As we head into the cold season, it’s time to take a look at your elevator systems and make sure they are well equipped to make it through in full functioning order. That’s because natural causes such as cold weather can negatively affect the operation of your elevators. As part of your preventative elevator maintenance tasks, winter prep is critical for property managers and building owners alike.
Snow and Ice Buildup
While elevator safety should be emphasized year-round, it’s even more important during the winter months. Be on alert for a buildup of water, ice and snow in your lobby landing as well as car door sills. Safe entrance and exit from an elevator car for passengers is of utmost importance. Slips and falls can lead to tragic accidents, not to mention costly lawsuits.
Wind is a big factor, as it can impede the doors from operating properly. In addition, wind can prevent doors from closing all the way because the shaft acts essentially like a chimney.
Keep floors dry and ensure your machine rooms are temperature controlled so motors and controls work correctly. Cold-weather fluctuations present the biggest threat to operational safety and function. When constant shifts from hot to cold temperatures occur, they can lead to condensation that can cause an electrical malfunction. If you’re engaging in routine maintenance, those issues will be identified long before they become problems. Inconsistent temps can make the elevator sluggish, in some cases preventing it from leveling properly to the floor.
Dry winter air temps can interfere with efficiency and function. Make sure all rails are adequately lubricated at all times to prevent friction between the rails and the elevator as it moves up and down. Keep hydraulic oil at an optimal temperature, ideally between 85 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you don’t have climate controlled elevator cars, park them at climate controlled floors if not being used. There are devices you can install that will automatically send a car to the desired floor when the car is not needed. For those buildings located in extremely cold areas, machine rooms should have extra layers of insulation, particularly for the tank and hoist way. Be sure to check that the insulation is intact and adequate.
Check your battery backup system regularly. If there is a power outage during an ice or snow storm, you want to be sure your elevators will work seamlessly. Batteries should have a full charge at all times in order to prevent service disruption.
If you need a winter checkup or routine maintenance, call Mowrey Elevator at 800-441-4449 or send a repair request online.