Shopping Center Property Maintenance – DIY (Do It Yourself) or Find a Partner?

portering shopping center maintenance

Shopping Center Property Maintenance – The Temptation to Do Things Yourself

property maintenance shopping center - sweeping.com
Are you ready to do this shopping center maintenance work?

You just bought your first shopping center. You are deciding whether or not to handle the property maintenance yourself.

You could do it yourself, but here’s some things to think about:

1) Shopping Center maintenance requires experience and knowledge to take care of ongoing maintenance and potential unexpected issues.  Do you have the knowledge, experience and time to effectively maintain your property?

2) Do you have the cash needed for ongoing maintenance, including materials and extra labor?.

3) Did we mention time? The time you spend on the maintenance of you shopping center might take you away from other important management issues.

Shopping Center Property Maintenance – Partnering with the Professionals

Hire a professional property maintenance company to take care of the work for you. Here are the benefits that come with this choice.

portering shopping centers - sweeping.com
Portering (trash pickup and removal) – time consuming, but necessary.

1) You save a lot of time, especially when it comes to ongoing maintenance. Portering (trash pickup, trash removal, sweeping, etc) is done on schedule and by employees who are trained for the job.  Small maintenance issues are reported and resolved before they become larger (and more costly) issues.

Hiring someone to focus on regular maintenance helps keep you focused on other important property management tasks. Operations, leasing, communication all go more smoothly with the maintenance process handled by a professional maintenance company. Your maintenance company can deal with the maintenance issues, you as a property owner work on the business of managing the property.

2) Everyone has that “one” person that complains all the time. Shopping complexes get it too. Your maintenance company can respond to those issues.

3) What do you know about environmental and property maintenance regulations?  Although acquiring and owning a shopping center does have educational aspects, keeping up with local, state and federal regulations relating to environment and maintenance is usually not on property owner’s rader. These types of regulations are regularly reviewed by property maintenance professionals.

Shopping Center Property Maintenance – The Path of Least Resistance

Hire a professional property maintenance company you trust to work with you. Hiring someone could save you time, money and stress.  Hiring someone who knows property maintenance, maintenance regulations and is committed to providing excellent work is an investment in your property.

Shopping Center Property Maintenance – Realistic Tips

shopping center maintenance portering - sweeping.com
Shopping Center maintenance – Equipment and labor to do the job right.

1) There is a saying that cheap work is not good and good work is not cheap. Obtaining professional property maintenance does require a financial commitment, however it might be a small price to pay for peace of mind and tenant satisfaction.

2) Make sure you do a thorough background check on the company you hire. Some may not have all the resources you need to effectively manage your property.  Here’s a previous article we wrote to help you select the right company – Property Maintenance | This is the Checklist You Should Use

Shopping Center Property Maintenance – Do You Need a Partner?

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

Our services include parking lot sweeping,  pavement 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 shopping center property maintenance.

 

Homeowner’s Association (HOA) Property Maintenance: Who Should You Trust?

Homeowner’s Association Property Maintenance – It’s Not Buy it and Forget it

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A storm inlet repair. A HOA has the resources to arrange for this complicated repair.

People work hard throughout their lives with a particular goal in mind. Some want their every desire fulfilled which they could not while they were young. Some want to travel the world and enjoy different cultures. Some want to fulfill their craze of cars that they have had since they were children. Some want to spend their lives peacefully with their loved ones in a house they always dreamt of buying.

The thing about buying a house, however, is that it’s not like once you buy a house, you are done with it. You have to keep it maintained, repaired and clean. This doesn’t just apply to single properties, but also other commercial properties as well.

This is not an easy task, as many people find out with their first experience of home ownership. If you are also one of those individuals who want their property properly managed and maintained but prefer NOT to the job yourself, then a community with a Homeowners Association (HOA) is a good fit for you.

There are many responsibilities that HOA’s do for you to maintain your property, including lawn maintenance, shrub trimming, power washing, concrete repair, street and parking lot cleaning, and possibly many other tasks.

When you put HOA in charge of maintaining your properties, there are some established rules that resident need to follow. Not respecting these rules could lead to fines which the violator will have to pay.

Property Maintenance – Who is Responsible for What?

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Parking lot paving. Another project that is better managed by a HOA.

