The Commercial Inspector | Maintaining Your Building’s Appliances

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The Commercial Inspector

CRE tips and news by National Property Inspections



Maintaining Your Building’s Appliances

 January 19, 2022 |  Investment, Management, Maintenance |  apartment, save money, interior maintenance, commercial electrical, building renovation, multi-family property

All of the thousands of components in your building work together to create a safe and secure living environment for your tenants. But over time, they can begin to wear down and become a hazard. With the start of a new year, it’s a great opportunity to update your building before your next leasing cycle.

Know How Long Things Will Last
To make sure you’re not caught off guard when all your appliances start reaching their useful life, know just how long they’ll last. Of course, you’ll also have to factor in that some tenants might be a bit rougher on things and that defects will also reduce the lifespan. Here’s the average expectancy for some major items: 

  • Dishwasher: 9 years 
  • Garbage disposal: 10 years 
  • Washing machine: 10 years 
  • Refrigerators: 9-13 years 
  • Microwaves: 9 years
  • Electric ranges: 13 years 
  • Gas ranges: 15 years 
  • Room AC: 10 years 

If you can’t quite remember when you installed a certain item, checking the serial number can oftentimes help.

When You Should Start Replacing
It’s best to start swapping things out when you notice they’ve started failing. Most likely your maintenance requests will start to increase as an item is near its lifespan. Even if you think you can squeeze out a few more years, it’s best to play it safe and replace an item quickly. When a unit becomes vacant, it provides you with enough time to update before the new renters move in. It’ll also help make your property more marketable before you start signing new leases.

What to Invest In
Knowing the right appliances to buy for your units will reduce the amount of maintenance you have to do on them and also save you money down the line. Refrigerators, dishwashers, disposals, and washers are a few appliances that break the most often. While it’s easy to save money buying discounted parts, investing in quality brands will mean less repairs and frustrated tenants. There are also greener models that’ll cut back on your energy usage while making your tenants feel better about their environmental impact.

What Can Happen if You Don’t Upgrade
Obviously if you decide to prolong an upgrade and stretch out your appliances, there are many different things that can go wrong. Overworked units can start to pose a serious fire hazard and cost you more time and money. They can even start to cause wear and tear on your building’s overall electrical system, making a small problem even bigger. Of course, broken appliances will lead to annoyed tenants that’ll most likely look elsewhere.

Protect Your Investments
With something that costs as much as replacing appliances, take steps to ensure your money won’t be wasted. Keep any information on warranties in case you need to have an item serviced. Also check that your maintenance staff is properly trained and educated on how to fix the equipment you’ve installed. If you don’t have a dedicated maintenance staff, find qualified professionals in your area to work with.

Your appliances are one of the most-used items in your multi-family building, so it’s important that you invest in quality equipment and take the right steps to maintain it.

Have your building checked by NPI.
National Property Inspections can help identify issues with your multi-family property. Call 800-333-9807 to get in touch with your local inspector.

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National Property Inspections, Inc., founded in 1987, is one of the oldest companies in the inspection industry. Our reputation is built on honesty, integrity and professionalism. National Property Inspections operates as Global Property Inspections in Canada.