Facilities managers face surmounting pressure to cut costs and ensure today’s profitability. As a result, facilities management departments shrink, and managers look for ways to reduce the costs of repairs and malfunctioning systems. Although deferred maintenance may reduce short-term costs, it leads to extensive, long-term costs, much more than just double the original cost. In fact, consider these top ways the hidden costs of deferred maintenance show it is the worst decision you can make.
The Hidden Costs of Deferred Maintenance Begin With Reduced Equipment Efficiency
The first hidden cost of deferred maintenance derives from reduced equipment efficiency. Putting off issues, like dirty filters or an obstructed air intake, increases the amount of energy necessary to bring incoming air to an appropriate temperature, reports the U.S. Department of Energy. As a result, the unit must work harder and use more electricity, thus, driving up costs.
The Entire System May Fail
Prolonged deferred maintenance may result in entire system failure. Among the expensive equipment, especially HVAC systems, certain components are designed to wear out over time. Unfortunately, the immediate cost of replacing these parts may seem out of reach, but continued use of worn or damaged parts may result in cascading failures across the system.
It Poses a Safety and Health Risk to Building Occupants
Deferred maintenance also poses a safety and health risk to all building occupants, including customers and staff members. If equipment is not serviced in a timely manner, mold, mildew or other pathogens may begin to grow; among businesses in the food-service industry, deferred maintenance could leave to food-borne illness outbreaks and serious damage to the company’s reputation.
Regulatory Agencies Could Fine Your Business
Depending on your industry, regulatory agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), could impose strict fines and penalties for failure to maintain facilities, increasing total cost ownership of assets.
A Problem Can Affect Other Systems or Parts of Your Business
A minor problem in one system can also translate into problems for other areas of your facility. For example, a leaking roof may result in permanent damage to drywall and other building materials, resulting in the need to replace sheet rock, flooring, wooden frames and insulation. In addition, mold remediation and other decontamination procedures may be necessary.
Stop the Money-Hungry Practice of Deferred Maintenance Today
By some accounts, the costs of deferred maintenance, including fines, temporary fixes and adverse effects, may be equal to the squared cost of making the repair when identified. For a $50 repair, that amounts to $2,500, but your organization can eliminate the hidden costs of deferred maintenance by working with a facilities services management provider.