Condominium Maintenance

Preventive Maintenance Checklist

by Jerry Stalnaker

Editor’s note: Jerry Stalnaker (Managers Report, March 2001) has been the manager of Holiday Surf and Racquet Club in Destin since 1996. As a retired Air Force pilot, he believes in organization, especially when it comes to maintaining systems. His training and attention to detail resulted in a checklist that he uses to ensure the efficiency of his own community. Jerry credits his maintenance supervisor, retired Senior Master Sergeant Gus Sininger, for being very instrumental in the planning of this checklist. We think this tool will be helpful to all who are responsible for the maintenance of their communities. Jerry has graciously agreed to share his efforts and suggests you customize the list for your own community. Due to the length of the checklist, section II will appear in the May issue.

The following maintenance plan is meant to serve as a guideline for maintaining condominiums of all sizes. It is as all encompassing as possible but does not include every possible scenario as far as trouble shooting problems is concerned. Each situation should be handled according to the information you have at the time. All of the equipment listed will not be in every condominium and some will have items that are not listed.

The primary factor that allows for a really good maintenance plan is a good Buildings and Grounds Committee that works closely with the manager and the board of directors. The manager and maintenance supervisor should write down a list of every possible system or item that requires any kind of maintenance. Put these items into categories, decide how often maintenance should be performed, how long that will take, and what tools should should be used. Look at any specifications that go along with the maintenance such as pressures, temperatures, etc. Include in your plan where things are located. After you come up with a written plan, videotape your maintenance supervisor reviewing all aspects of the plan, and put the videotape away for training and/or for insurance purposes. Once you have reached this step, you can put together checklists and clipboards to register your inspections. You can also put up a master calendar that shows when all inspections are due.



Check for leaks in water basin and make up water line. Check water level and open access panel on outboard side of cooling tower and verify proper operation on fill float valve. Check air inlet screens for debris. Verify that filter by-pass valves are in proper position and that there are no leaks in circulation pipes, joints, or valves. Locate valves, and mark them “water in” and “water out”. Know the location of your valves in case of emergency.


1. Check chemical feed.
2. Clean separator drain as necessary.
3. Check circulation pressure at 15 -- 20 lbs.
4. Check chemical feeder system for leaks and excess drain off.
Man-hours: 1/4 hr. for daily check; 1 hr. for separator.
Tools/Equipment: wrenches


Lubricate pump motor.
Man-hours: 1/4 hr.
Tools/Equipment: grease gun


1. Clean strainer and separator for pumps.
2. Check gear reducer oil level.
3. Check that all the assembly bolts and cap screws are tight.
4. Check that all oil plugs and pipes are in place and free of leaks.
5. Check that the vent on gear reducer is clear.
6. Check mechanical equipment, anchor bolts, drive shaft coupling bolts, and coupling set
7. Flush and clean the basin, louvers, and drift eliminators.
8. Re-lubricate gear reducer motor.
Man-hours: 16
Tools/Equipment: wrenches, socket set, grease gun, hose nozzle


Change gear reducer oil.
Man-hours: 2
Tools/Equipment: wrenches and oil


There are filters in each A/C unit that filter the air before it is cooled and circulated throughout the unit. The filters must be changed monthly, except for the months of June, July, and August when they need to be changed every three weeks to ensure good air supply and to reduce the amount of electricity used. The size of the filters will depend on the size of the A/C units. Remember that you have filters in individual condo rooms and in common areas such as party rooms or any other rooms that have air conditioning. Post a schedule of when filters should be changed.


Every A/C unit has a pan under the condenser/evaporator coil that drains water from the A/C through a PVC pipe to a pipe in the building's main sewer line. Algae or dirt can build up from being wet all the time. Over a period of time, this can cause a molasses-type solution, which may clog the drain lines. The pans should be cleaned at least three times a year in April, July, and November. Remove the scum and use bleach or chlorine tablets to break up residue. To get to the drain pans remove the screws in the top of the A/C unit.


