Spring Cleaning Tips
“Ask Kari” is a monthly, Question & Answer feature from Kari Negri. Kari has two decades of property management experience, is a featured speaker at many industry trade shows, such as AAGLA’s annual trade show, and is the founder and CEO of SKY Properties, Inc. in Los Angeles.
Spring is a good time to perform some deep cleaning at your building. Here are my top six tips for deep Springcleaning:
Out With the Old, In with the New Year
DON’T LET YOUR DRYERS CAUSE A FIRE.
Insure your tenants are properly using laundry equipment. Install a fire extinguisher in the laundry room. Make sure to clean your lint filters in your dryers. This involves more than emptying the lint from the catch. Remove the catch and get to any lint that has gathered in the catch holder. Dryer lint also finds its way behind the machines. You might consider the help of a tool, available at Home Depot, or vacuum to assist in the cleaning.
DECALCIFY YOUR DISHWASHERS.
Use white vinegar to run a decalcifying cycle in each of your dishwashers. It’s very simple: Remove all dishes. Pour two cups of white vinegar into a cup/glass. Place the cup face up, on the bottom rack of the empty dishwasher. DO NOT add any detergents or other solutions. Run the dishwasher on a normal or regular cycle. As the dishwasher runs, the water spraying from the top rack overflows the cup and creates the proper solution to decalcify your dishwasher.
WATER HEATER CLOSETS.
Make sure to keep your water heater closet clean and clutter free. Fire risks increase if your water heater closet is used for storage. Water heater closets cannot be used to store anything other than your water heater. This is also an opportunity to check that your water heater is properly earthquake strapped as per California law. The water heater area should also be kept free of any cleaners as they are extremely combustible, as well as lint, pet hair, cobwebs or any other flammable debris that can come in touch with the pilot light.
KEEP THE INSIDE OF YOUR WALL HEATERS CLEAN.
Wall heaters are notorious for collecting lint, dust and hair in the chamber. This debris enters the wall heater through the vents and becomes trapped inside. The gas company offers free pilot lighting, and if they come out and find a dirty wall heater, they will red tag it. That makes the appliance unusable until it has been serviced and they come out and clear it. This is an inconvenience for you and especially your tenant. Maintenance can remove the cover and clean it out. This should be done at least once a year before the cold weather starts and the use of the wall heater is necessary. If you choose to use a vacuum, be extremely cautious not to knock out your pilot light. Remove lint or anything blocking the vent blades so the heat has an unrestricted path to flow through.
FILTER ON STOVE RANGE VENT.
Inspect and clean, or preferably replace the filter on your stove range vent. Depending on how often your tenant cooks, these filters can become extremely dirty. You might also consider inspecting these filters during your smoke alarm checks.
6. EXTEND THE LIFE OF ALL YOUR APPLIANCES.
All appliances should be checked twice a year. We check all of our appliances during our bi-annual smoke alarm checks in April and October. In addition to checking the smoke alarms and CO detectors, we use these inspections as an opportunity to check all appliances. You must give the tenant notice that you will be checking all these items ahead of time. It is also a good opportunity to check for pest control or health issues such as peeling paint, as well as a chance to make note of anything that would affect the return of their deposit on move-out, etc. We also recommend that you have an a/c vendor clean the coils on you’re a/c’s, add freon and clean or change the filter at least once a year before the hot weather starts. Check the manufactures instructions on your water heaters. Many water heaters need to be drained about every 18 months - 2 years to remove sediment that builds at the bottom.
Have a wonderful Spring! As always, stay in touch at www.skypropertiesinc.com
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