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The Biggest Building Maintenance Mistakes That Could Cost You

Northern Illinois Real Estate Magazine • February 2012

by Clark Johnson, Director of Marketing, Finishing Chicago

Clark Johnson, Director of Marketing, Finishing ChicagoCommercial and residential property managers who neglect routine maintenance to save money could end up with bigger headaches and thinner wallets than they bargained for. Problems that can be fixed at a reasonable price now can cost significantly more if ignored. Ongoing maintenance inside and out keeps a property in good operating condition, preserves value, and attracts tenants.

With Spring just around the corner, this is the ideal time to plan and prepare for specific projects. Annual inspections help identify trouble spots that need attention. Most property managers focus on entrances, lobbies, and corridors, since they are the most visible to tenants and visitors, but overlook crucial areas that are even more important.

“The biggest mistake we see with residential and commercial properties is the neglect of auxiliary structures and equipment,” says Miles Beatty, owner of Beatty Decorating Co. located in Lake Bluff, Illinois. “Rusting metal on exterior surfaces, such as heating and cooling towers, generators, docks, guardhouses, and security gates, can get out of hand quickly.”

Finding rust soon after it starts is key to stopping it. Workers can remove it and protect surfaces with anti-corrosion products. If left to languish, however, rusting surfaces can deteriorate to the point that they need to be replaced. Consider the nightmare and expense of replacing a heating and cooling tower in the middle of summer versus paying for remediation and corrosion protection, and it’s clear why routine inspections and maintenance are so important.

Property managers also often forget about windows and doors. While most windows today have a clad exterior, condensation often builds up on the inside. Left unchecked, excess moisture can cause mildew to grow on wood and other interior surfaces. Painting and applying protective treatments help windows withstand moisture. Clear-finish and painted doors also can deteriorate quickly from constant exposure to the elements.

“In most cases we can remediate mildew and protect windows and doors with moisture-resistant products,” Beatty says. “But if property managers ignore these issues, they could end up having to replace windows and doors, which is a much more expensive proposition.”

It takes a special kind of contractor to provide rust and mildew remediation and apply protective coatings and paints in a timely wellcoordinated and budget-conscious manner with minimal disruptions to tenants. The contractors at Finishing Chicago have the training and expertise that property managers need to complete these projects with professional results. Finishing Chicago’s contractors also provide wallcovering and drywall finishing services. They are fully licensed, bonded, and insured. Our contractors are offering the lowest residential rates in six years. For more information, visit www.finishingchicago.com or call 630-737-1581.