In an ideal world we would be able to predict every dripping tap and failed lightbulb. In the real world what we can do is predict the areas of our buildings that will require work to prevent small fixes becoming major repairs.
Maintenance plans a provide a useful resource for new residents or users of a building and may go some way towards ensuring continuity of good maintenance practices. Some aspects of your building must be maintained regularly to keep them in a safe working condition. Gas heating systems need at least annual servicing, and air conditioning should be checked regularly. If your building has a newer environmentally friendly heating system such as MVHR (mechanical ventilation with heat recovery) or CHP (Combined heat and power) then these also need regular servicing to keep them in good order.
Maintenance plans for older buildings should relate to the size and complexity of the building. For large buildings, or those with multiple uses, a maintenance plan may form part of a comprehensive asset management plan. For smaller buildings, such as small offices or shops, it might consist simply of a checklist to be used during an inspection. In newer buildings the plan should look to maintain the condition of the building and not allow it to deteriorate to the point that failures, particularly in areas such as water and drainage and wooden components.
The cost of planned, or preventative, maintenance is often given as an argument against carrying it out. In manufacturing industry, the question doesn’t arise as they have long accepted that the return on investment (ROI) of maintaining equipment and machinery is so high that it is a given to have a programme in place to extend useful production life. If we follow Le Corbusier and look at buildings as machines to live in, then it is obvious that a burst pipe in a surgery slows “production” just as much as a failed hose on a machine in a factory. The time that an urgent repair takes, which may well mean that residents are out of their homes or that businesses are temporarily shut costs money and almost more important reputation. The stress on the responsible person to get repairs made, finding contractors at short notice, relocating staff or residents, dealing with the complaints. With a planned maintenance programme in place there will be a company familiar with your buildings, and with your people, who will be available to you far more easily than someone plucked off Google. When a crisis happens they will be able to work with you to solve it.
The American expression “the best offense is a good defense” perfectly sums up the principle of preventative, planned maintenance. Advance planning keeps costs down and helps keep your building running smoothly and efficiently. Get in touch with Express Property Services to learn more about how we can help you plan your maintenance schedule.
This post was written by Express Property Services