When you think about a well-maintained building, it’s easy to overlook the behind-the-scenes work of dedicated building maintenance professionals who ensure everything runs smoothly, safely, and efficiently. Managing the maintenance team and their workflows is crucial for success in building maintenance and for modern operations, which often means incorporating facility or building maintenance software. However, before diving into the specifics of a building management system, it’s important to understand the fundamental definition of building maintenance and the essential tasks it involves.

What is Building Maintenance?

Effective building maintenance is essential for the smooth functioning of any facility or building. It is a comprehensive process that involves numerous tasks and activities, including cleaning common areas, regular trash removal, and repairing broken equipment or items. It is also crucial to ensure that electrical systems, heating and air conditioning systems, and other utility services are well maintained, inspected and repaired when necessary.

In addition, building maintenance may also encompass outdoor property management, such as sprinkler management, lawn care, and landscape management. Overall, building maintenance plays a critical role in ensuring the safety, comfort, and functionality of any building or facility.

Types of Building Maintenance

  1. Preventive Maintenance

    Preventive maintenance, which involves any routine maintenance done for the sake of asset upkeep, is a crucial aspect of preserving a building’s longevity and structural soundness. Preventive maintenance tasks are especially important in this regard, as they can help identify and address potential issues before they cause serious damage. By performing routine inspections and maintenance, building owners and managers can proactively address issues such as wear and tear, corrosion, and other types of damage that can compromise a structure’s integrity over time. Examples of preventive maintenance might be equipment repairs, weed abatement, cleaning, and more.

  2. Corrective Maintenance

    Maintenance is a crucial aspect of ensuring that buildings remain functional and comfortable for their occupants. Corrective maintenance in particular plays a vital role in restoring a building’s functionality when issues do arise. While preventive measures can help reduce the likelihood of damage or decay, it’s important to have a well-defined corrective maintenance strategy in place, as it’s impossible to eliminate the possibility of issues arising. By responding quickly and efficiently to potential issues, building managers can minimize downtime and ensure that occupants can continue to use and enjoy the space. This approach can also help prevent minor issues from escalating into larger, more costly problems over time, ultimately ensuring the long-term viability of the building.

Types of Building Maintenance Workers

  1. Janitorial Staff

    Janitors are responsible for the overall cleanliness and maintenance of a building. Janitorial work includes tasks such as mopping floors, cleaning bathrooms, washing windows and doors, and vacuuming carpets. In residential buildings, their scope of work is limited to common areas only.

  2. Maintenance Technicians

    Highly skilled maintenance technicians are entrusted with complex responsibilities that are crucial to the functioning of a building. They expertly inspect, maintain, and repair intricate HVAC and utility systems, which require technical know-how and precision. The tasks are typically assigned through a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS), which ensures that all maintenance activities are organized and streamlined for maximum efficiency.

  3. Maintenance Supervisors

    Smooth building functionality depends largely on maintenance planning and scheduling, which is overseen by maintenance supervisors. These supervisors play a crucial role in managing maintenance workers and ensuring that tasks are carried out effectively. In some cases, they are responsible for overseeing the hiring and training of maintenance workers in addition to their regular duties. The expertise and leadership of maintenance supervisors are essential to maintaining the operational efficiency of a building.


Industries That Practice Building Maintenance

  1. Business

    Maintenance services are essential for every business regardless of its size. Smaller businesses typically outsource maintenance services to external providers, whereas larger businesses have an in-house maintenance department to oversee and manage maintenance tasks. Whether outsourced or in-house, the importance of regular maintenance cannot be overstated, as it ensures the longevity and operational efficiency of the building.

  2. Real Estate

    Apartment or residential complexes employ a dedicated team of building maintenance personnel who are responsible for inspecting, repairing, and managing all indoor and outdoor maintenance requirements for the entire complex.

  3. Government

    Building maintenance teams are employed by municipalities to ensure that city buildings, post offices, and libraries are properly maintained and functioning, thereby serving the needs of the public.

What Types of Facilities Need Building Maintenance?

  1. Schools and Higher Education Campuses

    When it comes to building maintenance, school and university campuses require special attention due to the high volume of foot traffic and complex infrastructure. School and university campus facilities typically house numerous classrooms, laboratories, administrative offices, and dormitories, all of which require regular maintenance to ensure they remain safe, functional, and conducive to learning. This includes tasks such as HVAC maintenance, electrical and plumbing repairs, and cleaning and sanitization. Additionally, schools and campuses often have large outdoor spaces that require upkeep, such as parking lots and athletic fields. By prioritizing regular building maintenance, school and university campuses can create a safe and comfortable environment for students, faculty, and staff and prolong the lifespan of their facilities.

