Hot Tips (Facilities Maintenance)

3 Keys to Successful Property Inspections

If you want to reduce maintenance costs, there are advantages to doing property inspections. To begin with, they give you valuable information that makes the stressful maintenance decision-making process easier and straightforward. We all know that effective inspections involve more than just walking around a property looking for potential issues. Here’s how to succeed at property inspections.

1. Start with standardized methods. Successful inspection programs, built on a foundation of standardized methods, help improve consistency over time. That way, you can reliably compare results from a current inspection to past ones. Take several pictures of each component’s condition—don’t try to rely on notes from inspectors exclusively; use a condition rating scale—keep ratings as simple as possible. Don’t be tempted to start doing inspections first, then record the data later. That’s a recipe for expensive mistakes and a sub-par inspection.

2. Instructions matter. Successful inspections leverage great written guidelines. Provide your team with written instructions they can review. Even if your inspection is set up correctly, it only makes it harder to get the traction if your staff isn’t sure what to do. It’s about taking the guesswork out of the equation.

3. Create checklists (or know where to get them). Successful inspections have rock-solid processes. If you’re new to exterior maintenance, creating checklists can be a fun and exciting way to get better. If you want to do a great inspection, you need to learn how to make inspection checklists. If that isn’t you yet, you can shortcut this by asking a contractor to help you. You might supply the vision and property knowledge, and they bring their years of experience and expertise.

This article originally appeared in the College Planning & Management March 2019 issue of Spaces4Learning.

About the Author

Western Specialty Contractors (, based in St. Louis, MO, is the nation's largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing, and specialty roofing.

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