Every building, including homes, needs regular maintenance. Although there are many different types of residential buildings, from single-family homes to luxury apartment buildings, residential building managers face some common challenges. Here are some challenges of residential building maintenance.
Facility managers are busy every day ensuring their buildings run smoothly. Building systems require periodic maintenance to run optimally. This alone raises challenges ranging from simple daily interventions to complex multiparty solutions.
Identifying potential issues early allows time to review the most efficient and effective solutions.
We have a wide range of property maintenance Melbourne services at Hitch Property Constructions.
Your tenants will use the property around the clock. Consequently, as the owner or manager of the business, you will also have a problem at any time of the day that they have a problem. It is a common challenge that you will need to get used to resolving maintenance issues well outside of the hours that the business is open for business. There are a few different ways to handle this situation. For example:
For smaller housing units
You might make arrangements for a technician who lives in the area to respond to emergencies in the middle of the night and then come back later to continue working on the task and finish it during the daytime. Imagine for a moment that your tenant calls you at just past nine o'clock at night to report a leaking pipe in your rental property. They are concerned about water damage, and they won't be able to get to sleep until they are given the reassurance that they won't wake up to find their expensive books and furniture submerged in water.
The technician can get there, shut off the water supply to the pipe to prevent any further damage, and then make arrangements to return in the morning to replace the damaged pipe, among other things.
For larger apartment blocks
It is common practise to have a small resident team of emergency staff that works the night shift and then charge the tenants for this service. This practise is generally considered to be standard practise. In most cases, the crew will be comprised of a plumber and an electrician. They will also have access to a limited emergency supply of essential spare parts, which they can use for any maintenance work that needs to be done during the night. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved: the tenants get prompt attention at all hours of the day and night, and you can relax knowing that you have dependable staff on hand to deal with any urgent issues that may arise.
Safety and hygiene are non-negotiable in any building, but especially in homes. Young children and the elderly are at risk of injury or infection.
Adults leave their kids with a nanny while they work. Do children know what to do in an emergency versus an adult? Has the caregiver been told what to do? Know they shouldn't use the lift in a fire?
As a facility manager in a residential building, you'll need to create and communicate an emergency response plan, especially in high-rise apartment blocks. Then what? To ensure tenant safety, most jurisdictions require strict compliance with building maintenance codes like the IPMC (IPMC). You must follow requirements.
You must also regularly test and certify your safety and emergency systems (such as smoke detectors and fire suppression equipment). Unlit staircases, unmaintained walkways, unsecure swimming pools (drowning hazard), etc. are also hazards. Preventing bad press and negligence claims is key for residential building managers.
One of the most distinctive difficulties associated with maintaining residential buildings is that there is restricted access for inspections and repairs. When you want to carry out inspections, you can't just walk into the home of a tenant whenever you want to. Some tenants may deliberately refuse to let you into their homes, which may force you to take legal action to enter the property if you can demonstrate that there is a valid reason to do so.
Why Home Maintenance Is Important
Renting is less responsible than owning. If something breaks, it's the owner's responsibility. That means homeowners must clean and maintain their homes. Your realtor, mortgage lender, and everyone on the Internet has told you how to maintain your home. But why? As a home warranty company, Landmark helps homeowners with ageing systems and appliances. In our contract, however, lack of maintenance is not considered "normal wear and tear." You shouldn't just maintain your home for a home warranty (though that's a good reason!). Home maintenance has other benefits.
Home Maintenance Saves you money.
First, home maintenance saves you money. Time, money, and energy are spent cleaning and maintaining. What's the savings?
Maintenance costs money, time, and effort, but it saves you money in the long run. Pourquoi? According to Your Money: The Missing Manual, preventative home maintenance saves $100 in repairs. Taking care of small problems (a dirty filter or clogged drain) prevents them from getting worse and becoming a bigger issue (a burned-out HVAC motor or burst pipe.) Bigger problems that arise when a home isn't maintained cost more than a monthly furnace filter.
