Prevention is better than Cure!

In a medical context, we often use the term that “prevention is better than cure!” While that is really a universal principle that applies equally well to preventative maintenance on buildings as opposed to reacting when the building is in a sickly condition.
The main reason for having a ten-year maintenance plan should not be simply because it is a legislative requirement. The advantages of having a documented PMR22 plan are as follows:
  • the property can be maintained in a systematic, rather than ad-hoc way;
  • building services can be monitored to assist their efficient use;
  • the standard and presentation of the property can be maintained;
  • subjective decision making and emergency corrective maintenance are minimised.
  • With neglect, defects can occur which may result in extensive and avoidable damage to the building fabric, structure or equipment.
  • Neglect of maintenance can also give rise to fire and safety hazards, which could result in building owners being found legally liable for any injuries.
There is little doubt that preventive maintenance costs far less over the long-term than allowing a building to deteriorate to the point where substantial major repairs need to be undertaken.
Ultimately, the cost difference between preventive maintenance and undergoing major repairs is insignificant when looking over a short time period of two to three years. This is partly why the new Management Rules insist that planning be looked at over a period of ten years.
The chart above shows how tackling normal wear when it occurs, costs far less than waiting for major failures. We can think of a simple thing like wooden fascia boards that are exposed to the elements. If these are lightly sanded and painted every three or four years, this exercise will likely prevent rust from appearing at the nailheads, will prevent woodrot and the cost of needing to replace sections of the fascia and ultimately the regular painting (although done 2 or 3 times in 10 years) will cost far less than one major attempt at repair after failure in year 7 or 8 that will require repair and replacement.
Attempting maintenance after normal wear will always result in lower repair costs than waiting for major failures. However, a PMR22 Plan should assist you in determining which items to prioritise, so that your maintenance can be conducted in a systematic manner.
This article is creative copyright in terms of CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 If part of whole of this article is reproduced or quoted, acknowledgment must go to PMR22 and a full link back to the original article.

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