Premises Maintenance

  • WHSS
  • External walls usually refer to the outside walls of a building. They will generally need little maintenance but should be inspected at least annually for signs of deterioration or water damage.
  • For all roofing or chimney maintenance work, it is essential to ensure that adequate safety arrangements are in place for working at height.
  • Gutters should be inspected and cleared at least twice a year, sometimes more frequently if a roof is overhung by trees.
  • Ensuring that a floor is well maintained will not only preserve the appearance of a building but will also contribute to safety by making slips and trips less likely.
  • Windows should be regularly maintained and cleaned so they can be opened easily for ventilation and allow in sufficient light.
  • There is no statutory obligation to keep an external or outside wall in a good state of repair. However, if it is in a dangerous state and falls and injures someone, the owner or occupier may be liable.
  • To maintain their grounds and outside areas, an organisation may employ their own staff or engage specialist contractors.
  • It is imperative that in-house facilities maintenance staff and maintenance contractors observe good health and safety practice at all times.
  • Suitable information and training must be provided to employees with maintenance responsibilities.

How to Maintain Ceilings

  • Wash down and repaint surfaces that have been painted.
  • Repair ceilings where lining paper or plaster is used, by re-plastering or recovering.
  • Refer to manufacturers’ instructions when redecorating: decorating may change the characteristics of a material, eg for any specifically treated fire-resistant surfaces.
  • Investigate any observations of damp stains, blistering of paint or lining paper, black mould growth, or cracking to prevent possible ceiling collapse.
  • Apply a sterilisation solution according to the manufacturer’s instructions followed by repainting, preferably with an anti-fungicidal paint, to deal with black mould or damp stains. A longer-term solution would be to improve the heating or ventilation.
  • Repair any hair cracks by lining the ceiling with a stout lining and then painting it.
  • Seek specialist advice for any larger problems such as large cracks.

How to Maintain Grounds

  • Weigh up the pros and cons of using in-house staff or contractors to maintain the grounds.
  • Consider the attractiveness of plants and trees against maintenance costs.
  • Be aware that shrubs and flower beds are a trap for litter and easy targets for vandalism.
  • Position trees so they do not damage the foundations of buildings, do not provide cover for intruders and do not block the view of any security cameras.
  • Keep records of every tree giving details of location, type, age and condition.
  • Maintain footpaths and tarmac areas to a high standard to limit the potential for accidents and improve access.
  • Implement ways of reducing the amount of litter generated on the premises.
  • Check perimeter fences are adequate to keep out litter, pests and intruders.

How to Maintain Floors

  • Check how each flooring material is best maintained. An incorrect cleaning program can change the slip properties of a floor, which can become dangerous.
  • Treat any outbreaks of wood-boring insects with disinfestation liquid for a small localised problem. Where the outbreak is more extensive seek the advice of a specialist.
  • Use jointless epoxy resin screeds or hard tiles to re-level well-worn and uneven areas of flooring.
  • Remove areas of rubber burn on thermoplastic tiled finishes caused by shoes and trolley tyres by wiping with white spirit.
  • Replace any thermoplastic tiles which are cracked.
  • Brush linseed oil onto the floor to “feed” the timber or preservative staining to help prevent excessive shrinkage in boarded or wood-blocked flooring.
  • Seek specialist advice for any larger problems such as cracking in suspended concrete floors or infection by dry rot on suspended timber floors.

Contact us if you have any queries.


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