The Maintenance Matrix

Property maintenance IS property management.

The condition of your properties will determine years of profit or years of headaches. Keeping up with maintenance is essential to making sure your properties will attract and retain renters for years. 

Below is a simple list of tasks to check on a regular basis. You may not have to take action besides a simple check, but if any of these get neglected, huge expenses could occur. 

Make a list- check it twice! 

The first to-do is to have a ‘to-do’ list. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Make sure all your maintenance staff have their assignments and timelines. 

Paint to the Rescue

A fresh coat of paint can bring new life to a property or rental. This simple expense will not only keep the property looking good but a fresh coat can also prolong the life of the building. This task is also tax deductible which pays off every year. 

Detect the Detectors 

Everyone gets the value of smoke detectors, but carbon monoxide detectors are very important as well. Be sure to check the wiring when you change the batteries and replace whenever necessary. Our renters chose our properties to keep their families safe. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are two essential elements to keeping them safe. 

Water Heaters Need Love Too

To remove sediment in water heaters, be sure to drain them once or twice a year. Water enters your property through these heaters and if the sediment builds up it will lead to lower efficiency and potential clogging in the drain valve. This is a quick process and far less expensive than replacing water heaters. 

Check Caulk Regularly

Bathrooms and kitchens need to have the grout checked on a regular basis. The caulk can crack and loosen up possibly leading to leaks through the walls. It is worth the time to check the caulking on tubs, showers and flooring to ensure that water is not seeping into areas where it does not belong. Pay special attention to tubs, showers, and kitchen areas where water is used daily. Early reaction can ensure water damage doesn’t take place. This is another one of those areas that may not need attention regularly, but always needs to be checked. 

Bugs be Gone

Nothing damages a properties reputation worse than the dreaded pest infestation. Every month, you should inspect your properties to ensure this problem never starts. If extermination is needed, make sure not to just do the single room but clean out the entire property. We work with the best experts in town to take care of any unwanted pests so don’t hesitate to contact us for advice. 

Check for Water Damage and Leaks.

Make it a habit to check for water damage regularly! Water damage is expensive and the resulting mold issues can be worse.   During Pacific Northwest rainy seasons, roofs and windows can develop issues, and these problems need to be addressed quickly to avoid costly repair bills. Safe Harbor recommends creating an easy to access process to ensure that your residents know to how to report any water-related incidences to you immediately. Check the soft spots in the ceiling, on the roof, and in the walls of your properties. Look to see if there are any signs of water damage around the showers, windows, and toilets. Be sure to check under the boilers, sinks, and water heaters to prevent the problem from getting worse. Ongoing leaks, if left unresolved, could damage the walls and even result in mold and mildew growth.

Filter your Filters 

Be sure to change the filters in your forced air systems. Replace these filters on a regular basis to provide quality airflow and to prevent overworking your heating and cooling systems. This includes air ducts should be regularly checked and cleaned. If this is neglected, they can become clogged up requiring the hiring of professionals to come and clean up the problem

Extinguish Bad Extinguishers 

Make sure the fire extinguishers are installed and in working order.
Check and replace batteries annually in both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. A fire extinguisher that fails to function during an emergency situation could lead to serious injury or damage. The date of birth (DOB) of the unit is typically located on the bottom of the unit. Ideally, fire extinguishers and CO detectors should be replaced every 5 years. Place one in the kitchen and the garage.  Place smoke detectors and CO detectors properly and in accordance with the law. ​

Gutters Need Attention as Well

In the Pacific Northwest, tree branches break off and pine needles fill gutters constantly. We recommend cleaning gutters at least every spring, and more often if weather conditions demand. Freeing gutters from debris will ensure proper drainage to downspouts and lengthen the life of the gutter. Additionally, clean gutters will prevent wood rot to the eaves. 

Sadly, our beautiful, green city can leave our roofs covered with moss. Moss is the natural destroyer to roofs. Whether you hire moss removal out or have a staff member to it is up to you. The constant climbing up and down ladders on steep roofs may be best left to professionals. 

Conduct a structural inspection of the home including gutters, roof, and patios annually. Address safety and other issues you see.

We love the South Sound!

We also acknowledge that our weather creates unique problems. So remember… failing to plan is planning to fail. A simple to-do list can be the ounce of prevention that eliminates a pound of expensive cures! Everyone has a story or two of when a simple act of maintenance would have saved thousands of dollars. Our job as your partners in profit is to give you the gentle reminders to make sure that doesn’t happen to you. 

Send us an email or call us at 253-302-3079.