I recently read an article on FacilitiesNet about zombie roofs and it inspired me to discuss this on a broader scale. I’m sure your first thought is: what in the world is a zombie roof? Well let me explain: a zombie roof is one “that died long ago but lingers on,” waiting to be replaced. You live in fear of your zombie roof because it could fail at any moment, bringing with it any number of disasters or tenant complaints. More than just your roof can be a zombie; any of the equipment in your facility can fall into this category.
How do you spot a zombie?
You’re first clue is a stack of work orders piling up about a piece of equipment, especially if the piece isn’t that old. You can also spot a zombie because of the numerous tenant complaints centered on one piece of equipment. It’s best not to let yourself live in denial about a zombie in your facilities because you’re setting yourself up to experience a critical failure.
How do you guard yourself against zombie equipment?
First off, make sure you have a system in place to effectively track all the work you do on equipment and keep you on track with your preventive maintenance. This will go a long way to prevent the problem before it can go too far. Next, keep thorough records on the cost of equipment repairs. You should look at reports regularly so you can spot problems early. If you’re keeping on top of what’s going on, you should begin to notice which pieces of equipment are in constant need of repair. Thorough record keeping also helps you when you need to justify the expense of replacement, especially if the equipment has failed early in its normal useful life. If the piece is young, management may be inclined to try to squeeze a little more time out of it. In this case, reports detailing the costs associated with keeping the equipment going will be invaluable to you. If the repair costs outweigh the yearly cost of a new roof, you can probably justify the expense of replacement.
So, I hope I’ve helped you in spotting potential zombies that may be lurking in your facilities and helped you defend yourself against future problems. The last thing a facility manager needs to worry about during a jam-packed day is a zombie!