  2. Restaurants, Hotels, and Resorts

    Restaurants, hotels, and resorts have unique maintenance needs that require specialized attention. These facilities are typically high-traffic areas that experience constant wear and tear, making regular maintenance crucial to ensure they remain safe and inviting. Additionally, food service facilities must adhere to strict health and safety regulations, requiring regular cleaning and maintenance of kitchen equipment and surfaces to prevent the spread of bacteria and other contaminants. By investing in regular building maintenance, restaurants, hotels, and resorts can create a safe and comfortable environment for guests, and prolong the life of their facilities.

  3. Houses of Worship

    It’s important to keep houses of worship in tip-top shape to make sure everyone who visits feels safe and comfortable. Just like any other building, they need regular maintenance to stay functional and in good condition. These buildings often have unique features, like beautiful stained-glass windows, intricate woodwork, and ornate fixtures that need special attention. In addition, because they’re busy places, they can get worn down at a relatively rapid pace over time. To make sure the building stays strong, regular maintenance is super important. When people invest in maintenance, they’re making sure that the building can keep serving its community for years to come.

  4. Healthcare Facilities

    Keeping any facility running smoothly requires regular building maintenance, but when it comes to places like healthcare facilities and offices, it’s even more crucial. In healthcare facilities, like hospitals, clinics, and hospices, proper maintenance is a must to create a safe and healthy environment for everyone who enters. This means regular cleaning and disinfection, as well as taking care of specialized equipment and systems like HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems.

    Offices, too, need building maintenance to keep employees comfortable and productive. This can involve cleaning and maintaining common areas, elevators, and parking facilities, as well as making sure critical systems like fire alarms and sprinklers are functional. Ultimately, building maintenance is essential for the safe and efficient operation of healthcare facilities and offices, and it should be a top priority for facility managers and building owners.

  5. Other Commercial facilities

    Commercial facilities are the beating heart of economic activity, providing a stage for specialized services and vibrant consumer interactions. Located primarily in urban areas, these spaces are carefully crafted to be not just functional, but also aesthetically pleasing and comfortable.

    Think of them as diverse ecosystems, each catering to specific needs:

    • Office buildings: Dedicated hubs for corporate teams to collaborate and thrive.
    • Retail stores: Individual shops offering a curated selection of goods, from everyday essentials to coveted electronics.
    • Shopping malls: Expansive complexes housing a multitude of retail stores, entertainment zones, and culinary delights.
    • Conference and conventional centres: Well-equipped conferences and conventional centres also need maintenance to host large-scale gatherings, meetings, and events.
    • Banks: Institutions facilitating financial transactions for individuals and businesses alike.
    • Entertainment venues: From captivating movie theatres and live performances to interactive gaming centres, these facilities offer a vibrant escape.
    • Commercial Airport: Gateway hubs facilitating global travel and trade, with efficient infrastructure and amenities catering to passengers and cargo movement. Airport facility management is one of the toughest jobs out there, it needs perfection.

    Beyond their primary functions, commercial facilities go the extra mile to create inviting and comfortable environments. Regular maintenance ensures cleanliness, optimal climate control, efficient lighting, and a well-maintained infrastructure. Additionally, careful attention is paid to aesthetics, including landscaping and interior design, creating an ambience that fosters user satisfaction and ultimately contributes to the success of the businesses within. By understanding the diverse roles and meticulous management behind these facilities, we gain a deeper appreciation for the crucial role they play in shaping the economic and social fabric of our communities.

Examples of Building Maintenance

Regular building maintenance involves a variety of routine tasks to keep everything in good condition. For example:

  • Outdoor landscaping tasks like mowing lawns and trimming shrubs can improve a building’s curb appeal.
  • Inspecting outdoor lighting for damage and clearing gutters and drainages can help prevent safety hazards.
  • Cleaning outdoor spaces can also help improve the overall cleanliness of the building.
  • During winter months, it’s important to inspect ceilings and floors for water damage and to seal any cracks in parking lots to prevent further damage.
  • Replacing HVAC air filters is another important maintenance task to ensure good air quality.
  • Servicing fire alarms and fire suppression systems can help keep everyone safe in case of an emergency, while inspecting door and window alarm systems can ensure proper operation and further enhance building safety.

