We’ve all heard the old saying about an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure. The phrase has stuck around because it rings true in so many situations. In the case of building maintenance, it cuts right to the point: taking care of minor maintenance issues before they turn into full-blown problems can save you a lot of time, money, and stress.
By minor issues, we mean things as small as burnt out lights, or doors that may be malfunctioning. If you think we’re exaggerating, consider this – earlier this month, a prominent assault happened in a Chicago apartment building, partially caused by the fact that the door of the main entrance was not locking properly. These kinds of superficial problems also degrade the general experience of tenants and visitors, when the truth is that they take very little effort to fix.
Other minor issues to watch out for are small leaks (which always turn into big ones), cracking of the building exterior, and HVAC and boiler units that are acting up (often, if you catch the problem early enough, you can avoid having to replace the whole unit). Taking care of pests decisively upon first sighting can usually prevent a building-wide infestation.
The issue with taking care of all these minor maintenance tasks is that it’s difficult for the property manager to be aware of all of them. For that reason, it is crucial that the owners and tenants remain diligent reporting issues, even if they feel like they might be overreacting. The best policy to follow is “Tell the building manager, and let him decide if it’s important”.