that is beyond the normal, routine upkeep
of an asset. It allows
the asset to "reach"
its useful service life or to "extend"
Major maintenance has the following attributes:
Major maintenance is
sometimes distinguished from renewals,
which involves the replacement of a capital item. Major maintenance is
focused primarily on the
preservation of an existing asset.
- Mostly occur
on a variable interval.
They are, therefore, not routine. With some mechanical assets, the
major maintenance takes the form of an overhaul
half way through the life of an asset. The only exception is major
maintenance on bounded
assets, which occurs on a fixed
- Generally a form of condition-based maintenance (CbM)
- May require
the services of a consultant and
will certainly require an appropriately skilled contractor. See: Level-3 maintenance
- Are often non-discretionary
in nature. Some major maintenance tasks are bounded and form part of statutory maintenance.
typically of significant
However, small items, that occur infrequently can also be considered
major maintenance (such as replacement of the batteries on a fire alarm
- Whereas routine maintenance
(such as window washing, and hallway
carpet vacuuming) is typically funded from the operating budget,
maintenance if funded from the long range replacement reserve account.
implemented as a project.
- May include major repairs, overhauls, swap outs of the components
of an asset.
- May be
considered a capital reserve or a non-capital reserve.
Major maintenance tasks can be organized into three broad categories:
- Fixed Interval
tasks - These are time based (such as battery renewal, elevator safety
tests, FX hydrostatic testing, pressure relief valve replacement)
- P-F Interval tasks
- Such as relamping, camera scoping survey, valve service)
- Floating Interval
Tasks - These are condition-based (such as de-energized service, pool
basin cleaning, tube bundle cleaning)
Some examples of major maintenance for
the different systems are included below.
re-coating of exterior wood cladding and wood trim (see figure).
protective recoating of exterior finishes, such as wood,
fiber cement and metal.
- Cleaning of exterior walls to remove atmospheric dirt accumulations and vegetation debris.
- Periodic surveys of balconies and decks to confirm care of limited common property elements by individual owners.
- Apply zinc sulphate or other chemical solution to roof areas susceptible to moss growth.
recoating of exposed structural members (wood or steel).
- Review of post-tensioned anchor pockets for any water intrusion and other distress indicators.
- Review of balcony guardrail attachments for structural integrity.
- Review of crack gauges
Fire Safety System
servicing of electrical equipment to remove dust from unit
substation, switchgear and transformers (3-5 years).
scanning of electrical panels to identify hot spots for
- Replacement of the batteries on the
emergency generator, fire panel and emergency lighting packs (4-5
- Replacement of exterior photocells (5-10
relamping of light fixtures (3 years).
ballasting of light fixtures (10 DL).
- Arc Flash study
- Safety tests
on traction elevators every 5 years and hydraulic elevators at 3-year
- Interior repainting of the common areas,
such as hallways,
lobby and amenity rooms, particularly in high-traffic locations
- Cleaning of tiles in the pool basin.
- Seal coating of asphalt roadways.
- Sealing of stamped concrete paving.
- Clearance pruning of vegetation from exterior walls.
- Clearing of sediment accumulations from catch basins in roadways and softscaped area.
- Commissioning of arborist assessment of mature trees, particularly in close proximity to buildings and roadways.
full-depth repairs to deteriorated portions of asphalt roadways,
including localized re-compaction of softened subgrade and new
structural fill, as required, to prevent migration of water into
D. Management Principles
Some of the challenges facing the managers and decision makes when implementing a major maintenance program:
- The time-to-value (TTV)
is often long-term. For example, the de-energized service of a
sub-station has long payback periods. As a result, some owners may not
see the immediate return on investment and the major maintenance
activities may not receive the required funding. The line-of-sight is not always clear.
is sometimes confusion as to the appropriate funding source for certain
types of major maintenance activities. For example should the funds be
drawn from the operating account or the reserve account.
Fig. Some examples of major maintenance tasks. Left - Exterior Painting (6-8 year intervals); Right - Sump pump overhaul (6-10 year intervals).
Fig. Comparing the Maintenance-Repair-Renewal (MRR) trade-offs at different organizations.
As maintenance quality and effort increases so too does the frequency
and scope of repairs decrease - however, there is a point of
diminishing returns. Do you know where your balance is?
Fig. Some of the different applications of thermographic scans to various assets.
Fig. Major maintenance as one of the "treatment" tasks
along the P-F Curve in relation to Potential Failure (P) and
Functional Failure (F).
Major maintenance tasks (shown in "orange") carried out at variable intervals for preservation of a
capital asset until it reaches the end of its useful service life
and must be renewed ("yellow" bar").
Camera scoping survey in drain pipe to determine concealed conditions
and establish scope and specifications for major maintenance tasks.
Fig. Comparing minor (routine) maintenance (shown in "green") and major maintenance (shown in "red") using a roof as an example.
Fig. Hydrostatic testing of fire
extinguishers (6 years); Augering of drain lines (as required).
bundle cleaning (10 years); Infrared thermal scanning (3-10 years).
Fig. Left - Regrouting of tiled finish in pool basin (3-4 years); Right - repacking of sand in pool filter
The maintenance plan organized into minor maintenance and major maintenance tasks
across an annual cycle.
Examples of "major reviews" such as exterior sealant reviews (8 years).
Fig. Generator battery and fire panel battery swap-outs (4
Fig. Major maintenance tasks mapped to the P-F Curve.
Fig. Major maintenance tasks plotted on an asset deterioration model.