Breaking the Reactive Roof Cycle

A look at roof asset management, repairs, and restorations

The traditional approach to managing a roof portfolio has always been somewhat reactive: Wait until a roof leak occurs, fix just that leak and then wait for the next leak to happen. Building owners and managers using this reactive approach often find that over time the costs of roofing needs end up exceeding their planned budget, and the roof’s service life is shortened. In today’s marketplace, roofing budgets are often based upon historical spend on roof replacements and input from facility managers for replacement of problem roofs. The real problem is that not all leaking roofs need to be replaced. In addition, this approach doesn’t provide the reliable information necessary to develop a long-term capital improvement plan and to budget for the future with any certainty.

Maintaining a roof by merely reacting to problems costs an average of 25 cents per square foot annually; however, those who have a proactive roof program in place only spend an average of 14 cents per square foot annually. Plus, proactively maintained roofs last an average of 21 years compared to an average lifespan of 13 years for those under reactive maintenance. The longer a roof’s life can be extended before replacement, the more the overall savings increase and life cycle costs decrease.

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