Updated: Jun 13
If you’ve ever owned a commercial laundry room, then you already know that washing machine maintenance is no joke. In fact, it should be a priority of any business owner who is involved in laundry room ownership or management. It’s oh, so tempting to just overlook a machine that is not performing well, but that’s not a smart move. If you are new to the world of commercial washing machine ownership, then it’s important to understand why you need to regularly schedule maintenance. Let’s roll through the biggest reasons below!
Why should you schedule laundry machine maintenance?
Laundry machine maintenance is a must-have. It can save your business from serious damage. Take a look at these major reasons for maintenance straight from the pros.
1. Maintenance will help your commercial washing machine last longer.
Maintaining your commercial laundry machines is a lot like giving your car an oil change. The more frequently you do it, the longer your equipment will be able to work. Industrial laundry equipment is not cheap. It’s quite expensive and most business owners dread having to replace it.
Maintenance may not be the cheapest thing ever, but the good news is that it’s cheaper than commercial laundry repair. Frequent maintenance can help prevent undue stress on ball bearings, reduce clogs in the machine, and also help catch problems that could get out of control. Commercial washers and dryers desperately need maintenance in order to reach their maximum lifespan. Depending on the machine, regular maintenance can easily extend your washer’s life by as much as five to eight years. Sometimes, it can make it last even longer.
Most people tend to overuse this phrase, but with commercial equipment, an ounce of prevention truly is worth a pound of cure.
2. Leaving minor repairs to fester means that you’ll deal with bigger repairs later.
We all know that machinery does best when everything is in perfect working order. When you have a small issue—such as a low grinding noise that you can ignore—it’s easy to ignore it. However, that’s not a good idea.
The machinery inside your commercial washing unit is all connected. A small leak can turn into a much larger leak fairly quickly. Even if it’s just a dribble, the water can cause rusting or even a short circuit. The longer you leave those issues alone, the worse your problems become.
You can choose to spend a couple hundred bucks on commercial laundry repair, or you can leave it alone. If you choose the latter option, don’t be shocked if that $200 bill turns into a call for a much pricier fix.
3. It improves the quality of your laundry.
Have you ever used a washing machine that wasn’t properly cleaned? If you have, then you already know that clothing doesn’t come out very clean when the unit has lots of leftover residue, lint, and gunk from past washes.
Depending on the amount of residue and grit, you could see anything from pilling to greasy residue on your clothing. In more extreme cases, using a poorly-cleaned commercial washing machine can lead to stains and foul odors catching onto clothing.
A well-maintained unit will be a properly cleaned unit. Not keeping your commercial laundry machines clean means that the clothes that use these facilities could see some damage. That’s never a good thing.
4. It could be a stipulation in your machine’s warranty.
Commercial laundry machine repair is expensive, which is why most business owners want to keep their washer units under warranty for as long as possible. A warranty will help reduce the cost of major repairs and may even protect you from major losses if you were sold a dud.
Of course, warranties only cover your machinery if it’s been cared for properly. Refusing to have a set schedule for maintenance (or even cleaning) can be reason for a warranty to get voided. If your machine keeps working well, that’s not a problem. However, if your machine breaks, you’ll end up losing far more money than you would have if you just maintained it.
5. Maintenance and commercial washer repair can also be a matter of liability.
A washing machine that is not maintained or repaired is a washing machine that turns into a liability. Most people don’t think about it too often, but a washing machine that is left unrepaired will leak. At times, it can short circuit or even start a fire.
Washing machines that remain neglected can easily cause hundreds of dollars in damage to property. Moldy floors, destroyed clothing, and even destroyed walls can happen with the wrong mishap. In extreme cases, poorly maintained commercial laundry units can even start a fire and cause bodily harm.
In the event that your machines cause harm to property or people, you’re going to face a lawsuit. During that suit, chances are going to skyrocket that people are going to ask if you maintained the machines in a reasonable manner.
If a legal team finds that you have not maintained your units properly or have ignored required repairs, you will probably be on the hook for most, if not all, the costs that are incurred from the mess. That’s not something that you want to have to deal with.
6. If you lag on repairs, there’s a chance that your washing machines won’t even be usable.
Sometimes, you can still run a washing machine that is slightly broken. Perhaps it’s barely noticeable, like being slightly leaky and creaky. In these cases, you can usually still get a batch of laundry done—which means that clients won’t be entirely likely to complain.
Of course, there are some repairs that can’t be ignored. Many commercial washers now have smart technology that stops the machine from running if there is an internal problem that could worsen. In these cases, you won’t have much of a choice when it comes to commercial washing machine repair.
