COMMON MAINTENANCE PROBLEMS
Quality assurance experts share their expertise.
Interviews by Stephanie Mayhew
ALB asked quality assurance experts about some of the
most common maintenance issues they see and how to fix them.
• Bob Shackleford, vice president of quality
assurance for US Franchise Systems, Inc. (USFS)
• Mike Smith, quality assurance consultant for GuestHouse
International Inns, Hotels & Suites (GuestHouse)
• Russell Lane, project engineer for AmericInn International, LLC
• Stephen Arnold, Sr., director of quality assurance for Hilton
Hotels Corp. (Hilton)
• Jeff Palla, director of franchise services for La Quinta
Corporation (La Quinta)
• Lee M. Thompson, construction manager for Accor North America
What is the most common maintenance problem you see in mid-scale
hotels and what is your advice on how to fix it?
USFS: Hoteliers not consistently
administering a quarterly preventative maintenance program. A hotelier
should create and administer a quarterly preventive maintenance program
for all exterior and interior areas of the hotel. Document all completed
work and keep in a central filing system for easy access when needed.
Have a daily maintenance request program that uses maintenance request
slips that can be filled out by hotel personnel and directed to the
maintenance department for immediate response and proper record keeping.
Make sure that all maintenance procedures are clearly documented to
ensure proper administration of the procedures you have put in place. It
often helps if the maintenance program is administered by a designated
maintenance person. It can be the difference between extending the life
of most of your FF&Es versus the more costly alternative of
replacing these items year after year. And last of all and maybe the
most important — keep track of all warranty information.
GuestHouse: Problems with individual
guestroom HVAC units. Constant preventative maintenance is the most
important thing hoteliers can do. Preventive maintenance for HVAC units
should include routinely cleaning the filters a minimum of once a month,
annually removing the units from the guestrooms and performing a
thorough cleaning of the coils with a special coil cleaner and checking
the wire connections for damage. GuestHouse feels that showing
properties the most efficient and cost effective ways to properly clean
and maintain their properties provides many benefits, including guest
satisfaction, reduced labor costs and protection of their financial
investment. GuestHouse feels so strongly about this that they conduct
on-site housekeeping and maintenance training at no charge to their
AmericInn: The PTAC drain lines of
the pool air handler become clogged and cause water to run back into the
rooms. Establish a quarterly maintenance contract with a reputable
contractor to maintain all major equipment. In addition, the PTAC
equipment should have the filters changed often in humid conditions and
during periods of the year when higher air contamination occurs, such as
spring when the pollen is heavy and fall when tree leaves are falling.
In addition, the speed of the electrical equipment should be verified,
to ensure that it is running at the proper speed.
Hilton: Improper maintenance and
care of PTAC units. To ensure the proper care, make sure to train your
staff on how to maintain and care for the units, regularly replace the
filters and set-up a monthly cleaning schedule to keep drains and pans
clean and free of corrosion and debris.
LaQuinta: Bathroom maintenance
issues, such as slow or clogged drains and dirty and mildewed tile,
grout and caulking. I also see a lot of problems with AC units. At La
Quinta we have several preventive maintenance programs that are a
proactive approach to resolving maintenance issues. Our most
comprehensive preventative maintenance program is the 50/50 program.
Through this program, the maintenance team would
review at a minimum of once per quarter 50 projects in 50 weeks and
perform, if needed, a “quick fix.” The “quick
fix” is a checklist of items reviewed in each area of the hotel.
Other preventive maintenance programs include the “zip it”
program for keeping drains free of clogs and a preventive maintenance
program for continual AC maintenance and cleaning procedures.
Accor: Poor air quality in
guestrooms. Regularly scheduled maintenance of HVAC units and
accessories help keeps rooms from becoming musty. Also, regular
maintenance of the bathroom is important. Check bath caulking routinely,
keep the bathroom freshly painted, and perform regular maintenance on
the exhaust fans. ALB