Home Maintenance Keeps Your Home Running Efficiently
Maintenance is just maintenance. Home maintenance requires repeating a task often. It's like sweeping the kitchen floor weekly to keep it clean. Imagine the floor if you didn't. Probably not as often as you sweep the floor, right? You use them as much as the floor.
You must clean and maintain other parts of your home to keep them usable, just like your floor. If not, your home will be inefficient. You'll use more gas or electricity to cool or heat your home if you don't clean the furnace filter. If you don't clean your fridge's evaporative coils, it uses more energy to cool your food. When you maintain your home, it runs efficiently, reducing your utility bills.
Home Maintenance Increases your Home's Value
New cars immediately lose value once driven off the lot. The car's resale value drops as it ages. This doesn't apply to homes. Longer ownership increases a home's value. Home values are affected by the market and not just what you do to the house, but maintaining your home can boost its value.
What happens? If you put your home up for sale tomorrow without maintaining any systems or appliances, the home inspection report would likely show many problems or potential problems. Buyers may want a discounted price or ask you to replace or repair systems that may give them trouble. You won't get as much money from the home's sale as it's worth.
If you maintained your systems and appliances according to the manufacturer's instructions, the home inspector would find fewer issues, and you'd likely get more money for the home. Learn which home improvements add the most value here.
The more home improvements and maintenance you pay for that increase your home's value, the more equity you have. Read about home equity here.
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Home Warranties and Home Maintenance
Home warranties and insurance don't cover maintenance-related breakdowns. You'll have a hard time finding a home insurance company to cover attic or roof flooding if you didn't clean your gutters. If you never changed the filters on your HVAC system for a year and the fan burned out, a home warranty wouldn't cover the repairs or replacement. Why is home warranty maintenance required? Your systems and appliances need maintenance to work well and last longer. Most home warranty companies only repair or replace systems and appliances if maintained.
A home warranty can save you thousands of dollars if you clean and maintain your old systems and appliances. A home warranty repairs or replaces old systems for a flat fee.
Biggest Building Maintenance Challenges and Solutions
It is still one of the most important challenges in the building maintenance industry to keep costs under control. Because of this, facility managers almost always find themselves in the position of having to maintain high standards of service delivery despite being constrained financially. They are under the gun to produce more with fewer resources.
Although accomplishing this may seem impossible at first, it is not. It is possible to keep costs under control with a little bit of planning and some careful resource distribution. There are several significant budget items that, if closely monitored, provide facility managers with the ability to exert greater control over the overall costs of operating their building.
- Energy costs: According to a report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), up to 30 per cent of energy in buildings is used inefficiently or unnecessarily. Facility managers can improve this by recommending more environmentally friendly energy sources like solar panels, planting trees, using more automated buildings technologies, choosing energy-efficient lighting and allowing for more natural light.
- Outsourced services: Keep costs under control by monitoring outsourced vendors and other third-party service providers. Periodically assess their services, and compare and negotiate prices for their offerings. This also applies to suppliers of inventory items. When there's need to stock large quantities of a stock item, consider ordering directly from the manufacturer.
- Maintenance costs: Maintenance costs alone can account for a significant part of a facility's annual budget. Implementing a planned maintenance strategy rather than reactive can deliver major cost savings in the long term because the cost of deferred maintenance can be rather high.
Record Keeping and Data Analysis
Records can overwhelm facility managers. These records include day-to-day operations, meeting minutes, inventory, repairs, etc.
Keeping records organised starts with capturing accurate and reliable data, then storing it to make strategic decisions. CMMS is the most popular tool for this. With smart technology advancements, the Internet of Things will capture and analyse more data. CMMS software can report this data to you.
Emergency Response and Safety
In the event of a crisis, it is up to the management team of the facility to ensure that everyone is safely evacuated and that communication is maintained. As a result of the fact that such crises can take the form of anything from natural disasters to fires, security breaches, terrorist attacks, or critical system failures (for instance, prolonged lift entrapment), emergency response and safety both require meticulous and preventative planning.
