November 27, 2023

Summer Maintenance: Essential Tasks for Improving Your Premises

A Metro Contracting branded van sits outside a school building in the sunshine. The school building is clearly in two different distinctive styles, where the original building was extended.

Organising maintenance work can be the bane of any Property Manager or Facilities Manager’s day. From leaseholders with differing priorities, to tight public sector budgets that must stretch widely, management of maintenance work often seems like a never-ending task. From project management of jobs to a list of maintenance works, this blog will help you plan your summer seasonal task list.

Organising maintenance work can be the bane of any Property Manager or Facilities Manager’s day. From leaseholders with differing priorities, to tight public sector budgets that must stretch widely, management of maintenance work often seems like a never-ending task.

Project Managing your Summer Maintenance

A simple project management tool that can help any manager decide which aspect of maintenance to deal with first is the Action/Priority matrix. This involves mapping tasks by the impact they will have vs. how easy they are to complete.

from – use this style grid to sort your tasks by priority, so you can decide what to action.

Following this exercise, you’ll have four categories of works:

Quick wins

These low effort, high impact works can help create a good impression for clients whilst enabling you capacity to think through larger projects. These could be small jobs such as dealing with a refuge area or bin store, or painting an internal communal area.

Big projects

These are likely to be more complicated and costly works, requiring legalities such as Section 21 notices or the consideration of local planning laws.

Hard slogs.

These are high-effort but low impact works, such a planned preventative maintenance which have a long term benefit.

Filler tasks.

These are low effort, low impact jobs, which might be unnoticed by clients but collectively contribute to the property aesthetics.

This Thames-side, listed building in South London required careful planning of works due to the legal requirements of maintaining listed buildings. We were required to give access to allow installation for a water tank, but due to planning laws could not affect the external building aesthetic. The team came up with a creative solution that allowed easy access for the water tank.

Summer-Appropriate Maintenance

Much of maintenance work is weather-dependent, which can also help create a clear schedule of jobs for completion.

Arguably the best season for planned maintenance work, summer provides ample opportunities to fix issues and improve the building ahead of the colder months.

Your main concern in Summer is likely to be keeping buildings cool. It’s approximated that 75% of British buildings built pre-2010 are poorly insulated. This number increases to over 90% for building built before 1990. Older buildings trap heat in summer and lose heat in the winter – no wonder we’re all always complaining about the weather!  As a service based business, we know first hand how hot temperatures create shorter tempers. So prioritising the cool might help improve your work day, as well.

If you’re not in a position to retrofit insulation, some other steps you can take to help keep your buildings cool include:

A selection of drains sit flush with the rest of the playground's tarmac

Filling cracks

Cracks, no matter how small, allow heat to seep into your buildings in the summer months.

Cracks can be in walls, windows or doors. Sealing these cracks will help strengthen a building’s ‘thermal envelope’. In the longer term, this will also help to maintain a build’s structure and longevity.

A short, orange brick building has two windows. The windows have a thick steel mesh fitted over the top.

Maintaining Air Conditioning

Best case scenario of ill-maintained air conditioning units is a hot premises. Worst case scenario can lead to ill residents.

Air conditioning removes heat from your building, and helps to control internal humidity. It provides ventilation, important for the removal of germs from the air. If you’re managing an office building housing servers, well-functioning air conditioning may be an essential component of keeping servers cool and the business running.

A maintained air conditioning system could have extra benefits for energy costs, pleasing service charge payers (or your bosses).

The front entrance to the school is a blue door. In this image, the door is open and bordered with white finger guards. Red steps lead up to the blue door.

Utilising Light and Shade

Windows, shutters and blinds provide an often under-utilised way of aiding energy efficiency.

Modern architects know the benefits that strategic windows and shutters provide to keeping buildings adequate temperatures. In older buildings, poor window placement contributes to overheating. Upgrading single pane windows to double glazing also provides better insulation.

The photo collage shows two sets of stainless steel water fountains. All four water fountains are fitted against brick walls, have long taps to allow bottles to access the tap easily, and have round basins so no sharp edges to hurt fingers.

This modern building shows the utilisation of shutters to help keep the internal environment temperate.

Shutters and blinds, when utilised correctly, help control the heat infiltrating through windows. These can be particularly important for buildings with glass facades, such as office blocks. Shutters may benefit aesthetics for traditional blocks. Blinds can provide a more modern shading option for newer developments.

If covering your windows isn’t for you, UV-filtering window film is also a cost-effective way of reducing heat.

Well-placed shading systems provide cost effective ways to manage your buildings’ temperatures and save energy bills.

The photo collage shows two pictures side by side. On the left side is a picture of a small room. At the end of this small, narrow room sits a new window. It is single pane to keep in the style of the existing building windows, and features three narrow pains on top of one another. The right side shows a blue internal fire door. Another pane of glass has been fitted within the door. It is a blurred glass with a wooden trim.

Summer means safer access for working at height

Summer is the perfect time to access roofs for repairs or perform gutter and pipe maintenance.

Roof repairs works are not appropriate in rain as humidity and damp affect roof sealant formulas. Rain also leads to dangerous working environments for the contracting team, leaving them vulnerable to slips from heights.

During summer, you may find that buildings use more water as tenants, residents and visitors seek to stay cool. Extra water means extra water wastage – so it’s important to ensure your pipes, plumbing and drainage are in good order to prevent blockages, leaks and water damage.

This bathroom has white walls and blue cubicle doors. Above the doors, new cieling tiles have been fitted. They are large, white squares.

Grounds Maintenance

It’s widely believed that trees in proximity to a building will cause subsidence issues. In reality, only 1% of the 7 million trees in London are causing an issue to nearby buildings. Given the density of the city, it’s likely that this would be much less outside of the city. Instead, you should pay attention to tree branches, which can be much more of a threat. Summer’s sunlight is vital for plants and foliages’ growth, but trees and bushes can grow quickly out of control or become hazards if not checked.

Much of the work you complete to help keep a building cool will also help to keep a building warm and reduce energy consumption in Autumn and Winter, during which it’s much more likely you’ll reactive maintenance services.

This photo collage shows the same door. In the left side, the door is open and pictured from the side, showing where the edge of the door has been filed down. The filed part of the door is unpainted. The right side of the collage shows the blue door shut flush with the frame.
This photo collage shows two sets of different sinks. The left side of the collage shows white, round, porcelain bathroom sinks set into a blue counter. Red soap dispensers line the walls above the sinks. On the right side, aa stainless steel, long and rectangular sink
Metro's favicon is the 'M' initial in a soft, rounded sans-serif font

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