Extend asset life using this preventative maintenance checklist

tools for preventive maintenance checklists

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.


Resources | GSA Checklist For The Routine Inspection Of Buildings


Kill time and slash budgets with the Value Assessment Method

preventive maintenance system

The Value Assessment Method was designed by researchers to aid the U.S. Army maintenance managers with their preventive maintenance programs. As long as the Value Assessment Method is followed strictly, it can be transferred to serve other companies and organizations with their preventive maintenance systems.

The values of preventive maintenance system activities change regularly, with modifications or phase-outs of systems, changes in needs of installed equipment. The Value Assessment Method is meant to assess the value of preventive maintenance activities regularly before large returns from the activities can be seen in the long run. This allows maintenance managers to respond swiftly should the Value Assessment Method find that preventive maintenance activities are working inefficiently, before losing money long-term on those activities. Maintenance managers can use the Value Assessment Method to justify specific preventative maintenance tasks, as well as determine specific preventive maintenance workload deletions during budget cut periods.

The Value Assessment Method’s activities can be used by most commercial databases. If that database is kept up to date, it can be shared between inspectors and PM technician daily reports. This ensures the data remains current. The data should be used to compile a series of list, which will be applied according to values and constraints determined by the company. Local preventive maintenance managers should appraise their own preventive maintenance workload, as this will allow them to make their own adjustments for unique influences and factors specific to their installation. The lists that will allow them to do this are as follows:

Ordered Preventive Maintenance System Category List:

The most important and simplest list in the Value Assessment Method groups all preventive maintenance system categories into four classes:

  1. a)    Mission and safety (M/S)
  2. b)   Non-M/S categories that are functionally essential for base operations: required
  3. c)    Non-M/S categories that are nonessential but contribute to functional and efficient base operations: needed
  4. d)   Other categories: marginal

General Preventive Maintenance System List

This list includes systems/units from all PM categories and associated PM task. Grouped in the order of Table 1 below. Build your own as follows:

  1. a)    Systems and equipment supported under each category/unit are identified and listed.
  2. b)   All PM tasks associated with each unit are included.
  3. c)    Priority and cost-effectiveness are attributed to each PM task.

preventive maintenance system

Preferred Preventive Maintenance Task List

The Preferred PM Task List is a spinoff of the General PM List and shows a priority ladder for each PM task performed at the time of installation. This list is created by reordering tasks from the General PM List by cost benefit balance and level of the tasks’ parent categories to determine new task orders. Should two tasks have the same cost-effectiveness and parent level, decreasing assignable work hours will determine the order. In a complete Preferred PM task list, each PM task will have a unique sequence number as its label.

Preferred Preventive Maintenance Category and Task List

The Preferred PM Category and Task List is another spinoff. The only difference between this list and the previous is the PM tasks are grouped under a parent category in the sequence number order. It can be used as a modification of the General Preventive Maintenance System List for PM managers’ convenience.

When followed correctly the combined lists of the Value Assessment Method can ease the headaches of even the busiest maintenance managers. However, it requires due diligence and keeping all of the lists updated to be truly successful.


Resources | The Value Assessment Method for Evaluating Preventive Maintenance Activities


Measuring the spread between corrective and preventive maintenance

corrective and preventive maintenance

An effective preventive maintenance program should find issues before they morph into problems, and tracking it all carefully will help you know if your building’s operations are headed off track or if they’re staying true to best practices.

Preventive maintenance (PM) is an action carried out in a programmed manner to keep equipment in the desired functioning state. Another objective of PM is to detect corrective maintenance action to be taken to prevent an emergency or a non-productive situation. Life Cycle Engineering explores the difference between CM and PM.

Corrective Maintenance (CM) is an action where a repair or adjustment is carried out to solve a condition detected during the PM process due to the fact that the correction was beyond the allocated time or resources of the PM.

It can be said that the efficiency of the preventive maintenance program largely dictates the extent of the work required for CM, and is a vital aspect of an efficient maintenance program in a facility. Establishing a PM program alone doesn’t ensure efficient maintenance in a facility; some other factors also have to be considered –

Frequency of the preventive maintenance program

Implementing a PM program based on the manufacturer suggested interval is a good starting point but that cannot be the benchmark. This routine requires adjustment, based on the operation history of the equipment.

The frequency of a PM in a facility should be based on ‘Mean time between failure’ (MTBF). This permits to calculate a realistic time frame in which checking the equipment, can lead to identification of potential problem. Effectively fixing these problems through CM extends the MTBF of the equipment.

Efficiency of the preventive maintenance program

The short and simple way to describe the efficiency of a PM is that ‘an effective PM program should find problems’. But this doesn’t imply that overwhelming the maintenance department with PM is going to ensure the most efficient system. Many a times there are so many PM to carry out that there is very little time for CM or even emergencies. The effectiveness of a PM program actually rests on the ratio of PM to CM, and this ratio depends on quite a few variables:

  • Impact of the equipment failure on production and safety.
  • The age of the equipment.
  • The history of the equipment.
  • The technology used in the equipment.
  • The desired productivity of the equipment.
  • The amount of resources available.

Working through all these factors, if the ratio of preventive maintenance to corrective is approximately 6:1 (for 6 PM there is 1CM) the preventive maintenance program can be called reliable. This is a proven theory and holds good for many facilities though it cannot be steadfastly held for all PM and for all processes.

The proper ratio of PM to CM should be determined only after a detailed analysis of past performance and PM work order history and cannot remain as a guess work. Excellence in maintenance can only come from a dedicated proactive approach and applying proven processes.

Resources | Analyzing the Relationship of Preventive Maintenance to Corrective Maintenance