The scope and extent of responsibility for property maintenance adopted by a HOA can be influenced by the type of real estate ownership established in the community.  There are three basic types of ownership for communities who establish a HOA:

Fee Simple 

In this type of ownership, the homeowners own the structure and property. Some communities establish a HOA to maintain any common elements such as playgrounds, storm drain basins or landscaped entries, however in the majority of fee simple communities, the homeowner is generally responsible for doing the property maintenance work on his or her own home.

Condominium 

In this type of ownership, the land is owned in partnership with others who live in the homes on the property. The owner of the structure is the homeowner. When it comes to property maintenance responsibilities, they are distributed between the HOA and the individual property owners.  The HOA is usually responsible for exterior property maintenance, and the homeowners are generally responsible for the structure.  The property maintenance responsibilities do vary significantly in these communities.

Co-Op 

The property in this type of ownership is owned by a corporation. If you buy such a property, you are actually buying shares of the corporation. The residents are generally free of maintenance responsibilities in this type of ownership.

Property Maintenance – Making the Right Decision

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Community street sweeping. Definitely a HOA responsibility.

The aim of mentioning the types of ownership is to help you understand the responsibilities of maintaining a property, whether it is your personal, or a business property.  If maintaining a property is not something you want to do, you can partner with an experienced property maintenance company who will:

  • Save time – Finding someone who could care for all the needs of your property can be a tiring task. You will either find someone who can repair concrete and not trim bushes, or someone who can trim bushes and not repair concrete. Instead of wasting time searching for people who perform different tasks, the Home Owners Association (HOA) will contract and manage all of these responsibilities.
  • Reduce Stress – Maintaining a property can be stressful. Some people can hardly maintain one house, maintaining several is way over their heads. So instead of stressing about how you will handle the maintenance of several properties, let a HOA do its job.
  • Save Money – One of the top reasons for living in a community with a HOA is that you will be able to save money. Think about it yourself. If you hire different people for each property maintenance task, you end up spending more money. Instead, hire one company that does all the tasks, in a much lesser amount.

Property Maintenance – Finding a Trusted Partner?

Are you involved with a Homeowners Association Board? Do you need a trusted partner to help with property management responsibilities?

C & L Services is a third generation family owned property maintenance company. We have been providing property 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.

Shopping Center Maintenance – Sweeping, Portering and Maintenance Done Right

shopping center property maintenance - sweeping.com

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.

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.

Property Maintenance – Preparing Your Shopping Center for Winter Weather

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Property Maintenance – Protecting Real Estate and People

property maintenance winter preparation - sweeping.comBefore winter comes, property maintenance professionals need to plan for protecting people and shopping center assets.

As important as having a plan is, making sure that everyone understands their role, and ensuring that there is a solid plan in place, is vital.

Property Maintenance – Preparations Before Winter

Identify team member roles. Who will be responsible for each of these areas?

1. Weather watcher – Identify one person who will monitor the weather to provide sufficient notice that inclement weather is approaching. Or, have everyone install a weather application on their phone.

2. Snow removal – Consider a snow removal contractor only after you reach an understanding of where your lot is on their priority list. If they have to prioritize snow removal for places like hospitals and schools, you may be waiting quite a while before your lots are cleared.

3. Asphalt/Pothole repair – Similar considerations need to be made when potholes appear after inclement weather.

4. Property safety Measures – Identify the property maintenance services team member responsible for safety. Who is responsible for making sure signage and cones are put out and that the sidewalks and floors are safe to walk on.

5. Emergency supplies –Maintain a checklist of emergency items that are kept in stock, year round. This includes food, water, flashlights, and batteries.

6. Snow melting materials – If you do not have a sufficient amount of snow melting material on-hand, order it before winter. Also, consider how long it will take to replenish that supply and assign someone to track usage. You do not want to run out when you need it most.

Property Maintenance – A Plan of Action When Winter Weather Hits

Most plans that fail do so because of poor planning and communication. A plan should be in place before winter. When the storm hits, is the time for effective communication to happen. Many organizations provide key personnel with phone lists in both electronic and laminated card form.

Everyone with a role in property maintenance services needs to be part of the notification list. The list is usually activated in a pyramid fashion. Managers notify their direct subordinates, who then notify their subordinates, and so on. If the team is small enough, only a couple of phone calls are necessary to communicate to everyone.

