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  • Writer's pictureScott Isacksen

How to save $2,000 or more

Updated: May 30, 2019

Common to all buildings is a roof over them protecting the structure below.

Roof types vary and materials to repair and better protect are being developed.

This is the information that you need to be able to make the best decisions on how to approach your roof as an apartment owner.

Part of the package that Tci Building Services provides for you to operate your apartment is a replacement schedule for your roof. You don't have a property package for your investment?

Read on and use this information to better care for your property.

Why should you read this? Roof replacements are expensive and happen infrequently.

Roofing is often a concern for property owners. I've known people who have had the roof replaced themselves but forgot how long the materials were supposed to last. Was it a 20 year roof or 30 year roof? These long term things are easy to lose track of and digging through paperwork from 20 years ago isn't the most fun thing to do.

I have had property owners request assistance filling out the questionnaires from an insurance company while changing plans on the building. Roof age and material is a common question and something that the day to day property management often doesn't have records about to reference.

These are some of the problems that I created Tci Building Services to solve.


You need to be ready for the cost obligation and missing the replacement will cause damage that adds costs to your property in several ways.

1. Your roof leaks and causes damage inside a unit.

Repairs will include drying, painting, and possibly some cleaning.

Prices vary depending on the area and extent of damage, but a recent response I saw cost $1,500 for the emergency services.

2. Your roof leaks, but the wood below it absorbs the water.

This can happen before there is complaint of a leak. Building materials absorb water and start to rot. Roof replacement will then include replacing these damaged materials below it, adding to the cost of the roof.

3. Urgent service often costs more than a planned service and you will be left working with whoever is available, good or bad.

How to Plan:

Your roof life will last the expected life of the material UNLESS damaged or improperly installed. This means that planning for replacement is relatively easy. Know your roof life and know the install year, you know when replacement is needed.

How do you find out the roof age if it was replaced before you owned the building? The city your apartment is in should have record of the permit that was pulled for the last replacement.

Refer to your initial property inspection that was done when you purchased the building.

Your roof material should be listed there. The inspector may have given an estimate on useful life remaining. This is a VERY hard thing to do with just visual information, so even if it is in an inspection report, I wouldn't rely too heavily on that number.

Look up the life expectancy for the material of your roof.

Install date + material life = replacement date

Write down these things below: Address: Roof type: Roof installed: Roof replacement date:

Start gathering estimates in advance of the replacement date and work with your preferred roofer's schedule. The reserves you set aside for this takes care of the roof and you don't have to spend additional money fixing units, drying pools of water, or replacing rotted wood.

This planning alone can save you over $2,000 dollars.

Additional notes:

Your roof may experience some leaks sooner than expected due to joints where vents or windows come out of the roof. These problems are often much more visible when they happen (such as around a stove vent) since they travel down the object that comes out of the roof.

A gutter cleaning or roof maintenance service should be asked to check these seams while taking care of your roof, especially as you near the end of life of the materials.

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