Why do you need to plan for school maintenance?

Student and staff productivity is the foremost goal of school facilities management.

To achieve ideal productivity levels, school personnel must be kept safe and healthy, all equipment and vehicles must run smoothly, and maintenance costs must be kept to a minimum. Smart facility maintenance practices tell us that having a proactive maintenance plan is the only way to achieve all your goals.

This level of responsibility is best achieved with a reliable checklist template to keep you on track and prevent details from slipping through the cracks.

The school maintenance checklist includes:

  1. Athletic facilities
  2. Bleachers
  3. Building exterior
  4. Building interior
  5. Chemicals
  6. Fire systems
  7. Fitness room
  8. HVAC
  9. Life safety
  10. Playground
  11. Roof

What is a good maintenance strategy?

Aside from juggling the unpredictable and reactive maintenance requests that come through their inboxes, smart facility managers know that preventive measures keep that inbox to a minimum and reduce overall maintenance costs.

It may take some time to offset the current rhythms of incoming work, but eventually, a proactive schedule will allow you to have total control over your operations, intentionally scheduling work in the most efficient way possible.

Preventive maintenance can be split up into 3 categories:

1. Inspection

Sometimes your team can be so caught up putting out fires they don’t get the chance to walk around your school building and grounds looking for potential problems or areas in need of repair before they become an issue. Inspection of your plumbing, roof or light switches can be a huge step in reducing your risk of expensive damage or liabilities.

2. Cleaning

A great way to shorten your equipment lifespan or reduce your occupant comfort is by neglecting a school cleaning checklist. Removing dust, dirt, and debris from your school facilities is critical for student and staff comfort, productivity, and safety. Examples of school cleaning services can include restroom disinfection, removing graffiti, or cleaning up water and debris in the hallways.

3. Service

Equipment needs routine maintenance to continue running smoothly. Neglecting manufacturer guidelines is a surefire way to shorten lifespans and be forced to replace an asset sooner than you were anticipating. Not to mention, regular service improves asset efficiency and reduces energy usage and total costs. Planned maintenance can include tasks such as replacing an air filter, lubricating doorknobs, or changing spark plugs.

What is a building maintenance checklist?

When performing a regular inspection, cleaning, and repair, it’s best to create a checklist template that your team can rely on. This way, you don’t have to worry about tasks getting missed along the way. Facility maintenance checklists can either be completed on paper or digitally through school facilities management software.

The following checklists are examples of inspection checklists, but the tasks that follow can often prompt cleaning or repair depending on the findings of the inspection. It’s important to bolster these checklists with manufacturer-recommended service schedules for your vehicles, equipment, and assets.

Note: Each school is different, so customizing your preventive maintenance checklist to fit your individual needs is important. Click customize template below, then use template in the upper right corner to make edits the template.

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Athletic facilities

School maintenance inspection checklist pdf created for athletic facilities

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Recommended frequency: annual

This checklist ensures the proper function and sanitation for indoor athletic areas such as gymnasiums, locker rooms, and training rooms.

Bleachers

School maintenance inspection checklist pdf created for bleachers

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Recommended frequency: annual

This checklist ensures the safety and structural integrity of your indoor and outdoor bleachers.

Building exterior

School maintenance inspection checklist pdf created for building exteriors

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Recommended frequency: annual

This checklist addresses any repairs needed to paved areas, parking lots, and building infrastructure while also ensuring you are following compliance requirements.

Building interior

School maintenance inspection checklist pdf created for building interiors

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Recommended frequency: annual

This checklist addresses any repairs needed to interior floors, walls, doorways, and equipment while also ensuring you are following compliance requirements.

Chemicals

School maintenance inspection checklist pdf created for chemicals

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Recommended frequency: annual

This checklist ensures safety and compliance regarding all school chemical storage, usage, and disposal processes. 

Fire systems

School maintenance inspection checklist pdf created for fire systems

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Recommended frequency: annual

This checklist is commonly outsourced to fire system service providers but still needs to be documented and tracked internally.

Fitness room

School maintenance inspection checklist pdf created for the fitness room

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Recommended frequency: annual

This checklist assesses the safety and functionality of exercise equipment, while also ensuring proper processes and signage are in place.

HVAC

School maintenance inspection checklist pdf created for HVAC

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Recommended frequency: annual

This checklist ensures the function and safety of all HVAC systems including ducts, fume hoods, drains, and intake.

Life safety

School maintenance inspection checklist pdf created for life safety

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Recommended frequency: annual

This checklist is a compliance and safety audit to ensure your school is prepared for an emergency, and that your plans have been properly submitted to the local Attorney General.

Playground

School maintenance inspection checklist pdf created for playgrounds

Recommended frequency: monthly

This checklist is conducted more frequently than the others and is intended to keep an ongoing watch on the safety of your playground equipment and surrounding areas.

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Roof

School maintenance inspection checklist pdf created for the roof

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Recommended frequency: annual

This checklist is intended to evaluate the integrity of your roof and related exhaust stacks. It will also identify any signs of mold and pests present on the roof.

How do you maintain a checklist?

Having a maintenance plan is great, but it will only be helpful if your team actually uses it.

There are a few reasons checklists can go unused, and we’ve provided some best practices and tips you can use to prevent these problems.

Sustainable scheduling

Over-scheduling tasks beyond the bandwidth of your team is a surefire way your school maintenance checklist goes unused.

Each maintenance schedule requires a different frequency to be done successfully (either daily, weekly, annually, etc.) At the same time, maintenance teams are often running into trouble with understaffing. This means facility leaders need to prioritize tasks based on their available resources and set a sustainable maintenance schedule for their team.

Relevant assignment

Failing to delegate tasks in a way that makes sense for a technician’s skill set or daily routine can be counterproductive and cause pushback.

Different technicians are more skilled at certain tasks than others. They also may have routes or zones that make sense for their daily routine. Try to assign facility maintenance in a way that best leverages your team’s unique talents, preferences, and responsibilities. It can also be highly productive to split out tasks by zone, minimizing the time technicians need to spend traveling from one task to the next.

Easily accessible

If your checklists aren’t visible and easy to fill out, they won’t get done.

In James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits, he talks about how habits are formed and what it takes to shape them to our will. A core principle he provides is that in order to shape our habits, we must place barriers between us and bad habits and remove barriers between us and good habits.

This means make it obvious where your team can find their checklists. Make it easy for them to fill out. Get feedback from your team, and be ready to adjust these checklists if they aren’t working.

Clear accountability

If your team knows there’s no incentive or penalty to filling out their preventive maintenance checklist or not, they may eventually stop doing them.

To keep your team filling out their maintenance checklist, there has to be accountability. Reward the behaviors you want while discouraging those you don’t.

Keep in mind that accountability is a two-way street. You must also allow your team to keep you accountable for refining these tasks and ensuring that the preventive maintenance you assign to your team is relevant and important.

Why create a digital preventive maintenance checklist for my school?

Paper checklists can work for a while, but you may find that they are easy to get lost, hard to keep up to date, and aren’t easily accessible on the go.

With preventive maintenance software, you can create digital checklists that your team can carry with them on a phone or tablet. This way everyone in your team can stay up to date in real time, and these checklists will synchronize with the other incoming reactive maintenance that can inevitably interrupt their daily inspections.