Property Maintenance for HOAs – How Homeowner’s Associations Can Get Control of Property Management and Maintenance Fees

Property Maintenance for HOAs – A Consistent Management Challenge

hoa property maintenance-sweeping.comHomeowners associations are between a rock and a hard place. The rock is the required maintenance and management fees.

The hard place is trying to meet  the high expectations the community residence hold.

The balancing act of providing good property maintenance and effective property management, while holding down costs, requires skill, experience and a bit of ingenuity.

Property Maintenance for HOAs – The Costliest Line Items

For most Homeowners Associations and professional management companies, property maintenance represents the bulk of the maintenance fees…and these fees increase at the community ages.

There are two issues that are challenges for most homeowners associations, management costs and maintenance costs.

PPROPERTY MANAGEMENT COSTS

Many homeowners associations consistently focus on how to lower management costs. This usually leads to one of two things, either less effective service providers or reduced services.   

Ultimately the result is unhappy residents who are dissatisfied with the level of property maintenance…and complain about it.

Rather than spending time and energy on squeezing blood from a stone (cost cutting can only go so far until it begins to affect the value of the homes in the community), we recommend that Homeowners Associations encourage management professionals to look for ways to generate revenue rather than reduce cost.

Here are some revenue generation examples:

Sell ads in the community newspaper – reach out to specific service providers who can benefit from a relationship with community and invite them to purchase low-cost ads. You would be surprised to discover how many residents actually have home based businesses could benefit from community based advertising.

Sell banner ads in the website – Similar to the above suggestion and more consistent since billing can be automated.

Reduce paper by using electronic channels – this is cost-cutting, however it’s a sensible one since electronic media is readily available and electronic payment systems are very reliable.

Use property amenities for rentals – if the community has Clubhouse then providing the clubhouse for low maintenance groups such as corporate meetings or trainings can actually be very lucrative.   Avoid party rentals because these types of events generate more “wear and tear” on the propeerty and require additional property maintenance.

Share amenities with other communities – if the community has a pool or Clubhouse that’s underutilized, invite other nearby communities without these amenities to share them for a fee.   Also charge additional fees to residents who over-utilized the amenities (additional guests, multiple grandchildren, etc.).

PROPERTY MAINTENANCE COSTS

Most HOA’s and Management companies still want to keep property maintenance costs in check.  Here are some ideas that don’t impact services:

Consolidate vendors –  contract with vendors who can supply multiple services. For example a lawn service that also provides tree maintenance.

A street sweeping company can also provide pavement, concrete and other property management services. Having separate contractors for each different type of property management also creates additional administrative burden.

Review The Reserve Fund – and verify that the funds collected are neither too high nor too low for effective community property maintenance.

Please note that we do not recommend reducing or eliminating Property Maintenance services as a way to manage costs.   

Certainly we think this is a bad idea because of the nature of our company, however we have found in our experience that deferred maintenance can result and very expensive special assessments.   

Very few things make Community residence more upset than the special assessment for emergency property maintenance services.

Property Maintenance for HOAs – Tapping Into Experience

Are you involved with a Homeowners Association Board? Would you like to discuss ways to improve your community’s property maintenance?

C & L Services is a third generation family owned property maintenance company. We have been providing prportey maintenance services to real estate developers, commercial property owners and communities in New Jersey for over forty years.

Our services include community sweepingpavement maintenanceseal coating, and line striping.

We can give your property the attention needs and keep your residents happy.

If you’re in North Jersey, Contact us at 908-730-7884.  If you’re in Central New Jersey call us at 732-886-1940 to arrange for HOA property maintenance.

Property Maintenance for Shopping Centers –  Are Bigger Shopping Centers Easier to Maintain?

Shopping Center Property Maintenance – The Focus On ROI

shopping center property maintenance-sweeping.comGetting a good ROI (return on investment) is usually a critical element when deciding whether to invest in a large or a small commercial property.

Property maintenance is one of the key factors impacting Roi so many investors assume that larger properties actually result in lower maintenance costs.

However larger properties also come with larger risks since they require larger tenants who need more space. Lose one of these larger tenants and ROI is negatively impacted.

Investing and the Property Maintenance Calculation

Smaller commercial properties and shopping centers usually have smaller maintenance budgets but on a percentage basis the cost of property maintenance is higher.

