Industry Update
Opinion Article23 February 2018

Hotel Preventive Maintenance: Focus Areas

How to reduce emergency requests that keep staff falling behind on work orders and allow guests to have a more enjoyable stay

By Lillian Connors, Senior Digital Marketing Strategist at Bizzmark

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One of the most important tasks of the hotel maintenance department is to cut the overall expenses by protecting its assets – building, equipment and supplies, through preventive maintenance measures. These measures are not restricted only to maintenance crews. They should be formulated as a set of guidelines for all staff to follow.

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Guest safety

Make sure that sprinkler systems are working properly and that all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have functioning batteries. Also, the maintenance staff should regularly inspect locks on the main entrance, bedrooms, conference rooms, storage closets and other areas that are vital for the hotel operation. Checking alarms and fire extinguishers also falls under raising safety levels.

Electrical issues

A power outage can disrupt a single household, let alone a hotel full of guests. Aside from having to deal with disgruntled guests, you are losing money in finding them new accommodations. By periodically checking electrical panels, plugs, outlets and circuit breakers, you can prevent large electrical problems in advance. Every hotel should have a backup power supply in case the power outage impacts the whole neighbourhood.

Lighting

A missing or flickering light bulb doesn't give an impression of efficacy, while the maintenance staff needs to be pulled away from their daily tasks to replace it. In addition, you can increase the guest comfort by keeping the lights dim in the early hours of the day and increase the intensity as it's getting dark. Install automatic timers or motion sensor switches in locations that see little traffic. Both solutions will save you money on electricity and keep guests satisfied.

Plumbing

Water supply and drainage issues can cause a lot of damage, which isn't only costly to repair but also unsightly and disruptive to the hotel operation. Hotel maintenance needs to inspect plumbing lines on a regular basis for any sign of rust, leaks, cracked pipes, toilet malfunctions, water pressure, as well as water damage to the floors and ceilings. The plumbing maintenance plan can also include preventive measures for mould and mildew.

HVAC systems

By performing routine checks and maintenance of the hotel's heating and cooling system, you are ensuring the guests' comfort all year round. Issues like inefficient filters, blocked heat ducts and HVAC leaks can set your budget back by unexpended and expensive repairs. Make sure your maintenance crew inspects all possible issues, whether is the deficient temperature, reduced air flow or unfamiliar noises and smells.

Floors

With many high-traffic areas involved, you need a tough, durable and solid flooring that can withstand a lot of foot traffic and luggage carts wheeling back and forth, and still look good between the major overhauls. Polished concrete floors fill all these requirements, however, unless cured properly, they will lose their beautiful lustre over the years. Reduce their maintenance by using durable concrete sealers, which protect the concrete floors from dirt discolouration as well as moderate erosion.

Furniture

Hotel furniture needs to look presentable at all times as it is the part of décor in the lobby, meeting spaces and dining facilities and, of course, guests' bedrooms. The maintenance staff should focus their attention on loose pieces, worn-out upholstery, discolouration, scratches, dents or even misplaced pieces. In cases of theft, the missing piece needs to be replaced as soon as possible.

Exterior

Even though most of hotel bookings are made online, the hotel was and will remain a walk-in business. The exterior of the facility is what the potential guest sees first, so the hotel's curb appeal should be among the top priorities of the maintenance staff. This includes the state of the building itself, landscaping and the car park.

Supplies and equipment

Hotels rely on a vast range of supplies and equipment that ensure smooth operation. From vacuum cleaners and cleaning supplies to the vehicles and computers used by the hotel staff, it's on hotel management to ensure all these are readily available and functioning.

While the guests will keep talking about your superb service, friendly staff and the new chef, most of them are unaware that their comfort largely depends on the well-trained maintenance crew who often need to focus on critical areas in order to prevent disruptive events.

Lillian Connors

As a senior digital marketing consultant, Lillian Connors believes that the question of business goes far beyond the maximization of profit through different money-grabbing ploys. Instead, she likes to think that ethical principles should be at the core of every commercial venture, paving the way for much more balanced distribution of wealth on a global scale.

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