Maintenance issues are something every Twin Cities community association deals with, whether it’s damage caused by a harsh Minnesota weather or regular upkeep, on average, maintenance can account for 25% or more of your association’s overall expenditures.
What does your board do? Some boards opt to spend less, which is good, but are they simply deferring essential maintenance and creating bigger problems down the road?  Big jobs cost more, so saving pennies now could end up costing everyone when the issue exacerbates. Bottom line? It’s important that maintenance issues are not put on the back burner.
Maintenance programs are approached in one of three ways. Which applies to your association?
Preventative Maintenance
This approach works, but boards should be aware of a few things. A preventative maintenance program means regular service schedules with reliable vendors for the association’s essential components. This is great, but your brain goes into autopilot so you don’t think twice about other possible maintenance that could be going unnoticed and overlooked. Especially in Minnesota with the harsh winters, one year of terrible ice and/or salt damage could completely destroy a vulnerable element. Additionally, if a new board takes over and due diligence isn’t done to make the new board fully aware of the existing contracts and warranties, they could be mistakenly voided. Preventative maintenance is a great approach, but good intentions are no substitute for thorough, diligent action. Taking a comprehensive approach to ensure a smooth transition in board turnover, the preventive maintenance tactic offers a responsible, balanced approach.

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It
Far more boards use this approach than one might think. In theory it looks like your association saves money, but that’s really only in the short term.  The issue is that by waiting until a part is failing or broken before performing maintenance, it costs even more money to restore. Think of it this way: it’s like never changing the oil in your car to save money and you end up having to replace your engine. It’s far more expensive to buy a new engine than to get regularly scheduled oil changes.
Predictive Maintenance
Predictive maintenance requires regular monitoring and inspections of your association’s facilities and equipment. This method helps you see what is operating at optimum capacity, what appears to be on the path of needing attention in the near future, and what requires immediate action. Predictive maintenance positions your Minnesota community association for financial stability and greater predictability. Last, but not least, it assists you in thinking into the future so that you can implement a proactive approach to the items deem necessary. Needless to say, the predictive maintenance approach is the style that should serve and protect your community the best.
With decades of experience and a database of local inspectors and experts, FirstService Residential can help engineer a proactive program that maximizes your savings and minimizes surprises.
For more information on what we can do for your Minnesota community association, contact us today.
Friday October 28, 2016