Building Maintenance

April 14, 2023

Everything About Building Maintenance: A Detailed Guide

Table of content

Building maintenance is like giving your property a little Tender Loving Care to keep it in tip-top shape. Just like how we need regular body checkups to stay fit and fine, buildings also need regular repairs, inspections, and upkeep to ensure they stay functional, safe, and good-looking.

Whether it’s commercial complex, school building, or hospital building, these constructions are used vigorously day in and day out. As a result, they go through wear and tear every day over time.

From keeping the lights on and investigating why HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems are troubling to deep cleaning every floor, and fixing leaky faucets…..building preservation involves a range of tasks.

However, building maintenance is much more than that. It’s all about being proactive and taking necessary preventive measures to detect potential issues before they turn out to be headaches. It’s also about creating a safe and amicable environment for the visitors and occupants as well as reducing operational costs.

If you are considering this as a one-time thing, let us tell you that it’s an ongoing process requiring constant monitoring and improvement.

This comprehensive guide will delve into the world of building maintenance covering everything from its different types and its benefits to the building maintenance checklists and seasonal building maintenance.

So, buckle up and get ready to learn the ins and outs of maintaining buildings.

What Is Building Maintenance?

Let’s first understand what does Building Maintenance mean?

Building maintenance is a comprehensive term referring to the set of activities performed to restore and retain the safety and functionality of commercial and residential properties.

It doesn’t involve one or two, but rather, a series of tasks like landscaping, cleaning, electrical system maintenance, and many others.

It’s the coordination of a plethora of maintenance activities designed to upkeep, repair, and improve buildings to provide a comfortable, safe, and habitable environment. All the tasks involved make a space “livable” and ensure that the major systems including plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and fire prevention are working fine.

Every state has its unique guidelines for preserving and maintaining buildings. This includes local, state, and federal regulations such as the ones imposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), International Code Council (ICC), and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

You should strictly comply with these regulations and codes to minimize the safety risks and liabilities to guests or occupants who use your building.

What Are The Different Types Of Building Maintenance?

Conducting maintenance activities from time to time helps you keep everything running smoothly. Nobody likes frequent repairs and fixes. All you want is a building for which you don’t have to lose time and money unnecessarily when it starts getting older.

Taking different types of building maintenance into consideration will help you extend the lifespan of building components in the long run:

1. Routine Maintenance

Routine maintenance activities are scheduled preventive building maintenance tasks performed to secure a building from internal and external decay. The sole objective of Routine building maintenance is to preserve its functionality.

As the name implies, you can line up these tasks daily, weekly, or periodically on a specific schedule. Include deep cleaning, lubrication of hinges, garbage removal, weeding, repainting, and inspection of utility systems, in the schedule.

2. Corrective Maintenance

The corrective maintenance activities aim to restore a building to its best condition when the damage becomes quite apparent.

How you will handle these tasks depends on the type of building and the needs of its residents. In contrast with preventive maintenance which is planned, corrective maintenance attempts to respond to an issue through service requests.

This type of building maintenance program is applicable during machine failures or outages. It’s a form of preventive measure that corrects unaddressed situations identified during predictive maintenance regimes.

For instance - lowering the imbalances to acceptable levels, replacing the suspect bearings, realigning the misaligned machines, janitorial cleaning, and many others, are included as corrective maintenance.

3. Preventive Maintenance

When it comes to a preventive maintenance plan, you need to perform it regularly to address the issues proactively before they arise. It involves tasks such as treatments, inspections, and part replacements that resist damage to the building’s exterior and interior structures.

Preventive building maintenance tasks are planned and scheduled by appropriate usage-based or date-based intervals.

The main idea behind the preventive maintenance plan is to preserve the operational state of every piece of equipment in between major overhauls. You may have to perform some procedures on the running equipment, while others require a temporary pause.

Furthermore, lubricating the machinery at regular intervals is recommended for their better working lives.

