With rising costs and shrinking budgets, building owners and facility managers are looking to reduce costs and maximize their assets. But when it comes to roof maintenance, it's all too common for them to forget about roof maintenance until something noticeable or even catastrophic occurs.
When it comes to roof maintenance, an ounce of prevention is more than worth a pound in cure. Adopting a proactive approach to maintaining roofing systems not only benefits your buildings, but also your bottom line.
The Perils of Reactive Maintenance
When it comes to extending the life cycle of building assets, preventative maintenance is always the key. However, the average building owner often follows into a reactive pattern when it comes to maintaining roofing systems. As mentioned before, it's easy to forget about the state of your roof — at least until water leaks and structural damage start wreaking havoc on equipment, decor and other interior assets.
Reactive maintenance can also cost big time. Without a proactive maintenance plan in place, you could easily find yourself spending nearly double on life-cycle costs. The average life-cycle cost for an average roof with only reactive maintenance is around 25 cents per square foot, as opposed to the roughly 14 cents per square foot spent on a roof with a proactive maintenance plan in place.
Other serious costs include the amount of downtime needed to deal with the roof replacement, especially if it interferes with normal business activity. Then there are the costs of cleaning up any structural or cosmetic damage caused by a leaking roof. Measures such as mold remediation and water damage cleanup can also impact your company's bottom line.
Roofs Last Longer with Proactive Maintenance
Keeping tabs on the condition of your roof and conducting proactive repairs whenever necessary results in a roof that requires fewer replacement intervals and, in turn, costs less money in terms of overall upkeep. A roof with proactive maintenance is capable of lasting 21 years, whereas a roof maintained through reactive upkeep only lasts for 13 years, according to recent analysis from Roofing Contractor magazine. Extending the working life of your roofing system can save as much as 50 percent of its costs over the course of a 30-year span.
Being proactive about roof care and upkeep also gives you an opportunity to invest in the latest in cutting-edge roofing technology. For instance, retrofitting portions of your existing roof with solar energy panels can help improve your building's energy consumption and even give back to the grid in the form of electricity generation, especially during non-peak hours.
Assess for Success
Many contracting firms place the bulk of their focus on total roofing replacement. As a result, nearly 80 percent of all roofs wind up being replaced before a complete replacement is necessary. While a complete replacement is often a necessity, there are plenty of cases where a roofing repair or restoration proves to be a simpler and more cost-effective choice.
This is where a professional assessment of your building's roof assets comes into play. Using the latest in scientific testing and analysis, an experienced contractor can assess the current state of your roof and recommend the appropriate action to take, whether it entails a repair, restoration or complete replacement. This measure can help take the guesswork out of roof replacements and help preserve the company's bottom line by eliminating unnecessary rebuilds.
Ideally, your contractor should be well-versed in all of the current major roofing systems and their subsets. Having this breadth of knowledge not only improves the likelihood of an accurate analysis of your roof assets, but it also means your contractor can check it out and develop a successful plan for maintaining your roof in the most cost-effective manner possible.