The Importance of Keeping Accurate Maintenance Records During Construction Projects
In many of the construction defect lawsuits we litigate, one of the main defenses asserted by construction companies is that the association failed to maintain their building, and it is the lack of maintenance that caused the defects – not the work performed by the contractors. It is the responsibility of the association to maintain records of all maintenance that is performed at the property and, during the course of litigation, provide accurate maintenance records that tracked the work being performed throughout the building. This also applies if the association has hired a management company to operate the association.
Maintenance records typically cover servicing, repair and inspection information. The following are the three records we recommend associations properly maintain in order to ensure that construction projects run seamlessly:
Maintenance protocols describe the mandatory steps for managing the work performed on your building. They apply to all contractors performing construction or maintenance work for your association, all contractors performing construction or maintenance work in an area controlled by your association and employees, including those managing the performance or undertaking of the construction work. In maintenance protocols, we suggest associations include at the very least, the scope of the project, the activities that are considered high risk, a copy of the contractor’s Safe Work Method Statement, a list of impacting activities, monitoring protocols (if applicable) and post-work requirements.
Maintenance schedules include records that demonstrate the dates and time in which maintenance of specific sections of the property have been maintained. For instance, these are logs that indicate the date and time that water chemical treatment was performed, the date and time that pressure cleaning of the roof was performed, or the date and time that windows and sliding glass doors were cleaned.
Maintain a log of the equipment used, the number of hours the equipment is used, the work being performed throughout the building, the nature of each job along with the output, and the amount of fuel consumed. If the equipment malfunctions, also include that in the log. If known, include the time and the reasons for the malfunction. The timeliness and effectiveness of a construction project largely depend on the quality of the equipment used, so keeping an accurate log of these tools’ performance is vital.
Keeping accurate maintenance records helps the association and the contractor understand expectations and work smoothly. If you require assistance with drafting or updating your association’s maintenance records, or if you feel you have a construction defect case, contact an experienced construction attorney.