When it comes to property maintenance, a little goes a long way. That’s because left unchecked, leaks, drips, and worn electrical cords can quickly grow from pesky problems into catastrophic losses.
Inform your condo and homeowner association clients about the five deadly sins of property maintenance. Educating them will go a long way toward avoiding costly losses and help to ensure a happy and loyal client.
1. FIRE FROM LIT CANDLES AND COOKING
Unattended candles, open flames, cooking and grease splatter can quickly set nearby objects on fire.
Recommendations: Provide fire safety education to residents and owners and require attendance. Install all required fire detectors. Post reminders that all cooking and candle fires should be monitored.
2. FLOODING FROM A BURST WASHING MACHINE HOSE
Over time, the rubber hoses that come with most washing machines will eventually leak, often damaging adjoining units and common areas before anyone notices.
Recommendation: Replace old rubber hoses every three years or replace with metal mesh hoses available in any hardware or home store.
3. LEAKY ROOFS AND CEILINGS
Worn or missing roof tiles can result in water pooling in attics and seeping into walls. Leaky pipe joints or drains can allow water to damage walls and ceilings.
Recommendations: Check overhanging tree branches and trim them away from the roof to avoid rubbing in the wind. Clean gutters and drainage regularly and keep free of debris. Inspect plumbing regularly and always have someone onsite who can shut off the water in an emergency.
4. ELECTRICAL CORD FIRES
Frayed cords, overloaded outlets and outdated baseboard heaters are common causes of fires.
Recommendations: Look for and replace cords that are frayed, tattered or worn. Never hide a cord under a rug as it is easy to damage and hard to see until too late. If using a power strip, choose one with internal overload protection.
5. SLOW LEAKS AROUND TUB, SHOWER AND TOILET
Over time, the grout or caulking can decay, or cracks can develop. This allows water to drip into the wall or floor, eventually rotting wood. Leaks can also occur around toilets if the base is not stable or the seal has been improperly installed or is worn, causing damage to plaster and drywall.
Recommendation: Check and maintain seals. Some contractors recommend resealing every year. Wipe up spills on surrounding areas quickly. Check for water around the base of the toilet and repair promptly.