What is HOA Preventative Maintenance

Preventative maintenance refers to the routine maintenance tasks performed on the Association's physical assets and mechanical equipment components. Preventative maintenance is performed to help extend the life of the different assets and equipment within the community’s property, decrease repair costs, and prevent the likelihood of equipment failure and unplanned downtime. 


Why is Preventative Maintenance so Important?

Many associations offer impressive amenities and services. Examples include large recreation centers, buildings, clubhouses, fitness centers, swimming pools, rooftops, and other specialty facilities.  Maintaining the value and aesthetics of the association amenities and the facility equipment is an important part of the management company's services and having a comprehensive Preventive Maintenance Program is a key component to a successful partnership.


Reactive vs. Proactive Maintenance

Reactive Maintenance is when maintenance on equipment is not performed adequately until the equipment breaks or fails. This strategy has several adverse results:

    • It reduces the life expectancy of the assets and mechanical equipment components.
    • It makes it difficult to effectively budget for repairs and maintenance, resulting in unexpected repairs or costly replacement costs.
    • It creates additional expenses such as after-hour service fees.
    • It typically causes unexpected amenity closures while repairs are performed, and extended closure can occur while waiting on parts.
    • It could cause last-minute closure notifications to owners, disrupting their plans and triggering frustration.

Proactive Maintenance routinely addresses concerns and equipment upkeep to prevent major failures. This strategy includes regular inspections and performing routine maintenance tasks, which has many positive results:

    • It helps to extend the life expectancy of the assets and mechanical equipment components.
    • Reduces unexpected amenity closures for needed repairs.
    • Allows for timely notifications to owners for scheduled upcoming closures.


Who is responsible for Preventative Maintenance?

Preventive maintenance for master-planned communities, condominiums, and high-rise buildings are handled differently.

  • Large master-planned communities typically have onsite staff responsible for preventative maintenance. For some items, inspection and maintenance are handled by the onsite maintenance staff, while other items are scheduled to be inspected and maintained with the appropriate vendor. The maintenance staff should follow the Association's preventative maintenance schedule and regularly meet with the onsite manager to report findings and address areas of concern. The onsite manager is responsible for ensuring that preventative maintenance inspections are being performed. 
  • Preventative maintenance for condominiums and high-rise buildings will be a little different. There are items inside each unit that owners are responsible for. These items could include filter changes, cleaning condensation lines, and replacing batteries in fire alarms.  Depending on how the Governing Documents were written, the Association would be responsible for the preventive maintenance of the building equipment such as roofs, building exteriors, and plumbing.

    For condominiums with onsite staff, they would be responsible for preventative maintenance in the same manner as the master-planned community. If a condo has no onsite staff, the inspections and scheduling of vendors would be the community manager's responsibility.


    How to Create a Preventative Maintenance Program

    When creating a preventive maintenance program, include all assets and mechanical equipment components, and establish inspection and maintenance schedules. Below is a step-by-step process to creating an effective preventative maintenance schedule.

    • Start with making a list of all assets and mechanical equipment. This will be your inventory list.
    • Next, compare your list with the component list in the Reserve Study. This is an excellent way to ensure you have included everything. In addition, you can check the Reserve Study to confirm if any new assets or equipment need to be included when the Reserve Study is updated.
    • From the inventory list, create frequency-based inspection schedules. Both manufacturer recommendations and equipment age and condition should be considered when inspection frequency is determined.
    • After completing the preventative maintenance schedules, the next step is to assign the tasks to the appropriate team members. This assigns responsibility and allows you to determine staff workload.

      For inspections and services that require a vendor to perform, you will want to assign the task to an onsite team member to schedule the inspection/service and confirm maintenance was performed and a report submitted by the vendor.
    • The final component of a preventative maintenance program is establishing a system for recording and maintaining the data from the inspections and services. Historical data is important for future reference. This data provides specifics about how much has been spent, any details on issues with equipment still under warranty, or new assets or equipment that need to be included in the next Reserve Study update. Keeping accurate records will save time and headaches later.

    A successful preventive maintenance program requires preparation, planning, and proactive scheduling. A professional Management Company can assist in creating a successful program customized to your Associations assets.