Effective communication may include taking the initiative to keep tenants informed on the progress of the storm and the aftermath. The weather event may be used as an opportunity to demonstrate good customer service.

Ned some additional research for your planning?  Have a look at our recent article, “Property Maintenance – This Is The Checklist You Ought To Use”

Property Maintenance Incident Escalation

Hopefully, the weather event will pass. Personnel will perform as expected, and all will be well. What happens if the weather caused significant damage, such as flooding, burst pipes, excessive ice coating or a roof collapse?

Again, pre-planning will reduce the impact of these types of events. Making sure that your key property maintenance employees and contractors have access to one another to communicate the need for immediate repairs is a must.

Property maintenance managers and owners cannot control the weather, but they do have a great deal of influence on how to react to it. Identifying who the right people for each role are, and communicating that to the team is a great start.

Coordinating expectations with outside contractors is also important. Keeping a cool head while keeping everyone focused on weathering the storm and its aftermath is the most important task of all.

It’s Never Too Late To Plan

If you haven’t already done so, go ahead and sketch out a winter weather property maintenance plan.  Or even better, give us a call at 732-881-1940.

We’ll be glad to share our expertise and help you get through the winter with professional property maintenance.

Property Maintenance – It’s Summer, Why Should I be Thinking About The Winter?

property maintenance summer planning - sweeping.com

Property Maintenance – There’s Never a Good Time for a Cash Crunch

property maintenance - sweeping.comThere’s a good chance that you’re going to experience a major expense for property maintenance this year – and you won’t see it coming.

It’s frightening, isn’t it? And the worst part is that it will probably come when your budget is already strained. But fortunately, you can avoid this.

You can protect yourself an unexpected expense. And all you have to do is think ahead.

Here’s some recommendations about how to do it…

Property Maintenance – Recognizing That Prevention is a Lot Less Expensive Than Intervention

Most people have heard of Murphy’s Law.  Murphy’s Law states, “If anything can go wrong — it will.”

This is particularly true of real estate property.  Especially property that is used for commercial or residential purposes.

People use property and tend to be hard on property.  They drive on it, walk on it, cook in it, play in it, work in it, shelter beneath it, sometimes damage it (when they’re angry or careless).

Let’s face it, if it were not for people, a property would last a lot longer.  But property does not have value unless it is used, so people (and ultimately maintenance) is unavoidable.

What is most interesting is that property use is predictable.  People are very predictable creatures (most of the time) and patterns of use are predictable.

Peak hours for a commercial or recreational facility can be tracked.  This means supplies, materials, and manpower can be scheduled to meet the demands based on use. That is, of course, if a savvy property manager is paying attention and keeping track.

The point is that most property maintenance issues can be avoided with some strategic thinking AND a respect for Murphy’s law.

Property Maintenance – Summer is the Best Time To Think About Winter

In addition to the wear and tear from people, a property can take a beating from the weather as well.  Weather is even more predictable (most of the time) than people.

If a property manager maintains properties in the Northeast, at some time during the winter, the property will need ice and snow removal.

Properties in the Pacific Northwest experience more wet weather than other parts of the country.  Southwest properties deal with high temperatures.

Most of the time, weather patterns are predictable and strategic planning for property maintenance can be more comprehensive because this information is readily available on the internet.

Here’s a link to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 3-month climate predictions for the US.  You now have access to climate predictions three months in advance!

These predictions can’t tell you whether a large hurricane or damaging Nor’easter is going to occur, but these predictions are far more useful for property maintenance planning than looking up at the sky and guessing.

Property Maintenance – What to Think about

Safety

  • What parts of the property require extra attention before cold weather arrives?
  • What parts of the property create potential safety hazards due to cold weather?
  • Are the property’s mechanicals and safety equipment in good order now?  How do you know?
  • What needs to be inspected to ensure the safety of tenants, clients, and property users?
  • What contingency plans are in place if there are material shortages or outages because of equipment failure?
  • Who do you need to contract with so that needed services are available (snow removal, ice removal, roof damage, electrical or HVAC failure) in case of emergency?

Efficiency

  • When was the last time a through property maintenance inspection was conducted?
  • How often should property maintenance inspections be conducted?
  • What property elements are near “end of life?
  • Which property elements need regular servicing?  Have they been serviced?
  • What can you do and what needs to be (or should be) done by others?

