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First of the year maintenance checks

I know many hosts change out batteries in smoke alarms and do other periodic safety or maintenance tasks at the new year. Some things need to be done more than once a year of course. I thought I’d start a thread as a reminder to everyone and add a couple of things that might not have occurred to everyone that I just did.

Tighten the bolts on my small drop leaf table. As I moved it to clean a spot on the wall behind it I realized it had become wobbly since it was assembled a few months ago. Things also expand and contract with the temp and humidity changes. So make sure all your furniture is stable and tight.

Clean the vent cover on your exhaust fan in the bathroom.

Check that the shower curtain rod (if you have one) is secure.

Tighten all the screws on door knobs and hinges (doors and cabinets).

Add your suggestions below.


Test your fire extinguishers.

Clean out your dryer vent if it’s been more than 6 months since you last did it.

Flush out your hot water heater.


Degrease range hood fan filters.

Soak kitchen and bathroom sink faucet aerators in vinegar to remove mineral deposits. Same for sink sprayer and showerhead.


I pull the P-traps from under the sinks and clean them. I also pull the shower drain grates and the tub stopper, and clean out the drains from above. I clean all of the sink/tub stoppers and the shower drain grate while I’m at it.

Replace any cracked outlet covers and outlets.

Dry-lube (graphite) locks and hinges.


We closed a few days ago until the end of the month, mainly because Jan is always a poor month, we fancy a break and it’s an opportunity to carry out some serious maintenance on the apartments.

Having seen some replies it now makes me wonder if my normal, everyday routine is overkill :rofl:

Do the fan covers and the actual fans themselves every month.

Checked every month, and if pressure low, get fire extinguisher hombre out to service.

Checked between guests, and if dirty fired through dishwasher. In reality, cleaned every six weeks or so.

Do them every few months as we have have water with a seriously high calcium content.

Cleaned with caustic soda every six to eight weeks.

Done every changeover.

So, the burning question is, are you lot just manky or are we taking things a step too far?

Some of my tasks over the next few weeks include regrouting forty odd square metres of patio tiles, fixing seven doors that are sticking due to the humidity, replacing four pop up wastes (always a bugger unless you’ve got three skinny arms), removing and replacing around twenty linear metres of silicone in bathrooms and kitchens, removing and replacing sixty to seventy linear metres of skirting that have been damaged by our high humidity, removing and reinstalling two sets of persianas (roller shutters) that are sticking due to shite workmanship four years ago…

…I’m going to stop now before I get even more depressed :rofl:

Then of course there are the roofs. All seven of them.

The joys of owning a three hundred year old building, where guests expect (and get) the amenities and internal finishes of a new build.

Is it any wonder I self medicate with wine and Oloroso :wine_glass:



Nah. I knew when this post started that one host’s “first of the year” maintenance was going to be another host’s “done every changeover”. It’s why I kept my list short.


I hope your setup is easier than mine. All of which require some combination of wrenches and screwdrivers just to remove and install.

I said in my post that some things would be done more than once a year, so it really depends on the task. For example, the bath fan. It doesn’t have to be done every month. I do it when I look up and see dust on it. I just cleaned in and I think it’s been months since I last did it. It barely had any visible dust. I don’t think my guests use the fan as much as I expected they would. That could be a function of El Paso not being humid most the year. Also that bathroom has a window. And someone hosting 5 days a month as opposed to 25 days a month won’t need to clean their fan as often. I’ve gone entire months this year when I was closed.

I’m pretty sure that plenty of well rated places aren’t nearly as clean and well maintained as some of our places are based on what I’ve seen first hand and what’s been reported here. Are you taking things too far? I doubt it. But then again if someone is doing half the work you are and still has the ratings and bookings they want then maybe it doesn’t pay to work so hard. :wink:

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Of course I clean any hair visible on the top of the shower drain grate but mine needs to be unscrewed to remove and then fish any hair in the water standing at the bottom out. When I was booking 20+ times a month that would be done several times a month, more if I was seeing a lot of long hair in the shower.

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Ugh. My crappy stay is a Superhost now :roll_eyes:

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It’s not a popular opinion here but I think Superhost is way too easy to get and keep.


Not sure if you’ve noticed but I am not afraid of an unpopular opinion :joy: A 4.8 :grimacing:

It was interesting. The review he got after mine, more or less, line by line, refuted my claims. It was so clean and there was an abundance of all the stated amenities. Not sure if I inspired him to get his act together or if “Heather” was a friend :wink:


It’s one of the things about you I like the best.

No doubt there was some sort of quid pro quo on getting that review if it was from a real guest.


Not just your property - look over your listing. You may be surprised at wording that needs changing, pictures that are outdated, and settings that are not as you remembered…


oh crap the water heater isn’t working :cold_face:

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Just had to go over on day 2 of guest’s stay due to complaint of a squeaky bed. It was a hot mess…don’t know how I missed that. Fixed now but better believe once they leave (in addition to suggestions above):

  • inspect all furnishings for stability/wear and tear & anchor integrity
  • tighten curtain rod supports/holding screws (had one there fall on me once when opening the curtain!)
  • check water sources for leaks
  • check interior and exterior light covers for dead bugs/clean thoroughly
  • and now that “liability” thread has me wondering about reflective tape on the porch and threshold steps; I have a motion porch light but it’s switched; going to have it wired hot this month. Anyone have non-slip strips/pad in their tub/shower?
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I suspect it is. All bathroom sinks and bidets have pop up wastes, takes a few seconds to unscrew and easy to degunk. I’ve been gradually replacing the original wastes we installed when we did the refurbishment with better quality ones, the chromed tops have not lasted and the mechanisms are prone to sticking.

Shower traps similar, top chrome cover pulls off and gives access to the internals, again, just a few secs to remove and clean:



You been speaking to my OH? She gets a bit irritated sometimes when I decide that something needs cleaned/fixed/changed etc, I think she’s of the opinion that I actually make work for myself!

She might be right, but we often get comments in reviews about the (high) level of cleanliness, and in recent years, our Covid protocols.

Any thoughts of an easy retirement for me went right out of the window, probably around the time our first guest checked out!

With hindsight, if we’d known how much work it takes to keep a historic building ticking over as an STR, and of course our home also, I wonder if we’d still have taken it on. Probably :rofl:



When it’s slow here (typically slow means no guest dogs), I realize that I’m spending way too much time sitting around, especially in the winter. Having to turn over the room for a guest is a good way to get me moving when things like “I should prune the jasmine” are easy to put off. This week cleaning the window sill behind the shutters, clean the window, clean bath fan and light fixture, mop under and behind mini fridge, dust tops of doors, door frames, wall mounted cabinets and shutter frames all got done. Those are things that don’t get done every turnover but are done regularly.

I stayed in one very nice carriage house in the Carolinas that had the dust from the TP (the white TP fibers) coating the top of the TP holder. Like it’s right there visible when you put on a new roll and yet it clearly hadn’t been wiped down in many changeovers. It makes one wonder what else is being skipped but to the naked eye, it’s a clean, well maintained place.


My TP holder is dark bronze and I swear it gets that TP dust within a couple hours of a new roll going up even without any use. It drives me crazy when everything else looks pristine.

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