How Much is Your Deferred Maintenance Costing You?

Have you delayed or ignored general maintenance and building repairs lately?

It’s time to consider a new approach. While deferring maintenance may seem like an easy cost saving measure, studies show that on average direct costs are 4x higher with deferred maintenance. Factoring in additional indirect costs, the cost may total 15x more than what would’ve been spent on the maintenance had it not been deferred.

How is this possible? Here are examples of expenses you can incur when you’re reactive to maintenance problems instead of proactive.

Emergency Repairs – When an asset breaks down, you may need to pay for:

  • overtime for maintenance personnel or contracting with third-party services
  • parts that must be ordered (and more potential down time)
  • temporary replacement systems or temporary fixes that won’t last
  • disruptions or complete shutdowns of portions of the facility

Shorter Asset Life – Without regular service, building assets don’t last as long and you’re paying for replacements more often. 

Reduced Efficiency – Deferring maintenance on building equipment and mechanical systems increases your energy costs. A U.S. Department of Energy analysis calculated the jump in utility bills from deferred maintenance costs to be $1.16 per square foot (2017). 

Liability and Safety Hazards – Deferred maintenance can cause harm to building occupants and your facility’s bottom line. For example, you may pay for:

  • Failed compliance inspections, penalties, and fines
  • Damaged reputation when there’s evidence that the building is poorly taken care of
  • Medical costs if harm is caused by a failure to provide a safe environment

Additional Damage – A single issue can turn into a big disaster when maintenance is put off. Seemingly minor issues like peeling wood trim paint or a small leak from the roof can lead to mold, mildew, rot, cracking, splitting, and decay where ceilings, walls, and even structural elements and fixtures have to be replaced.

On top of this, facility managers typically don’t plan to incur any of these costs so it can cause significant financial strain on the budget when these situations happen. 

It’s best to take a predictable and proactive approach to repairing and maintaining your facilities that involves regular inspections and planned asset maintenance. A preventive maintenance program makes it easy to stay on schedule and on budget.

Contact us to see how we can help you make a commitment to preventive maintenance in 2022.


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