In the world of facility management, it is all about keeping your building and its components in the best possible condition.
However, maintaining a commercial facility can often be viewed as a financial burden and is easily postponed or even ignored altogether.
What many building owners and operators do not realize is that the cost of under-maintenance in facilities can be much higher than the cost of maintenance itself. Ignoring routine upkeep on a building can trigger avoidable, hefty repair costs, and jeopardize occupant safety.
In this blog post, we explore the true cost of under-maintenance and how regular maintenance can save building owners and facility managers money in the long run.
What Exactly is Under-Maintenance?
Under-maintenance refers to the inadequate or lack of maintenance on a building’s components, systems, and equipment. This can include anything from neglected plumbing fixtures to faulty electrical wiring, poorly functioning HVAC units to deteriorating roofing materials.
Budgetary constraints often haunt facility managers, leaving them with inadequate funds for necessary upkeep which leads to under-maintenance. The common “fix it when it breaks” mentality among many FMs — rather than investing in preventive maintenance — tends to save money in the short term at the expense of significant future repercussions. The costs of repairing and replacing neglected systems and equipment usually far outweigh the costs of regular maintenance.
The True Hidden Cost of Under-Maintenance
Under-maintenance can lead to a domino effect of costly consequences. For example, a small leak in the roof that goes unnoticed and unrepaired can eventually lead to structural damage, causing water damage to interior finishes and potential mold growth. As a result, the repair costs for this seemingly minor issue can quickly escalate into thousands of dollars.
Here’s a closer look at other hidden costs of under-maintenance:
Skyrocketing Energy Consumption and Utility Bills
One of the significant impacts of under-maintenance is an increase in energy consumption and utility bills. When heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, lighting fixtures, and other equipment are not serviced regularly, they become inefficient and consume more energy than necessary.
This inefficiency leads to high utility bills, and building owners and facility managers spend more money on energy expenses than they should. A regular maintenance schedule for HVAC systems, lighting, and other equipment can reduce energy consumption and utility bills by up to 40%.
Reduced Equipment Life Span and Replacement Costs
Another cost of under-maintenance is the reduced life span of equipment and increased replacement costs. When equipment is not maintained, it becomes prone to breakdowns, which eventually lead to complete failure.
Replacing an entire equipment system is more expensive than fixing minor issues, and unplanned replacements can drain a business’s finances. Routine maintenance ensures that equipment is in optimal condition and extends its life span, preventing frequent replacements.
The cost of under-maintenance may not always be monetary; it can also damage the reputation of a facility. If vermin like rats, and cockroaches move in, your social media platforms would undoubtedly be filled with complaints, leading to a less-than-stellar brand image.
This can lead to tenants moving out, making it challenging to fill vacancies and generate income. In contrast, a well-maintained building with an outstanding reputation contributes to the top line of the organization as it helps attract and retain your dream tenants.
Occupant Health and Safety Risks
Commercial facility under-maintenance can pose significant health and safety risks to occupants. Poor indoor air quality resulting from unchecked HVAC systems can lead to respiratory issues, allergies, and other health problems.
Similarly, malfunctioning lighting and electrical systems pose safety risks such as fire hazards. Building owners and facility managers can avoid these costs by implementing regular maintenance checks to ensure a safe and healthy environment for occupants.
Poor Tenant Satisfaction
Poor maintenance standards can drive away your tenants. Regardless of how beautiful your facility is, it’s critical to provide your tenants with a safe, comfortable, and functional environment. It’s essential to address any maintenance issue quickly and hire experienced professionals to maintain your facility. Consequently, poor experience with tenants, clients, and visitors within your facility will most likely cause you to lose future business prospects.
Decreased Property Value
The value of a building is strongly related to its condition. A well-maintained building is usually worth more on the market than one that isn’t. Properly scheduled maintenance can help keep a building in top shape, extend its lifespan, and keep it performing optimally. Buildings that appear poorly-maintained will not only lose that shiny curb appeal, but it can scare away potential buyers who would prefer that their investments perform at a higher standard.
Legal Liability and Regulatory Compliance
Commercial facility under-maintenance may expose a facility to legal liability. Failure to maintain a building can lead to accidents and injuries. Moreover, under-maintenance may also result in non-compliance with local building codes, fire regulations, and other safety standards. Compliance failure can result in hefty fines, legal liabilities, and loss of business credibility. Regular maintenance schedules ensure that facilities comply with regulatory standards and avoid associated costs and penalties.
How to Steer Clear of Commercial Facility Under-Maintenance?
While budgetary constraints are a reality, under-maintenance is not a cost-effective strategy in the long run.
So how can you ensure proper maintenance without breaking the bank?
Here are some tips to consider when budgeting for facility maintenance:
Prioritize Regular Preventive Maintenance
The first step to avoiding the hidden costs of commercial facility under-maintenance is to shift from a reactive maintenance approach to a proactive one. Regular preventive maintenance is crucial in avoiding costly repairs and replacements. Consider conducting a facility audit to identify critical systems and equipment that require regular maintenance. Develop a maintenance schedule and prioritize preventive maintenance to keep your facility in top shape.
Plan for Emergency Repairs
Despite the best preventive measures, emergencies are unpredictable. Allocating a budget for emergency repairs can help mitigate the impact of unexpected breakdowns. This can help avoid last-minute scrambles for funds and prevent further damage to the facility.
Invest in Energy-Efficient Equipment
When it comes to equipment replacement, consider investing in energy-efficient options. While they may have a higher upfront cost, they can save you money on utility bills in the long run.
Hire Experienced Professionals
Hiring seasoned professionals for facility upkeep is vital. While it might appear economical to manage maintenance tasks internally, a team lacking experience could overlook crucial issues. This oversight could escalate into more significant challenges and unexpected expenses in the future.
Consider Outsourcing Facility Maintenance
Delegating facility maintenance to an expert service provider like Servus Limited can be a financially savvy strategy for many businesses. This approach not only ensures access to specialized knowledge and the latest technological tools but also guarantees efficient and regular maintenance schedules. This will also free up internal resources and allow the facility team to focus on other critical tasks.
Investing in Regular Maintenance: A Wise Financial Move
In conclusion, under-maintenance in commercial facilities can have hidden costs that can negatively impact a business’s finances and reputation. By prioritizing regular maintenance and investing in preventive measures, businesses can avoid costly repairs and replacements, protect their reputation, ensure occupant health and safety, maintain high tenant satisfaction levels, and increase property value. Outsourcing facility maintenance to experienced professionals is also a cost-effective approach that can save businesses time, resources, and money in the long run. Remember, investing in regular maintenance is not just an expense; it’s an investment in the longevity and success of your business. So make sure to prioritize regular maintenance for your facility and reap the benefits of a well-maintained building. Now let’s get to work!
Contact us today for a free consultation on how we can help you avoid the pitfalls of commercial facility under-maintenance.