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The Complete K-12 Preventive Maintenance Checklist 

Complete K-12 Preventive Maintenance Checklist

Maintaining a thriving educational environment takes more than inspired classroom decorations (although those are important, too). Keeping up with day-to-day maintenance activities and endless clean-ups can leave facilities personnel stretched thin – let alone keeping track of preventive maintenance requirements for essential equipment and systems.

However, planning and budgeting for critical maintenance tasks ahead of time can help extend the lifespan of expensive educational and building equipment while preventing disruptive downtime. A tracking system or checklist can keep your crews organized and help them promptly and efficiently address maintenance tasks.

What is Preventive Maintenance?

Preventive maintenance is a proactive approach to maintaining your K-12 facility. Addressing potential issues before they lead to equipment failure or breakdowns helps ensure your building and educational equipment function reliably throughout the school year.

Regular inspections can help identify a piece of equipment needing cleaning, lubrication, or repairs, which can help extend its lifespan. Of course, keeping inspections regular in the controlled chaos of a K-12 environment can be challenging, so anything you can do to streamline your facility maintenance plan will be important to keep your team on track.

What is a Preventive Maintenance Checklist?

A preventive maintenance checklist helps personnel proactively check for potential issues and ensure equipment works at peak performance. A well-designed preventive checklist lays out the specific tasks, inspections, and tests your maintenance personnel must perform on machinery and systems to minimize equipment downtime. It also details time intervals for completing these activities.

While checklists can also help maintenance technicians get back on task after an interruption, your team can execute your preventive maintenance plan even more effectively by avoiding interruptions in the first place. Using specialized applications, teachers and other staff can submit work orders directly to your team for review and prioritization – rather than allowing each new request to jump the line.

Maintenance personnel can also use preventive maintenance plans to enhance the working conditions of machinery, mechanical systems, and school equipment. Using the right school facility management software is crucial for ensuring that planned work is completed promptly.

Benefits of Using a PM Checklist

An up-to-date, well-documented checklist is the best way to ensure preventive maintenance work is organized and predictable. A preventive maintenance schedule is essential part of your facilities management plan, keeping your equipment in good condition and helping to control maintenance costs.

  • Compliance: Your preventive maintenance schedule will help your maintenance team keep your school in compliance with regulations governing the condition of educational facilities.
  • Standardization: Managing multiple educational facilities of varying ages – sometimes spread over a large geographic area – can be challenging. Following a checklist can help standardize maintenance to ensure that each facility is kept up to date.
  • Cost-effective: Following manufacturer recommendations for maintenance can help you avoid costly repairs, so make sure to add these guidelines to your checklist.
  • Increased safety: Malfunctioning equipment can be dangerous. Well-maintained equipment is safer for students, faculty, and other school employees who spend hours every day on school grounds.
  • Enhanced productivity: Some equipment breakdowns can impact students’ productivity in the classroom or their educational environment at large. Following a step-by-step maintenance checklist can help keep your students focused on their studies.

Preventive Maintenance Tasks: Pre-Check

Performing a preventive maintenance pre-check is critical in ensuring the effectiveness of scheduled maintenance tasks. It lays the groundwork for a comprehensive preventive maintenance strategy, ensuring that your preventive maintenance program does not devolve into a series of ad hoc tasks but remains a well-coordinated effort that fulfills your facility management goals.

Follow these pre-check steps to set yourself up for success:

  • Delegate maintenance duties accordingly: Assign each task to a specific building maintenance worker so that each person knows what aspects of the preventive maintenance plan they are responsible for.
  • Outline upcoming maintenance needs: Review and list upcoming maintenance tasks, distinguishing between immediate needs based on equipment age, condition, and routine preventive tasks. This helps prioritize activities and integrate known maintenance requirements into the broader preventive strategy.
  • Gather equipment details: Compile detailed information on each piece of equipment, including maintenance histories, serial and model numbers, warranty documents, and manufacturers’ guidelines. Centralize this information so that it’s readily accessible to staff.

By meticulously preparing for preventive maintenance through these pre-check steps, your maintenance team can ensure a well-organized and effective execution of scheduled preventive maintenance tasks, laying a solid foundation for the overall health and efficiency of the school’s facilities and equipment.

K-12 Preventive Maintenance Checklist

Although every school has different needs, the preventive maintenance checklist below has been tailored for general K-12 needs. Use this as a starting point for creating a facilities maintenance plan template to help your school stay proactive in its building maintenance and avoid equipment failure and downtime.

HVAC Systems

  • Clean or replace air filters: Whether it’s better to clean or replace air filters for your business depends on your HVAC model and equipment type. Read the manufacturer’s recommendations or follow general HVAC maintenance guidelines of performing service every three months if detailed information is unavailable.
  • Inspect ductwork for leaks and damage: Failure to catch these problems will cause your HVAC system to run inefficiently, shortening its service life. Inspect your system for leaks and damage annually.
  • Clean air conditioning drain pans and lines: Use the proper cleaning agent to clean drain pans and lines to prevent mold and mildew buildup from clogging lines and causing leaks. Perform this task each fall to tidy up after using the air conditioner all summer.
  • Inspect and clean condenser and evaporator coils: Evaporator coils can collect grime, which makes releasing heat difficult and inefficient. Clean coils with coil cleaner annually, at the same time when cleaning drain pans and lines.
  • Test and inspect thermostats: Use a laser infrared thermometer to measure the temperature change and ensure that thermostats work within expected parameters. Perform this work annually.
  • Check refrigerant levels: Follow manufacturer upkeep recommendations to test refrigerant fluid levels once each year.