Check pans
Man-hours: 1/4 hr. per unit if no problems
Tools/Equipment: combo screwdriver, brush, towels

II. HEAT EXCHANGER (For condos with cooling tower to heat exchanger set-up)

Circulation pressure on operational pump should be in normal range (15--20 lbs). The cooling tower and heat exchanger work together. Know where your valves are located and make sure they are labeled. Keep a check on your pressure.


1. Check pressure.
Man-hours: 1/4 hr. if no problems
Tools/Equipment: none


1. Clean and reseal sump.
2. Inspect and clean heat exchanger
Man-hours: 16
Tools/Equipment: Wrench socket set, tube brushes

A. BOILER (For condos with boilers, temperatures may vary)

Check boiler temperature - should be approximately 85 degrees in summer and winter. Line temperature should be within a few degrees of boiler temperature. In summertime operation, if boiler temp exceeds 90 degrees there is a problem in the heat exchanger or cooling tower. Find and correct immediately. Water temperature at 90degrees or above increases system pressure, which will cause damage in the circulation plumbing -- warping pipes and causing leaks. Circulation pressure should be in normal range. Lower pressure by operating drain on boiler and closing valve when proper pressure is reached. A drop in pressure indicates leaks somewhere in the system. Find and correct. In winter, if boiler temperature is below 85 degrees boiler elements are not coming on. Check to see if boiler is on and that thermostat is at correct setting. Never exceed posted max temperature setting. There are large valves for switching from heating to cooling. Know where they are and have them labeled. No one except maintenance personnel should open or close any valves. Circulation pumps should be changed from one to the other every two weeks and lubed as required. The boiler has an automatic fill and should not be adjusted except by maintenance.


1. Check pressure and listen for proper operation.
2. Check temperature.
Man-hours: 1/4
Tools/Equipment: none


1. Change pumps.
2. Lube pumps.
Man-hours: 1/4
Tools/Equipment: grease gun


Lubricate motors.
Man-hours: 1/4
Tools/Equipment: grease gun


1. End of summer - switch valves to winter operation.
2. End of winter - switch valves to summer operation.
3. Service valves.
Man-hours: 1/2
Tools/Equipment: none


Clean strainers.
Man-hours: 2
Tools/Equipment: socket set, wrenches




1. Check fire pump room for any leaks.
2. Check gauges for proper pressure.
Man-hours: 1/4
Tools/Equipment: none


1. Check all fire hose cabinets and make sure all fire hoses are wrapped properly.
2. Check hose cabinets for leaks, condition of hose nozzles, condition of doors, and missing indicator stickers.
Man-hours: 2
Tools/Equipment: indicator stickers


1. Inspect and test fire pump –- Only a state approved company can conduct this test.
Man-hours: 2
Tools/Equipment: Supplied by testing company


There are smoke alarms installed in condo units. Testing these smoke alarms must be done monthly (when changing A/C filters) to ensure the 9v-battery is good and that the alarm will work when needed. To test the alarm, push the button on the front of the alarm. When pressed and held for about ten seconds, it will activate the alarm and you will hear the signal. Some units have two alarms, one 120v direct current which has a battery back-up, and one 9v-battery alarm. Be sure to check both alarms. In the event the alarm does not give off a signal, repeat your steps. If it still does not work, replace the 9v-battery. If it still will not work, you will have to replace the entire smoke alarm unit.


Most condominiums will have hose cabinets containing hoses to fight fire. The local fire inspector will inspect these annually. Each cabinet has a metal door, 100' of hose, water valve, and nozzle. The hose folds and hangs in the cabinet for easy removal in the event of a fire.


You may be required to have a 5# fire extinguisher in each cabinet or reachable by 75 feet on either side. It must be mounted to the back wall.