4. Predictive Maintenance

Predictive building maintenance is based on the data retrieved after tracking historical trends, thereby enabling accurate failure predictions.

Vibration analysis is the cornerstone for the predictive maintenance of revolving and rotating equipment although other technologies like finding leaks in the air system or steams by using acoustic emission analysis are also used.

5. Additions And Alterations

Addition and alteration work is the type of maintenance activities at buildings involving modifications, improvements, or expansion to an existing structure. Addition work refers to the construction of new structures such as adding new wings, equipment, windows, floors, etc.

On the other hand, alteration means making required changes to an existing building component or system. This may include upgrading plumbing systems, renovating interior spaces, or installing new fixtures.

6. Special Repairs

Special repairs involve addressing particular deficiencies in a building’s systems or components. These repairs are useful to rectify defects, failures, or damages before they go out of the scope of routine maintenance.

Special repairs involve fixing or replacing building components like walls, roofs, foundations, and electrical or mechanical systems that have sustained damage over a long time.

Apart from these, the repairs may also be required to discover hidden issues like water leakage, structural weaknesses, and corrosion that compromise the building’s performance. You must have to prepare proper documentation of the special repairs ensuring that the building is now in a safe and functional state.

What Building Maintenance Certificates Do You Need To Check?

Do you know that anybody can’t do building maintenance? There has to be a set of authorized maintenance certificates to attest that the building has undergone regular inspections, maintenance, and repairs. These certificates are a bunch of official documents issued by authorized professionals or entities according to the established regulations and standards.

The importance of these modern building maintenance certificates is that they work as robust shreds of evidence of compliance with regulations, building codes, and industry best practices. In the case of legal disputes, property transactions, or insurance claims, these documents can be crucial.

Let’s check out what maintenance certificates you need to check beforehand:

1. General/Industrial Certifications

Certified Maintenance & Reliability Technician:

CMRT designation is offered by the Society for Maintenance & Reliability Professionals (SMRP). It evaluates the core maintenance skills in four areas, namely preventive and predictive maintenance, corrective maintenance, and troubleshooting.

Certified Maintenance & Reliability Professional:

This certification focuses more on the professionals who handle the managerial tasks in managerial building maintenance tasks.

IMI Certification:

The International Maintenance Institute (IMI) provides certification for construction maintenance professionals throughout the industry. It’s a testing-based program offering multiple certification levels for professionals having different levels of experience.

2. Facility Maintenance Certifications

Facilities Management Certificate:

The FMC program is offered by Building Owners and Managers Institute International (BOMI International). The courses included in it emphasize the operations of industrial facilities.

Building Systems Maintenance Certificate:

The SMC program is offered by the Business Owners and Managers Institute International (BOMI). It trains facility maintenance specialists on HVAC, energy efficiency, plumbing, and other systems.

Facility Management Professional:

It’s the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) that offers FMP certification. It includes maintenance, operational course materials, finance, project management, and leadership.

Certified Facility Manager:

It’s another credential offered by the IFMA. The CFM designation focuses more on experimental competence over the mastery of course materials.

3. Property Maintenance Certifications

Certificate for Apartment Maintenance Technicians:

The National Apartment Association (NAA) offers this coursework. It prepares the apartment maintenance technicians for a final exam they must take to obtain the certification.

Certified Manager of Maintenance:

This training and certification program is issued by the National Center for Housing Management (NCHM). It’s designed to train the candidates in multiple roles they have to play in their job.

What Are The Benefits of A Building Maintenance Program?

Implementing a building maintenance program can bring innumerable benefits to any facility – no matter if it’s a residential building, an industrial complex, or a commercial property.

One of the significant advantages is that a planned building maintenance program extends the lifespan of the building and its systems. Another core benefit of commercial building maintenance programs is improved safety.

