St. Louis, MO – When used properly, condition ratings can save building managers and owners time, money, and effort, according to the experts at Western Specialty Contractors.

To understand how cost-effective maintenance programs work, consider filling a car with gas. When does a driver get gas? Does he wait until he runs out and is stuck on the side of the road? Or when his low fuel light pops on, does he panic, drop everything, and head to the nearest gas station? Most people don’t do either. Instead they get gas sometime between those two points.

A useful tool called “condition ratings” follows the same logic as a car’s low fuel light. And when used properly, this tool can help building owners and property managers make smart decisions almost automatically.

What are condition ratings?

Property managers should assign a condition rating to each building component after completing an inspection. The ratings should be based on a scale created before the inspection, based on what works best at a given property. Condition rating scales can be as simple as good, fair, poor or critical. Or they can be more involved such as a 1-10 numerical index.

Western Specialty Contractors suggests five ways to put condition ratings to work:

1.)  Track condition changes

A building component’s condition dropping from good to fair is like a low fuel warning light. A change in condition provides building owners or managers with a valuable warning which helps them make the right maintenance decisions in critical situations.

2.) Know if something needs to be fixed

The low fuel warning light also takes out the guesswork of when to fuel a car.

When should a repair be made? How can repairs be timed to save as much money as possible?

Using condition ratings can automatically answer both questions.

3.) Make inspection data objective

Condition ratings that everyone understands help make inspections more accurate and reduce the subjectivity of individuals’ judgments. Providing pictures of each component will help building staff use condition ratings more effectively.

4.) Make inspection data easier to digest

Condition ratings help owners and managers see the big picture at their property. By indicating the condition rating of each component in the building’s inventory, a view of the property’s condition can be made by a quick review of the document. This helps with strategy and efficiency.

5.) Make prioritizing and budgeting easier

By combining condition ratings with other risk management and cost evaluation tools, priorities and budgets can be easily set. Ratings not only make the process easier, but they also help managers communicate more effectively with ownership.

For assistance in working with condition ratings, contact the Western Specialty Contractors branch location nearest you: www.westernspecialtycontractors.com/western-locations/. For more information on building inspections, check out Western’s latest newsletter:www.westernspecialtycontractors.com/newsletter-1/.

About Western Specialty Contractors

Family-owned and operated for more than 100 years, Western Specialty Contractors is the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing and specialty roofing. Western offers a nationwide network of expertise that building owners, engineers, architects, and property managers can count on to develop cost-effective, corrective measures that can add years of useful life to a variety of structures including industrial, commercial, healthcare, historic, educational and government buildings, parking structures, and sports stadiums. Western is headquartered in St. Louis, MO with 30 branch offices nationwide and employs more than 1,200 salaried and hourly professionals who offer the best, time-tested techniques and innovative technology. For more information about Western Specialty Contractors, visit www.westernspecialtycontractors.com.

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