Day-to-Day Facility Maintenance for the Self-Storage Manager

Donna May Comments
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Self-storage managers have an all-encompassing job. Not many industries require that a single employee be adept in marketing, sales, rental contracts, several aspects of law, business practices, accounting, collections, customer service, computers and maintenance. When juggling what is urgent vs. what is important, it’s easy to let maintenance items slip to the wayside. There are some simple ways to prevent that from happening. 

Deciding on the most productive routine for your facility starts with a list of tasks to be accomplished, and how often each task needs to be executed. Self-storage facilities have an ebb and flow in their workload. Organizing your maintenance tasks to fit your unique work pattern helps ensure you have time do everything.

Collections and move-outs tend to hover around the beginning of the month, so that would not be a good time for lengthy maintenance or repair. But incorporating certain tasks into the move-out process will ensure the ongoing maintenance of units as they turn over in the rental cycle.

Creating a Program

The first step in planning a maintenance program is to determine all the necessary tasks. Some are common to every facility, but each location will have environmental and design factors that influence its maintenance routine. To begin, divide the facility into separate areas of attention. Common areas/items include: 

  • Units and doors
  • Interior hallways
  • Pest control
  • Drives and parking
  • Security equipment
  • Dumpsters
  • Roof and trim
  • Intercoms and amenities
  • Landscaping
  • Fencing
  • Entry gates

Include additional items that are unique to your facility such as detention ponds, refrigeration units for specialty storage, etc. Once your categories are established, list each item in that category that requires consideration. For example, storage units are pretty simple; there are make-ready tasks to ensure a unit is in good condition and ready to rent, and routine maintenance for the exterior. Make-ready and aesthetic items would have two different time frames:

Task

Frequency

Wipe down interior walls and door.

At move out

Sweep out debris.

At move out

Lubricate roll-up door mechanism (if required).

At move out

Make sure door stops are in the proper position.

At move out

Ensure door glides easily.

At move out

Inspect door side channels.

At move out

Lubricate and clean the door sweep.

At move out

Apply protective coating for locking mechanisms.

At move out

Check sturdiness of panel attachments.

At move out

Check insulation for tears, seam splits.

At move out

Apply pest-control measures.

At move out

Clean doors of interior (climate-controlled) units.

Quarterly

Clean doors of exterior units.

Annually

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