But there is much more…

Check out the key benefits of the preventive maintenance of the buildings below:

1. Lower Costs of Repairing

A comprehensive maintenance program can lower the total repair and maintenance costs and also reduce other operational costs including property insurance premiums, utility expenses, and other emergency repair costs.

2. Decreases in equipment downtime

Functional downtime reduces the value of a building. It causes a mismatch in the expectations of the tenants and the building’s physical attributes. A strategic maintenance plan helps the physical attributes to sustain which increases the loyalty and retention of the tenants.

This leads to higher contract rents and quick absorption of vacant spaces.

3. Increases in safety level

Maintaining a building is a crucial way to promote safety. By discovering any damage through a thorough inspection and repairing them, you may lower the risks of accidents including slips and falls, fire, electric shocks, etc. Having experienced cleaning and maintenance staff by your side is a brilliant way to fix potential safety hazards.

4. Higher tenant retention

Tenant turnover is a serious problem in buildings and the majority of this happens because of hazardous, messy, and unorganized buildings. By doing the inspection, cleaning, and repair work promptly, you can increase your tenant’s satisfaction with your commercial space or apartment.

It impacts their lease renewal decision and produces lower property vacancies.

5. Reduced Energy Costs

A systematic preservation of the buildings reduces energy costs in so many ways. It keeps your building free of debris, minimizes air infiltration, and boosts the insulation value of the building’s exterior barrier.

The importance of preventive maintenance lies in the fact that it ensures all the appliances and equipment are working properly. This decreases the energy needed to operate them along with the annual equipment repair costs.

6. Extended Building Lifespan

Ensuring proper maintenance of your building can extend its lifespan. Regular inspection of every nook and cranny of the property can stop minor issues from turning out to be significant and expensive troubles. Leaks, machine wears, rots, and molds are such issues that building maintainers deal with.

A planned premise maintenance program keeps your building safe when everybody is inside and looking its best.

7. Safe exterior storage in industrial properties

When it comes to industrial properties, exterior storage is a quite common problem. Often toxic elements like store cleaning solvents, acids, alkalis, gasoline, and other harmful substances are stored in the exterior sections of the properties in an unplanned way.

Such storage poses dangerous health hazards and also violates federal, state, and local regulations. With the planned preventive maintenance activities, you can optimize the storage more safely.

Further reading: Explore essential industrial cleaning tips for enhanced safety.

Building Maintenance Program Creation Process

Creating a step-by-step building maintenance program consists of multiple key steps to ensure the program is efficient, comprehensive, and effective. These programs vary from one building type to another based on location, specific requirements, and climate.

It’s crucial to customize the program so that it meets the building’s unique needs. You must regularly review and update the program according to the changing maintenance needs to make sure it’s effective in the long run.

Consulting with qualified local property maintenance professionals and implementing the best industry practices can ensure the successful execution of your professional planned preventive maintenance program:

Here's an overview of the typical process for creating a construction maintenance program:

1. Assess The Building Needs

Conduct a detailed assessment of the establishment’s current condition and maintenance needs. This involves but is not limited to conducting inspections, consulting with facility managers, and reviewing maintenance records.

2. Set Maintenance Objectives

Set clear maintenance goals taking into account the assessment findings. These goals encircle the safety of the building systems, ensure the longevity of the assets, and work on energy efficiency. Complying with regulations and upgrading the overall appearance of the building.

3. Develop The Maintenance Plan

Create an extensive maintenance plan outlining the specific maintenance schedules, tasks, and responsibilities. Consider the routine building interior maintenance tasks, corrective and reactive tasks, frequency of maintenance activities, and the efficiency level needed for each task.

4. Allocate Resources

Determine all the necessary resources such as personnel, tools, budget, and equipment you need to implement the maintenance plan. Distribute the resources in a way to makes sure the tasks are being carried out within the defined timeline and budget.

5. Implement The Maintenance Program

It’s now time to put the maintenance plan into action. Here, you have to assign responsibilities, initiate a regular inspection, develop safety guidelines, and lay out quality protocols.

