Farms and agricultural environments encompass so many moving parts that need to be kept in perfect harmony in order to produce the best results. There’s an enormous range of day to day tasks which contribute towards the year-round work of raising livestock and harvesting crops. Most farmers will have their lists of jobs so that they stay on top of everything, but what about maintaining all of the facilities in frequent use?
To ensure the infrastructure around a farm remains safe, tidy and won’t lead to any costly problems with operations there should be a checklist of routine activities across every area that’s in use. With this, those managing the business will have an inventory of every single component of the land and can create a schedule to keep it all in good condition.
What needs to be maintained on farms and agricultural facilities?
Just about everything that plays a part on a farm or agricultural facility needs to be regularly inspected and looked after. The same way you think of taking your car to be serviced, the entirety should be accounted for and repairs carried out wherever necessary to prevent hazards. This not only includes the abundance of farming vehicles, machinery and equipment which must adhere to health and safety standards, but also every building, structure and surface that deals with high levels of physical toll throughout the seasons.
In this post we are focusing on the main environmental aspects that should be maintained.
For help with maintaining farming machinery and equipment, check out these ten tips to follow, and together you should know what to be looking for and end up with a more efficient system for keeping your grounds in top shape.
Here is your maintenance checklist:
1) Cleaning Farmyard and Buildings
Perhaps the biggest chore in any farming premises as it’s one that’s never complete – as long as there are animals present and work being done there’ll be mess left behind. And although no one expects barns, shelters and other structures to be spotless, it is essential that mud, dirt and other waste is not allowed to accumulate in any areas. This can only be done with frequently scheduled cleaning of floors, walls and any hardware in use. Remove any cobwebs and scrub stall walls with a chlorine-bleach and hot water solution before rinsing well with a power washer. The power washer can also be used to take away any dust from barn interiors.
TIP: For difficult-to-remove stains such as cement splashes, grime or oil on paving and concrete floors, use the Bond It Brick and Patio Cleaner which is a powerful acid-based cleaner and will help take care of any of those spills that once seemed permanent.
You can also remove and even prevent the growth of unpleasant green mould, lichens and algae on stone surfaces, fencing and roofing with the Bond It Patio Blaster. With this easy to use product there is no need for scrubbing or power washing after application – simply follow the instructions to dilute, apply and leave to dry.
2) Do Some Repainting
The appearance of your farming facilities doesn’t merely boil down to how clean they are kept. As we mentioned, this is a continuous task, but fresh paint work will help keep structures maintain an attractive look for longer with much less upkeep required. At first glance the freshness of paint on barns and fences reflects the all-round standards of the farm, so this may be a particular priority if your site often has visitors outside of staff.
Check out our previous blog post on how to paint and restore your shed for further guidance, specifically on using Syn-Oxide paint on bare and galvanized metal surfaces to shield against weather and transform the likes of hay barns or corrugated iron roofs with gorgeous, rich colors.
3) Check Conditions of Roofing
Strong, durable roofs are so important on farms and agricultural facilities for the protection of livestock, produce and equipment. However much like many of the buildings, a lot of the roofing will be fragile from material that’s withstood decades of harsh weather. These are another obvious health and safety risk as weak or corroded surfaces won’t support the weight of workers, while cracks and broken tiles expose the inside to rain. Therefore for every new season a full inspection should be performed to discover where any repairs or renovations are needed. Be sure to browse the Laydex Roofing range for anything you might need or for help with weatherproofing just get in touch.
4) Guttering and Pipes
Examining the roofs on your farm buildings is also a good time to ensure that everything is as it should be with gutters and down pipes. This means clearing away any blockages either by hand or using a hosepipe, and should ideally be done on a quarterly basis. If you notice loose fittings then in most cases these are easily fixed and should be before damage worsens, however if there are extensive cracks causing leaks then it may be time to consider replacing the system if advised.
You can protect your roofs from water damage through pipe and gutter penetrations using the Liquiflex-Pro Roofing System. This liquid waterproofing system is applied to roofs by roller or brush and forms an impervious membrane, so even if new guttering cracks emerge you can rest assured the roof and interior won’t suffer.
5) Look for Structural Damage
As well as maintaining the cleanliness of structures and surfaces around the farm, you must check closely and note where any buildings have suffered damage due to age or the busy use of certain areas. Many farms comprise buildings which are generations old and in some cases, where they may pose a risk to those working, it is better to have it demolished and safely construct a more modern replacement. Other work may be smaller repairs such as a hole in a wall, but in every scenario you must weigh up the issues this could lead to and make plans to secure a structure’s integrity.
6) Repair Fences and Gates
Finally in this list of physical infrastructures we can’t forget the all-important fences and gates which form the overall architecture of the farm and keep everything contained to its rightful place.
If electrical fences are used then these must be regularly tested with a voltmeter to ensure errors with currants don’t lead to fatal injuries for animals or humans. You should consult an expert and schedule routine checks so that these structures are running correctly, while repairing any that are broken. For non-electrical fences you must fix any openings along the wire mesh and replace wooden posts which have rotted – these are basic requirements for keeping your fields and facilities secure and the farm running smoothly.
If you would like to enquire about any of the products mentioned here or need other assistance you can call Laydex on +353 01 6426600 or email email@example.com and our experts will be happy to advise.