Building Maintenance: How to Keep Your Property in Prime Condition

male construction worker doing building maintenance

Occupants of buildings typically expect property owners and managers to provide comfortable living and working environments, often overlooking the intricate work needed to meet these expectations. Behind the scenes, property maintenance teams engage in routine inspections, repairs, and equipment replacements to ensure smooth operations. On any given day, tasks may range from clearing snow and changing HVAC filters to conducting preventive maintenance activities.

While maintenance efforts usually go unnoticed, they become the center of attention when occupants detect plumbing issues. In essence, maintenance is often “out of sight, out of mind” until a problem arises. The most effective maintenance teams work quietly in the background, preventing major breakdowns, inconveniences, and safety hazards through proactive maintenance that tenants might not readily acknowledge.

Explore further to understand the nuances of building maintenance, including its various types and optimal execution methods. Discover how proactive maintenance efforts contribute to a seamless and trouble-free experience for building occupants.

What is building maintenance?

Building maintenance comprises a diverse range of tasks, tailored to the specific needs of a business or organization. It involves extensive behind-the-scenes efforts to guarantee the ongoing functionality and comfort of a facility or building.

Tasks within building maintenance encompass cleaning communal spaces, regular trash removal, and fixing broken items. This multifaceted role extends to inspecting, repairing, and maintaining electrical systems, heating and air conditioning systems, and various utility services.

Beyond the building’s interior, maintenance efforts may also include outdoor property management, covering responsibilities such as sprinkler management, lawn care, and landscape maintenance. The comprehensive nature of building maintenance ensures the overall well-being and operational efficiency of the facility for its users.

Why is building maintenance needed?

  • It maintains the value of the building.
  • It enhances the overall condition of the building.
  • It ensures safety and reliability are preserved.
  • It prevents undue wear and tear on equipment.

What are the types of building maintenance

  1. Routine maintenance: Routine maintenance involves daily, weekly, and periodic tasks essential for maintaining optimal conditions within a building, such as cleaning, waste management, and pest control. This category of “soft facility management” includes visual inspections and minor repairs, typically managed by building caretakers.
  2. Preventive maintenance: Preventive maintenance aims to uphold the comfort and safety of building users, often guided by Operations and Maintenance Manuals. It encompasses various services, including the upkeep of electrical equipment, gas installations, HVAC systems, lifts, escalators, and other daily-use assets. Additionally, it covers structural maintenance, exterior areas, insulation, roofing, and security systems. Effective building maintenance requires careful planning to integrate all tasks into a cohesive schedule. Automation through intelligent maintenance management platforms streamlines workflows, while alternative approaches like condition-based or predictive maintenance offer flexibility.
  3. Reactive maintenance: Ideally a last resort, reactive maintenance is employed when building equipment faces unexpected failures. The goal is to minimize Mean Time to Repair (MTTR), ensuring swift resolution of issues to avoid prolonged downtime.
  4. Rehabilitation and renovation works: Recent efforts by the European Union focus on enhancing the energy efficiency of older buildings. While routine maintenance aids in consumption reduction, extensive refurbishment becomes essential in many cases. Achieving A+ energy certification or zero carbon emissions signals reduced need for intensive refurbishment in the short to medium term. However, updates to maintenance manuals are crucial to account for new infrastructure and material lifetimes. Historic buildings pose unique challenges, often requiring careful consideration, such as using replicas for routine maintenance without compromising architectural integrity.

Who is responsible for building maintenance?

  1. Maintenance managers: Maintenance managers hold the responsibility for devising the maintenance plan. Their duties encompass task planning, assignment, overseeing the technical team, and determining the appropriate response to breakdowns. In instances where companies outsource maintenance services, these managers also supervise the fulfillment of contracts according to established terms.
  2. Technicians: Maintenance technicians conduct routine inspections, preventive maintenance tasks, and address breakdowns through reactive maintenance. They may possess diverse skills or specialize in specific maintenance areas, such as electrical maintenance, HVAC maintenance, plumbing, among others.
  3. Janitorial staff: These individuals are usually responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of a building or facility. Their tasks involve mopping floors, vacuuming carpets, cleaning bathrooms, and washing windows and glass doors.
  4. Maintenance supervisors: Maintenance supervisors are in charge of planning and scheduling maintenance activities for a building. They oversee maintenance workers, ensuring tasks are executed as needed. Additionally, these supervisors may be involved in the recruitment and training of maintenance staff
  5. Caretakers, cleaning & housekeeping: Caretakers oversee and ensure the efficient operation of the building’s communal spaces. Alongside caretakers, the cleaning and housekeeping teams play a crucial role in maintaining a clean and pleasant environment within the building.

