I’m a big advocate for the skilled trades in general, and manufacturing specifically. I spend a lot of time and energy to get in front of the next generation of our workforce at high schools, technical colleges, military reintegration units, and other vocational training programs around America. Whenever I’m lucky enough to be granted access to such a program, I obviously spend some time speaking about the opportunities to work at FlexTrades and passing along the tribal knowledge I’ve picked up over the decades that I’ve found to be critical to success in any industry. But I’m always surprised how much time I spend answering questions about the skilled trades themselves.  

It reinforces to me how poorly those of us within the trades have marketed ourselves over the past half-century. But these questions are also an important reminder for me to remember that people outside of our industries don’t have the knowledge that insiders do. Because of this, it’s important to be able to speak to the basics – especially when talking to younger audiences. With this in mind, I’d like to share 10 of the questions I most commonly get about the trades (and how I answer them) with all of you. 

 

1) I’m not mechanically inclined or into working with my hands. Is there an opportunity for me to work in the skilled trades? 

There is an opportunity in the trades for everyone, regardless of what their natural aptitudes may be. First, being mechanically inclined is important but the continuing development of tools and technology make that less of a necessity every day. To be clear, you’ll still need to use tools to work in a hands-on position. I’m just saying those tools get easier to use well and require less expertise to do so all the time. This means the industry is trying to make itself more welcoming for all skill levels. But let’s say you are one of those people that just isn’t capable of that kind of work. There’s still a home for you in the trades! From sales to HR to project management to design to administration, trades-oriented companies need all the peripheral and support skills that any other company needs. Don’t ever forget that! 

 

2) Do I need to go to college to work in the trades? 

Plain and simple, no. This doesn’t mean you can’t, or shouldn’t, just that it’s not a requirement. Whether working in construction, agriculture, or manufacturing, I have worked with individuals who followed all possible paths to success. They may look different, but they lead to the same place. If school isn’t for you and you need to get to work, starting in an entry-level position with a company that provides lots of on-the-job training and plentiful advancement opportunities can be a great way to grow your career. If you have a passion for a particular trade or a firm idea of what path into trades work you want to follow, going to the right local vocational program can be a wonderful option to start. Maybe a four-year degree experience is what you want. That doesn’t mean we don’t need you in the trades! Business, communications, engineering, design, and management majors are just a few of the degree paths that are still much in demand at companies across the trades. 

 

3) What is the best program to take to get a job in the trades? 

The best program to take is the one that fits your interests, skills, and schedule the best. That’s the easy answer. The more complex answer is that it depends on where you’re from and where you’re going. This means that the same school can have programs that are much different when it comes to the quality of their training or the quality of their network. The network can be just as important as the training, because even the best training doesn’t do you much good if nobody is trying to hire graduates from your program. You should also keep this thought in mind when considering local demand for talent. If a school has a great welding program but your desired geographical area has few welding or fabrication shops, you may still struggle to get hired even with excellent skills. All of this means the more homework you do before selecting a program, the less hustling you’ll have to do to get hired after completing it. 

 

4) I want to be an entrepreneur and run my own business. How does a goal like that fit in the trades? 

In short, perfectly! There are well over 250,000 manufacturers, and close to 500,000 construction companies, in just the United States. The vast majority (well over 75% in any given year) are considered to be mid- or small-sized companies. More than half of them employ 20 people or less. This means that most companies employing tradespeople are technically small startups owned and operated by entrepreneurs, and most of them came to that place by starting in bottom rung roles not by pursuing a degree in entrepreneurship or significant amounts of venture capital first. All these numbers add up to one inescapable fact, there isn’t an industry that is more inclined to upward mobility or entrepreneurial growth than the skilled trades. 

 

5) I don’t have many tools. How does a person start a skilled trade career without their own tools? 

By working for a company that doesn’t require you to provide them. This may sound simple but that’s because it is. There are barriers to employment in any industry. The expense of tools can be a big one in the trades. But not every company requires you to provide your own and many that do will provide assistance with your purchases. Tools can be a complicator, but the right research can make sure they’re not a deal breaker. 

