RealManage Insight

Preventative Maintenance Vs. Reactive Maintenance

by Staff Writer on Aug 28, 2014 5:04:40 AM

Maintenance is the formal upkeep of equipment, plants and gardens, and anything else that requires human intervention to keep working and looking as it should. Not all types of maintenance are the same. For example, preventative maintenance, which focuses on preventing problems, differs sharply from reactive maintenance, which reacts to problems when they occur. Let’s take a closer look at how these types of maintenance compare to each other.

Cost Requirements

Compared to preventative maintenance, reactive maintenance has lower initial costs and higher long-term costs. This is because reactive maintenance is performed when equipment or an area in the community has a need for repair, not on a monthly basis to help prevent repairs. As time goes on, a lack of preventative maintenance will lead to an increasing number of reactive repairs.

Equipment Reliability

The more maintenance it receives, the better most equipment performs. Equipment such as lawn mowers, furnaces, and power generators need regular maintenance to remain reliable. Reactive maintenance doesn’t address this need, as it essentially consists of repairing equipment when it breaks down. For equipment reliability, preventative maintenance is the best option.

Staff Requirements

Performing preventative maintenance requires more manpower than performing reactive maintenance. However, the cost of manpower must be balanced against the cost of repairs for equipment that isn’t regularly maintained. Most HOA community management providers find that hiring staff to perform preventative maintenance has the greatest cost benefits in the long run.

Labor Intensity

Because it consists of repairing equipment that breaks and rehabbing areas in the community that have seen better days, reactive maintenance typically requires more labor in both man hours and overall efforts than preventative maintenance. By sustaining the condition of equipment and common grounds in the community, preventative maintenance helps reduce the labor intensity of performing repairs.

Time Requirements

Reactively repairing equipment and re-landscaping areas in the community typically takes longer than performing proactive maintenance. Over time, staff members may spend more time performing preventative maintenance than reactive maintenance. However, the time spent on maintenance sessions is generally far less than the time spent on reactive maintenance.

Choosing the Right Option

In terms of cost requirements, equipment reliability, staff requirements, labor intensity, and time requirements, preventative maintenance is a better choice for most planned communities than reactive maintenance. If your community currently performs reactive maintenance and would like to institute a preventative maintenance program, an HOA community management provider can help. For more information, contact an HOA community management provider today.

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