Hello, hello! Welcome to penny #7 of why self-storage investing is a “dime”. Today I wanted to talk about the seasonal upkeep of storage facilities. It doesn’t matter if you live in the tropics, the tundra, or the desert, you will need to have a plan in action for seasonal upkeep. It is true that each different type of weather system will bring about its own series of problems, but the main goal is the same. To prepare appropriately and ensure that through that preparation the longevity of your facility is lengthened. Let’s chat about which aspects will be affected by the elements of each individual season.
If you live where there is winter, I am sure you are no stranger to the problems it can bring on. Icy driveways, frozen locks, collapsed roofs, growing snowbanks, and the list goes on. Being a self-storage facility owner will make these all the more troublesome. Why? Now you are no longer responsible for your own safety and happiness! Don’t plow the driveway? Your tenants sure won’t like that when they are their caravan of moves pull in! Broken entry access keypad? Your tenants aren’t going to scale that gate!
It may seem overwhelming, the things that must be done in winter, but the key is upkeep. If you don’t wait until the last minute to plow, it won’t take as long. If you know winter is coming and you put the hood up over your keypad, the smaller chance of it failing to work. Did you notice some snow piling up against the gate? Remove it so you don’t get ice build up! Really, if you stay prepared the upkeep isn’t terrible at all.
The biggest thing to worry about in the spring is if you have a dirt driveway. Once spring begins to show its sunny self, those snowbanks you piled up all winter long are going to start to melt and that nice driveway of your is going to quickly become a mud pit fit for a 4X4 mud truck rally. If you don’t have a paved driveway, it would be advisable to have some crushed stone brought in or lay down some hay. You will also have to hire someone to come smooth out the ruts once things dry out.
If you live in an area where it gets HOT, you will need to think about how that will impact your facility. The hot sun can bring on melting plastic, so think about the keypad buttons. Summer is typically the most busy time of year for self-storage facilities. Your maintenance is going to be mostly upkeep! You will have people coming and going and its important to take note of anything that needs to be fixed or replaced and to get that done asap so as to not inconvenience your tenants. Summer is also a prime time to replace things such as roofs, driveways, light fixtures, etc. There are also things to consider like lightening storms and sand storms to consider during the summer months. Making sure things are sealed and grounded properly are critical!
During the summer months you will also need to preform routine yard maintenance. Keeping the grass mowed, the bushes trimmed back, and the weeds whacked. If you have gardens, you will need to keep them watered. Also, if you have paved driveways you will want to have them sealed and keep them swept to avoid dust.
Again, the bulk of upkeep for fall is going to be routine and preventative maintenance! You will have lots of tenants coming and going and wear and tear is going to happen. Before winter makes its loop around again you will need to take care of the grounds and weatherproofing so that you are ready when it makes its appearance.
Once you get a rhythm down, I would advise you to make out a calendar. Time passes so quickly and it would be a shame to overlook important routine maintenance. It can seem overwhelming, as mentioned. But if you stay organized and make a plan, things will go so much smoother!