Smaller commercial properties and shopping centers still need portering, sweeping, painting, regular maintenance and repair, as well as the occasional emergency (just like the larger properties).   

The frequency of maintenance and the need for experts is the same whether the property is big or small. The cost for property maintenance must be built into the operating income for the property.

There are certain investor’s  who will pass investing in a small property because of maintenance costs, but they may be missing out on an opportunity because they’re placing too much attention on only one aspect of the investment.

Shopping Center Property Maintenance – Most Companies Don’t Need Large Spaces

90% of most businesses in the United States have less than 20 employees. So the  vast majority of the potential tenant market is looking for smaller space to operate..

Larger commercial properties look good in the spreadsheet’s bottom line, but smaller actually provides better opportunities and less risk.

Because there is a much larger pool of tennents, smaller stores and office spaces are easier to rent.  Small companies are also generally easier to communicate with since the business owners are more accessable.

Larger tenants have larger corporate entities to deal with. Also, if the larger organization decides to close a branch or division then this can leave a costly vacancy in your property. 

This vacancy can put a hole in the bottom line through a lengthy vacancy.  Finding a larger tenant for larger space is also a challenge because the tenant pool is smaller.

The property still needs to be maintained even if a store or office is vacant.   Revenue stops but the property maintenance costs continue.

Shopping Center Property Maintenance – Large or Small?

This is why in our opinion when it comes to shopping centers or office space, smaller is better.

Do you have a shopping center, office space or commercial property that needs expert property maintenance?

C & L Services is a third generation family owned property maintenance company. We have been providing pavement maintenance services to real estate developers, commercial property owners and communities in New Jersey for over forty years.

Our services include parking lot sweeping, porteringpavement maintenanceseal coating, and line striping.

We can give your property the attention needs and keep your ROI stable.

If you’re in North Jersey, Contact us at 908-730-7884.  If you’re in Central New Jersey call us at 732-886-1940 to arrange for commercial property maintenance.

Line Striping – The Finishing Touch To Your Shopping Center

Line Striping – Not Top of Mind

line striping attention - sweeping.commHow much attention do people pay to line striping?

Not much, however if there are no lines in the parking lot then people park wherever they want and that gets a lot of attention.

So people don’t think about line striping unless the lines are not there.

And when striping is done properly not only does it restore order to parking (in most cases)  it actually makes the property look attractive and appealing.

Line striping –  Before Your Project...Read This

Do you need parking lines for a new parking lot or do you need to upgrade the lines in an existing parking lot?

If it’s a new parking lot, you’re probably working with new pavement and adding properly laid out lines its just the necessary next step.

However, if you’re upgrading the lines in an existing parking lot, you may want to consider these steps to prepare the surface.

First determine if the pavement needs any repair such as crack filling, pothole repair, curb replacement, bollard and/or curb stop replacement.

Preparing the Parking Lot for Striping

If repairs or maintenance needs to be done to any of these parking lot elements, please get these repairs done first.  

Performing maintenance or repairs on the parking lot after new lines have been painted could result in either rework or damage to the new lines.   Either way, it’s something that can be easily avoided by a quick inspection of the parking lot prior to initiating the line striping project.

If you determine that you need pavement repair,  cracked filling or pothole repair then here are some articles we’ve written that can help you with these areas.

Asphalt Repairs – A Checklist

Crack Filling – What Works and What Doesn’t

Sealcoating – Questions to Ask

Once you have taken care of the maintenance and repair of your parking lot elements, you can now initiate your striping project.

Line striping – The “new lines’ process

As mentioned above if you have a new parking lot then it’s best to go ahead and stripe the lot as soon as possible after pavement has been installed.   

If there’s  a lengthy amount of time (more than a month) between the pavement install and the project, consider having a parking lot sweeper come in to clean the lot before the line striping project.   

With an older parking lot, a sweeping is a standard part of the process to prepare the surface for line striping.

Whether you have an older or newer parking lot, it’s always ideal to have a clean pavement surface for line striping so the stripes adhere fully to the pavement.

Line striping –  The right equipment

There are a wide range of striping machines to paint lines on parking lots.  

From manual machines that are operated by hand to large “ride on” stripers, choose the equipment that will provide the best stripe in for your needs.

The parking lot with 20 stalls  will have much different equipment requirements than the parking lot with 1,200 parking spaces.   This is where your striping contractor can be an excellent resource. 

Verify that your contractor has the equipment needed for the striping project.

