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Preventative Maintenance Vs. Reactive Maintenance

Read here to learn about the differences between preventative and reactive maintenance and why your community should prioritize preventative measures.
Camille Moore | May 25, 2024 | 3 min read
maintenance worker holding tools

As a community association board member, one of your primary responsibilities is to ensure the smooth operation and maintenance of the community. Among the various maintenance strategies available, two major approaches stand out: preventative maintenance and reactive maintenance.

In this blog post, we'll explore the key differences between these approaches and highlight the advantages of prioritizing preventative maintenance for your association.

What is Preventative Maintenance?

Preventative maintenance involves planned and regular upkeep to prevent potential issues and ensure the long-term functionality of community assets. Instead of waiting for a problem to occur, preventative maintenance focuses on identifying and addressing maintenance needs before they escalate into costly repairs.

The Benefits of Preventative Maintenance

By implementing this approach, board members can achieve the following benefits:

Cost Savings

By investing in regular maintenance activities, such as inspections, cleaning, and servicing, you can identify minor issues early on and fix them promptly. This proactive approach can prevent minor problems from developing into major, expensive repairs down the line.

Extended Asset Lifespan

Regular maintenance helps extend the lifespan of community assets, such as roofs, common areas, and infrastructure. Through routine inspections and maintenance tasks, you can detect and address potential problems, ensuring the longevity of these assets and avoiding premature replacements.

Enhanced Community Satisfaction

A well-maintained community improves the overall quality of life for residents. By preventing issues such as leaks, malfunctioning equipment, or deteriorating amenities, you contribute to a positive living environment, leading to higher resident satisfaction and property values.

Reduced Liability

Neglecting maintenance can expose the association to potential liability risks. Regular inspections and maintenance help identify safety hazards, such as loose handrails or cracked pavement, which, if left unaddressed, could lead to accidents or injuries. Taking a proactive approach minimizes these risks and demonstrates the board's commitment to resident safety.

What is Reactive Maintenance?

Reactive maintenance, also known as "breakdown" or "run-to-failure" maintenance, involves responding to issues as they occur. This approach focuses on fixing problems only after they have disrupted the normal functioning of community assets.

The Disadvantages of Reactive Maintenance

While reactive maintenance may seem like a cost-effective solution in the short term, it carries several drawbacks:

Increased Costs

By neglecting preventative measures, issues are left to worsen, leading to more extensive damage and higher repair costs. Reactive maintenance often requires urgent repairs or replacements, which tend to be more expensive than planned maintenance activities.

Disruption to Residents

Reactive maintenance can cause significant inconvenience to residents. Whether it's a sudden plumbing issue, a malfunctioning elevator, or an unexpected closure of a common area, the disruption can negatively impact the quality of life for community members.

Diminished Resident Satisfaction

Constantly reacting to problems can create a negative perception among residents. They may feel that the association is not proactive in maintaining the community, leading to decreased satisfaction and potentially impacting their willingness to renew leases or sell their properties.

Higher Liability Risks

Reactive maintenance increases the chances of accidents or injuries caused by unaddressed issues. These incidents can result in legal claims and potential financial liabilities for the association.

Final Thoughts

Prioritizing preventative maintenance over reactive maintenance is crucial for the long-term success of your association. By investing in regular upkeep and addressing issues proactively, you can save costs, extend the lifespan of community assets, enhance resident satisfaction, and minimize liability risks.

Embrace a proactive approach to maintenance and secure a thriving community for years to come.

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