Don’t miss out to monitor the progress and performance of the program and make necessary changes based on the results and feedback.

6. Document and Evaluate

Have all the precise records of maintenance activities including task completion, outcomes, and costs with you. Continuously evaluate the feasibility of the maintenance program by reviewing the records, analyzing data, and providing feedback from building inhabitants and staff.

7. Continuous Improvement

Building maintenance is a continuous process. As a result, you need continuous improvement to retain the optimal performance of the apartment. Review and update the building up-keeping plan considering the technological advancements, changing needs, and industry standards.

What Are Included In A Regular Building Maintenance Checklist?

A building maintenance checklist is a comprehensive list of inspections, tasks, and maintenance activities ensuring the proper safety, functioning, and longevity of a building and its associated system.

To the building owners or facility managers, it serves as a guide to keeping track of routine maintenance tasks. With a checklist, you can make sure that nothing is overlooked.

Below we presented a complete apartment, industrial, and office building maintenance checklist:

1. Inspecting Electrical System

Inspect and test all electrical switches, panels, and outlets. Also, check for any potential signs of electrical hazards such as overheating or frayed wires.

2. Safety inspection

Inspect and repair safety equipment and safety kits such as eye wash stations, safety signs, first aid kits, etc.

3. HVAC system inspection

This includes replacing or cleaning filters, checking for leaks, servicing air conditioning units, and assessing the thermostat controls.

4. Building Envelope

Examine the roofs, windows, exterior walls, and doors for any signs of leaks, damages, or cracks.

5. Plumbing system inspection

Examine and fix any leaks in the toilets, faucets, pipes, and drains. Check the water pressure, test the water heaters, and adjust if needed.

6. Lighting

Check all the exterior and interior lighting for accurate installation and function. Gently dust and dry clean the dusty lamps. Replace any non-functional lights you find.

7. Fire safety system inspection

Inspect and test the fire alarm systems, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, and smoke detectors. Check the signage, lighting, and emergency exist for proper functionality.

8. Bathrooms and kitchens

Check every drain line to detect clogs, scrub the floor regularly to avoid slips and falls, assess the sink faucets, sprayers, and pipes, as well as replace the water filters daily to maintain hygiene.

9. Interior Cleaning

Evaluate the ceilings, walls, and floors, check for leaks, test smoke detectors, and fire alarm systems, inspect the door locks, test fire extinguishers, and empty the trash.

10. Cleanliness of building exterior

Check the paint on the walls, look for doors, broken windows, and railings, clean drains, and gutters, examine the roofs if necessary, and check the plants of the building. Make sure there are no broken pieces of glass or other debris lying here and there.

Seasonal Commercial Building Maintenance Checklist

A seasonal commercial building maintenance checklist is all about a set of comprehensive maintenance tasks needed to be performed in a year from time to time. Every property undergoes seasonal changes overlooking which may pose threats to the proper safety, functioning, and aesthetics of a commercial building. This varies according to the geographical location and the climate of the building.

Checkout the examples of seasonal property management checklists below:

1. Building maintenance in the summer season

  • Check up and clean HVAC filters, vents, and coils.
  • Test and fix any issue in the fire sprinkler systems.
  • Clean debris, and dirt from the roof. Also, check for cracks, holes, and damages to the terrace, exterior walls, and surfaces.
  • Check and clear gutters and drains. 
  • Inspect and maintain parking lot striping, lighting, and signage. 
  • Inspect the UPS systems and emergency generators and maintain them. 
  • Quality-check of the structural materials for peeling paint, rot, rust, and more. 
  • Take a look at the recycling area and trash bins to check if they are in good condition. 

