Cold rooms are carefully constructed environments. Like any piece of advanced machinery, on-going maintenance is required to ensure that it remains operational, and also to prevent costly damage. With older units, simply maintaining parts in working order may not be sufficient. Lost revenue through inefficient operation and frequent repairs can make an old cold room uneconomical.
In these circumstances, a full refurbishment is often more cost-effective than ad hoc repairs and maintenance. This quick guide explains what problems to look for and how to keep everything running smoothly.
What To Look For
One of the most common indicators that maintenance is required is a gradual build-up of frost on the shelves and contents, revealing the presence of moisture within the cold storage unit. This is due to temperature fluctuations, which are another key sign that something is wrong. Temperature fluctuations can be due to a range of issues, including a failure of the latch or gaskets. If there is cold air seeping out of the room, it is a sign that maintenance is required.
Repair Vs Replacing Parts
For individual components, both repairs and replacement are possible in most cold room models. The correct option depends on the nature of the problem, as well as the long-term projection for the part. All elements of a cold storage unit have a natural lifecycle, and as long as servicing is maintained it should be straightforward to calculate whether it is a better investment to carry out a cold room repair or to simply replace the part. As such, determining whether it is more cost-effective to repair or to replace depends upon several variables, and seeking professional advice is advisable.
How do you tell if your cold room needs maintenance, or if it is due for refurbishment? A rule of thumb is: If one or two components need repairing or replacing, and this can be done without significant downtime, then you’re looking at maintenance. If, on the other hand, multiple components are at fault, or the ongoing cost of repairs and/or inefficient operation outweighs the costs of a refurb, then refurbishment is what you need.
The Refurbishment Process
Refurbishment requirements depend on the nature of the issues. Frequently, wall planking and cladding need to be replaced, which may be accompanied by five-bar wall protection. This improves insulation while safeguarding against future leaks. Doors and gaskets may need to be replaced, as these have limited lifespans. During the refurbishment, it is sensible to undertake a deep clean and replace parts that are prone to wear and tear, such as flooring panels. Each cold storage room will have its own unique requirements, so a full assessment is the best way of ensuring that as many aspects are taken care of in a single refurbishment process.
In an ideal scenario, cold storage rooms should experience minimal downtime. The best way to achieve this, and to offset the large investment involved in refurbishment, is via a preventative maintenance strategy. Preventative maintenance involves regular servicing that identifies and solves minor issues before they cause serious problems. For instance, temperature fluctuations can cause damage to many different components of the cold storage unit, leading to a very costly situation further down the line. However, if the issue is identified and solved in its early stages, replacing multiple parts can be avoided.
Find Out More
If you have concerns about your cold storage unit or would like expert advice about how to extend its usability, please give one of our experts a call today.
Image source: Pixabay