Integrating Preventative Maintenance

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Asset management planning is the process of making the best possible decisions regarding the management of assets, including the building, renewing and disposing of them. The objective is to maximize benefits, manage risk, and provide satisfactory levels of service in a sustainable manner.

For housing providers, one key element of asset management is preventative maintenance. Simply put, preventative maintenance is that which is regularly performed to lessen the likelihood that a piece of equipment or an element of the building envelope, such as the roof or windows, will fail. It is performed while the equipment is still working so that it does not break down unexpectedly. If you’re currently relying solely on reactive maintenance, then your organization may be spending thousands every year due to a lack of a preventive maintenance plan.

Just as a regular schedule for oil changes keeps a car running smoothly and prevents or delays serious problems, your building(s) should be checked on a regular basis. This includes having the furnace cleaned and inspected annually, changing filters and belts regularly, clearing roof drains and rain gutters each fall, and lubricating door and window hardware bi-annually.

A preventative maintenance program is often informed by a Building Condition Assessment (BCA). The BCA, which is an engineering study of the building/portfolio, is used by management to forecast when critical elements of the building/portfolio will be in need of repair and/or replacement.

For providers in Ontario, Housing Services Corporation, the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association and Co-Operative Housing Federation of Canada have the tools and resources to help build your BCA.

For providers in British Columbia, the BC Non-Profit Housing Association and the Co-Operative Housing Federation of British Columbia have the tools and resources to help build your BCA.

While there are costs associated with preventative maintenance, the benefits greatly outweigh the expenses over the long term. Housing providers that perform regular preventative maintenance report a number of advantages, including:

• Less equipment downtime.
• Fewer interruptions to critical operations.
• Longer asset life.
• Improved efficiency (assets in good repair tend to operate better).
• Increased workplace safety.

Simply put, preparing today for tomorrow’s needs through preventative maintenance is an important consideration as part of asset management. Do you have a preventative maintenance plan? Reach out to Encasa Financial at to discuss how we can help you to prepare for maintenance costs.