22 Apr Don’t delay your preventative building maintenance
It’s official. Summer is over and so is the wet season.
Despite moments of wild weather – think Tropical Cyclone Marsha and the horrendous hailstorm that hammered Brisbane on 27 November 2014 – the Statewide annual rainfall was actually 9% down on the long-term Summer average.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) is predicting only average Autumnal rainfall, with April and May expected to be a bit drier than average (Source: ABC Rural, 27 February 2015).
Interestingly though, this could be the perfect time for a roof assessment and preventative building maintenance works.
If you wait till the next ‘big wet’ all the roofing companies will no doubt be flooded (no pun intended) with calls from panicking property managers, and may be too busy to fit you in.
If you’ve ever tried to call a roofing contractor right after a deluge or thunderstorm, you’ll know precisely what we mean.
Make OK while the sun shinesThe dry season is definitely the time to prepare for the wet season; the time to have your roofs inspected and, if necessary, arrange for preventative building maintenance and repairs to be carried out.
That way if another storm hits or a cyclone howls in, you’ll know that you’ve done everything humanly possible to be ready for it (and you know what they say about an ounce of prevention…)
And it isn’t just the rain.
In Queensland and northern New South Wales, high summer temperatures and thermal shock (caused by sudden drops in temps) can also play havoc with the integrity of roofs, and should therefore be accounted for.
Additionally, being outside ‘peak hour’, you could reasonably expect that the maintenance company you contract to do the assessment would be available to work around your schedule and not be called away to some emergency.
What a Roof Condition Report reports onHere’s what you should expect when you employ the services of an independent roof and building company to do a preventative building maintenance report.
A consultant from the company, preferably with considerable hands-on experience, should visit onsite, with a comprehensive check-list that takes in such aspects as:
- the location and orientation of the property, and nearby buildings
- the age of the building(s)
- identification of immediate problems
- identification of small issues that have the potential to become big problems
- poor workmanship
- the status of previous ‘patch up jobs’
- obvious and hidden effects of salt/water corrosion and weather
- deteriorated seals and membranes
- poorly fitted or damaged flashings
- crazed, cracked or blistered surfaces
- loose tiles or damaged valley gutters
- pointing damage
- blocked gutters
- Workplace Health & Safety issues
- and more.
As part of the written assessment, the consultant may supply anything from a simple, expert overview focussing on key issues in order of importance, right up to a detailed expenditure forecast/maintenance schedule covering up to five years.
Some companies may even compile a comprehensive report that could prove invaluable at board level; this will ensure that appropriate decisions can be made and that your resort can move forward with confidence.
How to assess a good assessorLike all service companies, there are good roof and building maintenance companies and not-so-good ones.
With so much riding on your roofs, it pays to get it right. Which begs the question: who should you look for?
You should start by looking for a well-established, specialist roofing company.
It stands to reason that the longer they have been in business the more experience they have, and by specialising they would be fully aware of conditions and legislation that a ‘jack-of-all-trades’ company may not.
They should also be reputable.
A reputable roof and building company will always provide documented evidence of any minor or major work that needs to be done, along with detailed photographs if possible.
You may also ask for recent references from former clients (after all, do you know exactly what they’re doing up there, and that they’ve done what they said they did?).
They will give you options to suit your budget and unique requirements.
A good roofing contractor won’t just give you a quote for the worse case scenario, but instead will explain what needs to be done then and there, and what can possibly wait until the new financial year.
Start planning your preventative building maintenance worksEven though we recommend arranging a roof inspection in Autumn/Winter, any time of the year is better than not doing it at all.
Too many property managers fail to comprehend the importance of maintaining their roof systems, or give other aspects of their business greater priority, and subsequently overlook their roofs.
In time this can lead to greater damage, higher costs and of course discomfort for your team.
The small cost of regular roof inspections and maintenance will greatly extend the life of a valuable asset and in some cases can actually double a roof’s expected lifespan.
We strongly recommend you arrange a thorough roof inspection to avoid future dramas – and there really is no time like the present.