 

6) I come from a small town without a lot of employment opportunities locally. How do I get started in the skilled trades? 

Maybe you start your own company. Maybe you temporarily relocate to begin your career so you can start building experience. Or maybe you come work for FlexTrades. We have projects all around America where your skills are in demand. Whether you’re just starting your career, or well along your career path, we have opportunities for you. Almost all of our work requires travel, but you’ll never have to permanently relocate, and you can homebase from anywhere across the country. If this sounds like you, check out our available openings now! 

 

7) Is it hard to start a career in the skilled trades? 

No. People interested in starting are very much in demand and there are many ways in which they can begin. Entry level work with a local company, apprenticeship programs through companies or unions, associates degrees from vocational schools, condensed training programs, military service – all these paths can lead you to a successful career in the trades. You just need to pick the one that’s right for you and then stay on it! 

 

8) Are there opportunities to grow my career once I get started in the trades? 

Of course! Just like any company, there are many ways you can job up. Seniority can get you better pay or more responsibility at some companies. Continuing education or ongoing certification can help you advance at others. Experience alone can help push you up the ladder since knowing the ins and outs of a company often gives internal candidates a leg up on the competition when it comes to new openings and advancement opportunities. The only thing that really can hold your career growth back in the skilled trades is your personal ambition or creativity. 

 

9) Will I make as much money as a “white collar” job? 

Most likely? Yes! While top earners in any one trade may not make what top earners in certain “white collar” fields make (think surgeons compared to great welders) when talking about the “average” worker it’s not even close. There is too much variation in annual average and median incomes, based on location, for me to start quoting them now. What I’ll say is that, wherever you live around the US, do a quick internet search using these phrases “median (insert skilled trade of choice, such as Welder) income for (insert your local zip code) compared to other occupations”. I promise your results will be surprising. 

 

10) What trade is most in-demand? 

That answer varies significantly with geography. For example, injection-mold operators are a lot more likely to be in demand somewhere that has many aviation or automotive manufacturers because they do a lot of injection-molding. However, I tend to encourage people to pursue maintenance careers when they know they want to work in the trades but aren’t sure which trade. Why? Because no matter what changes occur with equipment we use or how we use it, somebody will always be needed to troubleshoot, maintain, and repair that equipment. Maintenance is a great trades career for a lot of reasons but job security like that is one of the big ones. 

 

More FAQs 

I hope you found value in this list and that you’re more prepared to advocate for careers in the skilled trades in the future. If you’d like more answers, check out our blog page to see other questions we’ve covered in the past. Got a question or answer of your own to share? We’d love to help you do that! Send them to our Writing Team and we’ll be happy to share them in a future blog.

As the seasons change and life begins to settle in, we often think we need a change of scenery ourselves. Fall is one of the most popular times for job opportunities to arise. So here are some tips from our technicians on how to fall into place with your new position successfully. 

 

 Be Prepared  

  • Check out your new job site on Google Maps, familiarize yourself with the area. What local stores are nearby? Gas Stations? Convenience stores? Can you find parking?  
  • Pack your essentials the night before and get plenty of sleep! Starting your new assignment well-rested will help you succeed! 

 

The First Impression 

  • Review your orientation schedule and job aids. 
  • Get to know you supervisors by engaging in conversation and asking questions. 
  • Carry a pen and notebook with you, jot down notes during the day! 

 

Become a Networking Guru 

  • Introduce yourself to your coworkers, learn about their interests, you can even add them to your LinkedIn network! 
  • Be mindful of suggestions within the workplace – constructive criticism can help you grow in your field. 

 

Take A Deep Breath 

  • Remember that this is just the beginning of your transition. Adjustment takes time! 
  • Confidence is key, perform your best! 

This week was National Payroll Week which is observed in recognition of all employees and the payroll professionals who pay them. These groups are put together because they collectively handle, report, contribute or otherwise touch 70% of the US Treasury’s annual revenue. Wow! In honor of the week, we asked our accounting department what they think your accounting department wants you to know. We learned 5 big things from them. 

