Checklists are essential for airline pilots, construction managers, doctors, and building managers.
This post summarizes the GSA’s building inspection outline to extend the life of the reader’s maintenance units. If building owners or maintenance managers invest money, care, and time into their units, the value of the property and assets will increase. This often requires use of preventive maintenance, rather than a “squeaky wheel” corrective maintenance approach. Corrective maintenance refers to a technique where building owners and maintenance managers do nothing until a failure occurs, where they “correct” the failure and continue on. Depending on the asset, this can set the owner back with high repair bills and extra time spent repairing the failure, than if the owner had an preventive maintenance checklist in place.
A preventive maintenance checklist takes up little of an owner’s time, but will comprehensively inspect a building. Preventive maintenance can be performed on a regular schedule and can simplify an owner’s maintenance approach. Owners and maintenance managers should pay careful attention to parts of buildings that are most likely to fail.
The checklist has long played a mission-critical role across industries. Preventive maintenance outlines are designed to allow owners to check all aspects of a building quickly. However, certain areas may be found by an owner to require a more extensive inspection. This document will provide only an outline of preventive maintenance, however links in the document can provide the reader with a more comprehensive checklist. The outline of areas is as follows:
- Roofs and Roofing Elements: These should be inspected at least twice a year, particularly before and after harsh weather that may erode the roof. An unchecked roof can lead to leaks and building damages caused by leaks.
- Exterior Wall Materials and Finishes: Weather, such as sun, wind, hail, rain, etc, will wear away exterior wall finishes such as paint and mortar joints. They must also be regularly refinished, such as repainting when wear is visible.
- Fenestration: Weather-stripping must be applied and regularly checked to all sources of infiltration, such as doors and windows, to prevent energy and heat loss.
- Exterior Ceilings and Decks: Check for weather damage, particularly before and after extreme weather.
- Grounds: Owners should design their grounds to direct flow of rainwater away from buildings and parking lots to prevent stagnant water. Check the grounds after heavy rains to check drainage.
- Interior: Check foundation walls for cracks, leaks, or condensation problems caused by rainwater or moisture. Dampness and mold may be found where the first floor meets the foundation wall.
- Mechanical and Electrical: Check that electrical power circuits are serving all aspects of the building, particularly in older buildings. Inspect heating elements such as ducts, furnaces, radiators and registers.
- Attic: Attics may develop condensation, check for adequate ventilation to prevent this.
If building owners or managers follow this guide buildings should have an extended life and heavy failure bills may be avoided. A more detailed version of this checklist may be found here for interested readers.