Limited budgets for staff and maintenance often lead to a reactive model in which maintenance staff is responding to a crisis rather than planning to manage problems proactively. Ideally, reactive work should only account for 10 – 15% of your facility’s total maintenance workload.
When the majority of work is reactive, and facilities maintenance staff are operating on a “run to failure” model, planned maintenance is often pushed aside, and significant capital projects are not completed on time and schedule.
Of course, it is impossible to eliminate reactive or emergency work. But the key to a productive and proactive facility maintenance program is to minimize it.
By investing time and money in a facilities maintenance assessment and plan, your organization can:
- Save time and money
- Ease employee frustration
- Plan and budget for upcoming expenditures
- Better predict equipment’s remaining life
- Focus on preventative maintenance where it is needed most and will be most effective
Conducting a Facility Maintenance Assessment will allow your organization to evaluate the age, condition, design, and materials that are critical for monitoring the long-term health and performance of your facility.
Evaluate Your Building Systems and Equipment
To move from the chaos of a reactive, emergency work environment to one that focuses on a planned and proactive maintenance strategy, start by identifying each building system you maintain, then break each system down into individual pieces of equipment.
For each system, create a list of each piece of equipment you maintain and service. For each piece of equipment, the list should include the following information:
- Type of equipment
- Serial number
- Location and area served
- Material needed to maintain the equipment
- Loss (how long can your facility operate without this piece of equipment)
Often, facility managers neglect or wait too long to address mechanical systems because of potentially high costs of repair and replacement, and how they can to manage their current resources. Due to the complicated nature of building systems, moving parts tend to wear out quicker.
Use the information gathered to maintain your facility and proactively budget for large ticket items.
Specific Areas to Address in a Facilities Maintenance Assessment
The roof and building exterior are often one of the most overlooked items since building occupants don’t usually pay attention until there is a leak. Both often create an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality. Extensive damage can occur when moisture affects the building envelope.
Assessing your roof and building exterior can help you avoid recurring problems and unexpected failures. A good roof asset management program combines preventative maintenance and inspections with corrective action plans to extend the time between replacements. The roof should be inspected at least twice annually and after any severe storm.
Preserve your facility’s energy efficiency and indoor air quality by reviewing and analyzing your heating and cooling equipment. Inspect the HVAC system at least twice annually, plus seasonal start-up and run inspections. Be on the lookout for screw or latch updates, gasket repairs, and missing screw replacements, and be sure to recharge P-traps and U-bend water traps for condensation pans.
Plumbing and Restrooms
While a drip here or there may seem innocent enough, addressing these issues will help avoid more significant maintenance issues and can help your facility save money. And remember — leaks are not always visible to the naked eye. When conducting an assessment, start with the bathrooms, then explore larger building systems. Inspect plumbing systems at least annually and investigate then address leaks or unusual noises.
Poorly or irregularly maintained light fixtures can fail to deliver energy savings and will lower light quality. Inspect lighting at regular intervals, and conduct group relamping when lamps begin to fail.
Electrical systems should be inspected by a licensed electrician every 3 to 5 years. Preventative maintenance should include checking switches, panels, and connections, as well as cleaning and re-torqueing electrical connections.
Parking garage surfaces should be cleaned at least twice annually, and coating replacement should be conducted every ten years. Power washing is an inexpensive and easy way to protect the structure and delay rehabilitation projects. Pavement should be crack-filled and seal-coated regularly, while mill and overlay pavements should be replaced every 20 years.
CTL’s Due Diligence Prevents Costly Roof Replacement
Recently, CTL completed a due diligence study for a large 75,000 square foot warehouse for a company looking to purchase it. Our team of experts discussed a portion of the roof membrane had come loose from the wall and was billowing in high-wind conditions. Since the building was completed within the last year, this should not have occurred.
Our team reported our findings to the current owner so they could repair the roof before the warehouse was sold. Sustained high winds could have caused portions of the roof to become so damaged that the whole roof may have needed to be placed.
Maintaining Your Facilities Maintenance Assessment
Proper maintenance is a critical next step in any Facilities Maintenance Assessment. By creating a process that ensures your facilities’ maintenance cycle is always up to date, you avoid the need to conduct a Facilities Maintenance Assessment every five to ten years.
Create a list of short-term needs (less than 12 months), a 5-year list, and a 10-year list, then use that information when creating budget requests.
CTL Provides Innovative, On-Going Facilities Maintenance
Many of our clients are stuck in a reactive facility maintenance model, often due to staff limitations and maintenance budgets.
CTL can help by conducting complete property and facility investigations, record all pertinent data, and confirm compliance with requirements by contractors. For some clients, we can record the data on an interactive website that can be linked to PO programs, financial management, budgeting programs, and work order programs. For others, clients use the data to understand the condition of their facilities if they had no previous documentation.
We also can help with construction administration and guidance for your exterior maintenance project. We proactively address anticipated maintenance needs and help with budget forecasting and planning.
At CTL, we use our experience, expertise, and resources to reduce traditional facilities management expenses and ease the headaches of managing a multi-building campus. Partnering with CTL will save your organization money in the long-term by preventing costly repairs and improve building safety and efficiency.
Learn more about CTL’s facilities maintenance and management services, and contact CTL Engineering for more information.