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The Top 10 Price Tags in Hotel Maintenance

1. Reactionary Maintenance:

In hotels, one of the worst scenarios you can find yourself in is a reactionary one. If you and your maintenance team are spending more than 20% of your efforts reacting to maintenance issues, you are washing your profits down the drain. The entire success of hotel management lies in staying ahead of the game, being organized and preventing disasters rather than reacting to them. A consistent schedule of preventative maintenance on all guest rooms, major assets and common areas will ensure your guests are happy, your risk of incident is low, costly repairs are minimal and labor is under control.

2. Utility Drain:

Plumbing Leaks, faulty kitchen equipment, broken boilers or water heaters, and inefficient lighting can all cause up to 50% increases in your utility bills. Proper use and preventative maintenance on boilers, sinks and showers, laundry equipment and lighting will all help reduce the costs of utilities in your hotels.

3. “Split System Air Handler Units:

Monthly maintenance on these includes cleaning or replacing the filters and checking for leaks, checking the condensate overflow switch, straightening the coils and checking the belts. Knowing where all of your hotel’s air handler units are is crucial. They can be tucked away in a conference room closet, up on the rooftop, in the attic or in the ceiling of the house laundry room. Neglect of these units will cause flooding and in worst case scenario, a fire.

4. Drum Drips:

Drum Drips are part of a Dry Sprinkler System and should be drained at least once a week. If the condensation builds up and freezes, you are looking at flooding of several rooms before you can get the water shut off to the entire building…and then your water is shut off in the entire building. Your fire systems are then compromised until you call in and secure the necessary repairs. And your repairs include repairing or replacing the damaged drum drip, replacing the sprinkler head, pulling and drying carpets and carpet bases and any other FFEs that were water damaged, and a significant number of guest refunds.

5. Commercial Washer and Dryer:

The lint under the dryer must be cleared out every night. The dryer vent room should cleaned and checked once a month. The lint screen on the washer computer should be cleaned once a week. The washer bearings should be lubricated and the belt tension checked and corrected once a month. Worst case scenario is a fire that completely shuts down your house laundry room and possibly other parts of your hotel. On a smaller scale, if either of these pieces of equipment are out of commission, the technicians charge by the hour and for each part. Your laundry room efficiency is either gone or cut significantly making guests unhappy when they cannot have extra towels and slowing down your housekeeping staff as they wait on linen to be cleaned.

6. Water Heaters and Boilers:

Water Heaters or Boilers should have a light routine check performed once a month that basically checks for leaks, or potential leaks of water or gas, and verifies the temperature of the water at the output source is correct. There should also be a more comprehensive routine performed once a year that will significantly extend the life of your water heater or boiler. Owners expect for these to last at least 10 years as the replacement costs are between $8,000 and $20,000 each. For even a short down time, where the hotel guests do not have hot water or the hotel operations, such as kitchen staff, housekeeping and laundry attendants, do not have hot water, the problems are too numerous to consider.

7. PTACs and VTACs:

These in-room, self-contained, air units are the keys to your guest’s comfort. Daily or weekly cleaning of the filters and an annual makeover are so important in preventing leaks, malfunctions that require replacement, or bad smells to fill up a room.

8. Door Locks:

All exterior door locks should be checked daily to ensure the security of the hotel. Doors that do not lock could allow any criminal to enter the hotel, unchecked and will leave guests doubting your hotel’s safety guarantee. Doors that will not unlock will only serve to frustrate guests and could cause them to be in a dangerous situation if they cannot enter the building when needed. Fire Door Release Magnets should be checked monthly to ensure that, in the event of a fire, the magnet will release properly and provide the necessary firewall. Allowing fires to spread past what is considered a firewall will cause astronomical damage on all fronts. Finally, locks to all storage rooms should be checked monthly to ensure that guests do not have access, which will prevent costly thefts or dangerous situations for your hotel staff.

9. Mattresses:

Regular rotation of the mattresses will extend the life of the most important asset you have to offer. The mattresses should be rotated around and over every quarter so that the tag on the bottom left of the mattress shows the current months. The amount of complaints over a saggy or uncomfortable mattress will devastate your hotel ratings, so be sure to set your maintenance staff up with a tight schedule of completing this rotation every quarter.

10. Computers and Other Office Equipment:

Daily cleaning of all office equipment will keep diseases from spreading through your staff, and as we all run with such tight staffing models, even one staff member out of commission can be difficult to deal with. Monthly maintenance should include a clearing of cookies, passwords and history, verifying your virus scan is in place and working correctly and verifying that your backup systems are working. Loss of data or downtime for one of these machines can be quite damaging to the hotel operations and to your guest’s happiness.

june mccreight author

June McCreight

June McCreight began her career in the hospitality industry as a housekeeper in 1996. In the years since, she has risen through the ranks, learning maintenance, front office, sales and revenue management, property management and district management, bench management and opening team management. She has trained hundreds of hoteliers and won many awards for her management successes. In 2011, June wrote and published, The Strangers in My Beds, a fictional novel based strictly on the strange events of her career in hotels. In 2014, June partnered with her father, a very accomplished software architect, and opened the business, Coba Enterprise Management, LLC with a very unique and specialized CMMS (Computer Maintenance Management System) software for hotels.

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