Hello RFMA members,
Even though it's the end of February and still cool, it's time to begin the warm weather transition. Are your stores prepared for the hotter temperatures? Are your contractors ready to get the equipment preventative maintenance items completed? There are several tasks where inspections and actions are needed to prolong the life of equipment and to ensure the restaurants are ready to switch from cold to hot mode. Now is the time to begin preparations and ensure the store is ready for the summer months. Following are areas and equipment that need to be addressed:
- HVAC's: All units need to be professionally PM'd. Coils need to be cleaned for maximum performance and energy efficiency. Depending on the coil condition, chemical cleaning may be necessary as dirty coils will use up to 40% more energy. This is also the time to change the filters. Go with a pleated type or mesh that can handle the local environment and don't need to be changed every month. In harsh climates, these may need to be changed every 2 months. This is not an area to skimp on as it's relatively inexpensive to replace rather than having the a/c run longer and harder. Changing filters regularly provides a great ROI on maintenance costs, saving energy, and prolonging the life of the equipment. Refrigeration pressures need to be checked to ensure they was no leakage over the cold months. Have all electrical connections and amps/volt usages checked for the compressors, condenser and blower motors. Check with your contractor on their checklist of PM services. Lastly have the condensate drain lines blown out to be clean and free of debris. For a complete a/c maintenance list inspection report, visit the RFMA website under "Resource Library" and "Facilities Toolkit".
- Roofs: After a long winter, a general inspection needs to take place to pick up all loose items, clean out roof drains, and check all roof penetrations for any gaps. Reseal as necessary. Check all areas where the roofing membrane and flashing meet to ensure there are no splits or gaps. Reseal as required. Due to the importance of a sound roof to protect the restaurant interior, it's recommended an inspection takes place every month. Again, check out the "Roofing Care & Maintenance" report under the Resource Library on the RFMA website. This is one of the most expensive assets and is commonly overlooked on periodic maintenance.
- Irrigation Systems: Check to correct times and dates and the programmed start/stop times as there may have been a power outage that will require resetting. Turn on operation and check for any broken sprinkler heads. Replace as necessary.
- Parking Lots: In some areas of the country the lots have deteriorated from the long, cold winter. Check for any potholes, cracks, and alligatoring that may cause vehicle damage or pose a safety risk (trip & fall). Repair asap to minimize liability. Check for worn discolored sealer and reseal/restripe as necessary. Having a nice looking lot is one of the first impressions on a potential customer and also reduces liability when the lot is striped properly.
- Other: Check for proper time clock settings for all exterior lighting and ensure all bulbs are working. The long darker winter months enabled all exterior lights to be on longer periods of time. Check t-stat settings for proper on/off times, temperature, and night setback functions.
These actions will ensure your restaurants will be saving utility dollars and keep your customers and employees safe and comfortable. It also greatly minimizes your Brand liabilities. If I missed anything, feel free to let me know.
Dover and out.
Jeff Dover, CRFP
Facilities Resource Manager | Restaurant Facility Management Association
972-805-0905 ext. 3