Line striping paint

There are generally two types of paint used for striping:

  1. Oil-based Alkyd paint which is used for re-stripes and for new layouts.
  2. Latex paint that is commonly used for resurfaced lots although it serves just fine when used for new layouts and re-striping.

Read more in our article here – line striping fundamentals

Line Striping – The Right Contractor for the Job

C & L Services is a third generation family owned property maintenance company. We have been providing pavement maintenance services to real estate developers, commercial property owners and communities in New Jersey for over forty years.

Our services include pavement maintenance, seal coating, and line striping.

We can give your property the facelift it needs and eliminate potential liability with C&L’s striping and marking services.

If you’re in North Jersey, Contact us at 908-730-7884.  If you’re in Central New Jersey call us at 732-886-1940 to arrange for parking lot line striping.

Power Washing – Tackle the Commercial Power Washing Projects

Power Washing – Is It Time to Clean Your Building?

When is it time to power wash your building? Here are some questions that will prompt you…”

Is your building looking fresh clean and attractive?

Over time, a building’s exterior develops a coating of dirt, dust and pollutants. If this builds up over a long period, the building can begin to look quite dingy.

Unfortunately, tenants and customers tend to judge (and quite harshly).  So dim grungy buildings create a negative impression.

Is the nice white marble Starting to turn grey?  Is that crisp, red Brick now a dull maroon? These Are indicators that it’s Time for Power washing.

Are there areas where dirt, dust, or pollutants have built up?

Mold and mildew can collect on buildings and damage or discolor the exterior.

power washing mold damage - sweeping.com
Mold damage on the exterior of the Library of Congress Madison Building

Power washing is both the remedy and a good preventative measure for potential repairs or discoloration.

In addition, mold and mildew may present health problems for building tenants and their customers.

Power washing strips away these potential irritants and improve the health and safety aspects of your property.

Power washing checklist

If you decided to tackle your power washing project here are some suggested steps for taking the project off:

First do a thorough inspection of the property and determine which areas need the most attention in which areas are more sensitive to power washing

We recommend the top to bottom  inspection that covers these areas:

  • Roof
  • Soffit
  • Eaves
  • Gutter
  • Exterior walls
  • Windows
  • Gables and overhangs
  • Decorative sheathing
  • Foundation
  • Rails
  • Decks
  • Sidewalks
  • Decorative concrete

Power Washing – The Areas Than Can Tolerate the Stream

Determine if there are some sensitive areas that could be damaged from the high speed stream of water, such as generated by the power washing, cover them with plastic.

These areas include decorative Roofing, decorative Fypon or sunburst, or smaller decorative items on the exterior.

Although these exterior areas are already subject to exterior weather, power washing creates a very powerful stream of water that these elements are not designed for.

Also contact a professional maintenance company who has the experience and equipment to do the job safely, effectively, and thoroughly.

A top-notch service will save you time by conducting the inspection and making recommendations about what needs attention and what needs protection.

Power Washing for Commercial Buildings – Call in the Experts

C & L Services is a third generation family owned property maintenance company. We have been providing pavement maintenance services to real estate developers, commercial property owners and communities in New Jersey for over forty years.

Our services include power washing, fencing repair and garage scrubbing

We can give your buildings, sidewalks, walkways, parking lots, parking garages, warehouse and dumpster areas a fresh look with hot water or steam pressure cleanings.

If you’re in North Jersey, Contact us at 908-730-7884.  If you’re in Central New Jersey call us at 732-886-1940 to arrange for commercial power washing.

Street Sweeper – The Science Behind The Technology

Street Sweeper – A Part of History

street sweeper 1926
Street Flusher Circa 1926

I’m sure by now you are aware that the common street sweeper has been around for a long time and they are everywhere.

What you may not be aware of is that there is more technology to these rather noisy machines the most people think.

The science behind the water, the brush, and the technology may surprise you.

All of these elements combined in the modern street sweeper help keep neighborhoods clean, improve the environment, and keep people healthy.

Here’s a few surprises that many people do not know about today’s modern street sweeping.

Street Sweeper – One of the First Vehicles on the Road

Sweepers were one of the first mechanical vehicles to appear in cities and residential neighborhoods.  

The very first street sweeping machine was patented in 1849 by its inventor C. S. Bishop. Motor-driven street sweepers actually started appearing in the streets of Boise Idaho in 1914.

