ever. Leveraging a building facade maintenance repair and inspection checklist is one proven method to stay on top of your building’s needs. 

First Impressions: The Importance of Facade Maintenance 

First impressions can influence long-term tenant satisfaction and retention, impacting the property’s profitability and reputation. A well-maintained façade immediately conveys a sense of quality and care, making the property more appealing to potential tenants and buyers. A building’s exterior reflects its overall value and the quality of maintenance it receives. 

Building façade maintenance balances the demands of aesthetic modernization, energy efficiency, and safety. This approach is not just about preserving assets; it’s about enhancing property value, ensuring cost efficiency in an environment of rising costs, and delivering a solid first impression to potential tenants. 

Financial Benefits of Façade Maintenance

The financial advantages of façade maintenance are significant and multi-faceted, directly impacting the long-term fiscal health of commercial properties. 

Long-Term Cost Savings: Preventive maintenance is cost-effective, preemptively addressing minor issues before they escalate into major facade repairs. We’ve seen cases of minor facade work being put off only to result in significant repair at ten times the cost and contribute to other damage. 

Enhanced Property Valuation: Consistent and thorough façade maintenance increases a property’s valuation. Property owners preserve and potentially elevate the building’s market value by conducting regular facade assessments and modernizing the exterior, contributing to a higher return on investment.

Energy Efficiency: Sealing windows and glass restoration can significantly enhance a building’s energy efficiency and deliver lower energy costs.

Mitigating Safety Hazards: By addressing safety-related issues through façade maintenance, property owners can avoid the potential legal and financial ramifications associated with accidents or hazards. 

The financial aspects of façade maintenance are integral to sustaining a building’s structural integrity, energy efficiency, and overall market appeal. 

Enhancing Curb Appeal Through Façade Maintenance

This first impression often goes two ways: enhancing curb appeal conveys the message that the building is well cared for while lacking curb appeal brings a heightened acuity to other issues. 

Window Cleaning: Including stain removal and glass restoration, these services ensure clear, sparkling windows, enhancing the building’s overall aesthetic appeal.

Facade Cleaning: Utilizing pressure washing and other cleaning techniques, Valcourt effectively cleans various façade materials, from brick and concrete to synthetic stucco and EIFS.

Metal Cleaning: Specialized metal mullion polishing services restore and maintain the luster of metal components, contributing to the building’s visual appeal.

Retail/Lobby Storefront Cleaning: Clean and well-maintained storefronts and lobbies create welcoming environments for visitors and potential clients.

Bird Proofing: This service helps maintain the cleanliness and integrity of the façade, preventing unsightly and damaging bird-related issues.

Incorporating these services into a regular maintenance routine addresses visible wear and tear and enhances the property’s perceived value. 

Strengthening Property Value through Strategic Facade Maintenance

Protecting commercial property through facade maintenance is an ideal strategy for property managers and building owners to employ in the face of commercial real estate headwinds. Prioritizing services like window cleaning, pressure washing, metal mullion polishing, and bird-proofing collectively contribute to a stronger, more attractive, and financially sound property.

With over 35 years of experience, Valcourt’s team is adept at servicing various façade types, offering tailored solutions like facade repair & restoration and emergency leak repairs. Our comprehensive services ensure that minor issues don’t escalate into major concerns. Contact Valcourt for a detailed quote tailored to your building’s facade maintenance needs.

Check out our Building Facade Assessment Tool!

Staying Ahead of Wear and Tear: The Merits of Commercial Building Preventative Maintenance

Nov 21, 2023

Reactionary measures have their place. They’re your go-to in emergencies and the unavoidable hiccups of running a building. But wouldn’t it be better to minimize those emergencies in the first place? That’s where preventative maintenance shines, particularly for a building’s exterior. It’s more than just a defensive tactic; it’s an essential strategy for consistently maintaining the aesthetics and structural integrity of your building’s exterior.

The implications of neglecting preventative maintenance can be both financially and operationally burdensome. This article will explore the essential elements of an effective exterior preventative maintenance program, underlining its numerous benefits and emphasizing the value of engaging with industry specialists.

