Maintaining the roof of a multi-family complex can be very challenging. Keeping an eye on the entire roofing and staying ahead of potential problems is demanding. Difficulties also arise from managing the different types of roofs and roofing materials that make up the structure. Unlike smaller buildings, where the impact of problems is limited to a few households, problems with the roof of a multi-family complex can affect an entire community.
Sometimes also due to the sheer size and complexity of these roofs, owners find it hard to clearly define the problems they are facing. It is not always easy to tell if a specific issue is part of the normal routine of maintaining the roof or an indication that it is time to re-roof the complex.
Multi-family roofing issues are touch-and-go as costs and consequences can escalate very quickly if issues are not dealt with. This is why McCourt Real Estate & Management advises it is important to understand the root of problems and deal with them appropriately.
How can you tell when the roof of your multi-family complex is in need of reroofing? Are there any specific advantages to reroofing the complex on time?
Benefits of reroofing your multi-family complex
In addition to managing costs and keeping tenants happy, there are good reasons to know when to reroof a multi-family complex:
- A roof replacement gives you the opportunity to address issues with the roof that were previously detected but could not be dealt with. Some problems are so complicated that the most cost-effective time to deal with them is when the entire roof is being replaced.
- A roof replacement is an opportunity for the wholesale renovation of the complex. Multi-family roof replacement is a major project. Bundling it with other renovations – painting, landscaping, etc. – is a good way to cut down on costs.
- A new roof on a multi-family complex will improve its appearance. Owners can take advantage of this to update any rundown features of the home and give the complex a complete facelift.
Signs that it is time to re-roof your multi-family complex
● The roof is aging
All roofing materials have their designated expiration date and a roof that is close to or past that date becomes unreliable. Even if the roof does not show any outward signs of aging, it still has the potential to deteriorate very quickly.
This is because its component materials have become unstable and all it takes is one bad incident to set off a cycle of endless problems. If you let an aging roof surprise you, the problems may happen so fast that it will be impossible to keep up with them. The best way to avoid this is to preempt the problems by changing the roof when it is still holding up.
● The roof has deteriorated before its expiration date
Roofs may degenerate before their expiration date. This could happen for many reasons. If bald spots start appearing on asphalt shingles, it is often due to a poor manufacturing process that failed to properly embed the granules. Conversely, curved or curling shingles are caused by excessive moisture or poorly vented attics.
If the shingles are blowing away, the adhesive on them may have weakened or the roof was not properly installed. If these problems become widespread on a roof, the entire structure will become prone to leaks and expose the complex to a greater risk of water damage.
● Repairs are costing too much
From a cost management perspective, it makes more sense to replace a roof than keep repairing it, if the monthly cost of fixing it is close to what your monthly payments would be if you got a loan to replace the roof. Because spending on roof repairs happens a little at a time, owners and managers often do not realize just how much these small costs amount to.
If you experience a deluge of complaints about your roof every time it rains or you are constantly chasing down problems with the structure, it may be time to take a step back and calculate the costs of those incessant repairs.
● You have reroofed the structure in the past
There are two ways to reroof your building; you can layer a new roof over the existing one or completely strip away the shingles and lay new ones. The first one is the cheaper option but the time comes when the second option becomes inevitable. In some localities, there is a limit to how many layers you can put on an existing roof.
If that limit is reached and there are still problems with a roof, stripping the entire roof is the only solution. Also, sometimes a new layer is not enough to solve the problems, such as, when there are surface irregularities or parts of the roof’s internal structures have become worn or damaged.
Finally, as previously stated, you may also want to consider a new roof for your multi-family complex if you are planning to make additions or improvements to the property or if your complex is due for a facelift.