1. Damages to front of door.
2. Cabinet for rust.
3. Door for easy opening and closing.
4. Check hose, nozzle, and connections for condition.
5. Check for the proper warning signs on doors and inside of cabinet:
Fire Hose; How to Use Hose; Fire Extinguisher Inside; Warning Federal Law etc.
6. Check hose for water - drain if necessary.
7. Check for missing labels, fire extinguisher, broken door hinges, bad hoses, and rust.
Man-hours: 1/4 hr. per door if no problems
Tools/Equipment: screwdriver, pliers


All condominiums will have fire alarms on each floor. These alarms should be numbered and you should know how to find them. There will be a control panel for the system located in an electrical room. If the system is working properly it will read, "All Systems Normal." If not, the maintenance supervisor should be informed immediately. If an alarm has been pulled and activated and there is no fire -- silence the system and then find the pulled alarm. The alarm handle should be hanging down. To reset the alarm, turn the screw on top with a small screwdriver. Open door, set button/switch to normal. Don't forget to reset the system back to normal in your electrical room. Newer condos will have the fire alarm go directly to the fire department when the alarm has been pulled. Be sure to keep the local fire department up to date on any problems or repairs. There are also bells (and strobes) that need to be checked for proper working condition and for any damages. Your state-approved fire system company will do an annual check on them. You need to make sure they are not damaged.


1. Check power panel in electrical room. Be sure it says, "All Systems Normal."
2. Check any and all fire systems panels for "All Systems Normal.”
3. Check all pull stations for damage.
4. Check all bells and strobes for damage.
Man-hours: 3
Tools/Equipment: none


Inspect and test with your fire systems company
Man-hours: 2
Tools/Equipment: Provided by fire system company


There are 5# Fire Extinguishers in each rental unit. They should be checked each month (when you check filter and smoke alarms) to be sure that the pressure is in the green area indicating okay. If they are not in the green area they should be reported to maintenance. There are also extinguishers in the storage areas and common areas, which must be checked for the green area also.


Check after every check-out.
Man-hours: 1/4
Tools/Equipment: none


Each Fire Extinguisher is inspected by fire systems company yearly
Man-hours: 1/4 hr. per unit in order to accompany them on their inspection
Tools/Equipment: keys to units


A. ELEVATOR ROOM (Report any significant problems to elevator support company.)

Check oil reservoirs, pumps, motors, computer, shut off valves, electrical disconnects, and motor reset switches located in elevator room. Room should be air-conditioned to keep computer and oil cool. Room temperature should be maintained at 70 degrees due to considerable heat generated by pumps. Check temperature of room and feel reservoirs to check for excessive heat. They should be fairly warm to the touch, but you should be able to hold your hand against the reservoir.


1. Check air conditioning system.
2. Check cleanliness.
3. Check for any oil on the floor.
4. Check for any burning type smells.
Man-hours: 1/4
Tools/Equipment: none



1. Check for water in pit.
2. Check for excessive hydraulic fluid.
3. Make sure sump float moves freely.
4. Clean out any debris on pit floor.
Man-hours: 1/2
Tools/Equipment: flashlight, elevator key, broom and dust pan.

V. BOOSTER PUMPS (To boost water pressure to higher floors)

Know location of these booster pumps, which boost the buildings’ water pressure in order to deliver pressurized water to the higher floors. Incoming pressure should read 40--45 lbs. This is known as “street pressure ". Should maintain 60--70 lbs. for upper floor water pressures. Check for leaks and check pressure. Be sure pumps are off if water to building is shut off for any reason. Be sure pumps come back on when water pressure is restored to the building. This should happen automatically, but a check is required. Rotate pumps daily (if you have more than one).


Man-hours: 1/4
Tools/Equipment: none


Check courts for sand and trash daily. Be sure the playing nets are tight and set at 36" high in the center of the net. Check the wind nets to be sure they are tied back. Check fence for any damage and loose or broken wire ties. Check light poles and light heads for any damage.


