The Top Neglected Areas of Property Maintenance
Property maintenance is a key component of any property management operation. It’s an essential service that tenants rely on and one that plays a role in resident satisfaction.
When maintenance requests go unfilled, renters become dissatisfied which can lead to vacancy. This article will discuss the top 5 neglected areas of property maintenance and what can be done to fix them.
The Side Yard
While most homeowners take care to maintain their front yard and backyard, the side yard is often neglected. The space that runs between a home’s back and front yard can be a beautiful outdoor area with plenty of potential, but it requires some creativity to use the space well.
Whether it’s a simple pathway or a more complex garden, these spaces should connect the yard to other areas of the property while adding visual interest. This way, visitors and residents can enjoy the side yard as a separate space instead of simply passing through it.
Because these areas tend to be smaller, they also typically have shadier lighting conditions than the front and backyard. As such, choosing plants that thrive in low light conditions is key. For example, ferns, camellia bushes, and hydrangea bushes work well in side yards. They are also low maintenance, making them easy to grow in tight spaces.
To add some extra flair, consider using a mix of hardscape, structures, and planters to make the space feel more natural. For example, a brick pathway goes well with Colonial-style homes while clean cement pavers pair well with modern-style architecture. A trellis is another great option for side yards, as it can be used to grow climbing flowers and vines that add color and texture to the landscape.
The side yard can also be a fun spot for entertaining or relaxing. For instance, a bocce ball court is a good choice for unused side yards because it gives people a reason to leave the house and enjoy the outdoors. Alternatively, this Reddit user turned their side yard into a relaxing retreat with a hammock and tall hedges.
When it comes to property maintenance, there are certain areas that should never be neglected. These areas include the roof, as neglecting this area can lead to significant damage and a host of problems. A poorly maintained roof can cause a multitude of issues, including energy inefficiency, structural damage, and pest infestations. In addition, a poorly maintained roof can lead to a number of health and safety concerns.
The most obvious issue associated with a roof that is being neglected is an increase in energy costs. This is because the deterioration of the roof can result in leaks, which causes warm or cold air to escape the building. This forces heating and cooling systems to work harder to maintain a consistent temperature, which ultimately leads to higher energy costs.
Another major issue that is associated with a neglected roof is the occurrence of water damage. This is because leaking shingles can cause moisture to seep into the ceilings, walls, and insulation of a building, which can lead to rotting wood and other serious damage. In addition, the presence of mold and mildew in a home or business can be hazardous to the health of the occupants, especially those with respiratory conditions.
A poorly maintained roof can also impact the resale value of a property. This is because a damaged or discolored roof can be unappealing to potential buyers or tenants, which may deter them from making an offer. Additionally, a faulty or damaged roof can be a significant fire hazard if it is not repaired properly. For this reason, it is crucial to keep up with regular roof repairs and replacements. A well-maintained roof can add to the curb appeal of a home or business, which in turn can help to increase its overall value.
When it comes to property maintenance, the exterior of a building often gets overlooked as properties focus on more pressing interior issues. However, a well-maintained exterior can be a big selling point to potential renters or buyers. According to Grahame Diedericks, managing principal for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International real estate in Midrand, “kerb appeal is the first impression that people have of your property and it sets the tone.”
In some cases, property owners neglect to maintain exteriors because they are out of sight, out of mind. However, neglecting exteriors can lead to unseen internal damage and costly repairs, such as water leaks or structural deterioration. It is important to regularly inspect the exterior of buildings for signs of deterioration, especially in the colder months.
Some common exterior items to look for include rotting wood, paint-peeling and cracks in masonry. These items should be repaired immediately to prevent further deterioration and possible structural problems in the future. In addition, it is important to inspect the exterior for pest infestations and clogged gutters and downspouts. Also, it is essential to inspect the dryer vent for lint buildup, which could be a fire hazard.
In addition to preserving the structural integrity of a property, regular exterior maintenance can save energy costs. For example, if there is a hole in the double glazing or window fastenings, it can cause significant heat loss and increase utility bills. Regular maintenance and inspections can help ensure that windows and doors remain insulated and airtight, keeping energy costs down.
While it’s easy to focus on the exterior of a property, it’s equally important to keep up with the interior. Whether it’s the common areas or individual units, the interior of a building should be clean, comfortable, and safe for residents to live in. Putting an organized system in place to manage these tasks can prevent problems from going unnoticed and create a positive impression with tenants.
A comprehensive property maintenance checklist will vary depending on location, property size and type, and the scope of responsibilities. However, a general overview includes safety inspections, cleaning procedures, rodent control measures or Rodent Proofing, and garbage disposal management, as well as the proper servicing of lift cars and hoistways, sweeping, patching potholes, painting lines and touch-ups, and snow removal in common areas.
In addition to these regular activities, property managers will also perform repairs to ensure that all assets and systems are in good working order for occupants. This includes plumbing, electrical, heating and ventilation, and pest control, as well as addressing safety concerns such as smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
Regardless of the industry, all properties need regular maintenance to maintain their integrity and provide a welcoming environment for occupants. In addition to increasing satisfaction and decreasing vacancy rates, routine upkeep can reduce operating costs by prolonging the life of critical equipment and minimizing downtime.
The plumbing is the network of pipes that carry water to and from fixtures like sinks, toilets, and showers. The plumbing system also provides a way for waste to be removed from the building. It’s a complex, essential part of any structure, yet it’s often neglected and can lead to costly issues.
Water Leaks: Having leaky pipes can cause damage to walls and floors, and eventually result in mold and mildew. These fungi create airborne spores that can trigger allergies and asthma attacks, especially in children and the elderly. Moreover, they can also weaken floorboards and foundations, leading to structural problems that may cost a fortune to repair.
Clogged Drains: When debris, hair, grease, or mineral deposits build up in drains and pipes, it can impede water flow and cause flooding. This can also affect sewage systems, creating a health hazard for the people inside the property.
Leaky Faucets: A dripping faucet might seem harmless, but it can quickly escalate into a major problem. The constant drip can wear out the faucet assembly, requiring a full replacement and significantly increasing the overall repair costs.
Over time, corrosive substances build up in pipes, weakening them and increasing the risk of leaks and ruptures. A plumbing maintenance plan can help prevent this by regularly inspecting and flushing pipes to remove sludge and debris.
Proper plumbing maintenance reduces the frequency of repairs and increases their lifespan, minimizing overall expenses. It also contributes to sustainable construction practices by reducing water wastage and energy consumption during maintenance. Furthermore, a well-maintained plumbing system adds value to a property, making it more appealing to prospective tenants or buyers. It can also help businesses establish a reputation for quality work, attracting more clients or business opportunities.