Most professionals who work in facilities maintenance recognize the importance of keeping building systems and equipment functional and in good running order. Manufacturers even provide recommended timetables and procedures in their owners’ manuals to help ensure that equipment can be kept in a good state of readiness. However, when maintenance staffs begin to shrink and budgets begin to dry up, it can become very tempting to embrace deferred maintenance, and favor the spending of resources on critical systems like building safety.
Consequences of ignoring maintenance
Unfortunately, that deferred maintenance can have a serious impact on HVAC equipment such as air-conditioners and heating units, rooftop units, and sometimes even electrical or plumbing systems. In addition to these types of equipment, it’s fairly common to defer maintenance on things like parking lots and rooftops. This kind of maintenance deferral can also be costly because roofing is constantly exposed to deterioration and weather factors, and can have a major impact on your building’s structure as well as the occupants inside.
Financial impact of deferring maintenance
Any money which is saved by deferred maintenance can be quickly overshadowed by the long-term costs which can come into play when there is an unexpected breakdown of equipment or a sudden widespread leak in the roofing system. It has been estimated by industry experts that repair costs will generally run about 3 to 10 times the amount that preventive maintenance would cost. Equipment failures can be extremely expensive, especially when the cost of labor and downtime is added into the overall repair cost.
When this does happen, it’s very common for the failing equipment not to achieve its anticipated lifespan, even after having been repaired. That means you’ll also have to pay for the cost of new equipment much sooner than if the equipment had been well maintained throughout its life. In addition to all this, components which fail in critical equipment can impact the efficiency of other systems in the building.
Sudden repair needs can also add to staffing costs, most notably when emergencies occur outside normal work hours or on weekends. When you have to pay for unplanned maintenance or repairs, these expense far exceeds what it would have cost to perform normal maintenance, especially in situations where you have to bring in expensive third-party contractors during off hours.
Catching up on preventive maintenance
When it comes to maintaining your building’s critical equipment and operating systems, it’s always better late than never. You can begin catching up on normal preventive maintenance by implementing a preventive maintenance program which addresses those problems which are most critical first, and then gradually brings in lesser problems and concerns.
To be really thorough, you should create a registry of all the equipment and assets which must be maintained, and then assign a baseline condition for each piece, as well as its criticality to your operation. This will tell you which equipment is the most critical, and what needs to be done to keep it running smoothly. As time goes by, you also begin to compile information on typical failure points, and what kinds of maintenance procedures can help you avoid those failures.
If you haven’t been keeping notes during your period of deferred maintenance, you can still establish a baseline by sorting through all your repair calls from the previous year. That should give you some idea of the status of your business equipment at the moment, and once you get things running smoothly, your preventive maintenance schedule should run like clockwork. Most organizations which do implement a solid preventive maintenance schedule, find that there are approximately six scheduled preventive maintenance procedures between any kind of repair work.
If you’re ready to set up a maintenance plan, we at ABS Facility Maintenance are happy to help. Our pre-screened technicians are ready to assist you today. ABSFM offers a wide range of services to the Restaurant and Facilities Industry. Contact us today and let ABSFM be THE source for all your facility maintenance and repair needs.