This is a guest post by Dale Allen, National Service Manager of Rankin, a leading temporary heating and cooling company in the U.S.
If winter is hard on a house, just imagine the strain it can put on a building nearly 10 times the size of the average American home. You’ve got more exposure to wind, a massive ceiling taking on the elements, and paved property that must withstand the forces of an angry Old Man Winter. With harsh precipitation and wildly fluctuating outdoor temperatures, it is crucial to your warehouse and everything in it that you are properly winterized. Now is the time to do it, as you have a brief lull between summer and winter.
Below are four tips for making sure your warehouse is ready for a brutal winter.
Make Sure Your Heating System is Ready to Go
Climate control may seem like a luxury, but it’s a necessity. Cold is a damaging force. Of course, the reality is that many warehouses just aren’t equipped with heating and cooling systems capable of taking on the brute force of a harsh winter. And even if a warehouse is equipped with a permanent system, it’s not always cost-effective to blast it throughout your entire facility year-round — or even for the darkest months of winter. For that reason, it can help to have a temporary heating system at the ready. Portable climate control systems are very useful for protecting the most vulnerable areas of your warehouse, such as those with sensitive assets being stored, or even production lines where employees are working. They can also prevent localized structural damage from warping caused by fluctuations in temperature and humidity.
Make Repairs Now, Before the Cold Sets In
You have a brief window of opportunity to repair the exterior of your facility, so use it wisely. From year to year, note where the drafts are so that you can reinforce those areas. Check windows, loading docks and doors to be sure they all close properly and are free of leaks.
Stock up on Ammo Against the Snow
You’re going to need some salt, so get it now. Anticipate the worst. As the past few years have shown, a brutal winter can come without warning, and will stay as long as it wants. If that means a fresh coating of snow each day, you’ll be glad you got salt when you did. For that matter, be sure you have plenty of shovels handy for smaller jobs. And if your facility uses a plow, make sure it’s in working order. Further, if you’ve got potholes on your property, now is the time to fix them, as an icy winter will only make them worse.
Prepare to Operate Like a Well-Oiled Machine
It may seem trivial now, but a strict, enforceable winter schedule can save you on energy costs. You don’t want a dock that is open for extended hours, for example, and you’ll want to schedule as best you can so that you can limit in-and-out traffic. Additionally, you’ll want snow plows at the ready so that vehicles can come and go as quickly as possible.