What Maintenance Issues Are Emergencies and What Can Wait for Regular Business Hours?

what maintenance issues are emergencies

Maintenance issues can be a major headache for any business. Without proper care and attention, they can quickly go from being minor problems to full-blown emergencies. Knowing when an issue is an emergency and when it can wait for regular business hours is essential for keeping operations running smoothly.

In this article, we will look at the types of maintenance issues that are considered emergencies. We will also discuss common causes of such issues, and tips for preparing for a maintenance emergency to ensure proper safety.

What Is an Emergency Maintenance Issue?

An emergency maintenance issue is one that requires immediate attention. It often involves a hazardous situation or the risk of significant damage to property or equipment.

It can be confusing to categorize what’s an emergency issue and what’s not.

Types of Maintenance Issues That Are Considered Emergencies

When it comes to maintenance issues, some can wait until regular business hours while others require immediate attention. Emergencies are those issues that pose an immediate risk to the safety and well-being of those involved. The following issues must be addressed as soon as possible:

  • Fire
  • Broken water lines or frozen pipes
  • Broken doors or locks that can’t be secured
  • Gas leaks or a broken gas line
  • Sewer backup
  • Broken heaters in winter
  • Broken air conditioning units during a heat wave
  • Electrical issues
  • Leaking roofs
  • Extended power outages
  • High carbon monoxide levels
  • Break-ins

Common Causes of Urgent Maintenance Issues

Knowing the root cause of emergency maintenance issues can make a huge difference.

a person installing pipes with their hands

It is important to be able to identify the root cause quickly in order to prevent further damage. Here are some common causes of maintenance issues:

  •  Incorrect installation or repair of appliances
  • Wear and tear from extended use
  • Improper use of the appliance
  • Lack of routine maintenance
  • Extreme temperatures
  • Inadequate ventilation
  • Appliances exposed to moisture or dampness

It’s important to understand the root cause of the emergency issue and take preventative action. You can look out for signs that will help you determine if a maintenance issue is urgent or not. 

What Can Wait for Regular Business Hours?

Maintenance is a regular process. There are a range of issues that you might not have to solve immediately, but eventually will need repairs. Examples of these problems include plumbing or electrical issues, as well as larger mechanical repairs.

  • Cleaning appliances
  • Replacing worn out parts
  • Fixing minor leaks
  • Replacing light bulbs
  • Adjusting the thermostat
  • Replacing filters
  • Replacing batteries in smoke detectors
  • Inspecting the HVAC system

It is important to assess the severity of the problem and determine if it requires immediate attention or can wait until regular business hours. In some cases, you may be able to find a temporary solution to the issue while waiting for a more permanent fix.

How to Determine the Urgency of a Maintenance Issue

There are a few signs that can help you determine if a maintenance issue is urgent or not. These signs would clearly tell if an issue is causing a safety hazard, or a huge financial loss.

wires around a ceiling lightbulb

Unusual odors: Unusual odors coming from your property can be a warning sign that something is seriously wrong. For example, if you smell gas in the unit, that is a sign that you should call a professional immediately

Leaking water: Leaking water from the pipes, appliance, or any other source can cause a lot of damage. As a landlord, you need to fix the pipe immediately to avoid damaging the rest of the unit or causing mold. 

Strange noises: Certain noises coming from your property can indicate a serious issue, like an electrical issue that needs to be addressed right away. 

Visible damage: If you notice visible signs of damage to your property, such as cracks or holes in walls or ceilings, this could be a sign that a repair needs to be urgently performed.

Electrical issues: Flickering lights, sparks, burning smells, tripped circuit breakers, and/or outlets that don’t work are all signs of electrical issues that require immediate attention.

Moisture: Appliances exposed to moisture or dampness can result in an urgent maintenance issue. Look out for signs like water dripping or pooling around the appliance or dampness on the walls and floors .

Preparing for a Maintenance Emergency

Having a plan in place for maintenance emergencies is the best way to make sure you are prepared if an unexpected issue arises. If you are a long distance landlord, make sure someone can perform your plan for you. Here are some steps you can take to be proactive:

Assemble an emergency kit: Gather the necessary items that will help address any emergency situation quickly and effectively. You should have flashlights, fire extinguishers, basic tools and supplies, gloves and goggles on hand for both yourself and your tenants.

a lit flashlight on the ground

Inspect regularly: It is important to inspect your property regularly to identify potential problems before they become serious issues. Be on the lookout for signs of wear and tear or water damage that could require immediate attention.

Contact information: Have the contact information of reliable repair services or contractors on hand so you can call them quickly when needed.

Replacement parts: If a repair must be made immediately to any of the provided furnishings, it helps to have replacement parts already available from trusted suppliers.

Safety protocols: Knowing how to respond in an emergency is essential. You should familiarize your tenants with exit locations. Further, also help them understand how to turn off electricity at the breaker box, and shut off gas lines at their sources.

When to Call for Professional Help

If the problem is beyond the homeowner’s skill level or requires special tools or expertise, then it is best to seek professional help.

Professional help is also beneficial for large or complex maintenance tasks that require a large number of supplies or equipment. Having the right professional on hand can save time and money in the long run.

Bottom Line

It is best to inspect the problem and determine whether it can be fixed on your own or if a professional should be called in. Additionally, safety should always be a priority when dealing with a maintenance issue. For help with your property contact Halcyon Real Estate Services