Elevators are essential to high-rise condo living and too often taken for granted. For anyone above the second floor, elevators are the only way to travel to or from their home. Elevators are essential for deliveries and maintenance workers.
When an elevator breaks down the condominium manager or superintendent calls a company to send someone to repair the problem. This is a company with which the corporation has a service contract that includes maintenance, repairs and annual inspections.
The cost of an elevator service contract can vary dramatically from building to building. Among the reasons for this are number of floors along with age, type and condition of the elevator. Union companies will charge more.
“An elevator is comprised of hundreds of mechanical, electrical and electronic parts that must be maintained on a regular basis” explains Philip Staite of Quality Allied Elevators. “Keeping it operational requires ongoing reviews, maintenance and repairs. It can be harder and more expensive to obtain parts for older elevator systems. Parts may have to be ordered from outside the country and can take weeks to arrive leaving the elevator inoperable for extended periods.”
Ontario has an estimated 18,000 residential building elevators. About 1,550 are over 50 years old. Another 10,000 are between 24 and 50 years old.
Broken elevators are more common when preventative maintenance is neglected. Three decades ago, an elevator technician would service about 35-45 elevators each month at a cost of about $1,000 per elevator per month. Today that maintenance contract costs about $400 and technicians are responsible for more than double and often triple the number of elevators. Routine or preventative maintenance is less common as emergency repairs take up more time. This results in more elevator downtime and emergency repairs.