This was the Elgin motorized street sweeper built by the Elgin Sweeper Company headed up by Mr. D. M. Todd.

Sweeping Science Fact 1

Many people think that the water sprayed by a street sweeper is for cleaning…It’s not.

The water sprayed by a street sweeper is actually a technique to keep dust on the road while the cleaning bristles sweep debris into the hopper.

Spraying water on the street is required by environmental laws to keep dust from fouling the air and contaminating the environment.

If you see a street sweeper kicking up a lot of dust, then the water jets are either clogged or the water tank on the sweeper is depleted.

Sweeping Science Fact 2

There are several types of brushes on a street sweeper and they act as a mechanical brooms. These brushes are:

Tube brushes – that have bristles attached throughout the tubes or strips of bristles attached in rows. The bristles are made of either steel, polycarbonate or a combination of both.

Gutter brushes – are shaped like a flat disk and rotate to push curb debris to the tube brushes. The tube brushes then “sweep” the debris onto a conveyor belt which drops it into a collection hopper.

Sweeping Science Fact 3

Debris (trash, leaves, branches, etc) from the sweeping is collected in a storage bin called the hopper.

Storage hopper’s come in all different sizes and need to be emptied regularly to avoid jamming the conveyor belt and damaging the mechanical components of the sweeper.

Here’s a video that shows a standard street sweeper emptying their hopper:

Evolving Technology for Sweepers

Sweeping technology keeps advancing.  Some recent innovations include:

Sound Dampening – Between the diesel engine, rotating brushes and spinning conveyor belt, a modern Street sweeper can be in noisy affair. Sound dampening technology is being built into modern street sweepers with quieter Motors and Better Sound insulation.

Vehicle power – with the focus on environmental impact, newer street sweepers are being powered either by electric battery or natural gas. natural gas has been in use in a number of cities for  the last decade.

Air sweepers – are also being equipped with vacuums and air scrubbers that eliminate the need for the water spray which is particularly useful in regions that are experiencing drought.

How Can C & L Services Help You?

C & L Services is a third generation family owned property maintenance company. We have been sweeping and servicing shopping centers, commercial properties and communities in New Jersey for over forty years.

Our services include parking lot sweeping, municipal sweeping, construction sweeping, and garage scrubbing.

We can help you keep your property in excellent condition with reliable, dependable, cost-effective services. If you’re in North Jersey, Contact us at 908-730-7884.  If you’re in Central New Jersey call us at 732-886-1940 to speak with a professional street sweeper.

Shopping Center Maintenance – Sweeping, Portering and Maintenance Done Right

Shopping Center Maintenance – What Needs Attention?

Shopping Center Maintenance - sweeping.comMaintaining your Shopping Center is like maintaining your refrigerator – sometimes there are things in the refrigerator that smell bad because they should have been thrown away a long time ago. And sometimes there are things that should have been fixed or cleaned a long time ago in the Shopping Center that now need attention.

Of course, many people miss taking care of things when they first crop up. They think, “I’ll get to it when the weather gets better” or “I’ll get to it when I have some time”. And so as time goes on, the little things retreat from our attention, until they’re no longer little things.

You can avoid this. All you have to do is make the time for preventative maintenance (not find the time…you’ll never “find” any extra time) In other words, you need to make a plan for consistent, effective shopping center maintenance. Here’s how…

Shopping Center Maintenance – Sweeping

Regular Parking lot sweeping not only improves the overall “curb appeal” of the parking lot, it extends the life of the asphalt surfaces.

Regular parking lot sweeping removes grit, oils, and pollutants that reduce the life of an asphalt parking lot. The longer the life of the asphalt, the better the ROI (return on investment) for the cost of installing the parking lot.

Sweeping is also an environmentally friendly practice, a much-needed practice in an environmentally sensitive world.

Scheduling a regular sweeping keeps the parking lot looking tidy and removes the debris, trash and normal leaf and organic matter that collects in corners.

Shopping Center Maintenance – Portering

A porter is someone who conducts small maintenance duties to keep your shopping center clean.
These duties can include removing trash from trash bins, replacing trash bags, picking up larger pieces of trash and debris, and performing cleaning of any grease, oil or organic spills.

They are an extra set of eyes on anything that might need additional attention such as broken traffic stops, damaged curbs or sidewalks and other physical equipment that needs replacement such as lights, light fixtures, peeling paint, wall gouges, etc.

