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A term that is sometimes used synonymously with maintenance.

Where the latter is generally considered to be the things that must be done to preserve an asset, the former is a list of things that must be avoided in order to keep the asset in good working order and not to jeopardize warranties

Lack of care can result in extrinsic failure of an asset and extra costs to the owner.

Attributes of Care
Listed below are the three primary attributes that distinguish care from maintenance:
More detailed discussion on these three attributes is included in the article below.

Examples of Care 
The following are some examples of care instructions to owners and operators:

      Enclosure System
  • Do not drill holes in exterior walls to hang Christmas lights and wind chimes.
  • Do not extinguish cigarette butts on balcony membrane.
  • do not drill holes into window frames for burglar bars and alarms.
  • Do not drag seasonal furniture across the balcony membrane.
  • Do not drip barbecue fat on the membrane.
  • Do not tear the balcony membrane when using shovels to clear ice and snow.
  • Installation of splash-pads beneath RWLs
  • Installation of pavers/mats leading to rooftop HVAC equipment
  • Clearance pruning of trees as roof perimeter
      Electrical System
  • Do not store paint cans in electrical rooms
  • Do not stack ladders against electrical switchgear.
      Mechanical system
  • Ensure adequate clearance around equipment for maintenance and emergency access
      Finishes System
  • Installation of runners at doorways.
  • Installation of corner/bumper guards on walls in high traffic locations.

    Management Principles
    Where maintenance is focused on managing the probability of failure (PoF), care is geared more towards management of the consequences of failure (CoF).

    Lack of care can void warranties on the assets. Therefore the managers should ensure that procedures are set up to regularly inform the residents (space users) of their role in the preservation of the assets, albeit an indirect role.

    Listed below some distinctions that have helped  clients appreciate their role in preserving the warranties on their assets and deepening their understanding of why it is important to provide budgets for preventative maintenance and also for periodic inspections.

    1. What we must do and What we must not do

    The first distinction to be made...

    Maintenance is about the things that the owner must do to keep the asset in good working order. For example, the owner must clean the asset, must lubricate the asset, must replace filters, etc . These are all positive actions to be exercised. On the other hand, care is about the things that the owner must not do. For example, do not extinguish cigarette butts on your deck membrane; do not indiscriminately drill holes into your window frames. These are the negatives that must be avoided.

    Let's use the tires on our car to further illustrate this point. We "maintain" our tires by keeping the air pressure at the recommended level but we "care" for our tires by not driving over those nasty spikes when leaving the impound yard.(Yes, my vehicle has been impounded for parking violations - twice over the last 25 years).

    Included below is a more expansive (but not exhaustive) list of some of these distinctions:

    Maintenance and care are like two sides of the same coin. If one fails, the other fails.

    2. The Asset and its Environment

    This leads us to the second distinction between maintenance and care. Maintenance is about the actions directed at the asset whereas care is about what we do in the environment around the asset. For example, we vacuum the carpets to remove dirt and prolong the life of the carpet pile (maintenance). On the other hand, we may place runners at exterior doorways to limit the amount of dirt being tracked into the building (care). We paint the interior walls periodically (maintenance) but we place corner guards to avoid gouges in high traffic locations (care).

    3. The Probability of Failure and Consequences of Failure

    The third distinction can be summarized as follows: Maintenance is about managing the probability of failure of an asset (by extending its life as long as possible), whereas care is geared more towards management of the consequences of that failure (avoiding the loss that occurs at the end of life of the asset). Keeping our car tires at the right pressure ensures that failure is delayed as long as possible (the probability of failure), care ensures that we do not arrive suddenly at that point where our tires are flat and the vehicle cannot be driven (consequences of failure).

    In my 20+ years as a maintenance management consultant I have witnessed many situations in which the owners have found themselves in dire straits due to a lack of care on their part more so than a lack of maintenance.

    The warranty providers and product manufacturers know that care and maintenance occupy the two sides of the same coin. Once we know what they know, then we can take steps to extract full value from our warranties and ensure the best return on our assets.

    care vs. maintenance of assets
    Fig. Summary of the comparison of "care" vs. "maintenance" of assets.

    examples of care
    Fig. Examples of care activities to preserve assets, such as carpet runners at doorways and bumper guards at wall corners in high traffic locations.

    After years of careful planning and stewardship, I. Care and his facility are now aligned.
    Fig. After years of careful planning and stewardship, I. Care and his facility are now aligned

    People + Planet + Profit is the triple bottom line of sustainability in ISO 55000 ISO 55001
    Fig. People + Planet + Profit is the triple bottom line of sustainability.

    Seasonal maintenance including winterizations and summerization activities
    Fig. Consistent care across all seasons of the year .

    Our cartoon character ("I. Care") is debating whether we can reach life or extend life of facilities
    Fig. Consisent care across all life stages of an asset or facility.

    Assets susceptible to lack of care
    Fig. Sample of some assets that are susceptible to misuse and abuse (ie., lack of care)

    See also:
    Compare with:

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