1.) Clean courts of sand & trash
2.) Check playing nets
3.) Check wind nets
** Manhours: 1 hr.
** Tools/Equipment: Broom, shovel, power blower, wrench, plastic ties


1.) Check condition of chain link fence, fence poles, net poles, light poles, and the surface itself.


1.) Chip or grind any rust on tennis court fence poles, light poles, and light fixtures
** Manhours: 8 hrs.
** Tools/Equipment: Scaffles, ladder, grinder, screwdriver, wrench, paint, extension cord


Remove panel cover, inspect each breaker for loose or burnt wires. Tighten all screws, put no-lox on all electrical connections.


1.) Pull Breaker Panel cover
2.) Tighten all connections
3.) Put no-lox on all connections

** Manhours: 1 hr per unit
** Tools/Equipment: Screwdriver, breakers, no-lox


Check for any broken sprinkler heads, blowouts, stopped up heads, and proper water coverage.


Know where your timer is located and how to set the days and time. Recommend you list each zone with areas covered and put a copy in your irrigation control box.


1.) Check meters as required (should know their location on your property)
** Manhours: 1/2 hr.
** Tools/Equipment: Flashlight, Form


1.) Check for proper position, height, and working condition of all sprinkler heads
** Manhours: 3 hr.
** Tools/Equipment: PVC Pipe, Glue, Screwdriver as required to fix or replace sprinkler heads or pipe.

IX. POOL (Will vary according to pool equipment you have on site)

Check chlorine and PH levels three times per day. Check total PH and calcium hardness monthly. Vacuum pool daily. Check chlorinator and refill as required. Adjust flow rate as needed. Check acid tank and fill as required. Check acid pump operation and adjust as needed. Check lines on chlorinator, acid pump, and hydrazone for leaks. Check to make sure that one- way valves are working properly on hydrazone and acid pump. Check lint pots on circulation pumps. Backwash sand filters as needed when pressure builds to 26 lbs. Generally, this is about every third day after heavy use. Check for leaks on all circulation plumbing and valves. Label these valves. Make periodic checks during the day to check for unsafe conditions at pool. Look for fecal matter in pool. Pool must be treated and closed for 24 hours if fecal matter is found. In wintertime operation, heaters must be checked and thermostat adjusted to keep pool water temperature between 82° and 85°. Temperature should never exceed 85°. In summer, heaters should be started up monthly, just long enough to keep burners free from debris.

To check pool chemicals (will vary): Check Chlorine and pH and record. Shut off ozone generator. Shut off heaters (in winter). Shut off pumps. Isolate pump #2 by shutting gate valves before and after pump. Turn on pump #1. Pool vacuum system: Open pool vacuum ball valve and drain ball valve. Put vacuum head on pole and hook up white vacuum hose to head. Put head in water and run out hose under water to get air out. Turn on vacuum pump. Hook up vacuum hose to vacuum port. Vacuum. When finished, disconnect hose from pool and shut off pump. Close valves and clean strainer pot. Do not leave vacuum head on pole. Lay it flat on the concrete. While pool is refilling, turn chlorinator valve off and check it to see if it needs more chlorine sticks. Put on lid and open valve back to original position. After pool is refilled, shut off pump #1. Open valves to pump #2. Start both pumps at the same time. When pumps are pulling fine, turn ozone generator back on. Check chemicals at noon and record, and at 3:00 P.M. and record. Chemicals must be checked and recorded three times per day. Pool must be vacuumed daily.


1. Clean filters.
2. Refill chlorine dispensers.
3. Check ozone generator.
4. Vacuum and skim pool.
5. Check and adjust all chemical levels 3 times per day.
6. Clean tile.
7. Wash pool deck and straighten chairs, tables, and umbrellas.
Manhours: 1-2 hr. winter; 3-5 hr. summer.
Tools/equipment: vacuum, brushes, test kit


1. Check air/water valve.
2. Backwash filters.
Manhours: 1
Tools/equipment: none


1. Service pool heaters.
2. Clean Sand Filters - Pool has to be shut down for 24 hrs at end of summer & end of winter
Manhours: 2
Tools/equipment: thermometer


Check the pavers around the pool for broken, chipped, or loose ones. Replace if required.
Clean daily with hose. Remove gum and stains.


