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Inheriting a Neglected Roof

If you are a building owner or manager who takes the reins of a facility that’s been neglected, there are 3 important steps to undertake. In trying to transition from a reactive to a proactive system of roof maintenance—where there has been no budget for maintenance and there are too many problems to resolve using corrective action—it is even more important to set priorities and follow a plan to move forward.

Active leaks should be the first priority, since those will likely cause additional damage to a roof system and related areas. Because these priority repairs impact roof conditions and performance, these actions will help protect the current roof from further deterioration and eliminate the majority of active leaks.

Next up is removal of problematic or failing roof areas. You should spend capital dollars where the funds will have the greatest impact, not solely based on the age of a component or other single factor. Removal of failing areas will prevent further spending on repairs that offer a low, or even negative, return on investment.

The final step is to replace aged roof assets, thus reducing or eliminating the reactive and costly spending that often takes place late in the roof life cycle. Timely and systematic replacement of older and weathered assets helps to preserve future capital budgets.

Regardless of what stage of roof maintenance planning you are in, it will always be true that proactive management is a smarter and more cost-effective measure to take than reactive spending. The sooner you can transition from reactive to proactive spending for the roofing system, the better off your facility will be.