Remember the little Dutch Boy – When I think of condo preventative maintenance and the importance, I always remember the little Dutch boy story. The short version; a little boy on his way to school sees a small leak in the town dam; he puts his finger in the leak and stays there until a man comes along, tells him the about the leak; the man repairs the dam before it fails and destroys the town.
Condo preventative maintenance
The idea is to catch small problems before they become big ones, and often prevents those small problems from ever occurring at all. In the Houston area, just the heat and humidity take a toll on property if proper condo preventative maintenance is not present.
Having been in facility management for most of my career and growing up in a family of developers and contractors I know the value of a good preventative maintenance plan. Condo preventative maintenance of will help to avoid costly repairs in the future and will extend the life of your critical systems.
Condo preventative maintenance plans
Plans are easy to come up with and should be a part of any management plan. If you have a management company, be sure they have a preventative maintenance plan in place and are being pro-active instead of reactive. Oddly enough, there are numerous management companies that just don’t operate that way.
Condo Preventative maintenance plans should include items such as:
- Physical structure
- Sidewalk, parking lots
- Pools/Jacuzzis/steam rooms
- HVAC systems (a Houston Texas must have)
- Sewer and water lines
- Sprinkler systems
- Electrical systems including exterior lighting
The condo maintenance plan should include records that indicate when items need to be inspected according to recommendations by either their warranty, owner’s manual or as suggested by the professional who installed the item.
Preventative maintenance check list
Inspections should be done by either your onsite maintenance man, project manager or management company representative. The preventative maintenance check list should include a record listing all of the above with dates for inspections. Inspection reports should be compiled at the time of the inspection listing needed repairs, date the repairs are made and who made the repair. These records should be kept with your regular maintenance logs and be available to tenants and/or owners at any time with the most current copy presented at every condo association board meeting. The condo association board should be advised of items that are nearing the end of their life expectancy either based on the inspection or data provide at time of installation at the presentation of that report. Check out this site to download a free template or build your own using a spreadsheet program.
Maintenance Plan Tip
Another great condo preventative maintenance tip is to encourage tenants and guest to report any items they may see, no matter how small. A single faucet that drips only one drip per minute will add 34 gallons of water usage to your overall water bill per year; over the course of time if left uncorrected that one drip per minute will quickly escalate to a consistent stream of water that can add up to 2082 gallon per year to your water consumption. Check out this calculator to check my numbers. This does not even address the damage that may be happening to landscaping, sidewalks, etc. as a result of the same leaking faucet. Amazing, right?
It really boils down to this when you are talking condo preventative maintenance: “A building with good operations and maintenance practices that is poorly designed will often out perform a well-designed building with poor operation and maintenance practices.” (ASHRAE)