2. Fall season building maintenance

  • Inspect and clean downspouts, gutters, and drains from falling leaves. 
  • Examine the chimneys, flues, and fireplaces minutely and clean the deposited dirt.
  • Assess and service HVAC systems for the approaching cooler months.
  • Fetch any cracks in walkways, pavement, or parking lots and repair them.
  • Fix the non-functioning exterior lighting and replace them with new lamps. 
  • Test and maintain the snow removal equipment before winter. 
  • Clean the floor carpets and door mats regularly as these areas experience heavy footfall. 

3. Winter building maintenance

  • Review and maintain the boilers, furnaces, and heating systems to optimize their performance.
  • Inspect and boost the smoke detectors, fire alarm systems, as well as emergency lighting.
  • Find any cracks in roofs, surfaces, and exterior walls and repair them to avoid any unwanted hazards.
  • Wash and clean the entrance mats and floor covers to remove dirt, grime, filths, germs, and excess moisture.
  • Prepare the external structures and sensitive landscaping for heavy snowfall.
  • Check-in the building roof and walkways to address ice damns.
  • Maintain the interior lighting, including damaged lights and bunt-out bulbs.

4. Spring building maintenance

  • Look over and clean the gutters, drains, and downspouts from winter debris.
  • Probe and maintain the landscaping irrigation services.
  • Inspect the building roof to identify any leaks, missing shingles, or damage.
  • Test the HVAC systems and service them for the warmer months.
  • Clean windows, awnings, and screens.  
  • Find and repair any damage to walkways, pavement, or parking.

Year-Round Building Maintenance Checklist 

The year-round building facilities inspection checklist and maintenance activities include pre-defined routine tasks. Whether it’s a school building, a medical facility, an industrial plant, or a residential complex, you ought to perform these activities throughout the 365 days.

Regular year-round maintenance is a MUST for commercial buildings to ensure they are in optimal condition and provide a safe environment to visitors and occupants.

Below we have deep-dived into a year-round property management checklist. Take a look:

1. Monthly

  • Inspect and replace the HVAC filters when needed. 
  • Check and maintain the water boilers, heaters, and other heating systems. 
  • Inspect and replace the burnt-out lamps as well as maintain the active interior and exterior lights. 
  • Monitor the pest control issues and address them. 
  • Repair the leaks in plumbing systems including drains, faucets, and toilets. 

2. Quarterly

  • Test and maintain the smoke detectors, emergency lighting, and fire alarm systems.
  • Inspect and maintain water boilers, heaters, and other heating systems. 
  • Examine and maintain the exterior lighting, security systems, and plumbing systems including toilets, drains, and faucets. 
  • Monitor and address the existing pest control issues. 

3. Semi-annually

  • Inspect and clean screens, awnings, and windows.
  • Test and give good treatment to the fire sprinkler systems. 
  • Inspect and maintain the entrance mats and floor coverings. 
  • Probe into the parking lot striping, lighting, and signage. 
  • Assess and preserve the snow removal equipment well. 

4. Annually

  • Perform energy audits to detect any potential improvement areas.
  • Inspect and maintain the safety equipment, for instance, safety signs, first-aid kits, and eye wash stations. 
  • Examine and maintain the outdoor lighting.
  • Test the snow removal machines and fix them if there is any issue.
  • Check up the exterior walls, doors, windows, and surfaces. 

Keep Your Building Well-Maintained With Sterling Cleaning

In conclusion, entrusting your building’s maintenance to Sterling Cleaning can bring about a multitude of benefits. With our expertise in apartment and complex maintenance, you can expect your facility to be well-maintained, ensuring its longevity and functionality.

By conducting regular inspections, repairs, and preventive maintenance, our certified experts can identify and address issues promptly, helping you avoid costly repairs or replacements in the future. Moreover, our commitment to safety measures can create a secure environment for your occupants and visitors.

With improved comfort and satisfaction, you can expect increased productivity and tenant retention. Additionally, Sterling Cleaning's cost-effective approach can help you save on energy bills, minimize emergency repairs, and enhance the overall value of your property.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about our planned building maintenance program and give your building a professional look.

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