By using a porter, you can get up-to-date communication on the appearance and maintenance of your shopping center.

Shopping Center Maintainance Scheduling

There is a saying that whatever you place your attention on improves. This is particularly true with regular maintenance.

Updating (or creating) a regular maintenance schedule provides an effective baseline for monitoring and measuring ongoing tasks for shopping center maintenance.

A task management schedule should be based on client requirements that satisfy process tenant safety, task quality, and environmental requirement.

The more clearly you define your maintenance task schedule, the easier it will be to monitor and measure and manage the effective maintenance of your shopping center.

How Can C & L Services Help You?

C & L Services is a third generation family owned property maintenance company. We have been consulting and servicing shopping centers, commercial properties and communities in New Jersey for over forty years.

Our shopping center maintenance services include parking sweeping, portering, asphalt repair, line striping and seal coating.

We can help you keep your property in excellent condition with reliable, dependable, cost-effective services. If you’re in North Jersey, Contact us at 908-730-7884.  If you’re in Central New Jersey call us at 732-886-1940 to speak with a professional in shopping center maintenance.

Asphalt Repairs – Spring Parking Lot Fixes – A Checklist for Success

Asphalt Repairs – Spring Potholes, Yearly Chore

asphalt repairs - sweeping.comHaving a parking lot full of potholes is no fun.

It creates an unsightly property condition that invites complaints from tenants and potential contacts from lawyers. You also have to find money in the budget to get them fixed, coordinate a contractor to fix them for you and provide communications about the upcoming fixes.

Bottom line, asphalt repairs are a lot of work and expense for you. And often you don’t get thanked by anybody for the effort.

When the weather starts turning warm, you know it’s time to tackle this project. And that’s exactly what we’re going to show you now, how to plan, prepare and execute a fast, cost-effective pothole repair project:

1 – Asphalt Repairs – Pothole Inspection

First, start with a thorough inspection of the parking lot. Layout the parking lot with a map (it doesn’t have to be perfect, just a rough approximation of the area to identify the problem areas)

Overly a line grid (3 X 3 is generally fine, more lines if you need more grids if you need them) and identify the rows on the grid with numbers and the columns on the grid with letters.

This way you can identify specific areas for repair by a grid number (the two potholes in grid 2C) rather than a vague description in a general area.

Walk the area and identify specific asphalt repairs by the grid.

Determine the severity by numbering the problem on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being less severe and 10 being very severe. The scale is subjective, but you’ll get the “gist” of the rating by looking at the various issues in the pavement

2 – Asphalt Repairs – Pothole Repair Project Planning

Rank the problems in order of severity. Very severe issues should get the most attention. These are usually the repairs that “must” be completed.

Do a rough calculation of repair costs and determine if there is sufficient money in the capital reserve budget to complete these repairs.

If the budget allows, evaluate the less severe issues and include them in the overall repair project.

Ideally, all issues should be repaired, however, budgets are generally the primary constraint and is a priority in the planning phase.

Once the key problem areas have been selected, use these tips in the article below to select and hire your contractor:

Asphalt Maintenance – Damage in the Winter, Fixes in the Spring

3 – Asphalt Repairs – Pothole Repair Project Execution

Communication is critical. Takes some time the week before the project to inform all affected parties about the pothole repair project. Use a variety of communication channels (email, letter, flyer, word-of-mouth, FaceBook notification, Twitter) to publish who, what, where, and when the project is going to be initiated and finished.

In spite of your communication efforts, expect some complaints about any inconveniences and be prepared to apologize (some people are highly distracted, so no communication will stick with them no matter what you do)

Let the professionals do their job, but keep an eye on any deviations from agreements and commitments.

4 – Asphalt Repairs – Pothole Repair Project Evaluation

After he project is complete, use you grid map to conduct a thorough inspection of completed work.

If any work does not meet expectations, notify the project manager immediately for correction and completion.

Well, there you have it. Hopefully, this only occurs once a year (not at all if you pavement area is newer) and can go smoothly and cost-effectively without too many road bumps.

How Can C & L Services Help You?

C & L Services is a third generation family owned property maintenance company. We have been consulting and servicing shopping centers, commercial properties and communities in New Jersey for over forty years.

Our asphalt repair and maintenance services include pothole repair, asphalt repair and replacement, seal coating and line striping.

