Preventative building maintenance is the collection of tasks that maintenance workers--or homeowners--perform in order to prevent problems from occurring in the buildings where they work or live. The most effective way to carry out this responsibility is to create a checklist of all the chores that must be done for appearance, safety, energy savings and to ensure that equipment runs properly and does not wear out prematurely. Rely on the checklist to help you plan ahead for the necessary chores, ensure that your efforts are structured and effective, and prevent the possibility of a task being overlooked.

Building Components

To create a checklist, develop a list of all the building components. That means taking inventory of the different parts, or structures, of the building. Stairwells, staircases, rails, verandas, hallways, doors, windows, walls and roofs are all examples of building components. So too are HVAC systems, fire and safety equipment, elevators and electrical systems. It is important for you--and perhaps, your manager--to have a thorough understanding of all the different parts of the building so that nothing gets overlooked.


A list of all the building components is important. However, it is equally important to have a detailed description of the condition of those components. A list of building components and their conditions will have items that need fixing such as loosened railings, cracked windows, damaged walls, exposed wires, leaking roof areas, and damaged fixtures. However, this detailed assessment should also contain items that are in perfect working condition but still require periodic preventative maintenance, such as HVAC systems or fire extinguishers. A comprehensive checklist will give you a tool to track the health of your building components: what items are likely to get damaged or wear out; what you can do to prevent or fix any damage or extend the life of a component; and when to schedule all the tasks involved in upkeep.


A detailed list of building components and conditions will help you prioritize your preventative maintenance chores. That creates your plan of action. For example, if you work in an apartment complex, the problems that affect tenants, such as leaking roofs or sinks should be taken care of quickly. Any problem that could present danger, such as a loose railing, must be dealt with immediately. But your workweek will also include preventative maintenance tasks designed to eliminate these types of problems from occurring. If you perform a regular roof inspection, the chances of a leak happening, which would require immediate attention, is minimized. With your checklist, you will be able to develop a year-round schedule of all the tasks you will need to accomplish to ensure that appearances are maintained, equipment functions properly and problems are avoided.