Plumbing Systems

  • Inspect water heaters: Water heaters can develop a range of issues resulting from sediment buildup in the tank as well as worn wires and parts. Once a year, inspect water heaters for signs of wear by ensuring they still turn on and off, listening for unusual noises, testing connections, and more.
  • Flush water heaters and tanks: Follow manufacturer instructions to flush water heaters once a year. Doing so removes sediment and avoids unnecessary wear and tear on heating elements.
  • Check pipes for leaks: Signs of water leaks, including water damage, unexplained puddles, corrosion near pipe connections, mold growth, and more, should be investigated immediately. If none of these are present, do an annual check under sinks and in areas where pipes are exposed to find issues.
  • Inspect and clean drains: Use a drain snake or plumber’s auger to clear drains and keep wastewater flowing away from facility buildings. Do this at least once each year or more often if needed.
  • Test emergency shut-off valves: Check the condition of emergency shut-off valves on pipes. Look for rust and corrosion, turn the shut off to ensure it still moves, and check to ensure that turning it off turns off the water supply. Do this once a year.

Electrical Systems

  • Inspect wiring and electrical connections and replace damaged cables: Replace any wiring that’s frayed, broken, chewed, or otherwise showing exposed elements immediately. Perform a thorough wiring check once a year.
  • Test fire alarms and smoke detectors: Ensure that hardwired smoke detectors are still functioning and the fire alarm system sounds throughout the building. Perform this as often as your state regulations require.
  • Inspect breakers, fuses, and electrical panels: Look for signs of corrosion, mislabeled breakers, overcrowding, physical damage, scorch marks, and more. Conduct repairs as needed. Perform a thorough inspection once annually.
  • Test emergency lighting systems: Use the control panel for the emergency lighting systems to confirm functionality. Inspect lighting systems once annually.
  • Test ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) receptacles: Use the test button on GFCI receptacles to test each outlet. Replace GFCI outlets that no longer function. Inspect and test these outlets at least once annually.

Facility Infrastructure

  • Test elevators and perform routine maintenance: Whether your maintenance team performs elevator tests and maintenance on their own or calls out a company that specializes in this work, keep a log of troubleshooting performed to ensure a record of work exists. Perform this work as often as your state regulations require.
  • Test building security system and door locks: Perform tests of the building security system, including door locks, alarms, and automatic emergency service call features. Do this work once annually or as recommended by the system manufacturer.
  • Inspect the roof for leaks and damage: Check the roof for membrane damage, puddles and low places, pooling water, and debris. Clean the roof and make repairs as needed. Perform this work twice annually or more often, depending on the age of your roof.
  • Inspect windows and doors for leaks and damage: Check windows and doors to ensure they open and close as needed, are free of cracks and leaks, and look for signs of water damage or mold growth on surrounding walls. Perform a thorough check annually.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts: Clean gutters and use a plumber’s auger to clear downspouts on a twice-annual (or more often as needed) basis.
  • Check stairs and railings: Look for signs of wear on stairways and railings, including loose railings and wobbly stairs. Replace worn or unsafe stairs and railings as needed. Perform this work once annually.

Machine Preventive Maintenance Checklist

  • Check equipment parts: Check equipment parts for signs of wear, including corrosion, leaks, loud noises, and slow performance. The more you use a piece of equipment or machinery, the more often you should review its parts and fluid levels.
  • Lubricate moving parts on machines: Lubricate moving parts on machines, matching the lubrication to the type of machine and the part being lubricated. Perform this work annually or more often as required by the manufacturer.
  • Test equipment by turning it off and on, running through cycles: Test each piece of equipment by turning it on and running it through its cycles. Listen for loud noises and signs of poor performance. Perform this test once annually or as required by the manufacturer.
  • Know the service life and when to replace: Some equipment only lasts so long and must be replaced rather than repaired or serviced. Run through your list of equipment to be replaced annually.
  • Look for signs of malfunctions: Perform a visual inspection to determine whether the equipment has started to perform poorly. Scorch marks or oil stains are strong signs of more significant problems. Do this once annually or as recommended by the manufacturer.

Create PM Template Tasks with Facilities Management Software

Using a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) to automatically create and assign preventive maintenance tasks makes everyone’s job easier and more efficient. CMMS tools allow managers to create templated maintenance tasks, select recurring times that such tasks should be completed (bi-annually, annually, etc.), attach SOPs, warranty information, or other maintenance requirements as needed. Then, the software automatically assigns tasks to the correct team or technician whenever it’s time for preventive maintenance to occur.

In fact, the right CMMS can make just about all of your facilities management tasks a whole lot easier. Check out how iiQ Facilities can:

  • Streamline work order processes
  • Help you manage parts inventories
  • Deliver actionable maintenance analytics
  • Organize maintenance work requests

Incident IQ is a trusted partner and a reliable source of innovative K-12 maintenance software solutions. Contact us to schedule a demo of Incident IQ today!