7. A lack of maintenance and repair can also cause profits to decline.
If your machines have gotten to the point of looking like they are in a state of disrepair, then people are not going to want to use them. The same can be said of washers that haven’t been cleaned frequently enough to prevent mildew or foul smells in clothing.
Bad or nonexistent commercial laundry repair schedules will dissuade people from using the laundry room. They’ll go to a laundromat instead, which will mean that you don’t get the money they’d spend at your room. If you use that laundry room for your own business’s linens, then you’re going to end up losing clients due to poorly-laundered linens.
In the case of machines that look visible worn and torn, people may not even try any of the services offered in that community room. In fact, if you have an apartment building and potential renters are touring amenities, that bad laundry room may end up being a reason for them declining to live there.
8. In some situations, it could also be a contractual mandate.
Obviously, if you work with a high-quality laundry room management company, you will get certain forms of maintenance as part of the contract. However, sometimes, it’s not a matter of the freebies you get. Sometimes, it’s a matter of requirements set forth by a landlord or local government board.
Certain parts of the country have requirements regarding commercial laundry equipment maintenance—and this is doubly true when it comes to environmental regulations. In some cases, you may be legally obligated to maintain or upgrade certain units to match the standards the government sets.
At times, this can mean you will need to maintain your units in a way that prevents fire safety. Other times, it may require you to move units to a specific location in your building as part of disaster damage prevention. Even more times, it may be a requirement relating to eco-friendly smart washers.
Regardless, it’s best to assume that regular maintenance will help you stay compliant with state and local laws. If your landlord is a stickler for damage reduction, it can also help prevent your company from being evicted from those grounds.
9. Finally, it’s also a matter of reputation.
There is something to be said about having a laundry room that doesn’t have all of its machines capable of use. It’s just not a good look for the property owner or the business. People won’t mind seeing a washer be unusable for a day or so, but if they notice an “OUT OF ORDER” sign on the washer for weeks, it’s a reason to worry.
Whether building owners want to admit it or not, a barely-functioning laundry room can damage a company’s reputation. At times, it can even be the reason why renters choose another apartment building. To prevent this from happening, you need to keep abreast of all the repairs your units need.
How frequently should you schedule laundry machine maintenance?
This all depends on the number of units your company has along with the frequency of use. High-use rooms may require biweekly or even weekly maintenance. Units that are more sparsely used may require a lot less. It’s good to talk to a person who is used to setting up commercial laundry rooms about the ideal schedule for you.
How often should you schedule commercial laundry machine repair?
Maintenance and repairs are not the same thing. One is preventative, the other occurs when you actually have a problem that results in the breakdown of the machine. In other words, you can maintain a functioning machine. You have to repair a machine that is not functioning as well as it should. For the most part, you really shouldn’t schedule repairs in the traditional sense of the word. Rather, you should call a repair company any time any of the following is true:
The maintenance crew noticed something wrong with the machine. Yes, regular maintenance can include a quick inspection of your units, including troubleshooting and advice if something has broken.
You have started to notice damage near the walls or flooring of your units. Regular inspection of your property is a must regardless of the industry you’re in. If you notice that there is water-based damage or a short near your units, it may warrant a call to the repairman. That damage is likely due to a malfunctioning unit.
Clothing or sheets laundered in a particular unit are coming out damaged. This is a sign that your unit is broken and in need of repair.
Your unit stopped working. Many smart washers will stop working and give you an error code telling you what needs to be fixed. This prevents further damage from happening.
A client complained about a washing machine that has broken, been vandalized, or otherwise isn’t acting well. A smart business owner acts swiftly and carefully to complaints from clients. If the people using your units aren’t happy with the functionality you give them, it’s a sign that you need to fix them.
Is scheduling commercial laundry maintenance cheap?
It actually can be. A better way to look at this is to see maintenance calls as a form of investment. Considering the benefits of regularly maintaining your machines, it’s generally cheaper to pay for regular maintenance than it is to pay for a large-scale repair.
If you hire a laundry management company, then the price of your washing machine maintenance and washing machine repairs will typically be calculated as a portion of your overall monthly bill. You can find out more about it by discussing it with a customer service representative.
Need some maintenance?
At Smart O Mat, our goal is to make your laundry room run as efficiently as possible. That includes dealing with the issues of maintenance and repairs. We want to help you make it as easy as possible to keep your room in ship-shape.
If you have questions about maintenance or need help working with your equipment, give us a call. That’s what we’re here for.