Inventory

  • What materials, equipment, and manpower do you now have on hand to provide optimal property maintenance?
  • What materials, equipment, and manpower will you need to provide optimal property maintenance?
  • What contingencies can you develop for materials, equipment, or manpower shortage?
  • What can you stop ordering or start ordering to provide optimal property maintenance while saving costs?

At the end of the day, you want to move from reactive to predictive.  This is why you should be thinking about the winter in the summer.

As a property manager, you want to predict when something is close to breaking down, or when the efficiency of a piece of equipment becomes questionable to the point that it makes financial sense to replace it before a costly breakdown.

You can do this with strategic planning and a partnership with an experienced property management company.  I know it’s still summer, but it’s relly the best time to think about the winter.

Did you find this article thought provoking?  If so, give us a call, C & L Services at 732-886-1940.  We’ll help you with strategic planning, safety recommendations and efficient thinking in property maintenance.

Power Washing – Does Size Matter?

power washing big scope - sweeping.com

Power Washing – Are Larger Projects Better?

power washing scope - sweeping.comOur society likes big things, for example, big cars, big boats, big movies (with lots of load explosions!).

The general public often thinks that bigger means better. You’ve heard the saying, “go big or go home”.  Businesses use this saying to imply that it’s better to make big commitments than offer a half hearted effort.

But going “big” is not always the most effective approach. Unfortunately, there are many circumstances where bigger is not always better.  Think about big mistakes or big decisions gone bad.  These big things are not always welcome.

When it comes to power washing, the size of the project is not as important as careful preparation and skillful execution.

Power Washing – Big Projects Need Big Preparation

The bigger the power washing project, the more time is needed for careful preparation. Flawless execution is also required, however, it much easier to accomplish when the right people are doing the right things according to plan.

This is why the success of power washing projects is measured by scope, not size.  The power washing project that involves a stand alone conference center has a smaller scope than power washing the homes in a 240 unit residential community.

Power Washing – Scope of Work

It is especially important to spend time walking a property, talking with affected property users (notice I don’t say property owners…although they are important too) and identifying the logistics of the project.

The impact on property users (shop owners, homeowners, tenants, etc.) is particularly important.  The reason for this focus is that property owners are usually held responsible for any real (or perceived) inconvenience caused by mishaps or miscalculations during the project execution

Power Washing – Scope Questions

Although this is not an exhaustive list, these questions help identify the scope of the power washing project:

Before the Project

  • Who is in charge of the project?  What is the scope of their authority (full, partial, advisory)?
  • What is the size of the property? Whats the total square footage of area to be cleaned?
  • Who needs to receive communications? About what?  How often?  Who is responsible to communicate?
  • What are the specific responsibilities for project executions?  Who is going to do what and when?
  • What are the safety requirements?  For the property, property users and workers?
  • How many workers are needed?  What is the breakdown of workgroups and supervisors for the project?
  • What materials are needed?  How much?  When are they needed?  Who is in charge of ordering, storing and maintaining material?
  • What equipment is needed?  How many?  When are they needed?  Who is in charge of ordering, storing and maintaining equipment?

During the Project

  • How much time is allotted for project completion?  What is the deadline? What are the contingencies for weather. materials or equipment delays?
  • What are the contingencies for weather, materials or equipment delays?
  • Who needs to receive communications about unforeseen circumstances?  Who is responsible to communicate?
  • Where will materials and equipment be stored before the project?  During the project?
  • How will materials and equipment be handled during the project?
  • How will safety be monitored during the project?  How will safety violations be handled?  By whom?

After the project

  • Who will conduct the final inspection?  What will evidence project completion?
  • How will final inspections be communicated?  To whom?  Who is responsible to communicate?
  • What follow-up will be conducted to ensure client satisfaction?
  • Who needs to receive followup communications? Who is responsible to communicate?

Power Washing Project Bottom Line

As you can see from the scope questions, successful power washing project execution is based on careful planning and consistent communication.

Do you have a large power washing project on the horizon? Looking for advice on power washing?  Not sure about the need for power washing?

Have a look at our article – Powerwashing – What’s The Purpose

Give us a call at 732-886-1940, we’ll give the facts you need for effective, efficient power washing.

