Building maintenance can feel like playing the waiting game – things will need repair eventually, and when something breaks, a fast response can usually minimize damage and repair costs. However, taking a proactive stance on maintenance can save you money and hassle by taking care of small issues before they turn into larger, costly problems.
One good example of the possibility for proactive maintenance is your building’s furnace and air conditioning. Replacing the cheap filters on schedule will help extend the lifetime of these costly appliances. The money and effort required to do this are nothing compared to the cost of a new furnace, yet many building managers procrastinate on this type of simple, preventative maintenance. Plumbing and electrical wiring issues are another classic example of issues that start small but could do large amounts of damage if not handled proactively.
The building’s roof should be monitored closely, especially when it reaches half of its expected lifespan. If there are any areas where water tends to accumulate, a close eye should be kept for damage in these spots. Once a leak develops, things can deteriorate quickly, so trouble spots should be reinforced early. Modern membrane roofing is easy and inexpensive to patch, but water damage can be very costly once it occurs.
Doing the appropriate tuck-and-point work on brick exteriors can prevent the exterior from deteriorating further and stop larger cracks from forming. The same applies to concrete and asphalt surfaces around the building. These materials are resilient to a point, but once cracks appear, potholes develop quickly. Sealing these cracks once a year (usually in early spring, before showers have a chance to wash material away) will prevent the need for more expensive repairs.
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Keeping a vigilant eye on building maintenance — spending the little extra money and effort now — will keep larger problems at bay. And it always pays off in the long run.