Asset depreciation is a critical component of financial accounting, enabling businesses to allocate the cost of an asset over its useful life. Physical deterioration is one of the primary factors considered when determining the depreciation of tangible assets. Understanding how to assess and measure physical deterioration is essential for accurate financial reporting and effective asset management. This blog will explore key considerations and methods for determining physical deterioration to calculate asset depreciation.

Methods for Determining Physical Deterioration

Understand the Concept of Physical Deterioration:

Physical deterioration refers to the wear and tear that occurs over time on tangible assets due to usage, environmental exposure, and inadequate maintenance. Above all, it encompasses the loss of value resulting from physical damage, obsolescence, or the reduction in efficiency or functionality of an asset.

Evaluate the Asset’s Expected Useful Life:

The useful life of an asset is the estimated duration over which it will provide value to the business. Determining the useful life requires considering factors such as industry standards, technological advancements, and maintenance practices. Therefore, it serves as a benchmark for measuring physical deterioration.

Conduct Regular Inspections:

Regular Inspections are crucial for assessing the condition of assets and identifying signs of physical deterioration. Inspection schedules may vary depending on the nature of the asset and its usage patterns. During inspections, evaluate factors such as structural integrity, performance, appearance, and functionality. Document any observed physical deterioration and note the potential impact on the asset’s useful life.

Track Maintenance and Repair History:

Maintenance and repair records are invaluable when assessing physical deterioration. These records provide insights into the frequency and extent of maintenance activities performed on the asset. They can help identify any chronic issues, patterns of wear and tear, or the need for additional investments to mitigate further deterioration.

Consider Environmental Factors:

Environmental conditions can significantly impact physical deterioration. Assets exposed to harsh climates, temperature fluctuations, humidity, chemicals, or heavy usage are more prone to wear and tear. Assess the asset’s operating environment and consider the effects of these factors on its physical condition. After that, implement appropriate measures, such as protective coatings or regular cleaning, to minimize deterioration caused by environmental influences.

Utilize Technological Tools:

Advancements in technology have made asset management more efficient and accurate. Several tools and techniques can assist in determining physical deterioration. For instance, sensors can monitor asset performance and detect abnormalities or changes that indicate deterioration. Additionally, specialized software can track maintenance schedules, generate condition reports, and calculate depreciation.

Consult an Expert:

When in doubt or dealing with complex assets, consulting a certified appraiser like ICS Asset Management Services, Inc. is beneficial. We can provide valuable insights into assessing physical deterioration. Our expertise includes evaluating assets, determining useful life, and accurately quantifying the impact of physical decline.

Consider Different Depreciation Methods:

Once you have assessed the physical deterioration, you can choose an appropriate depreciation method to allocate the asset’s cost over its useful life. Common techniques include straight-line depreciation, declining balance method, and units of production method. Each approach considers various factors, including physical deterioration, to determine the recorded amount of depreciation.


Determining physical deterioration is a crucial aspect of calculating asset depreciation accurately. By understanding the above concepts, businesses can effectively evaluate the impact of wear and tear on their assets. Accurate measurement of physical deterioration ensures that financial reports reflect the true value of assets. In addition, accurate reporting supports informed decision-making regarding maintenance, repair, and replacement activities.

ICS Asset Management Services, Inc. is the expert in providing quality, certified equipment appraisals. Contact us today at (800) 536-7376 or submit an online inquiry for help determining physical deterioration to calculate asset depreciation.