October 2023 - Giromax Technology

Successful strategies for industrial building maintenance

Whether your client is a commercial landlord or a tenant, it’s important to make sure everyone knows their responsibilities in terms of building upkeep. There are also various health and safety factors which need to be considered in a maintenance strategy.

Developing your building maintenance strategy

When developing a suitable strategy, carry out an audit of the building to determine and prioritise any areas requiring maintenance. List any problem areas, and what’s needed in the short term to address any issues. Consider the long-term impact on any business activities within the building that could be affected. Build a timeline that covers any repairs and include any key maintenance goals.

A tactical annual plan needs to be produced to prioritise works, either throughout the year or on a yearly basis. Categorise each area and allocate a budget, so you can create accurate financial forecasts. Through tactical planning, you can then allocate enough funds and resources to cover repairs. This will also help you to assess any health and safety considerations, allowing you to take appropriate action, if and when required.

Ultimately, a maintenance strategy can only be successful if everyone in the building understands their responsibilities. Set some objectives to identify key areas of focus, for example, contractual dilapidations relating to a lease. A copy can then be given to tenants to remind them of their own obligations.

As every industrial building has its differences, your maintenance strategy must also be tailored to reflect the type of building structure. If you manage a business that owns its own premises, then it’s important to know how your maintenance plan will affect your operational costs.


5 things to consider when planning maintenance

Below are five areas to factor into your planning, when you or your client are developing an industrial building maintenance strategy:

  1. Health and safety
    Health and safety must be the top priority of any building owner or landlord. When a building is poorly maintained, this can create safety hazards for employees, as well as potential compliance and legal issues. A buildings maintenance strategy will help to keep workers safe and ensures business continuity. Check any relevant safety regulations and building codes.
  2. Preventative measures
    When you prevent problems from occurring, businesses can protect their production or work schedules. Build time into your strategy for preventative maintenance and essential works, liaising with all businesses located within the building. By factoring in planned maintenance, you can give commercial tenants enough notice so they can adjust their work schedules.
  3. Maintain productivity
    Unexpected and unplanned downtime can lead to costly delays for a business, especially manufacturing firms. Strategic planning gives you greater control over your schedule, and businesses can plan maintenance tasks during times when it’s less disruptive to their operational activities.
  4. Building integrity
    A proactively maintained building will remain in good condition. Many industrial buildings have aging infrastructure, so strategies are needed to address such issues, such as asset management plans and phased upgrades. Planned maintenance will help you or your client to preserve the longevity of the building. Preventative maintenance ensures a safe premises and stability for any commercial tenants.
  5. Cost savings
    A buildings maintenance strategy will reap various long-term financial rewards for the building owner or landlord. Contingency planning will prepare you for any potential crises, such as environmental disasters. Strategic planning for preventative maintenance could result in significant cost savings. It’s much cheaper, for example, to preserve rather than replace cladding and roof systems.


Interior inspections

When it comes to the fabric of the building, it’s important to make sure the exterior is kept in good condition. But it’s also essential to factor in interior maintenance too.

Below is a high-level summary of key focus areas:

  • Fixtures and fittings, equipment and lighting.
  • Utilities – power, water, electrics and gas.
  • Walls, floors and ceilings.

Some of the above areas will require the services of professional qualified tradespeople. So, it’s important to make sure any annual safety checks are incorporated into your plan. Always included a fire risk assessment in your maintenance strategy.


Seek technical advice

A well-developed buildings maintenance strategy will allow you to be proactive instead of reactive. Preventative maintenance is always better than corrective repairs. Building owners and landlords can protect their premises, and business tenants can align maintenance plans to their operational activities. Many areas of an industrial building, including rooftops, can be easily repaired using high-quality coatings, reducing the need for a costly replacement roof.

At Giromax, we have a team of experienced Technical Services Managers who can advise on different coatings for your industrial building. Our range includes cut-edge corrosion treatments, gutter coatings, and coatings for profiled metal roofing and asbestos cement.

For application advice or technical guidance, please speak to the Giromax team or call 01455 558969.

