Pressure Washer to Boiler Tube Cleaning: Developing a Building Maintenance Checklist

As cold weather continues to cover much of the U.S., buildings will need to rely more heavily on their HVAC system. If you perform routine upkeep on your furnace, heat pump, and filter systems, chances are good you’ll continue to experience a comfortable winter.

Technology and maintenance standards are constantly evolving, and realistically, no one person has the time to just sit at a desk and keep up with all of the changes. Proactive, preventive maintenance requires scheduled tasks to occur at specific time intervals – a little planning can help avoid many of the problems associated with reactive maintenance. Not only can it reduce downtime costs, save energy and eliminate recurring problems but it can also extend the useful life of equipment or a building.

I often speak with facilities maintenance team members and have been surprised by some of what I’ve learned over time. One thing that comes up over and over is that many of these staffers don’t necessarily have facility maintenance backgrounds – they haven’t been formally trained to do the jobs they currently hold. I also heard that maintenance personnel often find themselves working with little guidance or technical support. It could be a recipe for inefficiency or worse.

During one of these discussions, it dawned on me that a “beginner’s blog” focused on facility maintenance could be of real benefit to many of these people. They may not be fully trained but they do want to do a good job and they are still responsible for proper maintenance practices. Providing a tool that helps them to know about the difference between chiller tube cleaners and drain cleaners, for instance, might just help prevent future infrastructure problems in a facility.

As part of Goodway’s continuing efforts to encourage preventive maintenance, my goal is to help you run your facilities in the most effective way possible by maximizing your maintenance practices. A good first step is to develop a building checklist that documents a physical inventory of the facility, equipment, and control devices in each system being maintained.

An effective checklist should ideally be developed by a team which includes both management and maintenance personnel. The diversity of the team will help assure the creation of a comprehensive, unified source of maintenance requirements across the entire facility.

Some points of consideration are:

  • A standardized, basic set of minimum requirements to be used by all personnel.
  • Clear, concise technical and administrative instructions to ensure maintenance is planned, executed, completed and documented.
  • A vehicle for implementing administrative and maintenance policies across all systems.
  • A comprehensive set of process descriptions for use by personnel.

After you have your checklist of all systems and their associated parts, the next step will be to develop individual equipment processes and procedures for the implementation of a Planned Maintenance System.

The following is a basic list of just a few of the issues that could arise during facility management and maintenance:

  • Americans With Disabilities Act
  • Asbestos Management
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors
  • Carpets
  • Chemical Storage
  • Drinking Water
  • Electrical System – Lighting
  • Emergency Lighting
  • Exterior Lighting
  • Fire Alarm System
  • Fire Sprinkler Systems
  • Floors
  • HVAC Systems
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Irrigation Systems
  • Insulation

In the development of your maintenance checklist, considerable effort should be spent to standardize work practices. Remember to make allowances for future changes that might arise from renovations or new policies.

Next Steps:

Additional facility management support steps to consider:

One comment


  • Thanks for this insightful article. You showed a great deal of in-depth knowledge!

    January 20, 2012

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