Regularly Review Your Pay Stub 

This is not only to ensure your pay is accurate either. Things to review include other pay items such as deductions and taxes. 

Please be sure to send any updates, changes, or information as soon as possible. There is processing time between when information is received to funds being paid, and this will help ensure timely inclusion in payroll. 

Make Sure to Keep Them Updated 

Please be sure to send any updates, changes or information as soon as possible. There is processing time between when information is received to funds being paid, and this will help ensure timely inclusion in payroll. 

It’s Just Math 

“Accountants aren’t any more qualified than you to divvy up the bill at a restaurant.” Bring a calculator and figure out the tip yourself. You’ve got this. 

Fun Fact 

The most common pay frequency in the U.S. is biweekly, which is used by 37 percent of private businesses. Surprisingly, weekly beats semimonthly as a runner-up at 32 percent. 

More Tips & Tricks 

I hope you found value in this list. If you’d like to learn more about your accounting department, give them a call or email and I bet you’ll be glad you did. If you’d like more lists check out our blog page to see more. Did we miss something about accounting that you’d like to share? We’d love to help you do that! Send to our Writing Team and we’ll be happy to share them in a future blog. Stay cool and be safe this summer!

September is International Update Your Resume Month. Most careers require a resume as part of consideration for employment but too often people try to write a resume at the last minute. Since a well-done resume takes time and research to create, the last minute is the worst time for jobseekers to make one. Making this month the perfect reminder to get YOUR resume ready for the next unexpected opportunity to pop up. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you craft a resume that work for you rather than against! 

Honesty is the best policy 

According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 1 in 4 hiring managers spend less than 30 seconds reviewing a resume but 75% of them have still caught a lie while doing so, leading them to not follow up with that candidate. This means that honesty is your best policy when applying for a job. Not only because it can hold you back but because you’re not setting yourself up for future success even if you do get a call back! 

Proof(reading) is in the pudding 

“You’re not hiring me to write so why does my resume matter?” I hear that all the time from those working more technical roles, like machinists and welders. But, in the era of online applications and telephone interviews, even for the technical trades your resume matters more than ever today. Why? Because a hiring manager sees your resume before they ever see you or your work, making it your best opportunity to put your most (or least) professional foot forward first. Thus, proofing for proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling help subconsciously reflect your strengths like thoroughness, attention to detail, and willingness to take the extra step. 

Be specific and detailed 

If nobody has told you yet, everyone in a hiring position uses resume-reading programs. If your resume is found on an online platform it’s found because it contained certain keywords that were used as search terms. This means that even the right experience can be missed by hiring managers if it’s not being represented by the words and phrases they’re using to search for candidates. How then does a jobseeker succeed? By using this knowledge to their advantage when writing their resume. For example, if you’re a welder looking to highlight your TIG (GTAW) welding experience a quick Google search will show you that kind of welding is searched for most commonly as ‘TIG’ or ‘GTAW’. Therefore, you should make sure to use both terms within your resume and you should avoid other punctuation marks like hyphens or backslashes. If you do so, more eyeballs will see your resume, and you’ll get more interview requests and job offers as a result. 

References: Professional vs Personal 

When asked to provide references most of us generally submit the people that know us best because they are the ones most likely to say good things about us. But remember, no matter how good, or true, the things your friends and former coworkers have to say about you are it doesn’t make them a professional reference. A truly professional reference is not just somebody that knows you or someone you’ve work with before. Rather it is somebody you’ve worked FOR (shift leads, supervisors, foremen, trainers, etc.) because those are the kind of references that can speak about you as a technician, person, coworker, AND employee. When you have a reference like that to make sure you have good contact information for them and give them a heads up you’ve used them as a reference. This last part is important. Make sure they reliably respond to outreach, because even the best reference in the world doesn’t do you any good if they don’t answer when called. 

 

I hope these tips encourage you to update your own resume and, hopefully, make doing so a little easier. If you’d like to find other ways to celebrate International Update Your Resume Day, there are many more options on the web. We’ve done blogs on other topics jobseekers might find helpful, interview tips. Check them out on our blog page. And, of course, if you have other resume tips or questions just send them to our Writing Team and we’ll be happy to cover them in a future article. 