Three Strategies to Mitigate Wear and Tear with a Commercial Preventative Maintenance Strategy

So, you’re committed to staying ahead of the game with preventative maintenance. Fantastic! What are the best strategies to pull this off? We’re talking about actionable steps that can make a tangible difference in managing your property. In the next section, we’ll dig into three key strategies to set you up for long-term success.

Regular Inspections and Early Detection

You wouldn’t drive your car 100,000 miles without a check-up, right? The same principle applies to your building. Conducting regular inspections isn’t just good sense; it’s non-negotiable for your property’s health. This involves monitoring the interior and exterior, from structural components to fall protection systems and everything in between.

Train your staff or bring in pros to look for things you might not even know could be a problem. Put it on the calendar, develop a commercial building preventative maintenance checklist, and make it a ritual. With early detection, you can knock out minor issues like leaks or cracks before they become money-sucking disasters.

Implement a Preventative Maintenance Program

Each component, no matter how small, has a purpose and contributes to your investment’s overall success and longevity. Prioritize tasks based on what keeps your property running smoothly and what items could spell catastrophe if neglected.

Don’t just patch up that wall—make sure you’re preemptively stopping leaks before they can do any real damage. This is a great time to find out why a leak occurred. Like a detective, get down to the details of why the damage occurred so you can take measures to prevent it from happening again. Most importantly, make sure you document everything. A rock-solid maintenance history isn’t just for peace of mind; it’s a financial safeguard for future budgeting and planning.

As a building professional, managing the myriad of maintenance challenges, such as washing windows hundreds of feet off the ground or addressing complex façade issues, requires a level of expertise and equipment that specialized service providers like Valcourt offer.

Collaboration with professionals ensures that all activities adhere to the highest safety standards and comply with OSHA regulations, significantly reducing the risk of liability.

Here are key advantages professionals provide, forming the cornerstone of a thriving, long-lasting property:

  1. Safety and Compliance: Experts strictly adhere to OSHA regulations and standards, significantly reducing liability risks and ensuring a safe working environment.
  2. Consultative Approach: Regular interactions and check-ins with professionals offer services and invaluable insights and recommendations, fostering a proactive approach to building maintenance.
  3. Reliability and Efficiency: A skilled maintenance partner acts as a one-stop solution, offering comprehensive, customized solutions emphasizing efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and, most importantly, reliability.
  4. Building Lasting Relationships: Beyond transactional interactions, the ideal partnership is about cultivating lasting relationships that enhance the value and longevity of your property. The right partner offers solutions tailored to your property’s unique challenges, ensuring safety, efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and, most importantly, reliability.

The right partnership in commercial preventative maintenance is integral to managing your property’s health, meeting timelines, and exceeding expectations. This collaborative approach goes beyond exterior maintenance; it’s about creating a sustainable, safe, and compliant environment for your property, ensuring its long-term success.

Commercial Building Preventative Maintenance Checklist

Keeping your commercial building in top shape requires regular and thorough preventative maintenance. Our checklist covers the most prominent aspects of your building’s upkeep so you can ensure it stays in peak condition.

Building Envelope 

Grounds and Walkways

Well-maintained and safe grounds and walkways enhance the property’s curb appeal. This section focuses on the upkeep of outdoor spaces, ensuring they are safe, functional, and visually appealing.

Safety Systems

This section emphasizes the importance of regular inspections and maintenance of safety equipment to ensure compliance with regulations and the protection of occupants.

Miscellaneous

The miscellaneous portion of the checklist includes reviewing and updating the maintenance plan for your building’s unique needs.

Adhering to this comprehensive preventative maintenance checklist ensures your commercial building remains visually appealing, structurally sound, and safe for all occupants. It’s an investment in your property’s longevity and operational excellence.

Ensuring the Future of Your Commercial Property with Valcourt

The upkeep of your commercial property is not just about responding to problems as they arise—it’s about preventing them. The strategies highlighted throughout this article provide a roadmap for maintaining your building’s exterior, with regular inspections, a robust preventative maintenance program, and the expertise of seasoned professionals.

A reliable maintenance partner will keep you informed about your building’s health and the preventive measures they take and consistently meet timelines and exceed expectations. In essence, the ideal partnership goes beyond transactions; it’s about building a lasting relationship that elevates the longevity and value of your property.