Industrial and commercial guttering challenges

Industrial roof gutters

Many gutter systems used on industrial buildings tend to be made from heavy-duty materials, such as galvanised steel and aluminium. These types of gutters have a typical lifespan of around 20 years. For older buildings and factories, it’s common to find guttering made of cast iron, concrete or asbestos cement. Each substrate has its own set of challenges in terms of corrosion or being susceptible to cracking.

The cost of replacing an industrial guttering system can be high and will depend on the material and building size. As an example, aluminium guttering costs around £25 per metre, while steel is around £30 per metre. Therefore, the cost of replacing an entire guttering system on a 10,000 square metre building could run into tens of thousands of pounds.

Commercial roof gutters

When it comes to commercial gutters used on office roofs, modern buildings may have similar systems as residential homes. Typically, this type of guttering would be made of PVC with a lifespan of around 20 years. But in the UK, many offices are found in older buildings, where heavy-duty cast iron gutters are present.

If an office is in a listed building, any replacement guttering would need to be like-for-like, in line with the relating conservation guidelines. Cast iron gutters can costs as much as £65 per metre, which can be a considerable outlay for a business expense.

Where offices form part of industrial units, similar costs for replacing commercial guttering might apply, such as galvanised steel or aluminium. As a guttering material and asides from PVC, aluminium is the lightest material and the easiest to install.


Environmental challenges

Climate change is posing greater challenges for commercial and industrial gutters. Heavy downpours of rain are placing huge pressure on guttering. Pooling water can build up quickly after a storm, along with any debris that has been brought onto rooftops by high winds. The force of water and objects can add weight to gutters, causing damage to weaker systems. Downpipes can also overflow, placing pressure on areas around the roofline and below.

Another cause for concern is extreme heat during the summer months. Hot conditions can damage guttering, causing it to expand and sometimes crack. UV rays can weaken the surface of the guttering and existing coatings, affecting the integrity of the gutter system. Therefore, guttering systems need protection to combat the effects of climate change.


Inspecting gutter systems

Whether you’re inspecting industrial or commercial guttering, a similar maintenance approach is required.

Below are a few tips for carrying out maintenance checks:

  • Inspect guttering after heavy rain or stormy conditions. Debris such as fallen leaves, twigs and branches can quickly accumulate and cause blockages. This puts a strain on guttering and downpipes, which can overflow onto cladding. Water can penetrate any weak spots in corroded cut edges of the roof and the building walls.
  • Where buildings are surrounded by trees, more regular inspections may be needed. Aim to cut trees back by around a metre from the roofline to ensure a clear gap between guttering systems. Some gutters have snowguards and cages to protect against fallen debris, bird nests and adverse weather conditions.
  • Check guttering for any micro roots such as moss, algae and lichen. Organic matter can grow quickly, leading to blockages. Remove using a fungicidal wash and clean thoroughly with water, while observing the correct jet washer pressures for the substrate. A water flow test is a good way to assess whether the gutter system is flowing correctly.
  • Carry out repairs as soon as possible to preserve the longevity of the guttering system. Giromax® Guttercoat is a moisture tolerant formula, which can be used to repair and encapsulate the surface, creating a protective barrier. This innovative solution helps to protect gutters from weather conditions and extreme temperatures.

Giromax® Guttercoat

When it comes to industrial or commercial guttering, the key is to perform regular maintenance. Use a drone to carry out cost-effective roof inspections, and repair or replace any damaged guttering to ensure the integrity of the building. By using a protective gutter coating, you can help to extend the life of your roof gutter.

Giromax® Guttercoat can be used on a variety of different substrates, including galvanised steel, aluminium, cast iron, copper, asbestos cement and concrete. This flexible formula provides a permanent elastomeric coating, which is vapour breathable and guaranteed for 15 years. Highly durable with laminar flake, anti-corrosion technology, our product enables contractors to carry out cost-effective repairs without costly replacements.

The Giromax technical team continually test our gutter coatings in QUV cabinets and real-weather conditions. We test formula durability in both pooling and frozen water to ensure the product can withstand extreme conditions, such as UV rays, rain, snow and ice.

For technical guidance on our Gutter Coating or application advice, please speak to the Giromax team or call 01455 558969.

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Giromax® Data sheets + Specifications, Girocote Data sheets.