Preventative Maintenance Requires A Paradigm Shift

The costs of maintaining a property these days can be taxing on any Building Owner. In the maintenance industry; the coating industry not only provides a decorative and aesthetical value to our properties, but the role protective coatings plays forms a vital part in protecting the building envelope against the elements and weathering.
 
When you think Painting, the first thing that comes to mind is paint… and then colour … and hardly ever do we consider the protective nature of coatings.

As the world around us changes and expands it has become ever increasingly difficult to keep up with the pace of globalization, technology and increased legislation. It is very easy to get trapped in our daily routines and loose track of the importance of preventative maintenance.

During its life-time, a building will be re-vamped, altered and painted many times. Building owners should take note that choices on maintenance strategies will greatly affect the total cost of maintaining a building over its lifespan. It is therefore crucial that the entire building envelope be maintained and protected. This not only includes painting, but also waterproofing, plaster, concrete, joints and various special building components that could affect the life expectancy of maintenance and the building envelope.

Over the years I have observed that building owners easily fall into the trap of short term thinking when it comes to maintenance. Consider the following graph that highlights the fact that preventative maintenance is far cheaper in the long run:

One of the major obstacles for the industry as a whole is insufficient core competency levels and the lack of planning by building owners. In South Africa we are currently experiencing a major shortage of skills, and the construction industry is one of the most affected areas around. Collaboration with Industry Bodies like SAPMA (South African Paint Manufacturers Association) are more important than ever before, and will become one of the major drivers for future growth and management in our industry.

Building owners should consider employing specialist consulting companies to assist with long-term maintenance planning. Curasure; an independent third party building consultant can offer specialist maintenance consulting services to the property industry - most specifically to Building Owners, Building Managers and Administrators. Our function is to ensure that maintenance plans and strategies are compiled based on root cause analysis reports. In addition a third party quality assurance function can ensure that products specified are applied correctly. In essence, third party independent consulting companies ensure that correct methods and standards are applied for planning maintenance and ensuring that maintenance projects are completed to specified standards.

Some basic tips for Building owners:

  • Ensure that Building reports and Maintenance plans are compiled for short, medium and long-term planning of maintenance. (Make use of companies like Curasure)
  • Purchase from a reputable manufacturer and retailers. (Preferably SAPMA members)
  • Invest in quality paint; do not be tempted by “bargain” prices.
  • If you are not doing the work yourself, hire knowledgeable and experienced contractors.
  • Follow application instructions carefully, paying particular attention to surface preparation.
  • Call in an independent consultant if you are not sure.

 

My advice to property owners are: Plan well in advance and implement short, medium and long-term maintenance programs.

Frederik Nel

Curasure