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What is deferred maintenance? 5 tips to reduce it

Deferred maintenance is a strategy involving postponing maintenance work. Know the causes, examples and ways to reduce it

Delaying and postponing maintenance interventions is never a good solution, but in some cases, despite the risks that may occur, there is no other solution. This is why we often use deferred maintenance. Do you want to find out what it is and what are the common causes? You’re definitely in the right place!

Discover with me the risks that this kind of maintenance strategy can bring to your company and how to best manage it thanks to a Facility Management software.

I recommend that you start using this tool immediately, which simplifies the planning of maintenance activities and greatly reduces time and running costs.

What is deferred maintenance?

Deferred maintenance is a strategy that provides for the postponement of interventions, planned or unexpected, due to insufficient company resources, whether they are time, budget or personnel.

However, future costs increases if maintenance work is postponed or delayed of course.


Delayed maintenance workflow

Deferred maintenance workflow

What are the causes of deferred maintenance?

There are different reasons that lead to a postponement of maintenance interventions, such as:

  • budget constraints: the company may not have sufficient financial resources to finance the intervention;
  • lack of human resources: the lack of manpower and professional technicians in the sector forces the search for external skills that are not always immediate;
  • inadequate tools: the necessary equipment to develop the intervention may be absent;
  • company policies: if you use a run to failure maintenance strategy, you act on the resources only after the failure has occurred, therefore you postpone maintenance until the asset breaks;
  • unsuitable preventive maintenance strategies: often an organization does not have a preventive maintenance plan and it is very likely that, not being properly organized for certain maintenance actions, they are obliged to postpone them.

What are the most common examples of deferred maintenance?

Deferred maintenance is often applied:

  • in the public sector, where interventions are conditional on the arrival of certain funds, causing numerous arrears;
  • in the real estate sector, where small ordinary maintenance interventions, such as painting restoration, removal of stains and external mold, repair of eaves or descendants, are often and willingly postponed;
  • in the power sector, where less critical assets are underprivileged for more important or sudden emergencies ones.
Examples of deferred maintenance

Examples of deferred maintenance

What are the most common examples of deferred maintenance?

It could generate various risks to an organization in the long term:

  • loss of regulatory compliance;
  • loss of effectiveness of the instrumentation;
  • permanent damage to the equipment;
  • increase in the cost of repairs;
  • risks to health and safety at work;
  • loss of image and credibility.

How to reduce and better manage deferred maintenance?

If you are looking for strategies to better manage maintenance and resort less and less to deferred maintenance, I recommend reading these 5 tips:

  • when possible feed an additional budget, so it will be ready in case of need;
  • identify equipment that has higher maintenance priorities and ROI;
  • conduct regular maintenance audits to identify the actual performance of the company;
  • prefers the development of a preventive maintenance program, reducing corrective and reactive maintenance interventions;
  • try as soon as possible a Facility Management software with which you can record all maintenance activities, control investments, minimize overall risks and make your company more productive.