The start of the next school year is just around the corner. Anyone with a TV or a smartphone knows that. We see lots of articles and lists about what is best and worst for students to buy or use. Most of this information is aimed at the traditional K-12 or college student. What about those getting ready to start technical or vocational programs? They are still going to school and have many of the same needs and concerns any student does. However, those preparing for technical careers need to consider additional requirements due to the specific demands of their program or the physical environment of their lab (shop). The following recommendations are sure to help anyone training for the trades to show up on day one just a little more prepared. 

  1. Backpack Every student needs a backpack but students in technical and trades programs need a backpack that can carry tools and hold up to the elements. There are many great options on the market, depending on your needs and tools. Some can get expensive though and price is still a consideration for those just beginning a career. This tool backpack from Milwaukee is the best combo of features, quality, and price you’ll find on the market. And it even has a padded sleeve for your laptop!
    Milwaukee Backpack
  2. Tech Organizer Technical education and technology go hand in hand, so keeping wires untangled is a major concern. The modern student has an ever-growing collection of gadgets, chargers, and cables. Organizers are a great way to keep such things protected and easily accessible. A quick Google search can reveal a lot of options for organizers. Bigger is normally better, especially if you must carry a brick charger for your computer, but slimmer is easier to store. Also, while durability is almost always a concern in the trades, a pouch like this will normally be stored within another bag. This means you can feel free to opt for a cheaper option when you have the choice. A great middle ground selection is this one from mDesign. 
    Tech Organizer
  3. Pen & Paper When you start a technical training program, you’ll spend plenty of time in the classroom. You’ll also find yourself in the shop or the elements frequently. This means your writing equipment needs to function in all conditions. There are plenty of pricey choices available but there are inexpensive options out there that still perform their best when the weather is at its worst. Consider this paired trio from my personal collection, a Rite in the Rain weatherproof notebook and a Zebra F-701 loaded with a Fisher Space Pen refill. The notebook won’t get damaged if you spill on it and will retain its shape even in your pocket. The pen is sturdy and runs pressurized ink cartridges, like Fishers, but costs much less than other options. Combining these items allows you to write in wet conditions, upside down, even in space (seriously, that’s why they call them Space Pens) so you’re sure your notes will always outlast the conditions. 
    Weather Proof Notepad
  4. Post-Its Speaking of writing, if you want to leave a note around the site or your shop you want it to be seen. Post-It notes are great for this but don’t always love the dust, grease, dirt, and grime of many environments. 3M fixed this when they released Post-It Extreme Notes. These will work indoors or outdoors. They’re water-resistant, have 100x the holding power vs the originals, and they’ll still attach/detach without leaving residue.
    Post-It Extremes
  5. Network Everything you learn in a technical program will be important. But, just like anything else in life, what you know generally matters less than who you know. It’s essential that the modern tradesman starts building their network as soon as they start building their tool collection. This network of instructors, co-students, friends, family, and people connected to your school or trade will not only help you prepare for your first job, it’s very possible your network may be what leads you to that first job or the next. I’ve previously covered an easy way anyone can build their professional network using just 10 minutes a day. Read about my 30-day LinkedIn Challenge to learn more. 

I hope you found these recommendations helpful. If you’d like some help choosing other equipment like lunchboxes or building your tool collection, you should check those blogs out as well! And remember, we’re always looking for ideas. If you have one for a future review or list, please send it to our Writing Team and we’ll be sure to cover it in a future article. 

Your eyes: 2 things you are probably taking for granted, simply assuming they will always be happy and healthy without having to put much effort into maintaining their health. In reality, taking care of your eyes so you are able to see those beautiful great grandbabies of yours when you are in your 80’s does take a little work, but I promise it is worth the effort!

Below are just a few reasons why you should take advantage of that vision insurance you have been paying for and not utilizing:

  1. Suffering from headaches? Ever thought it might be related to eye strain? It’s certainly worth seeing someone so they can help pinpoint the problem (or eliminate that concern).

