Commercial Building Maintenance Checklist for Fall

commercial building maintenance checklist

As winter approaches, building owners and facilities managers need to take steps to prevent emergency situations and keep everyone safe, including inspecting building systems and taking care of maintenance tasks. Here’s a commercial building maintenance checklist to serve as a reminder about the important areas that need your attention this fall.

Commercial building maintenance tasks to get done now 

Jason Lackner, Facilities Manager at BAE Systems, described the issues that facilities teams face this time of year:

“Oftentimes, fall inspections are overlooked as Facilities teams are challenged with end-of-year requests, exhausted budgets, and upcoming holidays and or vacation time,” explained Jason.  “However, it is imperative that buildings be inspected prior to colder temperatures and snowfall, especially for those businesses located in the Northeast. This will help mitigate any failures during the winter season.”

These are just a few of the issues you could face if you neglect fall maintenance and inspections:

  • Roof leaks leading to business interruption/down time
  • Slips, trips, and falls that cause injury and could result in an OSHA recordable
  • HVAC failure leading to employee discomfort and or business interruption 
  • Damage to frozen plumbing and fire protection systems

We have broken down commercial building maintenance into key building systems and areas to inspect, maintain and prepare for winter. Use this list as a starting point to document the tasks needed for your facility. Every building is different and has unique requirements.


  • Check condition of pipe insulation to prevent freezing
  • Check operation of facets, drains, and toilets
  • Drain any outside water faucets and irrigation lines and keep valves open
  • Check operation of shut-off valves
  • Make sure thermostats are set to 55 degrees minimum when facilities are unoccupied


  • Test circuit breakers
  • Check condition of wiring
  • Test operation of electrical outlets and switches
  • Check condition of electrical appliances

IMPORTANT: Leave electrical testing to professionals unless you have trained technicians on staff.


  • Check operation of all interior and exterior lighting
  • Check operation of exit signs and other safety lighting
  • Replace bulbs or fixtures if needed

Emergency power

  • Continue to run unloaded tests on a weekly basis and loaded tests monthly for emergency generators
  • Do maintenance for generators on a quarterly basis
  • Keep fuel tanks topped off


  • Check operation of fire alarms, extinguishers, and sprinkler systems
  • Check operation of doors and windows
  • Make sure fire exits are not obstructed
  • Check for availability and operation of industry-specific safety equipment
  • Replenish first aid kits and supplies
  • Confirm emergency plans for winter storms


  • Identify and repair damage (cracks, shrinkage, bubbles)
  • Inspect and clean all roof drains (quarterly) and install snow flags to help locate drains during snowfall
  • Inspect and repair coping and flashing
  • Remove tools, equipment, and debris

Exterior & grounds

  • Remove leaves and debris from property
  • Clear gutters and ensure they are properly secured
  • Secure contracts for snow and ice removal, or if you do snow removal yourself, inspect snow removal material and equipment (such as salt, sand, shovels, snow blowers, fuel supply)
  • Check condition of parking lots and paved walkways and repair if needed
  • Check condition of railings
  • Inspect all walkways and lots, identify and rectify trip hazards if possible
  • Inspect foliage around facility and remediate potential hazards (such as dying trees located close to electrical distribution systems or incoming power lines)

Heating system

With cold weather coming, it’s important to inspect your heating system and take care of preventative maintenance tasks before you turn it on for the first time. Otherwise you could find yourself without heat when you need it. Or worse, face a breakdown later in the winter that could disrupt your business. Most commercial buildings have either boilers or rooftop units (RTUs) that provide heat. You may also have heat pumps or VAV boxes. Here are the basic tasks to maintain these systems in the fall:


  • Check that heating vents and returns are not blocked or covered
  • Replace disposable filters or clean washable filters
  • Check operation of thermostats and controls
  • Test overall system operation for all heating and dehumidification equipment
  • Check for proper mix of glycol & water in appropriate systems
  • Review parts supply and order filters and belts as needed



  • Inspect & tighten electrical connections 
  • Check operation of boilers
  • Check operation of pumps
  • Clean scale & debris from burner assembly 
  • Verify proper operation of all safeties & overrides 



  • Inspect & tighten electrical connections 
  • Inspect condition of fan motors, motor housing, mounts, pulleys & bearings; lubricate as needed
  • Inspect all fan & drive belts; replace or tighten as needed
  • Measure & verify proper amp draw on evaporator fan motors, condenser fan motors, blower motors and compressors 
  • Inspect & verify proper pulley alignment
  • Clean scale & debris from burner assembly
  • Inspect condition of heat exchangers 
  • Verify proper operation of all safeties & overrides
  • Inspect condition of blower motors and bearings; lubricate as needed


Here’s a question we get all the time: Can facilities staff do HVAC maintenance tasks? You can have your staff change filters and clear debris away from equipment in between scheduled maintenance visits. But it takes qualified HVAC technicians to properly inspect and test your equipment. By getting a maintenance contract, you’ll get the best price and a team that knows your equipment. 

Get an HVAC maintenance contract customized to your specific needs

When you look at this maintenance checklist, you’ll notice that some items don’t apply to your building, and there are other tasks that you may need to add. The same is true for an HVAC maintenance contract. It shouldn’t be a boilerplate list. The contract should include everything needed for your equipment and your business, and nothing that you don’t need. 

Worthing Air customizes commercial maintenance contracts to your specific needs, so you get the right service at the right price. And of course, expert service you can trust to keep your equipment in peak operating condition.

Any questions, please contact us at 973-575-5276, we would be happy to help. Or sign up for a free assessment of your equipment.

Worthing Air is the HVAC service partner more NJ companies rely on. Efficiency, quality, and integrity have been the backbone of our operation for over 40 years. Our technical expertise ensures safe, high-quality, and timely workmanship on every project.