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From the Inside Out
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A blog specifically created for RFMA intended to provide pertinent information on protecting company assets.

 

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Cold Weather is Coming. Are you Ready?

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Hello RFMA members,

Another hot summer is ending and it's still a bit warm but now it's time to begin preparing for cold weather. Are your restaurants and contractors ready? Do you have your snow removal contract specifics finalized? Are the HVAC's ready for heat mode? Following are a brief list of activities to concentrate on to ensure your facilities are ready for winter:

- RTU's. Are the fall start-ups scheduled with your contractors to check on winter operation?  Heat exchangers, blower motors, filters, wiring, and belts all need to be looked at and serviced as required. Now is still a good time to replace a cracked heat exchanger if needed. May be a good time to replace the belts also. Don't want to lose heat in the winter on such an inexpensive repair. Make sure an additional belt is on hand for emergencies and possibly train a restaurant employee on emergency replacement.

- Building air balance. Are your building positively balanced? After a long summer there may be some adjustments necessary to have a slight positive building air balance. This is extremely important during the frigid temperature conditions in the winter. A negative balance will waste energy and, more importantly, create drafts which will make customers and employees uncomfortable. Have your contractor add this task to the fall check list. Make sure the technician is fully trained on what an store air balance is and how to correct issues effecting it.

- Roof drains. Make sure these are clean and free of debris. With normal fall and winter precipitation, water needs to be drained properly off the roof. Check the flashing and roof seams for damage as water penetration then freezing will cause leaks and potentially expensive repairs. Have any issues professionally repaired.

- Irrigation systems. Check with your landscapers to drain the lines and unhook all hoses from their spigots. Mat want them to do a final inspection on the entire system so it'll be ready in the spring

- Exterior lighting. With darkness coming earlier, make sure all parking lot, building, and walkway lights are working and programmed for proper on/off times.

- Exterior doors. Are the sweeps in good condition? Change as necessary. This will keep the cold out along with the pests.

- Snow removal. Who is responsible for the snow removal at the restaurant? If it's not handled by the landlord, do you have a contract in place for snow and ice removal? Is it updated? What are the parameters when they need to come out to plow? After 2 or 3 inches? Work out the details now and minimize facilities liabilities. Having a contract in place should put your facilities in a higher priority position to get plowed.

- Thermostats. Reprogram accordingly for winter operation. In extreme cold climates do not program below 60-65 degrees.

- Pest control. Colder weather drives pests inside where it's warmer. Schedule your restaurants accordingly for a treatment and review their report to correct any minor facility issues to keep pests out.

Getting ready for winter now saves money, time, and increases customer and employee satisfaction which always protects your brand.

Always looking for feedback. What other activities do you complete for winter preparation? Let me know.

Dover and out.


Jeff Dover, CRFP 
Facilities Resource Manager | Restaurant Facility Management Association 
jeff@rfmaonline.com
972-805-0905 ext. 3

Tags:  air balance  heat exchangers  roof drains  snow removal contracts  winter preparation 

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Hot Weather is Back!

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Updated: Thursday, May 16, 2019

Hello RFMA members,

Cool weather has long since disappeared. Summer is here again. It's already hit triple digits in many parts of the US and it's not even July yet. It is going to be another hot summer. How are your restaurants doing? Had any emergency calls in the past 20 minutes? Check out this Summer facilities checklist to keep emergency calls down and efficiency up!  

Check out the following items to ensure your stores are operating at an efficient level this Summer:

- Air balance: Check to see the restaurant is positively balanced, which means when opening an exterior door, a little air rushes out of the building rather than in. This is very important to correct as a negative store will waste energy cooling dollars and make it uncomfortable for guests seated by the doors.

- PMs: When was the last PM completed on the HVAC units? When were the filters changed? Due to the longer run times during the summer, the frequency of filter changes may need to be increased. A well running unit will save utility dollars and ensure customers and employees alike are both comfortable in the restaurant.

