The Detriment of Deferred Maintenance for Church Buildings

deferred maintenace blog

As a place of worship, a church building is often a central part of a community. It serves as a place for people to unite, connect, and grow their faith. In short, it is your congregation’s “home.”

For this reason, church buildings need to be well-maintained and in good repair. However, many churches struggle with deferred maintenance — the silent killer.

What Is Deferred Maintenance?

Deferred maintenance is the practice of putting off necessary repairs and upkeep to save money in the short term. While this might seem like a good idea at the time, the reality is that deferred maintenance can have severe consequences for a church building.

Damage Caused By Deferred Maintenace

Structural Damage

One of the biggest problems with deferred maintenance is that it can lead to structural damage. If a church building is not correctly maintained, it can suffer from issues like water damage, rot, and other problems that can weaken its foundations and walls. In turn, this can ultimately lead to the building becoming unsafe, which could put people at risk.


In addition to structural damage, deferred maintenance can also deteriorate a church building's exterior and interior surfaces. This includes peeling paint, cracked plaster, and damaged flooring. 

While it may seem small, these factors drastically impact (usually negatively) your guests' first impressions. Not only do these problems make a church building look unappealing, but these issues can create a risk of injury for people who use the building. 

Problems With Major Systems

Finally, deferred maintenance can also lead to concerns with a church building's major systems, such as plumbing, heating and cooling, and electrical systems. If these systems are not properly maintained, they can break down or malfunction, which can cause all sorts of problems for your congregation.

Conclusion: Prioritize Maintenance & Repairs

To avoid the aftermath of deferred maintenance, churches need to prioritize upkeep and repair work. This includes cleaning and repairing surfaces, replacing worn or damaged materials, and performing necessary repairs on mechanical systems. By keeping up with maintenance, a church can ensure its building is safe, functional, and welcoming for its members and guests. 

In addition, you must have an intentional capital renewal plan and corresponding capital reserves account. In the long run, investing in proper maintenance can save money. And with proper planning, church stewards can help prevent more severe and costly problems from arising. If your church has been putting off necessary maintenance work, now is the time to address those issues and ensure that your building is in the best possible condition.