Why is preventive maintenance important for property managers?

Most people might think that apartments, houses, and buildings don't need as much preventive maintenance (PM) as an asset or large piece of machinery. After all, the building can't "break down" like a machine can, right?

Remember, though, that the name of the game in preventive maintenance is preventive action - as in preventing issues before they even have the chance to occur. In property maintenance, this is huge: issues that build and build can end up being massively expensive, difficult to fix, and potentially dangerous for the tenants or employees inside the building.

For example, imagine that a property manager starts seeing far more insects than normal in an apartment building. They think, "Well, no worries, they're just bugs. I don't need to worry about that right now." Fast forward a few weeks, when the apartment is covered up and being fumigated due to insect infestation. Not only is this costly, but it disrupts the lives of the tenants in the apartment building as well.

Preventive property maintenance is also critical for maintaining the infrastructure of the building(s). For instance, it may not seem obvious, but letting leaves pile up in gutters and under roof tiles can actually damage and rot away the structure of the roof itself. If left unattended, tenants might find themselves looking at an unplanned, costly new skylight - at worst, someone could be seriously injured by falling debris or severe weather.

HVAC systems, air filters, bathrooms, and electrical devices/wiring are also extremely important aspects of property maintenance that can cause significant problems in a building.

At the end of the day, a preventive maintenance program is an investment much like insurance - it might seem unnecessary until you really need it when the problem is massive and the cost high. When a tenant finds fungus growing in their bathroom and doesn't report it for two months, what was a small issue becomes a huge headache. However, with a solid PM program set up, these issues can be avoided.

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