Protecting buildings against the effects of climate change

Posted on Monday, June 14, 2021

The past decade has been officially reported as the hottest on record. And with the UK experiencing not only more extreme but equally unpredictable weather, climate change is a challenge we must all take seriously.

This year alone has already brought with it two nationwide storms, and it’s this variable weather that is leading to potential lasting damage to buildings.

Because of this, facilities experts, MSL Property Care Services, are urging business and property owners to forward a plan to protect their buildings from the impending effects of climate change.

How to protect property against cooler weather

Cold weather, in particular snow, ice, and storms can have detrimental effects on a building, leading to burst and frozen pipes, cracks within walls and roofs, leaks, power shortages, and worst-case scenario, infrastructure collapse.

Experts recommend buildings maintenance including:

  • Checking pipes for any damage or cracks.
  • Insulating both the walls and roof of the property and insulating pipes, as necessary.
  • Inspecting heating systems and create a heating schedule to keep pipes running at a warmer temperature.
  • Filling or repairing any damage or cracks to doors and windows.
  • Regularly clear snow and debris from gutters.
  • Assessing the building for any damp or leaks.

Protect against warmer weather

Though warmer weather in the UK is often not as severe as the colder months, the ever-increasing climate change risks mean that this could worsen in the months and years to come.

During warmer months, buildings can face issues such as pest infestations and condensation build-up which can lead to mould and cracks, causing major health hazards.

Experts recommend appointing professionals to carry out the following:

  • Inspect the roof for any damage from adverse weather.
  • Dry windows every morning to clear overnight condensation.
  • Complete a pest control inspection.
  • Conduct maintenance on HVAC systems.
  • Maintain any landscaping which could cause issues in adverse weather.
  • Check water systems for legionella.
  • Clear gutters and drains of debris.

How to make building more environmentally friendly

Whilst landlords and building owners are encouraged to utilise reactive and planned maintenance strategies to protect their buildings from the effects of climate change, investing in more sustainable infrastructure can help reduce carbon footprint and strive towards a greener future.

Experts recommend:

  • Investing in water recycling systems to minimise water wastage.
  • Reducing lighting usage where possible, installing timers and choosing eco-efficient LED bulbs.
  • Insulating with materials that have a good thermal mass to reduce the energy needed for heating and cooling the building.
  • Regularly check equipment and facility assets, such as HVAC systems, to efficiency and avoid excess energy usage.
  • Installing double glazed windows to reduce the amount of hot and cold air escaping and improve energy efficiency.

Jeremy Harrison, Managing Director at MSL, comments: “The weather is becoming ever more unpredictable, but with a planned and reactive maintenance schedule in place, the effects of climate change on buildings can at least somewhat be mitigated, ensuring that both your property and business are as safeguarded as possible.”

 

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