How to Properly  Maintain Vacant Commercial Buildings

Everything changed in the spring of 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe. As mask-wearing, social distancing, and work-from-home directives swept cities around the U.S., most commercial property owners faced a new reality – forced vacancy. As vacant commercial building owners struggled with the pandemic’s effects, many landlords used the sudden vacancy as an opportunity to perform maintenance in preparation for return to office protocols.

Traditionally, commercial and industrial building maintenance occurred during off-hours, such as after work, overnight, and during holidays. However, landlords with suddenly empty office buildings and other vacant commercial buildings owners seized this unprecedented opportunity to perform much-needed commercial property maintenance.

Tips for Proper Commercial Building Maintenance

Staying competitive in commercial real estate requires upkeep. There’s an age-old idiom that aptly applies to commercial property maintenance that states, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  In other words, it’s better to stop a problem from happening than to correct it after it has started.

If you are maintaining a commercial building, there are steps to take to properly maintain and extend the life of your vacant commercial buildings to keep them operationally ready for return to operations. These six tips for commercial property maintenance can significantly prolong the life of your space when performed regularly over time.

Make Sure to Repair All Leaks and Water Damages

Water damage from burst pipes, structural leaks, or severe weather can start small and quickly become a major catastrophe. For this reason, leak prevention is critical to commercial building maintenance. We recommend regularly checking vacant commercial buildings for signs of unwanted water, especially inside. If you detect a leak, repair it immediately to prevent damage to the structure.

Properly Cover Up All of the Cracks and Holes

Next on our list of how to maintain a commercial building – repairing cracks and holes in the structure – may seem like a no-brainer. Not only are holes and cracks unsightly, but covering them up will prevent insects, rodents, and other pesky outdoor elements from entering the property.

However, increased energy efficiency is another reason keeping ceilings, walls, and floors damage-free and sealed is essential to commercial property maintenance. Sustainability concerns are becoming increasingly important to tenants and local governing entities – plus, increased energy efficiency typically translates to lower energy bills.

Check All Metal Surfaces for Corrosion

Like water damage, metal corrosion can become a massive headache if left unchecked. Metal corrosion happens over time; however, applying suitable protective coatings, such as paint, can prolong the life of metal surfaces and should be an integral part of maintaining a commercial property. Regular checks for corrosion on metal surfaces during routine commercial and industrial building maintenance inspections should include all interior and exterior surfaces and exposed piping.

Repaint All of the Walls With Peeling Paint

Not only is painting or repainting walls easier and faster in vacant commercial buildings, but it’s also one of the easiest ways to improve the appearance of the space. Peeling paint is unsightly and can lower the perceived value of your commercial property.

In addition to improving aesthetics, today’s paint formulas are pretty advanced and help protect surfaces from extreme weather and element-related erosion. Furthermore, antimicrobial paint formulas designed to decrease bacteria and germs in the air are becoming increasingly popular in commercial spaces as employee health and safety gain priority in today’s work environments.

Apply Fresh Coating to all Damaged Floors

Floors in occupied commercial spaces are subject to constant wear and tear, especially in high-traffic areas, and applying a protective coating to these surfaces improves longevity – and in many cases, safety. There’s no better time to apply or reapply protective floor coatings to damaged or fading floors as part of regular commercial and industrial building maintenance than during a vacancy. In most cases, the professional paint company handling the project will finish faster when the space is empty.  

Protect All Surfaces After Repairs are Done

Once you’ve completed the items on this commercial building maintenance checklist, there’s still one preventative – yet critical – measure to take to prolong the life of your investment – and that’s protection. We’re not talking about security systems, though.

Remember earlier when we mentioned the idiom “An ounce of prevention…” – well, we can’t reinforce the sentiment enough. Taking your repairs and maintenance a step further by including a surface protectant will help deter future damage or erosion. So, once you’ve patched cracks, repaired water damage, or restored corroded metal, go the extra mile and include any additional protective coating recommended, such as protective paints or acrylic coatings, for greater peace of mind.

Although vacant commercial buildings are not ideal, it’s the best opportunity to tackle commercial and industrial building maintenance. Professional painting and flooring experts, like Precision Painting and Decorating, can help you with everything mentioned in this article – and take the stress out of how to maintain a commercial building. We’ve been professionally serving commercial properties, like retail spaces, places of worship, and warehouses, in the Chicago and Cincinnati metro areas for over 15 years with efficient, responsive, and exceptional expert service across industries. Contact us for a quote today.


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