  2. Grades suffering at school? According to Optometry Times, ‘one out of every four children have vision problems.’ If you are like me, your kids complained about not seeing the white board for months before you took their concerns seriously and realized maybe they weren’t just begging for attention. Make sure your child sees an eye doctor annually so learning or reading difficulties related to eyesight can be recognized/diagnosed early.

  3. Things looking fuzzy? Your eyes are constantly changing and those glasses you have been wearing since high school (20 years ago) may be back in style, but those lenses are in desperate need of an update! Get your eyes checked so you can determine if an update is needed (they’ll probably even set you up with some new lenses to pop into those funky old frames if you are not willing to let go quite yet).horn rim eyeglasses sittin on top of an exam chart forground sharp and background soft

  4. Stop it early! Having an annual eye exam is a great opportunity to have a professional look at the overall health of your eyes, even when you are not showing any symptoms or concern. Optometrists can detect eye diseases early in hopes of preventing serious damage.

  5. Concerns about other common health issues? Having an optometrist peek at your peepers allows them the chance to check for the onset of many other diseases or diagnosis, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Who knew?

If you are a FlexTrades employee, you have access to affordable vision insurance! Be sure to take advantage of your eye exams annually and get those green/brown/blue/hazel beauties the attention they so desperately deserve.

Did you know that FlexTrades has an entire behind the scenes safety team!? It’s called “Safety First”. FlexTrades’ #1 priority is to keep our people safe on and off the job!

“Safety matters because you matter” – Brenda Lovitz, FlexTrades’ Safety Manager.

We have been bringing awareness to the importance of staying hydrated. All across the United States the temperatures have been HOT this summer.

Here are some tips on how to stay hydrated:

  • Drink water throughout the day… attempt 8-10 ounces every 1-2 hours. Drinking water at shorter intervals is more effective than drinking large amounts infrequently.
  • If you are working in the heat… you will require more water consumption.
  • Try to avoid… energy drinks, surplus of caffeine, or any alcohol. If you do choose to consume any of these, you will require more water consumption to stay hydrated.
  • Eat regular meals through the day… this will help you retain the salt that you lose when sweating and moving around.
  • Carry a water bottle with you… having this with you will make it easier to drink water.

Infographic about how much water you should drink

Safety First is what FlexTrades Plans, Practices and Prioritizes.

 

You scream, I scream, we all scream for Ice Cream! Today, Sunday July 17th, is National ice cream Day! This classic summer treat is a fan favorite. There are a few places that are giving some special deals for customers to celebrate this yummy day! 

Places to Celebrate Ice Cream Day: 

Baskin-Robbins: Offering $5 off any purchase of $15 or more! Use promo code BECOOLER for online orders or scan your app in the store.  

 

Dairy Queen: Download the DQ app and get $1 off any dipped cone!  

 

Cold Stone Creamery: Download the app for a sweet surprise & you will get free deliveries on any orders from July 15th– July 17th 

 

Dippin’ Dots: Giving away free mini cups on July 17th during a two-hour window. Click here to find your nearest Dippin’ Dot location to get your free treat.  

 

Whole Foods: Now through July 19th, Whole Foods is marking their frozen novelties are 25% off, Amazon Prime members will save an addition 10% off!  

 

Door Dash: From July 15 to 18, ice cream lovers can get a FREE pint of ice cream on any order totaling $20 or more 

 

Insomnia Cookies: From July 12th to July 18th, get a FREE scoop of ice cream with any purchase in-store or online! 

 

Make your own: Click here for an easy at home recipe! 

 

** Reminder this day is best enjoyed with family and friends sitting outside in the sunshine! Happy Summer! **

It’s been less than a month since spring officially turned to summer and most of America is already sizzling. Here in Minnesota, we have more than 10,000 lakes, streams, and rivers we can jump in to cool off in our spare time. But what is a person supposed to do when the temperatures start to rise at work, especially if you work outside or in a facility without climate-control? 

