Why preventive building maintenance is important

Preventive building maintenance can save businesses a lot of money, yet many building managers still choose to ignore it because they don’t see an immediate need for it. If you are not familiar with preventive building maintenance, it refers to routine maintenance that is an essential part of the on-going care of any building.

With the increasing need to look at costs, more and more businesses are considering getting started with a maintenance plan but they don’t know where to begin. That is why businesses should learn more about it.

Over the years we have gotten into situations where we had to perform costly repairs because the customer did not have a plan in place to take preventive measures. Think of water leaks, concrete cancer, major facade restoration and structural repairs. In a worst case scenario a building can become a risk to public safety.

With that in mind, we would like to share some of the things we’ve learned over the years about preventive building maintenance and how to do it right.

1. Preventive building maintenance can result in great cost savings

Getting your preventive building maintenance right is an important cost saver for businesses.

Potential cost savings include:

  • Improved planning: forecast upcoming maintenance needs of new items and items that need to be replaced
  • Improved budgeting: no sudden large amounts to spend on repairs
  • Repair small items before they become structural and costly
  • Longer service life of fittings and coatings

“A maintenance plan should be reviewed annually and or when new items are installed or major works are conducted.” Alex Cope, Owner Magellan Company

2. Never those nasty surprises again

We know from experience that every building – big and small / high-rise and low rise – should have a preventative maintenance and monitoring plan in place.

All materials have definable service lives. Therefore they require maintenance to extend the service life as long as possible. Maintenance plans also help to budget and forecast for replacement and upkeep.

3. Elements of a building maintenance plan

The challenge for businesses is to include all the right items in the plan. Usually we’ll be looking at:

  • A cleaning schedule for windows and facade surfaces (also to keep up warranty items)
  • Certification of safe access systems (please note that annual certifications are often mandatory)
  • Facade Cleaning and painting / coating renewals
  • Waterproofing , sealants and membrane coating monitoring
  • Annual reporting system to categorise possible issues requiring rectification outside the normal schedule
  • Maintenance system of building fixtures and fittings (for example, Louvre panels and sunshades also to maintain warranty items)

4. Some examples of preventive measures

Below we provide a few examples of preventive measures:

  • Dirt and pollution are major causes of facade deterioration to window seals and finished surfaces. Cleaning therefore plays an important role in preventative maintenance for all surfaces and building materials
  • Regular servicing of metal Louvre panels and sunshades. External moving parts and fixtures to be kept lubricated and periodic functionality tests
  • Visual inspection and reporting on the condition of key building elements
  • Maintaining of warranty items

Usually when we perform maintenance for a customer, we conduct regular facade cleaning. We also attend to any signs of water leaks and we inspect seals and control joints. Our team also checks for potential issues such as cracks and peeling paints as these can be indicators of issues.

“Washing a building’s painted or finished surface to extend paint life and keep up with warranty requirements are often overlooked items in a maintenance plan”. 
Alex Cope, Owner Magellan Company

5. Australian regulatory requirements

Another reason for getting a preventive maintenance plan are regulatory –safety – requirements.
One of the main components of the Australian regulations for height safety systems is the annual testing and certification requirement. For more information please check the recommendations in Australian Standard AS 1891, Industrial fall arrest systems and devices and its relevant parts.
Also the owners obligation and or the controller of a site / premises must ensure that a safe working environment is provided thus ensuring adequate height safety systems are installed and maintained.

It is our goal to help businesses save costs through preventive maintenance. We provide one off assessments and reports on the building and provide recommendations of items that may require monitoring or require rectifications. Alternatively we are able to provide you with tailor-made long term maintenance plans and advice.

Contact our team of building maintenance professionals today to discuss your requirements. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Prevention is cheaper than cure. Contact Magellan to arrange a preventive maintenance plan for your building.