Your church, like any building, requires maintenance to keep it in top shape. From the obvious items such as heating and cooling systems, to the things you might overlook, here is a checklist of church facility management items.
The HVAC system is essential to the comfort of your congregation. You should be checking every season to see if the heating and cooling systems are working properly. Before the onset of winter, have your heater inspected, and then do the same with the air conditioning before summer. This will give you adequate time to address any repairs that may be needed.
Parking Lots and Other Surfaces
You may be tempted to overlook the parking lot, but this space can make a big impression on visitors. An abundance of potholes, cracks, and other flaws can not only look bad, they can cause damage to cars or trip people. You should annually inspect your parking lots, sidewalks, and other surfaces where visitors drive or walk. Sealing the parking lot yearly is a great preventative measure to keep it in top shape.
Audio and Video Equipment
Audio and video equipment are integral to your worship service. You likely test this equipment before each service so you’ll be able to catch problems as they occur. Also plan ahead for when it will need to be replaced. Most equipment lasts about ten years. This equipment is expensive to replace, so set up an emergency fund for unexpected mishaps.
Are all your smoke detectors working? Do your members know where the emergency exits are? Do you have a protocol in place for natural disasters or intruders? Most people don’t want to think of the worst that can happen, but when you are managing church facilities, you must plan for emergencies.
You may have heard a lot about energy efficiency in recent years. Saving energy isn’t just good for the environment, it’s also good for saving your church money. If you have an older building, this can be a challenge, but with some upgrades you could be using less energy.
Consider replacing lighting, HVAC systems, or roofing for maximum energy efficiency. Put together a plan for how to conserve energy as a congregation. Perhaps you could coordinate event schedules better, so that you are not paying to heat a half-empty church or unused classrooms. Or you could install timed sensors in the bathrooms so that members don’t accidentally leave the lights on and waste energy. If your church doesn’t already use energy saving measures, now is a good time to implement them.
Cleaning Hard-to-Reach Places
At least once a year, you should plan to give your church a thorough cleaning. Some difficult areas to maintain include light fixtures, ceilings, windows, doors, and the area under pews or other fixed seating. A complete cleaning really does make a difference in your church’s appearance, so consider hiring a professional or renting necessary equipment.
Landscaping can go a long way towards creating a welcoming environment at your church. After all, the exterior of your church is the first thing visitors will see. If you don’t have the funds to hire a professional, organize volunteers to maintain your landscaping.
The exterior of your church is a challenging area to maintain. Surfaces like brick or stone may require pressure washing. Roofing can collapse under the weight of snow, or start to leak in a heavy storm. Although hiring a professional can be expensive, it’s well worth the peace of mind to know that you have a sound exterior.
Worn carpets and peeling paint may not be a safety hazard, but they can make a negative impression on visitors to your church. If you have the funds to do so, it’s best to update the appearance of your church regularly with a fresh coat of paint, new flooring, and perhaps even new seating. Refreshing your church’s interior goes a long way toward making visitors feel welcome.
No matter how old or new your building is, every church requires regular maintenance. If you plan ahead and check the condition of your facilities every year, you should be able to keep your church in good shape for years to come.
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