25 January 2011
Dear Apartment Owners:
We are getting close to the holidays, which mean more people at your apartment buildings. Chances are some of those residents will be inviting guests for dinner over the coming holidays. For some of these residents, this will be the first time this year they will turn on the oven! What are the odds you are just starting your own dinner or you are sitting down with your own guests when an emergency call comes to you on Thanksgiving Day from one of your residents.
That call might be about a clogged sink or non-working oven with an apartment full of guests waiting for dinner. This scenario can ruin both your and your residents’ holiday. The answer is: Preventive Maintenance. Remember, the holiday season starts with Halloween and the demand on your properties only gets worse from there. Check each stove and oven for proper operation, many residents only turn on their ovens at this time of year, and the problem may be as simple as a pilot light being out.
Also, check the oven’s temperature calibration with an oven thermometer. This time of year sees a higher than normal use of the plumbing. It may be a good idea to snake out or hydro jet your main plumbing lines. Also, sending a note to each tenant on the proper use of the garbage disposal will be useful. Note what they should and should not put down the disposal unit.
A few items to include on this No-No list are: banana peels, potato skins, coffee grounds and any stringy food. Also make sure they turn on the water before using the disposal and put down small amounts of food at a time. Instruct your residents to not use the disposal as a trash can and then turn it on when full, it will clog. Christmas and other holidays also mean more people than usual walking on your property.
Is your property safe? What are some of the liabilities to worry about? Check trip and fall hazards. Do you have sprinkler heads sticking up above the grass or landscape near sidewalks? Use pop-up heads to solve this problem. Look for sidewalks that have been pushed up by tree roots. This can be solved with a concrete grinder or replacement of the section and removal of the tree root.
Cut any low hanging tree branches and look for branches that may break in heavy winter wind or rain. Check your decking for cracks or damage and inspect the exterior stairways for wear and tear. Inspect all your garage door springs, winter wind and rain may make them heavy causing the door to close or fall unexpectedly. As a precaution, always replace both garage springs at the same time and throw away any used springs. Never install used garage springs. Check all property lighting and timers.
Remember: Preventive Maintenance is cheaper than Emergency Maintenance!