Real results

A case study investigates the benefits of a proactive approach to roof system maintenance

In his book, Hocus Pocus, Kurt Vonnegut states, "Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance." This statement often is frustratingly true in the roofing industry. Roofing contractors and consultants who sell formal roof system maintenance programs often encounter an "out of sight, out of mind" mentality when trying to convince building owners and managers to appreciate the value of maintaining roof assets. But some empirical data based on real-world situations demonstrate how valuable a proactive approach to maintenance can be.

How we do it

Each time my company inspects or surveys a roof, the cost of the inspection is added to the asset's value. Roof surveys are performed on a schedule that provides an owner with a list of necessary repairs and maintenance. Surveys typically are performed every other year, and a report of findings is provided so recommended work easily can be located and repairs can be made. The survey reports include work anticipated during the years when surveys are not performed, so no extended period passes without some attention to the roof. Interim roof system inspections are performed to ensure nonessential work is performed, such as cleaning drains and removing debris from the roof surface.

Each time we repair or maintain a roof, the cost of that activity also is added to the asset value. Repairs can be as minimal as applying a few feet of caulking or as large as removing and replacing base flashings on an entire roof section. The fundamental concept is to present a proactive approach in which we fix small repair items before they deteriorate enough to allow moisture into a structure.