After more than a year, some key areas of hospitality facilities may need attention
As organizations navigate this challenging period of the pandemic, many general managers in the hospitality industry are examining how to pivot their maintenance programs. While it is still important to reduce the spread of harmful pathogens through strategic cleaning and disinfecting, now is an ideal time to examine programs that may have been ignored or deemphasized at the height of the pandemic in favor of intense cleaning and disinfecting activities. This includes cleaning programs that are essential to preserving valuable infrastructure investments in hotels, resorts, and casinos, including:
- Floor Care
- Carpet Cleaning
- Parking Lot Maintenance
- High Dusting of Exposed Ductwork
While asset preservation programs have always been critical in the hospitality industry, now is the right time to focus on these activities as cleaning and maintenance programs are rebalanced during the transition to the “Next Normal.” Taking these steps builds trust with customers and employees while also adding to the health of overall hotel operations.
Extending Asset Lifespan
The main goal of asset preservation in hospitality has traditionally been to extend the service lifespan of areas like floors, carpets, parking lots, and HVAC systems.
For example, carpets and floors that appear to be clean can quickly degrade without regular and professional maintenance. The average lifespan of commercial-grade carpeting ranges from 12-15 years. Considering the amount of foot traffic in a hotel or the quality and type of carpet fiber, our experts have found that quarterly care protocols can maintain optimal appearance and meet or exceed their range of service.
Similarly, regular maintenance keeps floors looking better longer. After assessing individual use instances, a standard protocol of quarterly, biannual, or annual stripping and buffing can extend their lifespan, prevent permanent damage, and improve their overall appearance.
When considering the upkeep of parking lots, minor pavement fixes and the regular removal of weeds can defer more expensive repairs and significantly improve appearance.
Floors, carpets, and parking lots may have seen lighter use throughout COVID and required less maintenance for hotels and resorts that have been shut down or seen reduced use. However, deferred maintenance through this period can only last so long before permanent damage can occur.
Building Employee and Consumer Trust
Asset protection is always a sound strategy, but there is another reason to implement these programs today: the change in employee and guest expectations around the operational health of hotels.
Because of COVID, people have a heightened awareness and sensitivity to cleaning. While strategic cleaning and disinfecting programs should still be employed, people will also evaluate hotels based on appearance. Employees and guests are now better educated on air quality and filtration systems and cleaning and disinfection practices. Dirty, dusty, or worn-down resorts leave the impression that a hotel isn’t well managed – and even impact someone’s view regarding the overall safety of the building. These perceptions can affect customer and employee satisfaction and retention.
Maintaining Healthier Interior Environments
High dusting of HVAC vents and air intakes is another important asset preservation measure that helps extend the life of expensive HVAC systems. Today, there’s another reason why this particular cleaning measure is essential: airflow.
Optimized and efficient HVAC systems and superior airflow are top-of-mind due to COVID-19 guidance issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other global agencies. The regular high dusting of these areas by specialized teams with the proper equipment ensures a healthier space for employees and guests alike.
Preservation Means Healthy Operations – When Operations Resume
During the recovery, asset preservation should be part of an overall pivot to long-term healthy operations in the hospitality industry. General managers need to implement maintenance programs to account for the higher expectation of cleaning, while also moving toward more sustained programs that consider the needs of a resort over months, years, and even decades. Implementing asset preservation into a hotel maintenance program is a way to address both short and long terms needs for healthy operations.