Based on 29 years of maintaining large commercial and government facilities, ESRA founder Rob Rogers has compiled the following list of most neglected church facility maintenance and management issues:
1. Scheduled maintenance on HVAC Systems.
- Key Indicators: Low/no cooling; Runs excessively; Freezing up due to dirty coils.
- What you should do: Establish a Preventive Maintenance program.
2. Energy Management such as programmable thermostats, lighting control & usage, energy efficient windows, insulation, air leaks and water conservation.
- Key Indicators: Cold Spots; Systems on when building is unoccupied; Faucets leak; High Utility Bills; South facing rooms are hotter than others.
- What you should do: An Energy Audit to identify energy efficient upgrades.
3. Roof repair and maintenance.
- Key Indicators: Shingles that are warped, missing or torn; Ceiling spots or leaks.
- What you should do: Inspect roof and get repair estimates.
4. Budgeting and forecasting for building systems replacements and repairs.
- Key Indicators: Urgent repair/replacement needs; no funds to complete the work.
- What you should do: Develop a 4-5 year Capital Improvement Plan that includes system replacements.
5. Tracking work accomplished or scheduled and associated warranties.
- Key Indicators: Not knowing when the job will begin and end; the impact on services; if the warranty covers a break or repair.
- What you should do: Track all work and warranties in a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS).
6. Annual inspections required by state or local codes and associated documentation.
- Key Indicators: Inspections expire without owner awareness, often resulting in fines.
- What you should do: Manage and track third party inspections in a CMMS.
7. Dealing with small maintenance issues before they become larger ones.
- Key Indicators: “Small” repairs become expensive replacements and/or work.
- What you should do: Don’t kick the maintenance “can” down the road by being penny-wise but pound-foolish.
8. Emergency evacuation/escape and Fire Suppression systems maintenance and operation.
- Key Indicators: Inadequate coverage; Cumbersome/cluttered escape routes.
- What you should do: Inspect/test systems as required by manufacturers and conduct regular drills.
9. Handicapped accessibility, such as parking and movement through the facility.
- Key Indicators: Disabled members/guests need assistance to overcome obstacles when entering and/or utilizing the facility (e.g. doors, entrances, parking areas, restrooms, etc.).
- What you should do: Churches do not have to comply with Americans for Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines, however, it shows consideration for the disabled to comply. Should it be easier for a disabled person to enter a liquor store than enter and utilize a church?