A Building Preventive Maintenance Checklist + Best Practices

Preventive Maintenance Checklist

A preventive maintenance checklist is an essential item for keeping your building and employees safe and may help to prevent avoidable downtime in some instances. CMMS software can help schedule these activities so that you can avoid equipment failure and unnecessary risk in the workplace.

What Is A Preventive Maintenance Checklist?

A preventive maintenance checklist is simply a list of activities that need to take place to keep a building in good working order. These activities can include working on equipment, checking the inventory of certain safety items, and preventing downtime by scheduling these tasks at the most opportune moment.

A preventive maintenance checklist is also an excellent way to maintain building assets better so that you get the most extended possible life out of each one. Regular maintenance can also help prevent breakdowns of equipment and ensures that proper measures exist, so your employees are working in safe conditions.

Buildings also need regular maintenance in addition to the assets held in these structures. Items that may not seem readily apparent like sidewalks, doors, and HVAC equipment will require routine inspection and care to ensure a safe working area.

These checklists are often part of the software that a company or organization can use to track the lifecycle of assets and their maintenance needs. CMMS software serves as a highly utilized tool in these types of environments where maintenance is an ongoing task, and the list of items needing service is quite long.

How Is A Preventive Maintenance Checklist Used?

A preventive maintenance checklist can be used based on the usage of the equipment that needs service or the time that has passed since the last servicing. Many systems like HVAC require servicing at regular intervals regardless of use, but some other machinery will need servicing at different intervals depending on when it runs.


Manufacturing is one area that does not tolerate any downtime well, so when a machine breaks, it can cost a company huge sums of money until it becomes fixed. For this reason, it is often the case that machinery in a manufacturing setting will receive maintenance based on the cost of downtime versus the cost of performing the maintenance itself.

Keep in mind that not all downtime costs the company lots of money, and scheduled downtime is often necessary to perform maintenance on different equipment. Unplanned downtime is usually a bigger problem, and that is when the cost of maintenance is essential to consider.

Once the cost of maintenance and downtime becomes known, a company may look for ways to improve technician response time or optimize workflows for better long term performance with less maintenance. How companies achieve these goals and exactly how they come to be will vary from one company to another and are frequently tracked closely.


Construction companies deal with many of the same issues as manufacturing companies when it comes to downtime and machinery maintenance costs. Many companies that work in the construction sector have more assets to track, such as tools and other equipment, and these are often critical to the completion of work on job sites.

CMMS software may be used in these environments to help ensure proper maintenance of a wide variety of assets, and some of these assets will need specialized care from a specific individual.

A construction firm needs to be able to organize all of their tools and equipment for easy use. Still, it’s also crucial that the necessary supplies for maintaining and using these tools on-site are also available.

For example, if workers are using tools with belts or oil, those supplies need to be on hand for the tools to keep working effectively. This need requires tracking of those supplies and an estimation of how long each item lasts and when new inventory needs replenishment to keep the workers well stocked.


The food industry is often a more sensitive area when it comes to maintenance, and this is because they have smaller margins for error when producing their products. Food products require precise manufacturing and feature careful specifications.

This precision often means keeping equipment functioning well, and other supplies on hand, so there aren’t delays or variations in the end product.

These businesses often use checklists to make sure preventive maintenance occurs on a specific schedule, and this can help them cut down on downtime that may put their unprocessed and perishable raw materials at risk.

Best Practices for Preventive Maintenance Checklists

A checklist doesn’t have to be complicated, but they are often rather long as they need to be detailed and thorough. The more assets that are present in a company, the longer you can expect the checklist to be as each item will often require individualized attention.

A Clear Purpose

A checklist should have a clear purpose, and each item on that checklist should help a company get closer to their maintenance goals. Adding frivolous things to this kind of list can slow down the process of delivering maintenance and put the company at risk of undue downtime.

Established Timeframes

Each task needs to have clearly defined time allotments so that specific tasks occur at the precise time that they are required. Maintenance of machinery, for example, should be conducted at the time the company has deemed it most necessary, and not just when it randomly fits into the schedule.

Well Organized

A poorly organized checklist will be very hard to follow, and this may result in maintenance needs being overlooked or delayed. It is also a good ideal for a checklist to consider what the critical assets are that need tracking, where those assets live, and the status of them at different intervals.

Process Focused

The best checklists support an overall process that is easy for employees to follow. Thoughtfully created checklists will also be easy to read and promote appropriate strategies that employees can use to avoid downtime and provide maintenance using a specific approach.

Routine Updates

All maintenance checklists should receive regular updates whenever assets change or the maintenance requirements for equipment alter. These updates should be rather easy to implement if you use CMMS software, but re-training employees may require some hands-on interaction.

A Preventive Maintenance Checklist For 2021

Here’s our recommended checklist for building preventive maintenance to help you get started.


  • Check for first aid kits, eyewash stations, and other necessary gear
  • Clean and inspect harnesses, respirators, hard hats, and other kits
  • Confirm safety labels and signs are in good condition

Electrical and Lighting

  • Check the batteries in carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detectors, and similar devices
  • Confirm all timers feature correct settings and that lights turn on properly
  • Inspect lights, exhaust fans, and cover plates for damage and debris

HVAC And Pneumatic Elements

  • Replace air filters on heating and cooling equipment
  • Inspect equipment for unusual debris or other build-ups
  • Inspect the condition of belts and pulleys
  • Inspect the evaporator coils and condenser
  • Clear out drain lines and drain pan
  • Check all electrical connections
  • Lubricate bearings, motors, and other moving parts as appropriate
  • Confirm airflow is adequate
  • Check refrigerant levels and inspect machinery for leaks


  • Inspect all plumbing at least once per year
  • Lubricate motor bearings and other components in drinking water chillers
  • Test drinking water chillers, replace the oil in the compressor and perform manufacturer maintenance
  • Inspect sump pumps and sewage ejection pumps, lubricate as needed
  • Fire-test domestic boilers and water heaters using proper equipment

Internal Building Items

  • Inspect floors, ceilings, and all walls for discoloration or other changes
  • Confirm toilets and showers function properly
  • Test fire alarm systems
  • Ensure doors work properly, and the locks are in good working condition
  • Look for signs of insect infestation

External Building Items

  • Examine the exterior for signs of deterioration
  • Confirm railings are well secured and windows and doors are well-sealed
  • Inspect the roof and gutters for debris and leaks
  • Remove plant life that may damage the building
  • Inspect driveways, parking lots, sidewalks, and other paved areas for hazards and damage
  • Confirm the storm drains are clear of any debris

One final tip is to make the process of following the checklist easy and intuitive. This step will also make it more likely to be precisely followed, which means better-maintained assets overall.