How to make building maintenance more efficient?

Optimizing building maintenance efficiency is best achieved through the utilization of building maintenance software. However, the effectiveness can be further enhanced by opting for an intelligent maintenance platform.

Expedite fault reporting

Facilitate quick fault reporting by enabling caretakers and cleaning staff to utilize the software. This streamlined reporting process ensures prompt resolution by maintenance technicians.

Use checklists for each service

Implement service-specific checklists within the software to expedite the replication of work orders and maintain uniformity in processes.

Create a database

Create a centralized database to record the maintenance plan, task assignments, and inventory tracking. Organizing work in this manner assists technicians in accessing documents and adhering to standard procedures for each asset.

Monitor operations in real-time

With intelligent software, real-time monitoring becomes feasible, offering insights into the normal functioning of different building areas and identifying any restricted zones. These updates empower adjustments to customer service and enable the redirection of users to alternative areas within the building.

What Is the main challenge in building maintenance?

In facility management, outsourcing has become the standard practice, with estimates suggesting that over half of the FM market is currently outsourced. The prevailing trend is for companies to eventually consolidate all FM responsibilities under a single partner. However, the current scenario often involves dealing with multiple providers, each handling specific aspects. For example, one company may be responsible for daily cleaning, another for façade cleaning, yet another for security systems, and so forth.

This prevalent outsourcing model poses the first significant challenge in building maintenance: the lack of control. The causes and repercussions of this lack of control are noteworthy. In many experiences, the absence of control can be attributed to three key factors:

Lack of personnel

The primary factor contributing to a lack of control in facility management is the shortage of personnel. Many facility management departments are often understaffed, with a focus on prioritizing machinery maintenance crucial to the core business. Other aspects, perceived as mere “costs,” often lack dedicated personnel for effective facility management. This gap results in insufficient attention to tasks like collecting, analyzing, and auditing pertinent data for building maintenance.

Lack of systems

The second contributing factor is the absence of comprehensive systems. Despite individual providers using software and maintaining good internal organization, there is a notable lack of centralized systems consolidating all relevant information. This makes it challenging for managers to monitor provider activities, obtain real-time information, gain insights into pending work, and cross-reference data effectively.

Lack of processes

The final contributing factor is the deficiency in well-defined processes. Even with some awareness of facility management and implemented data-entry systems, a lack of clearly defined processes persists. This may include undefined information collection points or inconsistencies in recording the opening and closing of work orders, resulting in unreliable and often outdated information.


How Do You Manage Building Maintenance?

Implementing an efficient program can streamline maintenance activities and lead to cost savings. One of the most straightforward methods to manage building maintenance effectively is by automating work order assignments through Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) software.
CMMS empowers maintenance supervisors to monitor inventory levels, track assets, and assign work orders to available technicians seamlessly from a centralized database. While a preventive maintenance approach aids in minimizing the likelihood of emergencies, it is essential to acknowledge that equipment breakdowns and downtime may still occur. In anticipation of such situations, managers should establish corrective procedures for quick reference. This proactive approach ensures that technicians are well-equipped to respond swiftly to emergency maintenance requests, restoring normal operations as efficiently as possible.

What Is a Building Maintenance Checklist?

A building maintenance checklist is a compilation of tasks designated for completion by technicians. Typically, operational managers, well-versed in the specific care requirements of the building’s assets, are responsible for creating these lists.

Examples of Building Maintenance

Regular duties comprise:
Maintaining the landscape, including lawn mowing and shrub trimming
Checking outdoor lighting for any signs of damage
Clearing gutters and drains
Cleaning outdoor areas
Sealing cracks in parking lots
Winter inspections for water damage on ceilings and floors
Replacing air filters in HVAC systems
Conducting maintenance on fire alarms and fire suppression systems
Inspecting door and window alarm systems to ensure optimal functionality

No comments yet.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Download Sample Report
Download Checklist
Book Free Pilot Inspection

New Brochure-Param

This will close in 20 seconds