Consequences of Deferred Maintenance

Category Facility Maintenance: July 27, 2022

“Studies of organizations show that on average, for every dollar “saved” by deferring maintenance, there comes a four dollar increase in future capital renewal costs. Those are the direct costs for that specific asset. There are additional indirect costs that may have an even larger impact. Over the life of that asset, those additional costs may total more than 15 times what would have been spent on the maintenance had it not been deferred.”

Here are some key takeaways from an article published in Facilities Net, 5 Hidden Costs of Deferring Maintenance – Facilities Management Insights (\ is an informational article that discusses the hidden costs of deferring maintenance.

Deferring maintenance may seem like a reasonable solution to saving money for the time being. However, pushing crucial maintenance repairs further back to save a penny can cost you in the long run.

Emergency Repairs:

Emergency repairs can be a costly result of reactive maintenance; it’s also a very dangerous one. If an HVAC system goes during the middle of a heat wave, it’s not a safe working environment for the tenants in the building. Emergency repairs add additional expenses.

Shorter Asset Life:

Building equipment has a limited life span, and without proper maintenance, its useable life is shortened. The method of run-to-failure for your equipment is a short-sighted approach. Deferring maintenance reduces the usable life of the equipment, a costly consequence.

Reduced Equipment Efficiency:

Routine maintenance on building mechanical systems is necessary to keep energy costs at a minimum. Disregarding routine maintenance can reduce equipment efficiency, ultimately costing you a significant amount in the long run. Deferring maintenance plays a huge role in the reduced efficiency of your equipment.

Safety and Health Risks:

Deferring maintenance can have detrimental effects on the tenants of the building as well. An uncomfortable work environment will lower employee productivity. In addition, poor attention to maintenance in your building creates greater health hazards. It goes beyond building equipment, including anything from a leaking roof to a lifted floor tile.

 Collateral Damage:

Applying a band-aid to a major cut won’t fix the issue; the same philosophy applies to building equipment. Deferring maintenance can create a never-ending cycle of maintenance issues and problems can begin to build on each other. Avoiding fixing one maintenance issue can create additional problems that eventually need fixed as well. As a result, the original maintenance issue becomes more costly.

IFS can get you set up with a preventative maintenance plan that helps avoid those surprise repairs. IFS reduces your stress by getting ahead of the repairs and replacements, saving you money in the long run.