1. Wash down with hose.
2. Remove gum.
3. Replace pavers.
Manhours: 2
Tools/equipment: hose, screwdriver, scraper, rubber hammer


1. Pressure wash all pavers.
Manhours: 4
Tools/equipment: pressure washer, water hose


Check for broken straps, back, and legs.


1. Straighten chairs, lounges, and tables,
2. Put umbrellas in place.
Manhours: 1/2
Tools/Equipment: none


Check each showerhead and foot wash hose for leaks, bad hose, broken pipes, or constantly
running water. Check all decks to be sure there are no loose boards or slippery areas.
Check hand rails for security. Clean out sand from under the base of the showers as needed.


1. Check for leaks.
2. Check for bad hose.
3. Check for bad boards.
4. Check for constantly running water.

Manhours: 1 hr.

Tools/equipment: shower heads, pipe (PVC) screws, screwdriver, wrenches, pliers


1. Pull up boards to remove sand build-up and put sand back on beach.
Manhours: 3 hrs. per shower
Tools/equipment: power drill & bit, shovel, wheelbarrow



Be sure to check the service manual on these washers before attempting any maintenance. If
repairs are beyond your capability, call a local laundry service.


1. Check for leaks, loose panels, etc.
Manhours: 1/4
Tools/equipment: flashlight, screwdriver, pliers


1. Inspect the following: drive belt transmission, hold down bolts, bearings, electrical
connections, plumbing connections, seals, and drains.
2. Inspect gas lines and connections.
Manhours: 1/2
Tools/equipment: flashlight, screwdriver, pliers


Be sure to check the service manual on these dryers before attempting any maintenance. If
repairs are beyond your capability, call a local laundry service.


1. Clean lint traps – very important.
Manhours: 10 minutes
Tools/Equipment: None


1. Check gas lines and connections and smell for gas.
2. Check belts for wear and fraying.
3. Lubricate pulleys and bearings.
4. Check pilot light lines by blowing through the lines after it has been removed.
Manhours: 15 minutes
Tools/equipment: lubricant, wrench, rags


Know where your water heaters are located in your common areas.


1. Check for any leaks.
Manhours: 1
Tools/equipment: flashlight, screwdriver, pliers




1. Inspect for cleanliness including behind machines.
2. Inspect machines for proper working order. Report any malfunctions to maintenance.
3. Check and clean lint traps.
Manhours: 2
Tools/equipment: cleaning supplies


1. Clean and wax floors.
2. Vacuum under lint baskets.
3. Washers need to have transmissions tightened belts inspected for wear and tightened.
4. Check both water valves to be sure they will cut off when needed.
5. Check water hook-ups for damage.
Manhours: 2
Tools/equipment: cleaning materials, buffer



1. Check for any leaks.
Manhours: 1/2
Tools/equipment: none


1. Inspect with local water company (must be certified by the State).
Manhours: 1/2
Tools/equipment: Provided by local water company.



There will be a sewer manhole in your parking lot. Normally, each stack of rooms has a
clean-out located at ground level. These clean-outs are to allow for easy cleaning of the
lines which lead to the main sewer line.


1. Check main manhole once per month for sand build-up.
Manhours: 3/4
Tools/equipment: flashlight, crowbar


1. Pull manhole cover to see if it needs to be suctioned out for sand. Be sure the flow is
moving well and there is no restriction.




1. You must know the location of your main electrical room(s). Check for abnormal heat, burnt
wire smell, or water leaks.
2. Check for any circuit breakers that may have popped.
Manhours: 1/4
Tools/equipment: none


Your local power company will have meters in storage rooms for each unit. Keep these
rooms clean and free of debris. Nothing can be placed within 36" of the meters. Keep a list
of what meter rooms control what floors.

