A building maintenance worker must possess a variety of skills encompassing most of the construction trades. Maintenance workers might paint the lobby one day, fix a broken garbage disposal the next morning and replace a faucet later in the day. In a manufacturing plant, he might replace a worn belt on a piece of machinery or install a new outlet in the accountant’s office. Building maintenance workers handle repairs that require basic skills as an electrician, carpenter, plumber, mechanic, painter, HVAC technician and roofer. However, building maintenance workers must always remain aware of the needs of the marketplace.
Facilities require a certain amount of upkeep to look their best, maintain a safe environment and serve their intended function. Building maintenance workers conduct regular inspections to determine areas that need attention and then perform the tasks. The job might involve replacing a worn doorknob, oiling a squeaky hinge or replacing a damaged floorboard. He might inspect for burned-out light bulbs and replace them, change the filters in the air conditioning system or replace a hard-to-operate lock. In an industrial setting, the maintenance worker might have a set schedule of routine maintenance procedures to perform on machinery and equipment, such as greasing the bearings or changing the hydraulic fluid.
Building maintenance workers should not be confused with janitors, custodians and building cleaners. However, some employers do include certain cleaning duties for their building maintenance workers. These typically fall into two categories. The first is general cleaning on an as-needed basis. For example, if a water pipe bursts, the maintenance worker might need to clean the area after making the repair, or the maintenance worker might be expected to pick up litter or clean an area if he sees the need. The second category involves heavy-duty cleaning tasks, such as shampooing carpets, waxing floors or cleaning hard-to-reach light fixtures.
Depending on employer, building maintenance workers might perform a number of miscellaneous duties. In some settings, they might install cables for computers, assemble new equipment. They might hang new drapes, order supplies and parts or install bulletin boards. Some employers include exterior maintenance items such as gates, parking lots and fences.