strata maintenance
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Dryer Vent Cleaning: Inspection Camera & From Inside Suite vs Outside or Both

Why Our Inspection Camera Is Great

     This is a photo taken from a dryer vent cleaning job where a customer complained that we must not have cleaned their vent properly, as hot air wasn’t coming out from the other end of the vent.  We peeked inside, and this is what we found:

The builder hadn’t bothered to extend the pipe all the way to the vent which was attached at the end of the building, so the hot air and lint was being jetted inside.  Unusual, yes, but I’m glad we got the bottom of the problem.  This was not something that could be corrected by cleaning.  The resident needed their installation completed.

There are sometimes unusual problems that need digging into in order to find the source.   Our camera can be used to investate what is happening deep inside the vents to ensure problems can be identified and afterward solved.

Why Cleaning From 1 Direction Works Very, Very Well

     Did you ever take a straw out of a paper wrapper when you were a kid, then stuff some of that paper wrapper back into the straw, put your mouth on one end, and blow?  If you did, you shot a piece of paper out of the other end of the straw.  If you moistened it first, you might have called it a ‘spit ball’.  Not pleasant, but a lot of fun if you’re eight.

Dryer vent cleaning is essentially the cleaning of a tube, like a straw, with some gunk in it.  It’s a fairly simple idea: blow the gunk out.  You want a clean tube to allow air flow from both directions, and that is what our dryer vent cleaning does.

However, there is often confusion between cleaning the dryer vent, or tube, from the inside or outside of a tenant’s suite and if one way is better than the other, or if even cleaning from both directions is required.  Essentially, we are choosing one end of the tube, like picking one end of the straw, inserting our equipment, and blowing the gunk out.   The difference is that we usually choose to blow in the direction of the outdoors so that you don’t end up with the gunk in your home.

The hose has an attachment on the end which directs the flow of air.  If we insert it from inside the suite near your dryer, we aim the air forward so that it blows out the vent and outside your home.  This will clean the tube from the point of insertion to the vent, because we feed the equipment forward, pushing and blowing the dryer lint using high pressure air until the vent is clean.

If we clean the dryer vent from outside the suite, we insert the equipment with a different nozzle on the end which blows the air backward, out the vent and away from your dryer.  We feed the tube forward to the end, and the high pressure air blows out the dryer lint, cleaning the tube.

Since we are cleaning the lint out of the vent from one end to the other using high pressure air, I’m going to compare it to the eight year old again trying to blow a spit ball at his friend: we don’t really care which end of the tube we pick to blow from, just like a kid could choose either end of the straw to stick in his mouth and then blow: the end result is that the gunk is going to come flying out and the tube and it will be empty and clear again.

The difference is often in regards to convenience to the residents of the stratas we are servicing.  If we can access the vents from outside of the suites, there is less coordination needed for residents to be home to allow us in and access the dryer vent tube from the spot near their dryer.  It is much easier to feed in the equipment from outside so that no one is bothered.

I hope this helps demonstrate and further your understanding of the process.  If you have any questions or need any further clarification, please visit our website, blog, or call us.

Really? They Don’t Believe in Programs?

A Message From David Benoit

In my 12+ years of working with property managers and building owners I have found the most effective property managers have their properties on some form of plan or program.  As you know there can be quite a turnover of property managers in the industry; they can get overwhelmed by having to respond to  buildings’ needs.

Looking back from this point the managers that are still in the industry are generally proactive in their approach.  This is a “Win-Win” for all parties involved.  The buildings get attention, the property manager can spend their time leading the buildings and the contractor will provide more competitive pricing.

Over the years the 1 most common objection I hear from property managers is, “the strata doesn’t believe in programs.”  My response to this is, “really?”  They don’t believe in cleaning their carpets, gutters, windows etc?  That tells me that the strata members would prefer to own in a building where they can’t see out their windows, where their gutters overflow and their carpets are disgusting and wearing out.

I think the truth is the strata’s haven’t thought it through and the property manager didn’t spend the time needed communicating to them the benefits of an overall plan. You can have 3 to 4 different contractors, but the key here is one calendar of when items will occur and by whom.

On a side note, the most successful property managers I know have only 2 trades they work with in each category.  This helps them stay on top of things and these contractors will do their absolute best to ensure that their customer’s buildings are taken care of with the fear of losing all of the work at that property manager’s buildings. Well run strata’s don’t use the council president’s nephew to clean the carpets.

I have never understood why buildings need to gather quotes every year for services that are generally done every year.  Does the strata think the pricing is going to come down?  If they did their due diligence in the initial process then why would that change?  Of course, if a contractor did not perform according to expectations or agreement, that’s a different story.  The truth is that most contractors will not raise prices on a yearly basis if the work is committed to and ongoing.  At ServiceMaster Clean Residential, we have carpet maintenance programs that are 10 years old and the pricing is still the same.  However when asked to quote on a yearly basis pricing generally trends upward. If we have a relationship with a building and our crews are familiar with the project we are grateful for the work and don’t see the need to raise pricing.

So in summary if you want to have a less stressful longer career make a plan for your buildings maintenance, my recommendation based on over a decade of experience and relationships with hundreds of property managers: only deal with a few trades and take the time to educate your stratas and building owners on the benefits for everyone of being proactive, having a plan, and maintaining your strata buildings.

Thanks for your time and consideration,

David Benoit

Features of ServiceMaster Building Maintenance Programs

Not CONTRACTS we keep our customers based on our performance not a signature

Can consist of a variety of our services carpet cleaning, windows, gutters, dryer vents etc…..

Our Carpet maintenance programs will ensure your carpet WARRANTY is valid

Your buildings will be taken care of by a company that has specialized in building cleaning services for over 20 years.

Fern Barker – Senior Property Manager CROSBY PROPERTY MANAGEMENT LTD.

As a Property Manager I have worked with ServiceMaster for approximately 14-15 years in a variety properties. The quarterly carpet maintenance service they offer has been extremely well received by my clients and has been most beneficial in extending the life and look of the carpets. ServiceMaster staff have always ensured that my clients have been well serviced and in some cases gone out of their way to look after a problem I thought could not be fixed. I can truly say that I have found the pricing as being well within the market range and the service to be excellent; And working with David and many of the other staff members over the years has been a supportive and pleasant and co-operative arrangement.

Dave Olafsson – Property Manager Crosby Property Management Ltd.

I have been in the property management business for 13 years. When I need work done, … either carpet cleaning, window cleaning service, difficult or tricky projects, ServiceMaster has always been able to help. They are quick to respond to any request or problem, and I can wholeheartedly recommend them.

Andrew Achtymichuk – Property Manager AWM Alliance Real Estate Group

I have been using ServiceMaster for the past 2 years for cleaning the gutter, windows, ducts and carpets. They have always done an excellent job, very professional and if there has ever been a problem, they rectify it immediately. If I ever have a question that is in their field, their knowledge is second to none, ServiceMaster knows their job, inside and out.

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