Building and Facade maintenance costs are always a tricky thing to juggle in your budget. Below are 5 points to follow that may help to stabilise and reduce your facade and building maintenance costs which are often spontaneous and unplanned.
1) Check the facade regularlyFacade inspections are a must in order to maintain an acceptable risk profile of your building, in fact most insurance companies expect that regular maintenance inspections of the facade including glazing units and surrounds. Facade inspections don’t have to cost the earth and a competent contractor can tie in an inspection with other regular services such as window cleaning and building wash downs to further reduce the cost. Catching facade problems early is the most effective strategy in reducing maintenance costs.
2) Don’t linger on fixing problemsBuilding maintenance budgeting is both equal parts a science and an art however the most effective way to keep your budget down is by not lingering on problems. What may appear as a small fracture or spall can actually be the result of hidden and extensive subsurface deterioration. By letting it sit you are potentially turning a days work into a multi-month long project. Seals and sealants also help support your HVAC efficiency meaning reducing maintenance on another of your buildings systems. The three key areas to prioritise are Seals/sealant, water proofing and spalling. Looking after those small problems can save you from the cost of a multi-month long project as well as the tenant headaches that inevitably will follow.
3) Use a licensed and qualified contractorRepairs should be completed by a licensed contractor. In Queensland, builders must supply sufficient evidence of competency and quality to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) to obtain their license which gives you something to help vet against. While some works may not always require a Builders license, using a licensed contractor gives you piece of mind knowing that you can fall back on your relevant Building and Construction regulator for your state to help hold the contractor accountable for unacceptable work. For any project over $3,000 (in Queensland at least) can only be completed by a QBCC license holder no matter if you personally deem it maintenance and not construction. In the eyes of the QBCC, trade work over valued over $3,000 is deemed construction work.
4) Ensure contractors use quality products and methodologyEnsuring your contractor has selected an appropriate product and methodology for repair is paramount to ensuring the work can be quality assured.
But I’ve never laid down a bead? I’ve never caulked a join? and I’ve never reinstated a repair mortar?Don’t be afraid! There are plenty of resources at your disposal to gather information to make an informed decision. Product manufacturers of quality products specify methodologies for all their products as part of their warranty programs and can easily be obtained by contacting them. If the product manufacturer doesn’t supply a methodology then chances are its not the best product to be using and their warranty will be weak.