Maintenance: A Year Round Process, An Everyday Thing

Jack Vivian - JRV Management Inc., 313-747-8684

Of all the duties of a public assembly facility manager and his or her staff, maintenance may be the most important. This is not to minimize the importance of fiscal accountability, booking, public relations marketing, monitoring safety and even management, but from a spectator's stand point, a well maintained facility can do more to effect the facility's image, create customer satisfaction, and help control operational costs than any other aspect of facility management.

This article has two purposes: (1) to educate users and promoters about the effort the arena management staff must devote to providing a clean and well-operated environment, and (2) to remind facility managers of the importance of a good maintenance program.

Many facility managers believe that maintenance is a once-a-year thing. Only when they have "dark days" do they begin to think about repairing and maintaining the facility. However, if we define the maintenance functions to include custodial functions as well as equipment and building maintenance and repair, as is often the case is smaller arenas, it is easier to see why it must be considered a regular function. Although some activities, such as painting the annual overhauling of equipment may have to be done when the facility is empty, others, such as refurbishing the entry, lobby, offices, concessions, dressing rooms, concourses, etc., These daily, weekly, and monthly custodial and maintenance tasks are most appreciated by patrons.

These tasks also remind staff high standards of care and cleanliness are expected at all times. Although it is not possible to cover every single aspect of cleaning and maintaining a public aspect assembly facility in a brief article, below are some daily/weekly, quarterly, and annual tasks. These lists provide a start towards a comprehensive maintenance and custodial checklist for your facility. Each facility is unique so managers need to start by identifying the different areas in their building and then develop plans and methods for consistently monitoring custodial or maintenance tasks. After these functions have been performed over a two-or-three -year period, the value and true savings of the plan will be realized.

The time and amount of work effort devoted to the custodial aspects of facility maintenance will depend on use patterns and the standards set by management. Some areas will need to be cleaned daily while others can be put on the long schedule. Most of this work should be performed during periods of minimum traffic through the building to avoid inconveniencing people.

A definite schedule of maintenance should be provided for equipment , and the building's mechanical, electrical and structural components. Frequent inspections, along with cleaning and proper equipment lubrication, will add considerably to the life of the building and essential equipment. While certain time intervals are prescribed in the manufacturer's guides, in most instances, they are considered minimum and actual maintenance scheduling should depend upon use.

Many managers try to rationalize not properly maintaining their facility because of their busy schedules, because they cannot take time to monitor the process, or because they are under staffed or the facility is too heavily booked to schedule repairs. It is, however, proven that promoters and spectators take better care of well-maintained facilities. This translates into lower operational costs. With the current financial crunch, they simply cannot afford to neglect this aspect of the operation. Besides, the prices charged for tickets and food, facility patrons deserve and should expect to be entertained in a clean, safe, well-maintained facility.

There's a lot to do-every day, all year. When all of the maintenance and custodial tasks are in place for a systematic, year-round approach to maintenance management, it is easier to provide service and detailed information which will be available for measuring actual expenditures for budgetary purposes. This type of system will also enhance the manager's ability to provide an attractive and functional environment for facility patrons.

- Area - - Daily/Weekly - - Quarterly - - Annually -
Parking Lot,
Front Entrance, Vestibule
-Pick up trash, sweep & mop entrance
-Clean entry doors & glass
-Clean or change entry mats
-Thoroughly inspect the lot, entrance & vestibule
-Wash down front areas
-Thoroughly clean windows, doors & floors
-Change light bulbs
-Paint entrance
-Strip, clean & seal floors
-Adjust door closures & tighten hinges
-Oil & grease locks & striker plates
Lobby Floors, Hallways -Sweep & wet mop (with machine or by hand)
-clean drinking fountains, glass, lodges, benches, chairs & tables
-Remove all furniture
-Strip & clean floors & carpets
-Wash down walls, doors & ledges
-Change light bulbs
-Clean air ducts & trophy cases
-Wipe down all furniture
-Paint walls, benches & doors
-Replace worn floor tiles, carpeting & baseboards
-Sweep daily & pick up trash
-Dry mop weekly
-Check handrails on stairs
-Thoroughly sweep & wet mop floors & stairs
-Replace worn or lose anti-slip strips
-Replace burned out bulbs
-Strip & reseal concrete floors
-Inspect and repair seats, anti-slip strips & railings
Public Washrooms, Team Locker Rooms -Sweep & mop daily
-Clean floors, sinks & toilets
-Shampoo carpets & upholstered furniture
-Thoroughly clean all furniture, shelves & ledges
-Remove cobwebs
-Clean air ducts
-Replace worn carpets
-Replace burned out bulbs
-Paint walls
-Clean plenum chamber & air diffusers
Concession -Sweep & mop all floors with disinfectant & grease remover
-Wipe down baseboards, ledges & windows
-Remove cobwebs
-Strip & reseal floors with disinfectant & grease remover
-Move and thoroughly clean all concession equipment, sinks, drain lines & trash containers
-Clean air ducts, light fixtures and hooks
-Remove all equipment & furnishings
-Paint walls with high gloss paint
-Clean equipment & disinfect drain lines & hoods
Refrigeration System Compression -Record suction, head & oil pressure readings every 4 hours: compare with past readings
-Clean and wipe down floor beneath all equipment to check for leakage
-Inspect water level in holding tank
Maintenance and Repair
-Review compressor readings for past week
-Inspect all joints  for leakage
-Check float controls & repair as needed
-Have machines checked by qualified refrigeration personnel
-Break down & inspect compressors
-drain & clean seals from holding tank
-Inspect condenser lines
Cooling Tower, Evaporative -Check fan belts & water nozzles
-Inspects for leaks & damage
-Check & remove condensing coil scale
-Check & clean spray nozzles
-Clean pump strainer, water strainer & air intake screens
-Drain tower
-Clean & remove scale from toughs, coils & tower floors
-Replace fan belts
-Replace strainers & intake screens
HVAC Systems -Check air intakes and exhaust to be sure they are closing properly
-Inspect & clean ducts
-Inspect motor & belts
-Grease & oil bearings & fittings
-Inspect & clean plenum chambers
-Replace & dispose of old filters
-Inspect bearings & fan belts for wear
-Thoroughly clean all intake & exhaust fans & louvers
-Clean plenum chambers
-Replace fan belts & check motor & air handler bearings
Arena &
-Inspect & replace burnt out bulbs
-Spot clean locker room & hallway fixtures
-Inspect outside lighting & relamp as required
-Check ballast
-Relamp over-the-ice fixtures & record date
-Clean ballasts
-Clean fixtures