Valcourt stands at the forefront of commercial building maintenance, offering specialized services to keep your property in prime condition. Our expertise ranges from waterproofing, window cleaning, fall protection systems, rooftop anchors, and more. Contact Valcourt today to request a quote and learn more about how our services can enhance your building’s performance and aesthetic appeal, ensuring peace of mind and long-term success.

Check out our Building Facade Assessment Tool!

Caulking & Sealing Commercial Buildings: Why It’s Important to Use Expert Services

Jan 04, 2023

Your commercial building is an essential component of your success, and it is your command center, public face, and a sense of pride for your employees. Protecting your building is of the utmost importance, which is why commercial building service professionals are crucial for maintaining such a significant investment.

Expert caulking and sealing protect your asset by sealing off gaps and cracks that might result in air, moisture, and pests penetrating your commercial building.

Why Use Caulking/Sealing?

Every building is susceptible to gaps and cracks forming between different materials. When moisture penetrates your facility, it further deteriorates and compromises the structure, opening the door to even more severe problems. Air entering your building causes uncomfortable drafts that make energy bills much higher.

Caulking the exterior of your commercial building remedies the normal wear and tear that comes with seasonal contraction and expansion. As old caulk loses its elasticity, it is necessary to replace it to maintain the protective shield that is your building’s exterior.

As exterior caulking reinforces your building’s protective shield, interior commercial caulking prevents drafts and water damage on the inside. Many areas of your building’s interior need a regular caulk refresh, including the following: 

Sealing includes weatherproofing concerns that go beyond caulking. Just as building expansion and contraction impact joints and materials, so are surfaces like windows. Reglazing window systems with commercial window sealant and addressing skylights and curtain walls prevent air, moisture, and pests from entering the building at those crucial points.

Complete waterproofing goes beyond just caulking windows, and services will include:

It sounds like a lot but bringing in commercial building caulking pros will ensure every external and internal gap gets sealed.

What are the Different Types of Caulking and Sealing?

The variety of building areas and surface types that require commercial caulking and sealing services makes it necessary to ensure you use the proper caulk and sealant. Building services professionals will evaluate the different types of caulk and apply the appropriate one depending on the application.

Silicone and polyurethane calking products are classified as elastomeric materials, as both fill gaps and allow for contraction and expansion. Despite being similar in their classification and general uses, these materials have significant differences, impacting their suitability for different applications.

The most significant consideration is how the materials will break down as time passes. The two primary concerns of performance and life-cycle costs are applied to determine the benefits of silicone versus polyurethane-based sealants.

Silicone

Silicone is an inorganic material, giving it an advantage in areas exposed to UV light from the sun. Because it is inorganic, it is less reactive to UV light. The lower UV reactivity of silicone makes it the superior choice for your commercial building’s facade.

Silicone also offers a much longer lifespan due to its excellent resistance to UV light and temperature fluctuations. Many manufacturers provide 20-year warranties, making silicone caulk vs. sealant the perfect choice when durability matters.

An extended lifespan and lower reactivity to UV light and temperature fluctuations mean a significantly higher price for silicone sealants over polyurethane. Your commercial building services company will weigh the trade-offs of cost and expected sealant lifespan when determining which sealant is appropriate for each application.

Polyurethane

As an organic material, the sun, elements, and temperature break down polyurethane much faster than silicone. Typically, polyurethane’s lifespan will max out at ten years, reflecting this shorter lifespan in its much lower price.

When weighing silicone vs. polyurethane caulk, silicone will always be the best investment for areas exposed to the elements or subject to more variation and use.

Are Your Current Sealants Still Effective? When To Replace

Depending on your sealants’ location, type, and application, they can break down at differing rates. If polyurethane was used extensively in the past, it could break down and crack over a significantly shorter period.

It could be time to replace sealants if it has been some time since you last had them inspected. One way to confirm the need for a replacement is if you see a loss of elasticity and separation from the surfaces. Other indicators would be visible cracks or splitting.

Exterior sealant might show visible evidence of weathering, including chalking, blistering, discoloration, or cracking.

Of course, the best estimate of sealant effectiveness will come from calling commercial building professionals for a comprehensive inspection.

