What Preventative Maintenance Can (And Cannot) Do For You

Preventative maintenance is one of the biggest time- and cost-saving measures a facility manager can invest in. However, this service is often overlooked by facility managers trying to cut costs. This approach to maintenance budgeting, while effective in the short-term, will cost your facility dearly when a critical piece of equipment breaks down and renders your space underperforming at best, or shut down at worst. 

Preventative maintenance is critical to any facility’s operations, but the benefits can be easily lost in the monthly costs. There are also things that preventative maintenance cannot achieve that should be understood before you begin your program. Let’s look at some of the things preventative maintenance can and cannot achieve: 

Preventative maintenance (PM) detects problems before they arise. 

A PM program can help your maintenance team detect defects, deteriorating equipment, and damage that will likely lead to failure. This information is incredibly useful when budgeting for upgrades or planning out your routine/corrective maintenance schedule for the month. 

PM does not fix out-of-date or malfunctioning equipment. 

PM programs will extend the service life of your functioning equipment, but it will not be able to give life back to your aging, wear-and-tear equipment. In some cases, the best option is to replace equipment if it is nearing the end of its service life and could be replaced with a newer, more energy-efficient option. 

PM reduces costs due to unnecessary downtime. 

When a PM program is implemented, your equipment will be in better shape. Over time you will see a decrease in rates of breakdown and overall facility downtime. This means, however, that you must trust your maintenance department when they schedule preventative maintenance services, order spare parts for emergencies, or request time to work in critical machinery. 

PM does not immediately affect breakdown rates. 

While PM programs are effective in reducing downtime due to equipment breakdowns, results are not immediate. For some programs, it takes a year or more to prove cost-savings. Managers must also consider alternative issues that could be causing equipment breakdowns. For example, studies show that approximately 63% of commercial equipment breakdowns are due to improper operation. You must address issues of reliability as a whole before expecting your PM program to do all of the heavy lifting. 

PM can make regular maintenance more cost-effective. 

When your equipment is well-maintained, corrective maintenance becomes easier and less expensive. A unit that is in proper working condition will require less time spent fixing issues and working on aging, inefficient parts. This will reduce overall maintenance service time and therefore your annual costs. 

PM does not stop normal wear and tear. 

While preventative maintenance can help reduce breakdowns and failures, it cannot stop your equipment from needing regular tuneups. It also does not affect the need for basic maintenance, such as replacing air filters in your HVAC or replacing roof shingles over time. If you incorporate these tasks into your PM program, however, you can reduce the number of maintenance calls and save money. 

MaintenX specializes in effective preventative maintenance programs for commercial facilities in 13 states. If you’d like to learn more about your options, contact us today!

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