FIRST IMPRESSIONS How to make them count
All too often it’s easy to push non-essential building maintenance down the priority list but this philosophy usually ends up causing more problems and costing more money in the long-run.
Plus, when you look at a building every day and see things slowly deteriorating over time, they rarely look as bad as they do to a visitor arriving for the first time and being greeted by mounds of weeds, damaged signage, graffiti or anything else that makes a building look tired and neglected.
In these austere economic times increasing numbers of workplaces are taking it upon themselves to carry out their own maintenance work and often it’s surprising how much money and time can be saved by simply applying some good old fashioned elbow grease.
Removing weeds, cleaning windows, tending to landscaped areas, changing worn light bulbs, updating signage and replacing outdoor furniture can all make a building look a lot more inviting as well as enhancing the image of the business. This is even more important if it’s in a busy location with lots of passing traffic.
Cleaning windows is another job that makes a big difference to a workplace because dirty windows look unsightly from the outside and block out natural light – it’s easy to do and can also help to reduce lighting bills!
Every visitor to your premises will see your front door so whether it’s wooden, PVC or glass, it’s important to make sure it looks its best. At the same time it’s worth considering whether windows, fencing and gates can be improved. Choosing the right colour is important so if you want to stand out pick a bright colour or you could mirror a corporate colour scheme.
Parking is often a major priority for many people so making sure your car park is safe, well-presented and follows a good layout, immediately helps to create a good first impression.
Falling leaves are another issue that cause big problems if they are ignored because they often result in blocked drains which create nasty smells and even floods. However, in the majority of cases these can be fixed quickly and easily, without having to call the professionals, as long as the drain is cleared before too much of a build-up occurs.
Leaves decompose quickly so they are easy to dislodge and clear. If the blockage is near the surface you may be able to simply lift the cover and scrape out any covering material but you should always wear a strong pair of gloves to do this. If the blockage is out of reach, there are a wide range of products available to dislodge it. It’s also possible to buy chemicals to dissolve blockages but they must be handled extremely carefully and there are also environmental issues to using these in some areas.
Finally always try to look objectively at your premises, as if you were looking through the eyes of a visitor, and remember the saying that ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression’ definitely rings true when it comes to buildings and premises.