We can help you keep your pavement in excellent condition with reliable, dependable, cost-effective services. In northern New Jersey Contact us at 908-730-7884.  If you’re in central New Jersey, call us at 732-886-1940. Our professionals will be glad to assist you with any asphalt repairs.

Shopping Center Maintenance: How to Keep Your Parking Lot Clean in Just 3 Easy Steps…

Shopping Center Maintenance – 3 Steps to Clean

shopping center maintenance - sweeping.comIf you’ve ever wanted to make a great first impression with your customers or tenants, then you’re reading the right article.  That’s because you’re about to discover my easy 3-step method for keeping your parking lot clean.

And the good news is that this method works even if you have a small budget and a large parking lot. The only thing you’ll need to spend is a little time and attention. The end result is a cleaner parking lot (or overall property) with fewer and less costly maintenance issues

Read on…

Shopping Center Maintenance – Time and Attention

Step 1: Schedule a brief inspection once a week

Many property owners don’t even realize how quickly time passes and how quickly a shopping center maintenance issue can occur. A neglected maintenance issue creates both a bad impression and tenant resentment.

Property owners have every intention of keeping their properties in good shape and want to provide good shopping center maintenance.  However, the day-to-day urgency of business, people, and paperwork management pull their attention away from basic maintenance. Maintenance issues then pile up and get attention only when tenants get upset with the appearance of the property. Tenants are not shy about providing negative feedback.

So, the first thing you need to do is actually “time block” inspections every week.

You’ll can make this a habit if you apply these tips and tricks:

  • Use an electronic calendar like Google Calendar or Outlook calendar
  • Schedule the inspection for the least busy time of the week
  • Set up an automated reminder to notify you the day before (or two days if you prefer) that the inspection is coming up
  • Add an automated notification to your onsite property manager or maintenance vendor. This reminds them that you inspect regularly and may have maintenance that needs to be completed.

Step 2 – Set up an email template on your phone to capture maintenance items. Set the subject line: weekly parking lot maintenance – [inspection date]

Most people live in their email inboxes today. Email inboxes not only provide email notifications but also serve as task reminders.

When you see a shopping center maintenance item, add it to the email template. When you’ve finished your inspection, be sure to add all the maintenance items to the email.

When you’ve completed this step, then you can move on to the last step…

Step 3: Email the maintenance items to yourself and any other party who may have some maintenance responsibilities relating to your parking lot

You may not have the time to immediately provide corrective action, however, you will have noticed what needs maintenance and captured those items so you won’t forget them. These items are now on your “radar” for you to complete or delegate at the first opportunity.  You also have a dated record of maintenance issues that you can search by date any time you need it.

The last thing you need to do is get items that need correction or maintenance to the party most responsible for completion.

Shopping Center Maintenance – A Little Diligence, Big Benefits

You see most maintenance items are simple to correct and can be maintained at a lower cost when consistent attention is placed on keeping the parking lot (and any other part of the property) clean and presentable. I’d have to say that most good shopping center maintenance is not due to money, it’s due to diligent attention.

Let us help you keep your parking lot clean. We offer shopping center maintenance services, diligent follow-up and consistent attention (we’re very attentive. Give us a call at Northern NJ, 908-730-7888 or Central NJ, 732-886-1940 and we’ll help make your shopping center maintenance as easy as 1-2-3).

Property Maintenance – If You Want To Save Money, Don’t Defer Maintenance

Property Maintenance – Are There Self Cleaning Properties?

property maintenance garage - sweeping.comIf you’re like a lot of property owners, you’ve probably wondered how do expert property management firms keep their properties so well maintained?

Maybe you’ve even wondered if certain properties were self-cleaning (like the ovens?)

Sometimes it seems that certain properties never have any maintenance issues.  Year after year the property looks good…there’s never a construction crew or a pothole or a crack.  Everything always appears to be going well for that property.

Truth is, the properties that look the best actually have lower costs for maintenance.

That’s why we rolled up our sleeves and tried to find out why.

Keeping Costs Down

What we discovered is not surprising. Dozens of studies (see below for some) show that costs escalate the longer maintenance is deferred!