Emergency response plans will vary but should typically include:
- Contact details of first responders
- List of critical systems that must remain running
- List of regular occupants
- Step-by-step emergency response procedure
Every emergency plan should make regular safety drills and practise runs through evacuation scenarios a top priority. In addition, regular equipment checks and reports, particularly automated failure reporting, will ensure that the maintenance team is kept informed and prepared for any potential issues before they arise. This is significant for systems that are crucial.
It is important that the emergency plan be stored in a centralised database, so that members of the team can easily access it and go over it if necessary.
Text messaging and application-based instant messaging provide a speedy means of communication that can be carried out on mobile devices. However, handheld radios and walkie-talkies are still useful because they have the potential to be the most dependable communications tools even in the most catastrophic of scenarios, such as when cellular networks are offline.
Facility managers can keep people safer and avoid costly litigation by implementing the aforementioned best practises, which are outlined above.
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Extending Asset Lifespan
Building projects require significant amounts of capital, and the owners of the structures will spend a significant amount of money to update them to the most contemporary standards possible. They want their structures to continue to have an appealing appearance and to be competitive in the market. However, the condition of these systems will worsen as the facility ages. This kind of deterioration can be severe enough to compromise the structure's soundness (e.g. roofing components).
Attempting to extend the useful life of an asset from the moment it is installed is typically a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly option, despite the fact that replacement in its entirety might be the simplest course of action.
There are two stages of the asset lifecycle, where facility managers can take steps to help prolong equipment functionality.
- Procurement: During the procurement stage, it's advisable to evaluate each vendor's offer based on price, performance records and quality. Especially for complex and expensive assets, there should be clearly stated terms for after-sales specialist servicing/repairs and very detailed training for the operators of such equipment. These are important considerations that will minimize misuse and keep equipment running with less headache for the maintenance team.
- Operation and Maintenance: A proactive maintenance strategy with routine and preventive maintenance schedules will also help extend asset lifespan by ensuring servicing is done when due. Implementing preventive maintenance with the help of a CMMS doesn't have to be difficult and expensive. With a proper plan in place, you won't have to rely on reactive maintenance.
Those with the budget should consider predictive maintenance. Using internet-enabled condition monitoring sensors, they can get real-time data from equipment. By acting on alerts before they become a problem, facilities can save money and man-hours.
All facility managers can relate to the above building maintenance challenges. By embracing smart maintenance tools and making sustainable changes to their work, they can create a win-win situation for all parties.
There's a lot of competition for the toughest job in the business, with challenges, obstacles, and problems enough to make anyone question their career choice. Any of these jobs can bring the company down. Now I realise there's another difficult job that hasn't been mentioned: the senior manager who must support all of these people. Top executives have countless priorities and distractions. There's nothing more important a boss can do than make these jobs easier. What's the hardest job?
FAQs About Property Maintenance
Regular property maintenance saves your property from being prone to heavy damages that might be caused by irregular maintenance or cleaning processes. Small neglected repairs may become costly over time if ignored. While maintaining a property, a few important things to follow are: Assessment.
A clean, safe commercial property will improve your business' reputation, and the happiness and health of tenants, workers and clients. Most importantly, if you don't arrange regular property maintenance, your property may decrease in value and require expensive repairs.
Maintenance expenses for homes include lawn care, plumbing, electrical, and roof repairs as well as replacement of worn-out appliances. Homeowners must also pay premiums for hazard insurance.
Maintenance expenses are costs incurred when performing routine actions to keep an asset in its original condition. Examples of maintenance costs include simple electrical repairs, bulb replacement, paint touch-ups, pool cleaning, lawn care, etc.
Repairs and maintenance expense is the cost incurred to ensure that an asset continues to operate. This may involve bringing performance levels up to their original level from when an asset was originally acquired, or merely maintaining the current performance level of an asset.