Corrective Maintenance Examples and Definition

What is corrective maintenance?

Corrective maintenance (also called breakdown maintenance) are tasks that are performed in order to rectify and repair faulty systems and equipment. The purpose is to restore broken down systems.

Corrective maintenance workflow

corrective maintenance


The process is initiated when an additional problem is discovered during a separate work order. For example, during an emergency repair, as part of a routine inspection, or in the process of conducting preventive maintenance, a technician spots another issue that needs to be corrected before other problems occur.

Upon discovering an additional problem, corrective maintenance is planned and scheduled for a future time. During the execution of corrective work, the asset is repaired, restored, or replaced

How corrective maintenance decreases downtime

Think of corrective maintenance as something that gets caught just in time. For example, if you see that the brake pads in your car are just about worn down but haven’t affected the rotors yet, you caught them in time.

Within the maintenance arena, the process is triggered when a technician sees something that is about to break or will affect the overall performance of a piece of equipment. It can still be repaired or restored without incurring downtime.

If corrective maintenance is not scheduled, the problem may become an emergency maintenance work order down the road and result in halted production lines, interruption in service, or unhappy customers.

Examples of corrective maintenance

Corrective maintenance can include a wide variety of equipment, systems, and situations.

For example, if you are performing preventive maintenance on a line of production equipment and notice significant wear on a critical part or component, you may initiate a corrective maintenance order to repair or restore that part within the next month.

If you are responding to an emergency request to repair a heating system in the middle of winter, you may notice that the HVAC system needs filters cleaned or replaced to improve efficiency and prevent further heat loss. You can restore the heat during the emergency call but you may schedule the corrective maintenance order to handle the filter issue later.

In a public works situation, you may be performing routine roadway repairs when you notice some signage damage from a recent storm. You can initiate an order to restore that signage at a later date.

Benefits of corrective maintenance

Since the process is performed “just in time,” the main benefit is reduced emergency maintenance orders as well as increased employee safety. The CM work orders are scheduled and prioritized in a CMMS, that helps technicians teams resolve problems before delays in production or service interruptions occur.

Corrective maintenance, coupled with good preventive helps a business extend the lifetime of its assets, reduce employee injury, and optimize resource planning. They work orders are often less expensive to implement than emergency maintenance work orders may need to be completed during overtime hours.

How to maximize it?

Corrective maintenance has an important role within the scope of services in a business, residential complex, or factory setting. Technicians who can find and identify potential problems before they become emergencies can save the company a great deal of money.

In order to maximize the benefits of the process, provide training and education to maintenance technicians and supervisors about what types of things to look for while they are providing preventive or emergency maintenance services.

Additionally, create a maintenance checklist of components that technicians can visually check quickly. You want your maintenance staff to catch as many problems as possible. This will generate more orders and help keep your facility running smoothly.

Corrective vs. breakdown maintenance

Some may wonder what the difference is between corrective and breakdown maintenance. Both work with equipment that is faulty, less than optimized, and/or broken. However, the two terms are not necessarily the same thing.

Corrective maintenance, as you just learned, is focused on rectifying and repairing faulty equipment. Breakdown maintenance is performed on equipment that is broken, faulted, or otherwise stopped in such a manner as to make the equipment nonoperational.

On the surface, the two look very similar. Let’s dive into the major difference to clear up any confusion.

How the two maintenance types differ

The biggest difference is that breakdown maintenance works on equipment that is nonoperational. Corrective maintenance takes place on equipment that is still functioning to some extent but will not function at optimal capacity without the maintenance being performed.

Corrective maintenance may very well be applied as a machine or equipment in question is still working. Breakdown maintenance may happen in an extremely short period of time, particularly if the system in question is essential.

Both types of maintenance typically happen to equipment that is still in its place or on the line. Also, both types of maintenance may be classified as emergency maintenance, depending on the situation.