Save Money By Being Proactive With Roof Maintenance

Categories Business Tips

The humble roof is often underestimated.

Besides being the building cover that keeps the rain and weather out, the roof is actually a complex, structural component that helps support the integrity of the building envelope.

If you are a facility manager that holds the roof philosophy of set-it-and-forget-it then be aware that your reactive approach to roof maintenance may be costing you more money than you think.

Proactive vs. Reactive

Anthony Vross, co-owner of Simon Roofing, an American-based commercial roofing system business, advocates that a proactive approach to roof management is a good place to start.

He explains that…“Owners and facility managers who react to problems as they occur, pay an average of 25¢ per square foot annually for maintenance. Owners and facility managers who inspect and repair routinely (proactively) – before problems happen – spend an average of only 14¢ per square foot annually.”

The average lifespan of a roof also increases with proactive care. Consider the average lifespan of 21 years of a proactively maintained roof versus a roof life of 13 years of a roof that is only cared for in emergencies.

Obviously, this 8 year difference will have a profound impact on the number of times you have to replace the roof over a given time period and the significant expenditures associated with roof repairs and replacement.

Proactive roof maintenance is the way to go and will yield immense cost savings over the long term, especially if you consider sustainable, energy-efficient roofing systems during the replacement phase of your roof.


Implementing a solid, proactive roofing maintenance plan is key to eliminating the “putting out the fires” approach and can instead help you view your roof as an asset that needs to be cared for and maintained on a regular basis.

Consider these five proactive steps you can take to begin to optimize your roof management plan…

  • Gather All Roof Documents

    The first step in this management plan is to collect as much roofing documents as you can find.

    Having original building specs, roofing proposals, warranties, leak records, inspection reports, and repairs/maintenance documents will help lower the costs associated with hiring professional roof surveyors as this work will not have to be duplicated.

    Also, knowing what’s covered in your current warranty will help you avoid the unnecessary expense of paying for repairs and defects in workmanship that are still under warranty.

  • Implement an Electronic Data Recording System

    Manually keeping records of roof maintenance can be cumbersome and time-consuming.

    It is important that you begin to keep electronic data collection systems as this can help you recall and expand the data in the future.

    Also, being able to keep detailed information on the maintenance of each roof section, warranties, and scheduled repairs and maintenance can be much easier to manage when done electronically.

    This information can also be shared more easily among the management team.

  • Arrange a Roof Inspection

    Having a baseline of your roof’s condition before you begin a good preventive program is imperative to the long term health of the roof.

    Most roof surveyors follow a protocol for roof inspection such as the size and number of drains and scuppers, and the height of parapet walls.

    However, the most important information to gather during the survey is how well the water flows off of the roof and where this water goes once it leaves the roof. Good drainage is the most essential feature of roof performance.

    Once this initial inspection is done, regular roof inspections at least twice a year, usually in the spring and fall, should be scheduled into the maintenance plan.

  • Document Roof Condition and Establish Roof Repair Priorities

    Creating a roof condition report will be invaluable for both recognizing short-term priorities for repairs and maintenance as well as for future planning.

    Make sure that all findings and recommendations during the inspection are documented in great detail.

    This is especially helpful for planning and budgeting for future expenditures, such as a roof replacement in five years.

    Furthermore, any problems that were identified during the survey should be organized based on the priority of roof replacement, such as roofs that are still under warranty and viable to roofs that are on the decline and not maintainable.

  • Schedule Necessary Roof Maintenance

    This is a vital component of any solid roof management program and is categorized into two types. Break-down maintenance is required when defects, breaks, or emergencies occur that were unplanned.

    For example, a leaking roof caused by a heavy wind and rainstorm requires immediate repairs and maintenance to preserve the life of the roof as well as the integrity of the building.

    Scheduled maintenance, on the other hand, is preplanned and is based on a proactive preventative maintenance approach.

    This helps to identify early problems in order to remedy them as quickly as possible, and also to extend the roof life through regular maintenance.

Being proactive with roof management can only lead to positive outcomes. An intact weatherproofed roof, significant cost savings, and the reassurance that you can catch problems in the early stages can go a long way in keeping the roof viable well into the future.


Why Facility Managers Need to Be Proactive with Commercial Roofing Maintenance–11893–5441

Services & Maintenance: Three Steps To Roof Replacement

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