“Roofs are often said to be like tires. We only think of them when a problem arises, and we only replace them when we absolutely must. But, when we do think of tires and maintain them regularly, we can extend their useful lives. Similarly, we need to ensure that the roof receives the proper maintenance to increase its useful life.” (Oliver BOM, Dec.’13)
Roof Asset Management Program
According to two leading industry associations building operating management and facilities management roof asset management is an imperative for building owners and managers. During times of tough economic conditions and budget constraints, the ultimate goal for owners and managers is to invest monies wisely to maximize their facilities roof asset service life for the least cost possible.
The next step in a roof asset management program following roof assessments is an effective roof maintenance program. Without an on-going roof maintenance program, industry statistics show:
- More than 80% of all roofs are replaced prematurely
- The average building roof costs over life of building is $127,500
- A roof can leak for days, weeks or months before it is noticed inside the building.
- Repairs, maintenance and/or recoveries cost thousands of dollars less than roof replacement.
- Roof Maintenance programs typically cost about 1-3% per year of the estimated total replacement costs (maintenance cost depends on coverage).
- A roof maintenance program can save up to 50% over the life of a 30-year roof compared to replacing every 15-20 years.
An effective roof maintenance program is a proactive program and not a reactive one. 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 $.14 per square foot annually. Plus, proactively maintained roofs last an average of 21 years as compared to an average lifespan of 13 years for reactive maintenance. The longer you can extend your roofs life before replacement, the more your overall savings increase and your life cycle costs decrease, states Anthony Vross of the National Roofing Alliance.
A proactive maintenance program includes:
- Scheduled on-site visual roof inspections.
- Photographs of roof condition for documentation purposes.
- Removal of debris, unclog drains or gutters.
- Clean sediment buildup on single ply roof systems.
- Repair minor roof deficiency conditions.
- Provide repair quotes for major deficiency conditions.
Owners and managers who are proactive with an effective roof maintenance program reduce costs and increase the roofs useful life; thereby, taking roof asset management program to the next step.
- Regular maintenance is a key ingredient in the long-term performance of any roof.
- A comprehensive roof maintenance program will minimize the need for emergency repairs, reduce damage to the building structure and finishes, and help maintain a safe and healthy working environment for building occupants.
- There are two major components in all roofing maintenance programs: inspections and repairs.
- While all roofing programs have these two elements, what is included in each of the elements depends on the type of roof, the climate where the building is located and how building operations affect the roof.
- Built-up roofs have different inspection and maintenance requirements than single-ply roofs. Cold climates subject roofs to different stresses than warm climates.
- Buildings where access to the roof is severely limited will have different inspection and maintenance requirements than those with high levels of roof traffic.