Controlling costs has to be one of the most critical challenges building managers face. Facility Managers find themselves having to maintain and upkeep quality services despite the budget cuts and capital spending freeze. The pressure is on to do more with less. Building maintenance costs are a significant part of a building’s annual budget. So, implementing a planned, preventive maintenance strategy rather than a reactive one can deliver long-term cost savings. But does anyone pay any attention or care about long-term savings anymore, when budget cuts are needed now?

What is Deferred Maintenance?

Deferred maintenance (DM) is the practice of postponing maintenance activities such as repairs in order to save costs or meet budget targets. DM is maintenance that has become overdue, on a planned or unplanned basis, to a future budget cycle or just postponed until funds become available. An accumulation of projects that have been postponed because of perceived lower priority status than those completed with available funds.

Factors that drive maintenance costs are:

  • Building condition and age
  • Complaints about building performance
  • Availability of funding
  • Health and Safety requirements – the most important being the building’s condition

roof in bad condition

Three Reasons Not To Defer Maintenance

Deferred maintenance and shortcuts will always cost more at the end.

1) Skipping preventive maintenance on your building systems shortens their life by as much as one-third.
2) Less preventive maintenance results in more emergency repairs, which are more costly than planned repairs.
3) Low-cost, bandage solutions might buy you a bit of time but at the expense of future cash flows.

Building components that managers often don’t associate with preventive maintenance are things like roofs, exterior walls, parking garages that aren’t “HVAC like” mechanical equipment. The lack of preventive maintenance can have a significant impact on things like roofing systems and garage membranes. They are costly to replace, and not fixing things or doing routine; preventive maintenance can accelerate the deterioration and create a lot of expensive damage well as void manufacturers warranties.

Unfortunately, the cost of deferred maintenance is high, no matter how you look at it. Waiting for components to fail will always be more expensive than getting out in front of things, and keeping everything up to date. Save yourself and your business money, and implement a preventive, Building Asset Management Program.

commercial roof in need of repair

Regular Building Maintenance is Cost Effective!

Research shows that a proactive approach to building maintenance is a more cost-effective option. Routine maintenance tasks can prevent disrepair and the cost of unnecessary emergency repairs. Regular maintenance programs can help you plan and budget for the future and hedge repair costs. Maintenance is the ultimate form of practicing Sustainability. Regular and careful monitoring keeps repair to a minimum and prevents loss of original building components, thus reducing the use of material resources or the generation of construction waste.

Don’t “roll the dice” on inspection and maintenance. Work with your service providers and rely on them for every bit of help they can provide during these mutually difficult times. After all, we are all in this together. Contact us to learn more about our Roof Asset Management program.