Protecting The Roof Over Your Head
An oft-neglected but crucial part of any apartment block home is the roof that protects the building. According to USA Today, a full roof replacement can be a huge expenditure, with asphalt tops costing up to $1,200 per 10 square foot and metal roofs even more - at $1,500 per 10 square foot on average. For real estate professionals, this can mean a huge out of pocket expense or a huge insurance premium; worse, an uninhabitable property can lead to vacant tenancies. As with most maintenance issues, being able to recognize the warning signs is key.
The warning signs
There are a huge range of symptoms that can indicate that your roof is at risk. There are, however, some key ones to look out for. Prime among the indications that your roof is in bad condition is an issue with water damage. Do you have leaks, or sagging? Has there been any water pooling on the roof? Are there exterior cracks or internal mold indicating that water is starting to enter the walls of the building? With extreme rain events becoming more common according to Climate.gov, it's never been more important to be aware of these common warning signs and given yourself a head start.
Taking remedial action
What can you do if you have noticed some of the warning signs of roof damage? There are options. Contacting your insurance is a necessary first step, to see what they can immediately offer and what your liability is as it concerns repair. Many problems can be linked back to a single source, such as a leak or an overload of weight on the roof causing pooling. Rectifying this early will stop damage down the line, and also give you a heads-up on any potential issues in the future.
Worst case situations
Where failure does occur, it's important to take all of the necessary steps to protect yourself legally. Contact OSHA immediately - it's better to have the bad news early and displace tenants if you have to. The alternative, such as fines and criminal liability, are far worse news for your business as opposed to taking the roof hit on the chin. Furthermore, you'll be able to keep a close eye on your finances and get your business back up and running sooner, rather than later.
A failing roof can put an onwards sale in danger or cause problems for sales in the future. At worst, it can cause serious harm to tenants or buyers and cause criminal liability. Noticing the warning signs early, and rectifying them quickly, is the key to proper management.