Building owners, are most happy with their roofs when not thinking about them – and rightly so. When out-of-mind, their experience is warm dry winters and cool shaded summers. When in-mind they spend time making decisions about maintenance or replacement costs, high energy bills, damaged goods, stained ceilings, hazardous floors, bad smells and nonproductive personnel time. So, why would you want to think about your roof. The truth is, owners who manage their roofs poorly, think more about their roofs then they should.
Owners who manage their roofs well understand that in order to think less about their roofs in the end, they must think more about them at the beginning. Doing the right thing at the beginning avoids many bad things at the end.
Get to Know Your Roof
Rational owners understand that the basic function of a roof is protecting people and people’s stuff. A roof is much like a policeman, it’s wonderful to know that he’s on the job, but out-of-sight and out-of-mind is preferred. They will also understand that different approaches must be used with different roof designs and roof materials to achieve the lowest maintenance and replacement cost. For example: High profile (visible) roofs drain well because their higher pitch sends water racing off. They normally have low maintenance costs between replacements. On the other hand, out-of-sight low sloped roofs, located behind mansards or extended walls, drain slowly and maintenance costs are higher. It stands to reason that slow moving water has a much greater opportunity to find weaknesses through which to enter the building. When debris blocks the drain, for instance, water ponds and the added weight puts unplanned pressure on seams and joints. When a seam or joint opens and water enters the building; stains discolor the ceilings, streaks leave ugly marks on walls and merchandise can be seriously damaged. When water appears, the owner knows his protection has been comprised and he begins to spend time thinking seriously about his roof.
Get to Know a Roofing Professional
No one can know all things about everything. But well informed owners know the importance of fostering a close relationship with a roofing professional. This is somewhat less important with high pitched roofs. But with low slopped roofs – as are found on almost all commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings – having a professional on your team is essential, even mandatory – to good management.
In his field, the roofing professional is highly experienced and knowledgable. When it comes to cost saving and long range planning, he’s extremely useful to the building owner or manager. He not only keeps abreast of the latest technical developments in materials, but understands changing governmental codes concerning installation and energy savings. Unsurprising, he often is one of the industry leaders who assisted in bringing those changes about. By cultivating a close relationship with a roofing professional, you bring onto your management team a faithful advisor who will save you time and money, and keep you happy not thinking about your roof.
Identify in your area a roofing professional and get him on your management team. Listen to his advice and develop a long range plan for your roofs. He will not charge for his time but will expect your roof work to flow to his company. His advice and knowledge will far out-weight the risk of a chancy relationship with a low bidding unknown roofing contractor. Choose your man well and stick with him.