These routine tasks should be carried out regularly to keep buildings in good condition and ensure the safety and well-being of their occupants.

What Are the Benefits of Building Maintenance?

  1. Regular building maintenance saves you money.

    Keeping a budget for regular maintenance is much more cost-effective than scrambling for funds when something unexpectedly breaks down. As such, keeping a close eye on your maintenance budget is highly important if you want to save your organization as much money as possible. There are a few ways to plan and stay on top of building maintenance costs:

    • Use a CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) to track the lifecycle of your assets and get alerted when equipment is nearing the end of its useful life. This can help you plan for repairs or replacements in advance and avoid unexpected expenses.
    • Arrange regular preventative maintenance tasks to ensure your equipment operates smoothly and avoids malfunctions. By staying on top of these tasks, you can catch potential issues early and avoid more costly repairs down the line.
    • Increase productivity by automating maintenance tasks like scheduling work for your team. This can help you get more done in less time, which can ultimately save you money.
    • Check for energy efficiency lapses, such as drafts or leaks, and track assets and replacement parts to identify areas where you’re losing money. By installing more energy-efficient solutions, you can reduce energy costs and save money over time.

    By planning and staying on top of maintenance tasks, you can keep your facility in good working order and avoid unexpected expenses. Regular maintenance not only saves you money, but it can also extend the lifespan of your equipment and reduce the risk of safety hazards.

  2. Regular maintenance keeps building functionality consistent.

    Regular maintenance is essential for buildings and their assets to stay in good working condition. Neglecting to inspect and repair them can lead to rapid deterioration, unnoticed weak points, and eventual breakdowns that can cause major disruptions. For example, a leaky pipe that goes unnoticed can lead to a major water damage incident that affects the building and its occupants.

    In contrast, regular maintenance offers consistent building functionality in several ways:

    • Regular maintenance reduces the likelihood that a building’s components may malfunction, resulting in outages and disturbances. By identifying and addressing potential issues before they become major problems, regular maintenance can help ensure smooth and uninterrupted operations.
    • Regular inspections and updates can help ensure that building assets are working properly and efficiently.
  3. Regular maintenance helps you stay compliant with building regulations.

    Keeping up with building maintenance regularly is important to staying compliant with building and safety codes that are always changing, along with state and federal regulations. By maintaining your spaces, you can reduce safety risks and minimize your liability. Neglecting to keep up with building maintenance can lead to costly repairs, fines, and legal troubles.

Types of Building Maintenance Certification and Training

  1. HVAC Certification

    HVAC certification shows that maintenance workers are qualified to handle HVAC systems. To earn certification, maintenance workers can take apprenticeships through organizations like the National Association of Home Builders and the Associated Builders and Contractors. These apprenticeships provide the training and experience necessary to demonstrate competence in HVAC system maintenance.

  2. Building Systems Maintenance Certification

    BOMI International offers a certificate for those maintaining building systems. It covers energy management, HVAC, plumbing, and water treatment topics. This certification is recommended for those seeking to improve their skills in facility management.

  3. Building Operator Certification

    Building Operator Certification is awarded to candidates who complete level one and level two maintenance training at approved institutions. The certification encompasses HVAC, management of control points, electrical distribution, and energy management. Additionally, the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA) offers various training programs for building maintenance workers.


Building Maintenance FAQs:

  1. How Do You Manage Building Maintenance?

    Automating work order assignments through building maintenance software or a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) can streamline maintenance activities and save costs. CMMS software enables maintenance supervisors to track assets, monitor inventory levels, and assign work orders to available technicians from one central database.

    A preventive maintenance approach can reduce the likelihood of emergencies, but managers should also have corrective procedures in place to quickly address unexpected equipment breakdowns and minimize downtime. Having clear procedures in place ensures that technicians can quickly respond to emergency maintenance requests and restore operations to normal as soon as possible.

  2. What Is a Building Maintenance Checklist?

    Building maintenance checklists consist of a set of duties that technicians must carry out. Typically, the lists are created by operational managers who are knowledgeable about the maintenance requirements of the building’s specific features and needs.

  3. What Should I Include in a Building Maintenance Checklist?

    A building maintenance checklist usually contains precise sections of a property that require regular evaluation to ensure they remain in optimal condition. To create your checklist, you can use pre-existing templates as a reference and customize it based on your particular requirements.