 

There isn’t a magic answer to that question and heatstroke, or heat-exhaustion are real risks for those who make their living exposed to the elements. But after almost 40 years of working in all kinds of environments from farms to jobsites to factories, in all kinds of weather, I’ve picked up some tips and tricks that can help you beat the heat as well. 

Know the Signs 

Before we get to tips and tricks, it’s important you know what you’re trying to avoid. Heatstroke and heat exhaustion are both heat-related illnesses and exist on the same spectrum of symptoms. However, heat exhaustion can be treated with basic first aid while heatstroke requires immediate medical attention, so being aware of the difference between the two can be all that separates an uncomfortable condition from a very scary one. 

 

 

The clearest indicators to watch out for between heatstroke and heat exhaustion are the change in skin condition and cognitive function. If you or a coworker go from excessive sweating with cool, clammy skin to no sweating with hot, dry skin, that is a huge red flag. If mental confusion and slurred speech are also occurring, then you need to call 911 immediately and take emergency steps to begin cooling the affected person down. 

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure 

Knowing what to look for, and what to do if you find it, is always important. However, the goal is to avoid these situations completely whenever possible. The good news is that’s relatively simple with just a little extra planning and effort. Here’s what’s worked for me and my crews over the years. I promise, whether you work in the field or a facility, there’s something in this list that will help you too! 

 

1 Hydrate – Your body is an amazing machine, and it already has a great cooling system. You just need to keep it fully functional. Sweating may be gross but it’s how your body cools itself, and it works. If you’re starting to feel thirsty, you’re already underhydrated. The trick is to take a preventive maintenance approach. Drink lots of water and drink it on a schedule. Tell yourself one bottle before work, one during work before break, one at break time, etc. This will make sure you’re always replacing what you’re losing so your body can keep sweating. If multiple bottles are a bother, something with measurements can really help keep you on track. 

 

 

2 Clothes – It’s important to dress appropriately for the weather but this doesn’t just mean what you wear. How, and how long, you wear your clothes matters too. When working outside, wearing material that is both lightweight and light-colored can help you. Lightweight clothing helps you shed heat more easily and light-colored clothing absorbs less solar energy to create heat in the first place. But even the most perfect clothing will still leave you sweating if it’s hot enough, so bring a spare (or two). Having dry socks and shirts to change into at break times is a great heat hack. This doesn’t just keep you feeling drier and more comfortable, it allows your sweat cycle to continue more efficiently too. 

 

3 Cover up – Suns out, guns out. Right? Wrong! It may sound counter-intuitive but the more skin you cover when working in the heat the better, especially outside. Long sleeves and long pants in lightweight materials keep the sun off your skin. This helps to hold moisture in to avoid dehydration and prevents direct contact with rays, so you keep extra heat out and extra moisture in. Hats with wide brims are great add-ons to protect typically uncovered areas like your face and neck. Clothing made with UV-resistant materials add an extra layer of protection too. 

 

 

4 Cooling Towels – Cooling towels, neck wraps, and headbands are essentials for anyone working in high heat environments. Basically, they help amplify your body’s ability to cool itself by causing increased evaporation. A bonus is that they feel great on a hot day, especially if you store extras in your cooler or soak them in cold water.

 

 

5 Avoid Bad Stuff – Alcohol and caffeine are both natural diuretics. This means they will advance dehydration (dry you out faster) so drinking a cold beer or pop on a hot day is a bad idea. They might taste good and feel good but they’re doing bad things to your cooling system. Save these beverages for off-hours spent in AC and focus on water or liquids with electrolytes. Avoid sugars when possible also. 

 

6 Points of Relief – It might sound new age but applying pressure to certain points of your body can help lower blood pressure, reducing internal heat creation and causing a full body cooling effect. Apply pressure to the back of your neck, shoulders, or bottom of your feet next time you take a break, and you’ll see what I mean. 

 

7 Pair Off – The heat can sneak up on you when you’re distracted at work and sometimes it’s hardest to “see” yourself. Because of this you should always work in pairs when working in extremely hot conditions. Keep an eye on each other while working and remind each other to drink water and take breaks according to the schedule you agree to before starting your day. Make sure you have a plan in place, ahead of time, for what to do if signs of heat illness are noticed! 

