Deferred facility maintenance costs can run the gamut, including managing staffing the maintenance department, but specific areas of the budget can be hard to nail down. Building budgets for facility management projects often leads to a similar dilemma of stretching every dollar.

Lack of budget can lead to delays in project advancement or termination of the project altogether. Lack of cash can lead to deferred maintenance purgatory for a project that should be on the get-go.

A U.S. Energy Information Administration Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey found that about half of all commercial buildings were constructed before 1980. U.S. schools are older, at more than 40 years old, on average.

Building age means maintenance is critical and should not be overlooked.

While delayed maintenance may seem a suitable way to save money quickly, neglect can lead to the need for additional repairs and create bigger budget holes in the long run.

Likewise, the cumulative cost of operating and maintaining facilities significantly rises beyond even the maintenance budget. The longer the maintenance is delayed, the more the prices rise. If something remains unfixed, it can become completely lost.

Most facility managers take a reactive approach to building maintenance. Research findings indicate that 85% of all maintenance spending by facility managers is reactive. A proactive approach saves time and money.

Preventative maintenance keeps equipment and building in check as repairs are made as needed. At the same time, predictive maintenance also forecasts coming problems.

Experts estimate that between 2% and 6% of an annual operating budget should be spent on preventive maintenance to minimize the rate of decay effectively. Preventive maintenance, likewise, is the least disruptive, reducing building failure.

Additionally, preventive maintenance leads to assessments to identify, evaluate, and report on the condition of each building.

Facility assessments evaluate existing conditions and identify any deficiencies. This information can be used to identify existing problems and address any mechanical and electrical equipment problems before they become too large to handle.

Preventive maintenance also reduces building liability risk. Taking on maintenance early can significantly reduce liability for those in the building while reducing safety hazards and increasing productivity levels.

Once a list of required maintenance is required, create a preventive maintenance checklist by categories, and move these inspections into the maintenance schedule, tracking repairs as they’re done.

As may appear to be common sense, the sooner a repair is conducted, the better for the whole organization. Maintain a regular inspection schedule to maintain the overall health of the facility. Preventive maintenance, done regularly, increases facility life and leads to reduced costs of buildings failing prematurely.