Working With an Expert for Commercial Wall Coating

Your company’s commercial building is essential to the organization’s identity. Maintaining one of your most important assets is a crucial task that requires expert attention.

Every wall is different based on the construction approach, the material used, and exposure to the elements. An established and expert building services provider knows how to identify issues that could become more extensive problems and remedy them.

Proper caulking and sealant application ensure the building continues to serve its essential purpose best. Turn to experts to ensure your commercial building is in its best shape and focus on what you do best, running your business.

Valcourt Ensures Expert Protection for Your Building

Valcourt is the building services provider for property managers and building owners. We have 35+ years of experience providing industry-leading waterproofing, window cleaning, and facade restoration services.

Caulking and sealing are essential components of building maintenance. Contact us at Valcourt today to ensure your building keeps water, air, and pests where they should be; outside.

The Benefits of Commercial External Wall Coating Services

Dec 16, 2022

Walls are an essential part of any building, and their integrity and strength are critical barriers that prevent the interior from being exposed to the elements outside. Walls also accentuate the cosmetic and decorative beauty of architecture, and it’s the exterior surface that everyone recognizes when they get a chance to see it. Walls need protection, just like any other architectural surface on a building. That’s why exterior wall coatings are so important for commercial buildings and why property owners across the United States partner with building service companies specializing in exterior wall coatings. This article looks at some of the benefits of maintaining your exterior walls, offering readers a summary of the type of service options available to protect your structure.

What are Wall Coatings?

Wall coatings refer to a specialized decorative layer that is applied directly to the exterior surface of a building. Applying external coatings protects walls from the constant bombardment they receive while being exposed to the outside world. Dirt, ultraviolet rays, moisture, salts, chemicals, and other debris can cause building surfaces to crack, break, blister, chip, warp, and erode.

External wall coatings principally act as a moisture barrier and line of defense from outside exposure; however, they also enhance the architectural beauty of a structure to improve the building’s overall aesthetics. Wall coating systems are generally much thicker than a layer of paint, providing a weather-resistant barrier that helps increase the lifespan of the commercial wall. The thickness of the wall coating also helps cover up any cosmetic blemishes that may appear on the building. In other words, wall coatings serve a critically important function of extending the longevity of your wall’s structure and act as a makeup to give your building a facelift.

What are the Different Types of External Wall Coatings Available?

The following is a list of the different types of wall coatings that building services professionals offer to property owners on their commercial walls.

Acrylic Coating 

Water-based, low-VOC coatings provide excellent adhesion and durability. They are commonly used in commercial and residential buildings to protect against moisture, dirt, and staining.

Epoxy Coating

These two-part chemical coatings provide exceptional protection against chemical and physical wear. They are highly durable and resilient, making them ideal for commercial applications.

Urethane Coating 

Solvent-based coatings are highly resistant to abrasion and chemical degradation. They provide outstanding protection against UV radiation, making them ideal for exterior applications.

Polyurea Coating 

These two-part chemical coatings provide outstanding protection against water and chemical damage. They are highly elastic, making them ideal for commercial applications that require flexibility.

Fluoropolymer Coating 

These solvent-based coatings provide exceptional protection against UV radiation, making them ideal for exterior wall applications. They are highly resistant to corrosion and provide superior adhesion and durability.

The Benefits of Exterior Wall Coatings

The facade of your commercial building is key to understanding what type of wall coating is right for your property. That’s why working closely with a building services provider that specializes in commercial wall coatings is important. Look for companies with experience understanding the proper surface preparation necessary for the various types of external wall coatings your building needs. Trained building technicians can help building owners prolong the life of their structure, improve the exterior appearance, and raise the market value of their property.

Protect your Building this Winter with Valcourt

When property owners look for help protecting the physical and cosmetic integrity of their building, they look for a company with industry knowledge in building services that specifically provide external wall coating systems. That is why thousands of property managers around the United States turn to Valcourt. Valcourt is the leading exterior maintenance company specializing in restoration, waterproofing, and external wall coating services. Their company combines over 35 years of building services experience, along with a dedicated team of technicians that offer a no-hassle consultative approach to customers looking for the best solution to their restoration needs.

Don’t brush off the importance of your building’s exterior walls! Connect with an expert at Valcourt today!

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.