Keep It Clean

Amy Campbell Comments
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Whether your self-storage facility has 50 units or 500, daily maintenance and repair should be a priority. To ensure your facility stays in tip-top shape, Inside Self-Storage created this handy checklist you can clip and post in your office.

Daily Cleanup

Several times a day, check the grounds for litter, including natural refuse such as leaves, stones, twigs, etc., and man-made rubbish like paper, bottles, cans and cigarette butts.
Haul boxes, mattresses or other furniture tenants leave behind to the dumpster.
Keep restrooms clean and stocked with paper products and hand soap.
Sweep bare floors several times a day.
Wash windows at least three times a week with a good commercial cleaner.
Keep countertops free of clutter. Clean with a commercial disinfectant daily.
Dust retail displays every day. Keep stocked.
Keep counter or collateral display stocked with facility brochures and other useful information.
Dust or vacuum camera equipment, equipment area, video monitors and video recorders regularly.

Security

Keep video cameras free of dirt and dust by vacuuming regularly. Inspect equipment weekly for broken or dusty lenses, split or frayed wires, and tampering. Make sure cameras are focused and angled where you want them.
Slide gates should be lubricated and checked for tension. Examine vertical lift gates for belt wear and tightness--the tighter, the better. Sprockets, or gears, should be inspected for wear and replaced when needed. Replace slide-gate rollers if they are wobbly.
Check seals and gaskets on keypads for leaks. Make sure sprinklers are not directed at the keypad. Once a year, open the keypad and inspect it for worn or corroded areas. Clean with alcohol and a toothbrush.
Keep VCRs and digital video recorders free of dust by keeping them behind glass or using a dust cover. Inspect cables regularly for damage.
Be sure there are enough light fixtures to adequately illuminate all corridors, driveways and areas between buildings. Burned-out bulbs should be replaced immediately.
Wired door alarms need to be inspected every time a unit becomes available. Check the sensing device. Look for damage to the door switch or magnet. Be sure wires are in good condition. Examine brackets for breakage or tampering. Batteries in wireless door alarms should be tested often and replaced as needed.

Unit Interiors

Inspect each unit upon vacancy. Swipe corners and walls for cobwebs, bugs, dust and grime. Sweep and mop the floor.
Check for insects or rodents. Hire an exterminator to get rid of pests.
Look for water spots, stains or leakage on the ceiling. Run a duster or broom over the ceiling to catch dirt and cobwebs.
Lock all vacant units with inexpensive yellow padlocks that are keyed alike.
Check pull cords on doors for wear, especially if they are on the outside.

The Maintenance Unit

Keep cleaning supplies well stocked and conveniently located. Replace mops, brooms, dustpans, rags, etc., as needed.
Check tire pressure and charger for golf cart regularly. Schedule annual maintenance checks. Clean upholstery often; replace it when torn or worn out. Have a clean sign that states "Rider rides at own risk."
Have several sizes and varieties of tools available, including hammers, screwdrivers, bolt-cutters, ladders, a ratchet and socket set, nails, screws, spackle, vise clamps, saws, tie-down straps, oils, lubricants and a cordless drill with nut drivers, bits and a jig. Other tools to consider are battery chargers, jumper packs or cables, portable floodlights, air tanks, compressors and floor polishers.
Have a workbench with bins or shelves to keep all tools and replacement parts organized. Hand tools can be hung neatly on a piece of pegboard.

Curb Appeal

Keep bushes, flowers, trees and lawns trimmed and neat.
Trim tree branches that threaten power lines or are a threat to buildings during severe weather.
Signs should be bright and easy to read. Replace bulbs and faded lettering or graphics as needed.
If you don't have guard posts, get them. If you do have them, consider using a post sleeve rather than scraping and painting regularly.
Get potholes fixed, but rely on professionals to do the job.
Keep cracks clear of weeds by using a commercial weed killer.

The Management Office

Have carpets professionally cleaned every six months.
Once a month, remove window screens and storm windows, and wash inside and out.
Rearrange retail items and displays monthly to attract attention and track inventory.
Ensure phone, faxes and copy machines are free of dust and working properly. Stock ink and paper and keep the manufacturers' numbers handy for repairs.
Keep collateral displays stocked with colorful brochures of the facility and useful pamphlets, such as "10 Things You Must Know Before You Rent a Storage Unit."

Building Exteriors

Instead of painting faded metal doors and buildings, refinish with a high-quality, protective coating.
When replacing door and building numbers, use the highest quality vinyl numbers possible in an easy-to-read, block style.
Check door screws, sweep any cobwebs and dirt out of the guides on doors, and oil or lubricate springs with a very light coat of oil to reduce friction and prevent rust. Check the tension and adjust according to manufacturer's directions.
Regularly inspect building exteriors for damage such as cracks, rust, and fading or peeling paint.
Check built-up roofs for bubbles or cracks in the asphalt topping and loose flashing attachments.
When inspecting metal roofs, look for loose screws, deteriorating rubber washes, separation of lap joints and exposed sealants that have cracks or bubbles.
With standing-seam metal roofs, be on the look out for separation of panel laps, loose-flashing fasteners and exposed sealants.
Check gutters regularly for leaves and other debris. Give gutters a thorough cleaning each spring and fall.
Make sure down spouts are draining water away from the buildings.

For information on companies that provide information, products and services to assist in the maintenance of self-storage sites, please visit the Inside Self-Storage online Buyer's Guide at www.insideselfstorage.com and search the following categories:

Building Components
Cladding
CCTV and Video Surveillance
Coatings and Waterproofing
Doors and Door Hardware
Flags and Banners
Maintenance Products/Services
Pest Control
Roofing and Related Products
Signs and Numbers

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