- Roofs: Now is the time to check for leaks and clean out all roof drains in preparation of summer storms. Also, pick up any loose screws and other items that could potentially cause a leak if stepped on.

- Carpet/Floor Cleaning: After a wet spring, have all carpeted areas deep cleaned to remove embedded dirt to provide a safe environment to the customers and employees.

- Tile & Grout: Warmer weather will normally increase the humidity and moisture level. Check grout lines to see if they need to be scraped and repaired. This will minimize chance of moisture getting below the tiles, holding mold in check and extend the life of the floor.

- Parking Lot/Sidewalks: Check for cracks and possible shifting of underneath soil due to warm, dry weather to ensure there are no tripping hazards. Summer is normally a busy time of the year and preventing any slip/falls is of great benefit. Also, check for proper striping and correct any ADA issues accordingly.

 -Doors: Warm weather means pests are active and more likely to enter the facility. Check to ensure sweeps are installed and in good condition.

- Building sealing: Check all windows and exterior doors for proper sealing. Re-caulk if necessary.

 -Irrigation: Check proper on/off times for exterior irrigation and spray head operation. Replace any broken heads as required.

- Ceiling Tiles: For good "branding", replace any stained ceiling tiles which may have been damaged from leaks over the spring

Hot weather can be damaging to your restaurant facilities. Completing these tasks will protect your brand and assets and again hopefully minimize the emergency calls this summer. Have a safe season!

Dover and out.



Jeff Dover, CRFP 
Facilities Resource Manager | Restaurant Facility Management Association 
jeff@rfmaonline.com
972-805-0905 ext. 3

Tags:  air balance  doors  floors  Hot weather  parking lots  roofs 

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Summer is Here

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Updated: Monday, June 4, 2018

Hello RFMA members,

Well, so much for spring weather. Summer has hit with a vengeance again. It's already been over 100 degrees in Minnesota and it looks like we are in for another long, hot summer. How are your restaurants holding up? Check out the following to ensure your store's are doing the best they can to keep customers and employees comfortable while saving utility dollars.

- When was the last PM completed on the HVAC units? When were the filters changed? Due to the longer run times during the summer, the frequency of filter changes may need to be increased. A well running unit will save utility dollars and ensure customers and employees alike are both comfortable in the restaurant.

- Roofs: Now is the time to check for leaks and clean out all roof drains in preparation of summer storms. Also, pick up any loose screws and other items that could potentially cause a leak if stepped on.

- Parking lot/sidewalks: Check for cracks and possible shifting of underneath soil due to warm, dry weather to ensure there are no tripping hazards. Summer is normally a busy time of the year and preventing any slip/falls is of great benefit. Also, check for proper striping and correct any ADA issues accordingly.

- Carpet/floor cleaning: After a wet spring, have all carpeted areas deep cleaned to remove embedded dirt to provide a safe environment to the customers and employees.

- Tile & grout: Warmer weather will normally increase the humidity and moisture level. Check grout lines to see if they need to be scraped and repaired. This will minimize chance of moisture getting below the tiles, holding mold in check and extend the life of the floor.

 -Doors: Warm weather means pests are active and more likely to enter the facility. Check to ensure sweeps are installed and in good condition.

- Air balance: Check to see the restaurant is somewhat positively balanced, which means when opening an exterior door, a little air rushes out of the building rather than in. This is very important to correct as a negative store will waste energy cooling dollars and make it uncomfortable for guests seated by the doors.

- Building sealing: Check all windows and exterior doors for proper sealing. Recaulk if necessary.

 -Irrigation: Check proper on/off times for exterior irrigation and spray head operation. Replace any broken heads as required.

- For good "branding", replace any stained ceiling tiles which may have been damaged from leaks over the spring

Hot weather is very tough on restaurant facilities. Completing these tasks will protect your brand and assets and hopefully minimize the emergency calls this summer. Have a safe season!

Dover and out.



