If you’re a subscriber to Roofing Contractor magazine, the question is not whether or not you have a maintenance program in place — it’s whether your program is more successful than those of your competitors.
Below are some tips from the “experts.” Of course, you do not have to be a roofing contractor to be an expert when it comes to roof maintenance. Many roof consultants, property owners and facilities managers have studied the topic extensively to help them keep roofing costs in check.
Tip #1: Association of Physical Plant Administrators (APPA), Alexandria, Va.
When working with institutional clients, the APPA carries a lot of weight. The group has regional branches throughout the U.S., and you should direct your clients to one of their regional websites. Here’s a quote from the national homepage of this respected industry association on October 15, 2011:
“A school or university’s roof is often the most neglected area of routine maintenance. Many roofs have a 20-year manufacturer warranty with strict caveats requiring routine maintenance. However, many (institutional) roofs see only a 12-year lifespan, due to common deferred maintenance practices.”
APPA has found roof replacement and repair among the 30 most costly expenditures over the 50-year life expectancy of a building. Conversely, a solid preventive maintenance program for roofing can generate an expected 30 percent extension of the life of that asset and delay major capital impacts from arriving too early.
Tip #2: Blair Construction LLC, Millersville, Md.
CEO James Blair tells prospective clients about the building owners or managers who rightly lie awake a night worrying about the integrity of their roofs and building contents — especially during inclement weather. He doesn’t try to frighten them — after all, many have just paid for a new roof — but he points out how maintenance can significantly delay major and minor roof repairs not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.
Blair also offers commercial property management services, which has really helped his maintenance division take off. By partnering with landscape, glazing, HVAC, painting and grounds-keeping personnel, Blair’s customers just need to make one call to handle all their building needs.
Tip #3: Phoenix Coatings Inc., Madera, Calif.
For roofing contractors with experience in the installation of roof coatings, a roof maintenance program is a perfect fit with their business. President Tom Burke has proven many times that his roofs can last as long as the building remains in use if the roof is properly maintained.
Not only does Burke offer documentation on these projects, but he devotes a separate page on the company’s website to his maintenance specialist Roy Turner. The page includes Turner’s photo and a description of the company’s 24-hour maintenance capabilities.
Through photographs and other documentation, Burke shows clients how the life span and energy saving performance of a roof system is greatly influenced by the presence or absence of a roof maintenance program. When prospective clients see the millions of dollars in lost goods, material damage and angry tenant lists, it makes a big impression on them. “The old theory, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ can come back to haunt you if your roof turns into a waterfall,” Burke says.