Property Maintenance – The Real Cost of Deferred Maintenance – FacilitiesNet.com

Property Maintenance – Neglected Maintenance Escalates College Costs – The Hechinger Report

[dt_quote type=”blockquote” font_size=”big” animation=”none” background=”plain”]According to Naomi Milan of FacilitiesNet.com, “the greater issue with deferred maintenance is that it only grows in scope — and cost — the longer it is prolonged. When a repair is delayed, it is still subject to the daily use and abuse of building occupants.”[/dt_quote]

Deferred Maintenance = Systemic Consequences

Surprised? Probably not.  It’s likely that you have deferred maintenance on an important item in your own home (a/c, heat, that little leak in the bath) only to find that postponing routine maintenance has ended in real inconvenience and very high costs.

We’ve also learned that when maintenance is deferred, the consequences are systemic.  In other words, other seemingly unrelated maintenance items become more stressed and repairs or replacements become more complex (and more expensive).

Certainly, property owners are being asked to do more with less.  Ironically, property owners who do a little more property maintenance on a consistent basis end up spending less in both time and money over time.

The most effective practice we’ve seen from property owners that enjoy fewer maintenance issues is the regular application of inspection, evaluation and reporting.

Here’s a link to our recommended inspection list – Property Maintenance Checklist

Property Maintenance – Get Professional Advice

If you’re thinking about deferring maintenance, give us a call.  We’re more than a sweeping company. We are a full service property maintenance company with expertise in:

Pavement maintenance & repair

Property Maintenance & repair

Property Maintenance consulting & advisory

And yes, sweeping is our core service (three generations of sweeping service to the NJ region), however many of our clients have asked us to expand our business into all different areas of maintenance.

Save yourself some money, stop deferring maintenance.  Or better, give us a call at 732-886-1940 or 908-730-7888. We’ll help you determine how to budget and save money on your property maintenance.

Sealcoating – Winter Protection and More

Sealcoating – Extending the Life of Your Pavement

sealcoating-sweeping.comAsphalt has long been the material of choice for many paving projects, especially parking lots.

Asphalt is relatively inexpensive when compared to other paving materials, long-lasting, requires minimal maintenance when properly laid, and generally takes less curing time before being usable.

One important step in asphalt maintenance is a good sealcoat. Sealcoating is a process by which a specially formulated sealant is applied to protect the asphalt from deterioration caused by heavy usage, water or chemical penetration, and environmental factors such as harsh weather.

A good sealcoating actually extends the life of your asphalt and keeps its appearance aesthetically appealing.

Sealcoating – The Basic Types

There are three basic types of sealcoating, each of which has its own particular pros and cons depending on your specific needs.

An asphalt-based sealant lasts between 1 – 3 years before needing a fresh application, the tar-based sealant has a lifespan of between 3 – 5 years and a petroleum-based sealant falls somewhere between.

Not all sealants are available everywhere due to environmental issues and questions in certain areas, so an asphalt expert should be consulted before deciding which sealant is right and available for your parking lot.

Sealcoating and Temperature

Regardless of which sealant type you use, keep in mind that temperature affects the outcome of the application.

Warm sunny days with low humidity are the best times to apply the sealer. As a rule of thumb, late Spring into early Autumn is generally ideal months for sealcoating.

Cool, humid weather will not allow the sealant to bind properly with the asphalt nor cure into a strong surface, and attempting to coat in cold weather is a total waste of time and money.

Winter is the least ideal season to seal coat, however warmer winters extend the opportunities for sealcoating projects.  Avoid conduction a sealing job when there is a chance of rain, no matter how warm the day may be.

Sealcoating – Not a Substitute for Crack Filling

Asphalt sealers are designed to protect the surface of the asphalt, not used as a crack filler.

Any potholes, cracks, or other defects should be repaired before sealer is applied. Striping is often an integral part of defining parking spaces and adding to the overall appearance of the parking lot.

Any striping should always be done after the sealant has been applied and cured.

Sealcoating – Improving Property Aesthetics

Your parking lot, whether giving access to a commercial enterprise or an apartment complex, takes up much of your property and is the first thing potential customers or residents see.

Keeping that parking lot clean and well-maintained gives a good first impression and shows pride of ownership. A routine sealing schedule should always be included as part of your asphalt maintenance program.

Not only will that keep your parking lot in tip-top condition, it will save money over the long term.

Thinking about refreshing your parking lot or pavement?  Need to “spruce up” the look of your exterior pavement?  If you’re located in central New Jersey, give us a call at 732-886-1490.  Further North…call us at 908-730-7888.  We’ll be glad to answer your questions about sealcoating.