Be on the lookout for these popular summer renovations and repairs….
College students are out of school for the Summer. College campuses across the nation, however, are not out of session. Come September, college students will be back on campus for another semester. School facility managers should take advantage of the Summer’s off-season. Summer is an ideal time for property managers to inspect the interior and exterior conditions of campus buildings for possible renovations and repairs.
Did you know, according to the U.S. Census some 16 million students attend colleges every year? That’s a lot of foot traffic.
Imagine the toll this traffic takes on college campuses. Common walkways, classroom floors, bathroom sinks and exterior painting renovations are only a few of the many college maintenance and repair projects happening every year. That’s why we are providing you with a list of popular renovations and repairs to look out for while inspecting a college campus this summer.
Follow this checklist for A+ renovation success.
Check for Exterior Painting Damage
Be on the lookout for exterior painting opportunities while inspecting a college campus. School buildings directly exposed to the sunlight require repainting every two to three years. Excessive ultraviolet rays of electromagnetic radiation will degrade the color pigment molecules of paint over time. Excessive sun damage also deteriorates layers of protective paint qualities like primer and sealers. Without proper protection, buildings become more susceptible to severe damage, like mildew and termites. Be sure to look for faded paint or tiny black, mildew dots while inspecting exterior buildings on campus. Run your hands over an exterior wall and check your fingertips. If you notice any reminisces of paint on your fingers, be sure to contact a commercial paint contractor for repainting.
Exterior paints fade differently depending on the type of surface material. The Brick Industry Association, for example, suggests repainting exterior brick buildings every three to five years. Paint peels off brick surfaces more quickly than other building materials because of the high levels of white vapor in the hydrosphere.
Sun damage, however, is not the only renovation opportunity to consider while inspecting a college campus.
Did you know, on average, a building has air leaks equivalent to the size of a three-foot window opening? Imagine the amount of wasted money, each day, on heating and air conditioning alone. Checking a building’s interior and exterior surfaces for signs of necessary caulking is another important renovation requirement. Caulking is an advanced sealant used for covering cracks in the joints of exterior windows and doorways. Caulking prevents the outdoor elements, like water, noise and air pollution from coming indoors. Inspecting a college campus for signs of necessary caulking will not only minimize possible water damage but will also help you maintain a clean learning environment on campus.
Swollen or split boards are another sign of possible exterior building damage. The bottom edge of masonite siding, for example, will swell, blacken and split over time. Look for any evidence of swollen or split boards while inspecting buildings on campus. If you see any of these exterior signs of paint damage, your property requires some serious painting renovation work.
Look Out for Exterior Walkway Damage
Pay close attention to this tip because it’s very important for the safety of students and faculty. All education properties, regardless of enrollment amounts, will experience excessive, daily foot traffic. As mentioned, some 16 million students attend U.S. colleges every year. Insufficient levels of the concrete thickness or lack of structural reinforcements will cause a walkway to degrade over time. While inspecting an exterior walkway, be sure to measure the thickness of sidewalks, especially in heavy traffic areas. Concrete walkways should be at least four inches off the ground.
Surface deterioration, however, is not the only walkway damage to look out for while inspecting a college campus. Most sidewalk failures occur due to what is happening underneath the walkway. Nearby tree roots will crack and displace brick and concrete paths. The excessive freezing and melting of groundwater will cause potholes, especially on pavement. If you notice any exterior walkway damage, ask your construction management team about the different types of underlying soil on campus. Proper construction techniques will prevent reoccurring sidewalk damage.
Inspect Interior Wall & Ceiling Applications
Listen carefully to this next tip because it’s also an important safety requirement. In 1986, the passing of the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act made academic administrators more responsible for the safety of their academic institutions. Neglected renovation work, at college campuses especially, will pose a serious health hazard for both students and faculty members.
The Environmental Protection agency regularly requires colleges and school systems to inspect buildings for the presence of damaged asbestos and to eliminate or reduce asbestos exposure to occupants by removing or encasing the asbestos.
Asbestos is commonly used as a building material or strengthening cement and plastic as well as for insulation, roofing, fireproofing and sound absorption. Colleges built before the 1970s are especially at risk for asbestos hazards. Inspecting interior walls, ceiling tiles and ceiling applications will prevent college campuses from serious health hazards.
Be mindful of a building’s surface materials while inspecting the interior and exterior walls and ceilings of a college campus. The surface layer of interior walls and ceilings can come with ceramic, plastic and metal tile options. Exterior sheathing and soffits or other elevators and shaft enclosures, for example, can also come with fire-resistant layers or other structural elements. If you notice any opportunities for wall and ceiling applications or repairs then it is important to contact a contractor for necessary renovations.
Checking for loose ceiling tiles and exposed walls and surfaces, will not only keep your visitors safe but will also make a good impression on potential new students.
We can’t emphasize enough the importance of this next tip. Maintenance repairs are another top college campus renovation project because school equipment and features require constant attention. Preventive maintenance is defined as routine, regularly scheduled maintenance requests for continued use of a building, product or piece of equipment. Replacing filters, changing oil, repainting interior or exterior buildings and cleaning coils are all examples of preventative maintenance. Ongoing preventive maintenance will maximize the life expectancy of college campus property. Predictive maintenance is defined as the act of forecasting and predicting future failures of equipment, often by the use of ongoing monitoring software. Monitoring the battery life of a piece of college equipment, like automatic doors or interior lights, is an example of predictive maintenance. Property managers should implement both of these maintenance practices when managing a college campus property.
Modernize School Property
Do you feel like you might be living in another decade while walking a college campus? If so, it might be a good idea to suggest a modern renovation project at the next school budget meeting. The last popular school renovation project to keep in mind while inspecting a school property is whether any academic buildings on campus are in need of modern renovations. A commercial contractor’s goal is to make academic institutions a stimulating learning environment for their clients.
Many schools, colleges especially, undergo innovative remodeling projects every 2 to 3 years. If you’re inspecting a school or campus, and feel like you’re trapped in 1985, it’s most likely time for some modern renovations. Schools, which have not been modernized since the 1970s and 1980s, are especially at risk for health hazards.
College campuses have evolved into places where students are looking to eat, sleep, converse with friends, work out and study all within walking distance. Modernizing college campuses is a key renovation decision which will also drive college admission rates. Remember, older buildings also present more maintenance challenges for school property managers. Modern renovation changes will also inevitably help businesses save money on future maintenance repairs.
Now you know what to look for while inspecting your campus or academic property this off-season – do not go off inspecting quite just yet.
In addition to the above opportunities, keep the following information about school budget renovations in mind:
School Renovation Budget Committees
Public schools often develop 5 to 10-year renovation plans in order to prioritize renovation budgets year over year. Most schools, however, are unable to accomplish every repair project on the master renovation list. Talk to your school administrators about attending upcoming renovation budget meetings. The more you can stay on top of upcoming renovation plans, the better chance you will be able to address the items which need immediate attention.
re:fab is a top painting and renovations competitor for renovation services. For over 25 years we have been providing painting and renovation services for education, healthcare, commercial, residential and restaurant properties. We provide painting, remodeling, maintenance and special finishing services to both private and public academic institutions. Elementary schools, college campuses and private boarding school facilities are some of the many industry properties we serve.
If you’re walking through your school’s renovation checklist and require project assistance, contact our excellent customer service team at re:fab. We can help you keep your school in A+ shape regardless of the season. Even if classes are still in session, our expert project management team provides flexible schedules for all academic school hours.
We work with you to keep all renovation projects within specific timeframes and budgets.
Planning an upcoming school renovation project? Visit https://refabpro.com/ for a free estimation.