blog article

seasonal building maintenance


This is the year we’re building a childcare center.

.This was the mantra that Karen and Jeff told themselves as a New Year’s resolution.  Karen had been successfully running an in-home childcare center for the past five years.  Her parents loved her services so much that she had a waiting list of their friends wanting her to provide the daily care of their children while they were at work.  And now that her own children were in primary school, the timing seemed right.  She had outgrown the makeshift classrooms in her own home and it was time to move to a commercial location.

Over the past year, she and her husband Jeff had a modest but comfortable commercial center built to care for 80 children.  Now that the dust has cleared, the contractor is gone, and running the center is her primary focus.  With the construction newly completed, finances were stretched to the limit.  Karen and Jeff couldn’t afford any surprises, so they turned to us to come up with a seasonal building maintenance schedule and checklist.

Just like someone who has purchased a home for the first time, they were unsure of what to do to care for their building and when to do it.  In response, we offered the following seasonal building maintenance and yearly checklist to keep them up and running and confident that everything is in good working order.

Following these guidelines may not eliminate all the surprises of building maintenance, but is will reduce the number of unexpected costs along the way to a successful childcare center operations plan.

Throughout each year, you should let each season lead the way in what you, as a building owner, should be checking and maintaining.

Spring Seasonal Building Maintenance Checklist:

The warm weather of Spring is the perfect time to tackle deep cleaning.

Check the playground equipment for wear, tear and safety concerns.  Now that the weather is warming up, the children will be playing with more exuberance.  Be ready with a safe and secure playground.

Fencing should be secure, with no rust, no exposed bolts to snag clothing, and no areas where a child can get stuck (areas of entrapment).

Reseed any bare patches of your lawn before the summer heat and drought kicks in.

Clear out gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage.

Remove furniture from each room and deep clean carpets and wax floors.

Clean ceiling fans and dust all hard to reach areas that nobody sees.

Wipe down baseboards and doors.

Change the air filter in your mechanical units.

Summer Seasonal Building Maintenance Checklist:

The extra-long daylight days of Summer is the perfect time to tackle outdoor maintenance.

Repair and re-stain wood decking.  If you splash a glass of water onto your wood decking, you should see beads of water form across the top.  Water beads are a sign that your water sealant is still in good working order.  If water beads don’t form, it’s a sign that its time to reseal the decking.

Presser wash building siding and sidewalks.

Check sidewalks for cracking and repair as needed.

Wash windows and windowsills,

Replace any loose or damaged roof shingles,

Change the air filter in your mechanical units.

Test smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers.

Fall Seasonal Building Maintenance Checklist:

As the leaves Fall, you want to get ready for Winter before it gets too cold.

Store outdoor seasonal items inside and organize the shed or room you use for storage.

Check around doors and windows for drafts by using a lighter and watching the flame.  Insulate any area where the flame flickers in a draft.

Check the dryer hose and change out filters and lint traps.

Have a plumber flush your hot water heater completed to remove sediment.

Change the air filter in your mechanical units.

Winter Seasonal Building Maintenance Checklist:

The cold Winter months are the time to focus on indoor maintenance.

Check for separated and deteriorated caulk around the exterior windows and doors.  Replace and repair as needed.

Caulk the sinks and toilets and reseal the restroom grout.  Tile grout is very similar to wood decking.  Splash a cup of water on the tile.  If the water beads, then the sealant is still working.  If the water soaks into the grout and the grout turns dark, it’s time to add more sealant.

Clear any slow running or clogged drains.

Organize storage cabinets and donate unwanted items and toys.

Change the air filter in your mechanical units.

In addition to these seasonal items, there are things you should also take care of every single year, but the season you choose is not important as long as the items get completed.

Annual Building Maintenance Checklist:


Check the depth of your blow-in attic insulation.  It settles and becomes less effective over time.  A good rule of thumb is whether or not you can see your bottom attic trusses.  If the bottom attic trusses are not completely covered with blown insulation, you need to have some added.  In attics south of the Mason-Dixon line you will need R-38 insulation, which measures 13-14” deep.  In attics north of the Mason-Dixon line you will need R-48 insulation, which measures 16-18” deep.

An annual fire inspection will occur by the local fire marshal.  Address any corrections requested as soon as possible.

Health department inspections will also occur annually.  Address any violations with improvements necessary as soon as possible.

Test smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers.

Beyond annual maintenance, there are items that you should prepare to tackle every 3-5 years.

Repainting the interior rooms.

Mechanical duct-work cleaned.

Less frequent maintenance items to keep an eye on every 10-15 years.

Exterior painting of cement siding boards and trim.

Can you think of some items we missed?  What’s on your seasonal building maintenance checklist?  We’d love to hear your ideas and improve this article by adding them.  Send us your comments at info@calbertdesign.com.  Thanks so much!

If this is the year you’re going to build a new daycare center, learn more about the real estate and property development process that Rebecca teaches her clients.  Check out her blog article, How to Develop Real Estate.