Jeff Dover, CRFP 
Facilities Resource Manager | Restaurant Facility Management Association 
jeff@rfmaonline.com
972-805-0905 ext. 3

 

Tags:  air balance  HVAC PM's  roofs  tile and grout  Warm weather 

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Are Your Stores Balanced?

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Updated: Monday, November 28, 2016

Hello RFMA members,

With the cold air from winter here or coming soon, it may be a good time to ensure your restaurants are positively balanced. We all know what an unbalanced store feels like. The first sign is having difficulty opening the front door. Once it's pulled open you can feel the air rushing in from the outside. My experience has shown me the majority of restaurants are running a fairly high negative pressure. Due to all the air handling equipment especially the exhaust fans, it's no wonder the buildings are negative. Cold air rushing in thru and under the doors and cracks around the windows not only wastes energy it creates a very uncomfortable environment for the customers and employees. It's very easy to check on a store's balance. Make sure all the HVAC's are turned on and running along with the hood(s) exhaust fans. Go to an exterior door from the inside of the store and crack it open a few inches. Using a lighter, put the flame up against the opening and see which way it flickers. If it flickers towards the inside, the restaurant is under a negative airflow. If it is pulled towards the outside, the building is positive. The ideal setup is for the store to be slightly positive. Negative airflow will waste utility dollars, cause potential smoke rollback, and produce cold, uncomfortable spots throughout. This is always a terrible situation during the winter months. Some easy items to survey by both store managers and your local HVAC service provider are as follows:

- Check to ensure all equipment is running. Go to the electrical panel and make sure all breakers are on

- Ensure all air filters for all the HVAC equipment, especially the MUA (make up air) are clean and properly located within the units

- Check thermostat settings for proper programming and the fan in the "on" position.

- All coils need to be clean as dirty ones will restrict air flow

- Outside air dampers on a/c units open, set properly, and/or operating as required

- All HVAC equipment on the roof sealed properly

- All hood filters in place and in good condition with no gaps

- All HVAC motors running at FLA (full load amps)

If not done so already, have these items included in your HVAC PM contract for review each time the preventative service is completed. Your contractor should understand basic air balance principles and be your eyes in the field to make any necessary minor adjustments as needed. This will save energy dollars and keep both your customers and employees comfortable.

Dover and out.

Tags:  air balance  air handling equipment  HVAC  negative pressure  outside air dampers 

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Is Your Restaurant Balanced?

Posted By Jeff Dover, CRFP, RFMA, Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Updated: Thursday, January 7, 2016

Hello RFMA members,

Do you know if your restaurants are air balanced properly? Negative or positive? My experience has shown the majority of restaurants are overwhelmingly negative. With all the air handling equipment and controls, they must be operating properly to have a balanced store. It very easy to check on a store's balance. Ensure all the HVAC's are on and running along with the hood(s) exhaust fans. From the inside of the restaurant go to an exterior door and crack it open a few inches. With a lighter, put the flame up against the opening and see which way it flickers. If it flickers towards the inside, the store is under a negative airflow. If it is pulled towards the outside, the building is positive. The ideal situation is a slightly positive balanced building. Negative airflow will waste energy dollars and could cause not so ideal conditions inside the store such as, hot & cold spots, odors, and smoke rollback. Some simple items to look at can generally help the building balance. They are:

- Check t-stat settings. Make sure they are properly programmed with the fan in the "on" position.

- Check to ensure all equipment is running. May need to check the breakers.

- Ensure all air filters are clean. Clogged filters will restrict airflow.

- All coils need to be clean. Dirty coils restrict airflow.

- MUA (make up air) filter clean.

- Outside air dampers on a/c units open and set properly.

- Curbs are properly sealed on all rooftop HVAC equipment.

- Hood filter in place and sized correctly with no gaps.

- All motors running at FLA (full load amps).

Make sure the HVAC PM contract has these items to review each time the periodic service is completed. Your local contractor should understand air balancing and be your eyes in the field. It will save substantial energy dollars and keep your customers and employees comfortable.

Dover and out.

Tags:  air balance  air dampers  clean coils  dirty filters  negative pressure 

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