The Key to Cost Effective Building Maintenance

The regular expenditure of a small amount of maintenance funds is much better for a building, and more cost effective than large injections of capital every ten years or so.

Unfortunately, many tend to overlook maintenance on new or refurbished buildings in the belief that everything is brand new – maintenance from day one is not needed!.

Right? Wrong! Unfortunately that's usually a recipe for long term expenditure that could have been minimised with good maintenance programmes. Wear and tear starts from day one and regular inspections - however brief ensure that the building stays in tip top condition.

Just as one small example, major repairs to managed properties can be prevented if simple things like leaking down-pipes and gutters are cleaned out or repaired quickly. (And wouldn't it be great to be free of all of the 'leaking roof' phone calls that happen with regular monotony at the first downpour after summer!).

We don't need to preach to property managers, it's enough to know that we recognise the difficulties they encounter with regular monotony and three kinds of maintenance that are going to be required to make their work load a little lighter and a whole lot more worry free:

  1. Corrective - Work necessary to refurbish a building to an acceptable standard (e.g. treatment for rising damp, replacement of guttering and downpipes)
  2. Planned - Work to prevent failure which recurs predictably due to the age and weathering of the building, such as regular cleaning of gutters and programmed painting maintenance.
  3. Emergency - Work that must be initiated immediately for protective, health, safety or security reasons that may result in the rapid deterioration of the structure if not undertaken (for example, roof repairs after storm damage, graffiti removal or repair of broken glass).

Maintenance review

The effectiveness of the maintenance work that has been carried out should be reviewed regularly.

Issues to consider when reviewing the work include:

  • was it necessary or appropriate
  • the timing and standard
  • time frame of the planned maintenance work

This can form part of the annual inspection when the fabric condition is being assessed.