More Tips & Tricks 

I hope you found value in this list. I learned most of these lessons the hard way and I don’t want you to have to do the same. If you’d like more tips & tricks to take with you to work, read our previous blog with advice on how to survive a 12-hour shift. Got tips or tricks of your own to share? We’d love to help you do that! Send them to our Writing Team and we’ll be happy to share them in a future blog. Stay cool and be safe this summer!

Summer is still more than a month away, but people in many parts of the country are already starting to feel the heat. Maintenance managers aren’t any different than the rest of us when it comes to considering the needs of their HVAC/R equipment and facilities. They don’t want to be caught unprepared when the weather is at its worst. Creating and following a checklist can greatly simplify maintenance of an industrial or commercial facility. We’ve covered prepping for winter weather before. Now we have a checklist that can help you prepare your facilities for the warmer weather ahead too. 

Facility Exteriors 

Areas of a building that could suffer wear and tear from exposure to the elements. 

  • Roofing – The integrity of a building starts with its roof. Inspect vents and drains for blockages. Remove debris from drainage systems and gutters. Identify and record any damage or corrosion present and repair/replace as necessary. man standing on ladder and cleaning roof rain gutter from dirt
  • Parking lots & Garages – Review and test functionality of electrical components like automatic gates and light fixtures. Ensure pedestrian and traffic signage are easily visible and legible. Track damage to pavement such as cracks and potholes, repair as necessary. 
  • Windows & Doors – Anywhere that allows people to enter and exit a building can do the same for heat or cold. Inspecting windows, doors, frames, and locks every season maximizes efficiency AND safety for your facility. 

Facility Interiors 

Areas of a building that could suffer wear and tear from seasonal downtime. 

  • Electricity & Energy Use – Cold weather use can strain electrical systems and force rodents inside to cause problems. Check wiring for signs of damage or corrosion and test surge suppressors for functionality. Review energy consumption reports to identify areas of concern or opportunities for savings. 
  • Plumbing – Hot weather can put very different demands on plumbing compared to winter months. Inspect all piping and couplings for leaks. Check water heating and cooling systems for functionality as well as sewage pumps. 
  • HVAC – Proper winterization through cold weather will do much to make sure your cooling systems are ready for the heat of summer. But you still need to inspect blowers and condensers to make sure they’re working properly. You should also replace filters and refill fluids as necessary too. Finally, make sure all ductwork and exhaust fans are cleaned and inspected as well. Hvac technician wearing safety gear inspecting an air conditioner
  • Machinery & Equipment – Any production machinery or material handling equipment that has sat dormant through winter for any reason should get a full inspection and tune up, especially if it’s been stored in a facility that isn’t climate-controlled. Be prepared for inactivity to have caused settling that may require recalibration too. 

Facility Grounds 

Non-building areas of a facility whose maintenance needs change with the season 

  • Parking Lots & Garages – Ice can cause damage to parking areas such as cracks and potholes. Filling, patching, or resurfacing may be required. Also check any signage (painted or posted) that may have weathered, faded, or been knocked down by snowplows. 
  • Lawns, Gardens & Planters – There is seasonal planting and care, such as mowing, to think about in preparation for summer. But make sure to properly inspect less visible items such as irrigation lines and valves too.  
  • Pest Treatment & Removal – Winter can cause problems with pests sheltering inside your facility, but summer is all about the outside. Scheduling a pest control company for regular service is a great way to prevent problems with varmints that can damage your grounds (think moles) or your people (wasps) before they ever occur! 

These aren’t the only steps required to prepare a facility for summer, but they are some of the most important ones. If you’re swamped and need help checking some items off your building’s list, contact us now to see if our HVAC/R or Facility Maintenance techs can help you out. If you’re experienced preparing industrial and commercial properties for seasonal changes, send us your resume to learn more about work on our projects. Either way, we hope all of you stay cool, safe, and productive this summer.