Regular roof maintenance makes capital budgeting easier, less expensive, and more predictable. When a building owner or manager cares for and pays attention to their roof, four things happen that make their capital budget process easier:
- Maintenance Reduces End-of-Lifecycle Expenditures
Roofs can be similar to people. Regular, basic maintenance throughout life can improve the length and quality of the final years. Similarly, neglect can spell expensive and unavoidable repairs down the line. It is remarkable how many building owners are caught off guard when a contractor inspects a 8- or 10-year-old roof for the first time and tells them it needs to be replaced.
Routine check-ups and smart choices are key to a problem-free roof installation. A leak at a seam left unrepaired can get exposed by weathering and expand until irreversible damage is done to the roof system and building components. Getting out in front of problems early minimizes costs and means more reliable performance later in life.
- Regular Maintenance Extends the Life of the Roof Itself
Manufacturers agree that regular maintenance can extend the life of a roof by as much as 25 percent. Whether it’s removing snow, clearing debris, unclogging gutters, adding caulk or sealant, or just keeping a close eye on vulnerable perimeter terminations, spending a little on maintenance makes the roof’s overall cost per year go down, with fewer repairs required each year. Those costs, and their impact on a capital budget, can be deferred over additional years.
- Inspections Gather Information Needed for Planning and Budgeting
Whether reports come annually or quarterly, maintenance inspections reveal information crucial to 5- or 10- year capital budget planning. Without status updates on when repairs will be needed, emergency repairs or even a full replacement can arrive as a surprise, leaving significant holes in budgets. In some cases where there are no funds available, this might mean that work has to stop or merchandise and equipment needs to be moved.
When a contractor can tell a building owner that their roof has 12 years left before it needs to be replaced but that certain repairs will likely be needed within the upcoming 3 years, the owner can plan, predict, and budget accordingly.
- Regular Maintenance Lowers the Roof’s Overall Cost
When a roof is maintained, it costs less to own overall. By dealing with small leaks, for example, owners can prevent the deck from rusting or protect insulation from getting saturated and needing to be replaced. Operations in the building will be disturbed less frequently or not all.
If work can be kept to routine repairs during a roof’s lifespan, an owner might be able to avoid replacing the insulation when it comes time to re-roof, which can cut costs by up to 30 percent ($3 per square foot as opposed to $5). The savings are even more significant if the decking is kept in good shape. In poorly maintained roofs where the decking becomes rusted out and structurally unsound, the replacement cost can skyrocket up to $12 per square foot. Without a proper maintenance plan, the capital budget could be in for an unnecessarily large hit when it comes time to replace the roof.
Your roof is out there working for you every day, but it’s easy to forget about the roof when planning a capital budget. Maintenance lowers the overall cost, keeps small problems small, prevents surprises, and extends the roof’s life. Prioritizing the roof with a smart maintenance plan makes budgeting easier overall.