C. TRANSFORMER ROOMS (All condos may not have these.)

Your local power company will maintain the transformers. These rooms are locked and only
your power company has the keys. They must be called (know the number) to have these
doors opened. Check these doors for security and check for any oil running out under door.
Check for burnt smell or any abnormal noises.


All properties will have a phone system located on property.


1. Check phone room for cleanliness
2. Check for power outage. If system is down, reset if you have this capability or call out your
phone company.
3. Check a/c filter in phone room for cleanliness and check for water leaks or burnt wire smell.
Manhours: 1/4
Tools/equipment: screwdriver, rags



1. Inspect for separation at seams and repair as required with black taco caulk.
2. Inspect and repair seal around perimeter of roof.
3. Check T.V. cable to be sure it is anchored securely.
4. Check elevator exhaust fans water baffles.
5. Check vent caps to be sure they are anchored securely.
6. Check roof access doors for proper locking. Lube once per month.
7. You should have a reputable roofing contractor inspect your roof at least once per year.



1. Clean and pick up trash.


1. Damp mop the stairs and landings
2. Inspect one set of stairs per week for rust build up. Treat and repair as required
Manhours: 4
Tools/equipment: grinder, needle gun, paint sprayer, brushes, primer, & paint
Must use DeVoe special primer, paint, sealer

XVIII. GROUNDS (The following should be inspected at least weekly on most properties.)

A. PARKING LOT - Check condition of surface. Check painted lines. Check bumpers.
B. FENCES - Check for cleanliness and condition of fence. Clean as required.
C. BBQ GRILLS - Check for cleanliness and for rust. Make sure all lids are down.
D. TRASH BINS - Check for cleanliness around bins and for smell.
E. CURBS - Check paint. Touch up as required.
F. LANDSCAPE - Walk property with landscaper to ensure that all sod, shrubs, and trees are in
good condition.
G. GUARD SHACK - Check a/c inside and for cleanliness inside. Check exterior and paint as
H. FRONT SIGN - Check for wear and tear and repaint as required.
I. SIGNS - Check for wear and tear. Fix or replace as required.
J. ASH TRAYS - Check for cleanliness and condition of concrete.
K. BENCHES & CHAIRS - Check for safety and appearance & keep in good condition.
L. TRASH CANS - Check for cleanliness and wear and tear. Keep in good-looking condition.


A. SHOWERS - Check for cleanliness and proper operation. Check pull chords.
B. PATHS TO BEACH - Check for broken pavers/boards sticking up and replace as required.
Kill weeds.
C. BEACH WALKOVER - Check for protruding nails or screws. Check for warping boards
and replace as necessary.
D. SHUFFLEBOARD COURTS - Check for surface condition. Repaint as required.


A. MAINTENANCE BUILDING - Keep free of debris. Keep neat and orderly. Keep
commode and eye wash in good condition. Keep valuable tools and equipment locked up.
B. COOLING TOWER BUILDING - Keep free of debris. Keep neat and orderly.


A. CONDO WALLS & WALKWAYS - Check for cleanliness. Check condition of paint on
walls and on walkways. Touch up as required. Check for rust showing on windows/window
frames. Replace as required.
B. LIGHTS - Check for proper operation. Replace as required.
C. EXTERIOR DOORS & WINDOWS - Check paint for peeling and touch up as required


A. ELECTRICAL/MECHANICAL ROOMS - Check for cleanliness.
B. STORAGE/LOCKER ROOMS - Check for cleanliness and debris. Paths should be clear for
fire department.
C. ALL COMMON AREA ROOMS - Check for cleanliness and proper operation of air
D. EXERCISE ROOMS/SAUNAS - Check for cleanliness. Check operation of equipment.
E. ALL INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR DOORS - Check condition. Repair as required.