Maintaining a car in an apartment complex can be relatively more difficult than an independent home with a garage simply because there are many people handling common spaces like parking spaces, which can lead to negligence and scratches. As a rule of thumb, always keep your car covered to avoid accidental damages. However, you’d have to do more than that. Make sure you protect your car from any unforeseen events while taking care of its routine maintenance. Here’s how:
Beware the pitfalls of open parking
Parking spaces are often limited in urban societies. Not every apartment parking lot is covered and it’s common for residents to park their cars in the open premises of the society. This can pose some dangers like scratches, dents, and swirls on the exterior over and above intense weather conditions. Residents can implement a system of rotational parking so that there remains no monopoly in case of covered parking shortage. MC can also circulate a list of dos and don’ts around cars (e.g. not letting children play near parked cars, no random parking of two-wheelers next to cars, etc.)
To tackle the problem of parking spaces in open space, societies can grow trees around the designated open spots to provide natural shade to cars. Buy weatherproof car covers and make it a habit to use them daily.
Steer clear of theft/vandalism
Motor vehicle vandalism and theft are the least solved crime in the country, especially if the car is parked inside safe gated premises. It’s entirely possible that if you leave your car unlocked, valuable belongings inside can go missing or the vehicle itself can be vulnerable to occasional hooliganism. Always park under a light and have extra CCTV cameras installed in the parking spaces whether on the ground floor, basement, or open parking. Buy removable car stereo systems and don’t leave items of value in the car. Another measure is to install boom barriers and invest in app-based gatekeeping and security technology like MyGate to automate vehicle and visitor movement.
Prevention from rodents, birds, and pests
The maintenance staff and security guards should be trained to keep the parking space, clean, disinfected, and decluttered daily. Instruct them to use rat/pest repellents at the earliest sign of rodent and pest activity. Cover any structural areas that could become bird nests with wire mesh or other materials as well as repair and seal any cracks in the parking space walls and ceilings to prevent termite or ant colonies. To deal with bird poop, always keep specially made exterior detailer spray and clean as soon as spotted since bird droppings can damage the polish of your car. Keep your car clean of wrappers, food leftovers and get it fumigated regularly. Trash containers should be kept at a distance from parked cars.
Daily wash facts
It’s a common practice in gated societies to get their vehicles washed and cleaned every morning for which car cleaners are hired. Due to the abrasive nature of the low-quality cleaning sprays and soap water they use, the exterior surface of your car might suffer from slow deterioration especially if the cleaners contain hydrofluoric acid. Some societies might practice greywater reuse which might not be properly filtered at times, in which case make sure you insist on treating it properly.
Buy microfiber cloth for daily cleaning and instruct the guard to make sure that the cleaner doesn’t use any dirty rags to clean your car even as a second layer of cleaning. The suspended dirt from regular cloth can leave swirls on the car. A waterless wash is a good option. Microfiber cloth (or car dusters) can dry easily, are odor-free, and especially effective when used with a good quality car wax, general-use car soap, or spray. Cloth can be washed and rinsed in regular soap water. Car owners usually get a good car wash once a month and get it serviced every 12 months. But it’s wise to do routine inspections like checking fluid levels, tyre pressure, etc. In case of cold starts (when the car won’t start) in the winter, you can invest in an engine heater that connects to your radiator.
Car detailing which is cosmetic car care should be performed once every year or two years depending on the condition. It should include basic wash and wax, interior cleaning, and surface polishing, buffing, and deodorising the car.
Safeguarding against climatic conditions
Come monsoon, society storm drains may flood over, basement flooding can create havoc on your vehicles. Underground parking should be equipped with sump pumps and rainproofing to keep out excess water. Clean out the storm drains of snags and trash before the rains hit. If the water logging is a permanent problem due to heavy monsoons in your area, invest in a mini car lift so that even in stilt or open parking, the lower parts of your car can remain undamaged by floods. In open parking, you can use a detachable car tent or car canopy to protect your car from rain and sun.
A little foresight and vigilance can help keep your car running in the best of condition even amidst a bustling gated complex.
MyGate is India’s largest gated community management app, benefiting thousands of housing societies, developers, society facility managers, and millions of homeowners in every Indian city.
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