The importance of preventative maintenance in infrastructure management

Written by
Brooke Hahn
July 4, 2024

Preventative maintenance is a critical component of effective infrastructure management. This proactive approach involves regular inspections, servicing, and repairs to identify and address potential issues before they escalate into significant problems. Given that preventative maintenance can save businesses significant cost, enhance operational efficiency, extend asset lifespan and increase safety, it makes sense that it forms a core part of any infrastructure maintenance workflow. 

Understanding preventative maintenance

Preventative maintenance is designed to keep equipment and infrastructure in optimal working condition through scheduled, routine checks and services. This practice contrasts with reactive maintenance, which involves repairing equipment after a failure has occurred. The primary goal of preventative maintenance is to prevent failures from happening in the first place.

The importance of preventative maintenance

Preventative maintenance has a number of key benefits:

1. Cost savings:

  • Reduced repair costs: By addressing minor issues before they become major problems, organizations can avoid costly repairs.
  • Energy efficiency: Regular maintenance ensures that equipment operates efficiently, reducing energy consumption and associated costs. This is particularly important for industries like utilities and facilities management, where energy efficiency directly impacts the bottom line.

2. Increased safety:

  • Accident prevention: Regular inspections help identify and rectify potential hazards, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries. For instance, in the utilities sector, maintaining electrical infrastructure can prevent dangerous faults and outages.
  • Compliance with regulations: Many industries are subject to stringent safety regulations. Preventative maintenance helps ensure compliance, avoiding legal penalties and enhancing workplace safety.

3. Extended asset lifespan:

  • Longevity: Routine maintenance extends the life of equipment and infrastructure by preventing excessive wear and tear. This is crucial for assets that are costly to replace, such as telecommunications towers and HVAC systems in facilities.
  • Reliability: Well-maintained equipment is more reliable and less prone to unexpected failures, ensuring consistent performance and service delivery.

4. Operational efficiency:

  • Minimized downtime: Preventative maintenance reduces the likelihood of unexpected breakdowns, which can cause significant operational disruptions. For example, in telecommunications, maintaining network equipment ensures uninterrupted service for customers.
  • Optimized performance: Regular servicing keeps equipment running at peak efficiency, enhancing overall productivity and operational efficiency.

Preventative maintenance across key industries


The utilities sector relies heavily on preventative maintenance to ensure the reliability and safety of its infrastructure. Regular inspections of power lines, substations, and pipelines help prevent outages and accidents.

Example infrastructure maintenance use cases in the utilities industry:


  • Pipeline inspections: Regular inspections and maintenance of pipelines can reduce the incidence of leaks. 
  • Pump and motor maintenance: Well-maintained pumps and motors operate more efficiently, reducing energy consumption.
  • Water treatment plant maintenance: Routine maintenance of water treatment facilities ensures the quality and safety of the water supply.


  • Leak detection: Implementing routine inspections and maintenance to detect and repair small leaks can prevent costly pipeline failures.
  • Valve maintenance: Regularly inspecting and maintaining gas valves to ensure they operate correctly and safely.
  • Pipeline integrity management: Monitoring and maintaining the integrity of gas pipelines to prevent potential failures.


  • Power outages: Preventative maintenance can reduce the frequency of power outages.
  • Transformer inspections: Regular inspections and servicing of transformers can extend their lifespan and prevent failures. 
  • Substation maintenance: Routine maintenance of substations to ensure reliable power distribution and avoid unexpected outages.
  • Read how Citipower & Powercor inspected their powerpole assets 4X faster with Birdi


In the telecommunications industry, maintaining network infrastructure is critical for ensuring uninterrupted service. Preventative maintenance of towers, antennas, and data centers helps prevent service disruptions and improves network reliability.

Example infrastructure maintenance use cases in the telecommunications industry:

  • Network outages: Preventative maintenance helps reduce network outages. 
  • Equipment maintenance: Regular maintenance of network equipment extends its operational life. 
  • Tower and antenna inspections: Regular inspections and maintenance of towers and antennas to ensure optimal performance and safety.

Government and local councils:

Government bodies and local councils are responsible for maintaining public infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and public buildings. Preventative maintenance ensures these assets remain safe and functional, avoiding costly emergency repairs.

Example infrastructure maintenance use cases in the utilities industry:

  • Road maintenance: Regular inspections and repairs of road surfaces prevent potholes and deterioration, reducing long-term repair costs.
  • Bridge inspections: Routine inspections and maintenance of bridges can identify and address structural issues before they become critical.
  • Public building maintenance: Preventative maintenance of public buildings, such as schools and libraries, ensures they remain safe and functional for public use.

Preventative maintenance using Birdi

Birdi’s asset assessment suite of tools enables businesses to quickly identify faults and issues within infrastructure for preventative maintenance. Upload your asset images, define the issues that are relevant to you via the assessment register, then start reviewing and marking up images with issues and tags. Once complete, you can download your assessment into a PDF report you can share with your team, contractors and stakeholders for actioning.

Preventative maintenance is essential for maintaining infrastructure across various industries. Its benefits, including cost savings, increased safety, extended asset lifespan, and improved operational efficiency, make it a valuable practice for any organization. By identifying and addressing potential issues before they lead to failures, preventative maintenance helps ensure the reliability and longevity of critical assets. Investing in a robust preventative maintenance program is a strategic move that pays dividends in the long run, safeguarding both infrastructure and the people who rely on it.

Brooke Hahn
Brooke has been involved in SaaS startups for the past 10 years. From marketing to leadership to customer success, she has worked across the breadth of teams and been pivotal in every company's strategy and success.