This winter has been a long, damp, cold one for many Americans thanks to multiple atmospheric rivers and record snowfall, including some places that aren’t accustomed to getting a lot of seasonal white stuff or even much rain. With spring just a couple of weeks away, it’s a good time for self-storage operators to plan their site-maintenance and cleaning activities for as soon as weather permits.
This has a lot to do with recalibrating the brain from a long winter hibernation. As trees begin to leaf, flowers open their blooms and sunny days gradually outnumber dreary grey skies, our surroundings can recharge the mind and help freshen the perspective of customers. This is when your curb appeal can really set the tone for commanding higher rates as well as increasing or preserving facility value.
To begin, think about making a three-pronged assessment of your property to help you plan fixes, order supplies and schedule any maintenance that is outside your scope of expertise.
Plants and foliage. Consult with your landscaping contractor or neighborhood nursery regarding site prep and the timing of any trim work or pruning to allow trees and shrubs to flourish. Be sure to think about sprucing up beds with fresh mulch and new plants to replace any that haven't survived the winter.
Grounds and buildings. Inspect your roofs for any signs of seasonal wear and tear that could lead to water leaks. Clear gutters of debris and freshen exteriors with paint if the site is looking tired or drab. Paint is one of the most cost-effective ways to transform the look and feel of your property. In addition, check asphalt for any new unsightly cracks, and assess whether you can fill/repair these on your own or require a professional service. Inspect your fencing for holes, sagging or any issues that may have been caused by winter weather.
Office. Once the weather turns nice, there's a good chance your in-person visits may increase. Check to see what needs to be spruced up in your management office, including walls, flooring and lighting, to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward for tenants and new customers. Don't forget about retail merchandise displays, and plan ahead for restocking items that are low on inventory.
Maintenance Calendar and Tips
Of course, that’s just for starters. Site maintenance is a year-round affair and requires self-storage managers to be at the top of their game. The ISS Store’s “Self-Storage Maintenance Package 2023: Monthly Task Calendars and Guide” is designed specifically to help you plan ahead and keep your site in top working order. It includes detailed, customizable monthly calendars outlining tasks by day, week and season, with items color-coded based on frequency. Each page also features a handy daily checklist.
This year’s package also includes a 109-page digital book of expert maintenance advice. Material new for 2023 addresses general site maintenance, preparing for summer and winter, signage preservation, rental trucks, outsourcing and more. It’s a great way to assess just about every facet of your property that requires a watchful eye including:
- Site evaluation
- Curb appeal
- Summer and winter maintenance
- Roof care
- Door cleaning and maintenance
- Security-system upkeep
- Signage preservation
- HVAC care
- Rental-truck maintenance
- Pest control
- Service outsourcing
Package contents are available through a downloadable zip file, which includes 12 individual calendars in PDF and Microsoft Word formats. The customizable Word templates allow users to accommodate their particular schedule and needs. A no-fuss, PDF calendar is also included for those who wish to print the entire year without having to access individual files.
Keep in mind, too, that in addition to attracting new customers and impacting value, regular site maintenance and upkeep improves site safety and can lower your liability risk. The year is just kicking into gear, so now’s the time to start prepping your site to look and perform its best for the warm months ahead.