Commercial property maintenance is widely considered an essential task because it can maintain or increase the value of any property. While this true, the real value of maintenance lies in the long-term cost savings associated with preventing expensive breakdowns which require extensive repair. The problem commercial property owners face is daily maintenance can quickly become a time-consuming and grueling task. Fortunately, there are a variety of simple tips which can cut down the time and expenses directly related to regular maintenance.
1. Understand the Relationship between Maintenance and Repairs
The first step to developing a maintenance strategy is differentiating between maintenance and repairs. This is important because it makes it easier to track and analyze all of the maintenance tasks. By tracking the necessary repairs, it is easy to quickly identify where maintenance is lacking or ineffective. Over the long run, this will make it easier to develop and ongoing maintenance strategy devoted to minimizing maintenance and repair costs. This is particularly important for commercial properties because they are so large and encompass a range of unique yet inter-related systems.
2. Always Emphasize Efficiency
A common barrier facing commercial property owners is ensuring proper maintenance while decreasing related expenses. The key is emphasizing efficiency. Maximizing efficiency entails combining several concepts. The first is making sure the tasks are performed as quickly as possible without sacrificing the quality of the work. This can be achieved by utilizing trained professionals or professional services that have experience undertaking these types of tasks. The second is reducing the need for spare parts or part runs. While it saves time to have commonly needed parts onsite, it is unnecessary to maintain a full inventory of spare parts if they are not regularly needed.
Another way to increase efficiency is by identifying value-added products which can reduce maintenance requirements. For example, entrance mats are an easy way to help keep floors cleaner and minimize wear and tear in high traffic areas. Their cost is relatively nominal when compared to constantly replacing worn carpet or waxing the floor every day. As an added bonus, many of these types of products simultaneously create a safer work environment.
3. Work from an Evolving Checklist
Experience can jumpstart the creation of a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly maintenance checklist. The problem is it is nearly impossible to create a cohesive and comprehensive checklist at the outset. It is critical to look at commonly required repairs and determine if they could be reduced by altering the maintenance checklist. Another great way to start creating a maintenance checklist for specific facets of a commercial property is to simply combine all of recommended maintenance procedures provided by manufacturers. While the maintenance checklists don’t need to be updated on a daily basis, it is a smart practice to review them at least quarterly to identify any areas of weakness.
4. Pay Special Attention to Communal Areas
The easiest way to find out if a commercial property is well-maintained is by looking at high traffic areas. These areas will show signs of wear and tear the soonest. They also will get dirty the fastest. As a result, you will immediately be able to see if the maintenance strategy of a commercial property is effective. Communal areas are also typically the most well-ventilated. As a result, if you start to smell “something” in the communal area then it is safe to assume that other areas of the building will carry a scent as well. This is often a sign of a poorly maintained or wholly neglected ventilation system.
5. Every Quarter or Year Should Feature a New Area of Emphasis
When developing an effective maintenance strategy, it is easy to regularly update the daily or weekly checklists based upon what is happening at the current moment. A common commercial property maintenance problem is looking ahead at the long-term. To ensure critical issues are not overlooked, it is imperative to set up a special area of emphasis for each quarter, bi-annually, or annually. This will make it far less daunting to tackle larger projects and address specific areas of concern. It also provides an additional way to add more items to the regular maintenance schedule while minimizes the friction large-scale changes inevitably create.