Summer is vacation season for many of us. While your maintenance folks deserve a break for vacations as well, you may feel unprepared for what they do to be left behind. The warm weather and activity of summer is both a good time to get things done and a bad time for some things to go wrong.
Here are some tips for keeping up with summertime maintenance and repair issues
The Heat Is On
The temperatures are higher this time of year, which means we like (and expect) it to be cool indoors. Air conditioning issues are frustrating and inconvenient at best and a legal issue for property owners at worst. It’s probably best that all outdoor units be held to a strict schedule of preventive maintenance to makes sure they are in tip-top working order when they are needed. Also, remind residents to do their share by taking proper care of indoor components. This includes keeping air return vents open and free of obstructions and periodic replacement of filters. Compressors can labor and fail if filters are not properly maintained.
C’mon In, The Water’s Fine
The pool(s) on your property are working overtime in the summer! Keep them in good order and you’ll have cool, relaxed and happy residents. In most localities, health departments require pools be periodically tested for contaminants to assure proper levels of chemicals and that proper records are kept on testing and results. Plus, a clean pool is a great aesthetic addition to your property. Also check local regulations regarding onsite staff at the pool(s), including someone responsible for producing records and any lifeguarding/safety requirements.
Hot Weather is Hard on Properties
Buildings take a beating in hot weather. Paint, siding, and roofing are all subject to wear and tear damage from extreme heat. Summer weather, though, is also best for this kind of maintenance work. It's also a good time to take care of the buildings' windows. Proper sealing and painting will keep heat out in summer and warmth in when winter comes, which helps keep everybody’s utility bills lower.
Streets and Parking Lots
Among the most expensive areas for property owners to maintain include streets and parking lots. Keeping them well-maintained, however, is a good investment and saves money in the long term. Repairing potholes and sealing asphalt improves its longevity. Seal parking lots and repaint space lines when necessary, too. Make sure all lights and street lamps are in working order. Well-lit interior and exterior common areas keep the community safe as well as enhancing the property's appearance.
And While You’re At It…
Evaluate signage for wear and tear and repair/replace accordingly. Check for proper operation of irrigation and sprinkler systems, and the condition of any trees. Rotten branches are both an aesthetic and safety concern, along with potentially causing damage to buildings and residents’ property like cars. And finally, check for signs of any places where critters might be living to prevent damage or resident concerns.
Keep Residents in the Communication Loop
Update the website or community newsletter to keep everyone informed of scheduled maintenance and repairs. In the case of urgent or emergency repairs like a faulty air conditioner, it is vital to be both timely and responsive when it comes to the status of the repair.
In The Office
It’s a good idea to be proactive in assessing vendor and contractor agreements to be sure they are up-to-date and reflective of your property’s needs. Losing track of contracts’ effective dates and specific provisions can be expensive if you have to get work done ‘out of contract’! Also, take time to review your property's contact list, so you'll know who on your staff is handling maintenance issues and the escalation and on-call procedures that are in place.
Residents and employees all look forward to summertime and vacations, but property maintenance does not take holidays. Keep these fundamentals in mind and you’ll be prepared for a fun, safe, and happy summer for all!