Touchup tips for maintaining hotel rooms

Broken Curtain Rail

Broken Curtain Rail


When guests arrive in their hotel rooms, they generally take a quick walk-through to see what they have been assigned. It’s often the little things that will sway their decision from, “Gee, I like this place,” to “I can’t believe I paid this much for this ratty room.” Hotel guests can be influenced by room cleanliness. For instance, a “feeling of clean” can be quickly erased by a stain on the rug or hairs on the bathroom floor. Similarly, hotel room maintenance items can just as quickly give negative impressions of the hotel. Here are a few pointers on common maintenance items often ignored by hotel staff.

Doorframe paint scratches

The metal frames of guest room entry doors are usually scratched through the paint to the metal beneath. Chain locks or other safety lock mechanisms can be the cause of these scratches. Or, normal employee (with carts or vacuums) and guest (with luggage) entry to the room can cause scratches. Especially when these scratches are at eye-level, guest perceptions of the hotel can be influenced negatively. The fix: Sand down the metal frame, reprime and repaint the entire frame. “Touch-up” painting won’t work — touch-ups will result in a visual difference in depth and in color. Typically oil-based semi-gloss paints are used for this application. (Hot tip: installation of metal angle plates (door fangs) will reduce damage from slide bar locks.)

Drapery rod broken

Every traveler has encountered drapery problems in guest rooms. The drapes don’t close properly, drapes are hung with two or three pins in the same slide, the rod is loose from the wall, there’s no baton rod, carriers are bent or broken off, or nylon slides are broken or stuck. In response to these problems, guests use paperclips to hold the drapes closed or they move a chair up against the window to hold the drape in place. Drapery problems are an unnecessary hassle for guests. The fix: The best maintenance departments keep a supply of rebuilt drapery rods in their shop. When a broken rod is noted in a guest room, the drape is taken down and the entire rod is replaced. This is an approximate 10-minute fix compared to potentially 30 minutes or more in the guest room trying to repair a broken rod. High quality drapery rods are not inexpensive and often it is cost- effective to rebuild the rods on property. Replacement parts are available from any hardware/drapery supply store.

Drawers broken

When guests begin to unpack their belongings, they often find that the dresser drawers won’t pull properly. Missing or loose handles, worn tracks, deficient rollers, missing guides, or broken glides can be the cause of problems that might result in drawers that won’t open or close smoothly or worse, drop on a guest toe. The fix: The room must be placed off-market until the repair is complete — but the repairs are not difficult. Broken dresser drawers can generally be repaired with replacement parts from the local hardware supply. Often the required repair is simply to tighten the tracks that may have worked loose. If the screw holes have been ruined, put a small piece of solder into the hole and then tighten the screw. The solder will bulk the hole enough to allow the screw to be tightened.

Based on an article published January 2001 by Scott McLean, veteran hotel engineering and building specialist

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