Property Maintenance – This Is The Checklist You Ought To Use

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Property Maintenance – An Ounce of Prevention

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Click this picture to get your copy of this “Apples to Apples” checklist.

Having a major property maintenance problem is no fun.

It takes up a lot of time, coordinating repairs, communicating access restrictions, waiting for property maintenance vendors to show up.

You also have to tell your tenants that they will be inconvenienced (tenants HATE to be inconvenienced and let you know that).

And sometimes you even have to wait weeks for the right property repair specialist to show up.

When you start having more bad days than good, that’s when you know it’s time to make a change.

That’s when you know it’s time to get ahead of issues before for they become disasters. And that’s exactly what you’re about to learn how to do, so read on…

Property Maintenance – Prevention vs. Intervention

If you’re tired of getting calls from upset tenants, then here’s what you need to do to prevent issues from becoming time-consuming, costly and possibly unsafe that is…add a thorough quarterly inspection to your ongoing maintenance activities.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?  However, many property owners put off this critical practice because of the tyranny of the urgent.

Property owners and property maintenance professionals are so busy “putting out fires” that they lose sight of the value of prevention.

Here’s a simple guideline that is supported by most property maintenance professionals…Prevention is less expensive than Intervention.

Property Maintenance – Who’s Responsible?

One of the easiest ways to ensure that property inspection and preventive maintenance is regularly conducted is to pass the responsibility for inspection to a third part such as a property maintenance professional or company.

Most property maintenance professionals would be glad for the chance to access and review the condition of the property so they could uncover potential problems BEFORE they become a big cost and time headache.

Take a few minutes to research you local property maintenance vendor and give them a call.  Determine if they have the personnel and expertise to conduct the inspections you need.  If you’re satisfied with the response, schedule an initial inspection and “face to face” meeting.

At the meeting, judge the level of detail and how thorough they go through your property.  If any maintenance issues are discovered, ask them what, in their opinion, would be the fastest, most cost-effective way to mitigate the issue.

Property Maintenance – The Checklist You Ought to Use

Here’s one of our most thorough inspection checklists.  Compare this checklist to the inspection list to what you potential vendor is using.

COMMON GROUNDS & BUILDINGS

  • Landscaping
  • landscaping drainage
  • Fountains, ponds, sculpture
  • Irrigation system
  • Parking lot
  • Line striping
  • Parking breaks
  • Trash receptacles
  • Walls, Exterior
  • Fences
  • Dumpsters
  • Gates to buildings or dumpsters
  • Carports
  • Sidewalks outside property
  • Sidewalks within property
  • Lighting
  • Mail Boxes

BUILDING EXTERIOR

  • Walkways and entries
  • Smoking areas
  • ADA access
  • Exterior walls and trim
  • Roofing
  • Foundation
  • Gutters, downspouts, and drains
  • Exterior Doors
  • Exterior Doors Hardware
  • Hot Water Heater Room doors
  • Hot Water Heater Rm door hardware
  • Window frames and glass
  • Window operation
  • Window cleaning
  • Window screens
  • Skylights
  • HVAC (Exterior Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning)

BUILDING INTERIOR

  • Plumbing (baths & kitchen where observable)
  • Plumbing fixtures
  • Electrical sub panel
  • Fire alarm system
  • Sprinkler system
  • Smoke detectors
  • Phone and cable lines
  • Internet access

Is this the most comprehensive list, probably not, however this checklist covers most of the physical elements that require property maintenance for most properties.

This means you can now conduct a thorough inspection on your property withing 60 to 90 minutes.  And uncover any potential maintenance issues that would take up way more that the time it took to inspect your property.

Property Maintenance – Next Steps

To that end, let’s quickly recap what we’ve covered:

– Serious property maintenance issues are no fun.  Regular inspections are not fun either, but they take less time and are less costly that having to deal with a major maintenance issue.

– Scheduling quarterly property maintenance inspections is a best practice that will save you money, aggravation and ultimately time.

– You can outsource the inspection process to a reputable property maintenance professional.

If you haven’t already done so, go ahead and schedule your first inspection.  Or even better, give us a call at 732-881-1940.  We’ll do the inspection for you!

Then give yourself a pat on the back, because you’re now all set to save time, money and aggravation on property maintenance.