The difference between provocative and reactive roof maintenance is that proactive maintenance involves managing the roof with periodic inspections and scheduled repairs and reactive maintenance is done when unscheduled work performed upon discovery of critical defects that may present an immediate threat of water intrusion into the building interior.
Proactive maintenance involves managing the roof as you would manage an asset like a computer network or a machine shop — with periodic inspections and scheduled repairs.
The goal of a proactive maintenance program is to anticipate problems that might prevent the roofing system from doing its job. In other words, you want to avoid “downtime.” Downtime can include disruptions in building use, lost use of space, or tenant complaints — all of which can result in lost revenue. Tenant complaints can also lead to incremental expenses such as lawsuits.
Even the slightest delay in roof repairs can expose the building to costly slip and fall incidents and mold and mildew problems. Once a roof has fallen into disrepair, the owner becomes exposed to expenses caused by excessive labor costs, destroyed inventory, higher energy costs, higher insurance premiums and damaged interiors. In addition, emergency repairs can cost anywhere from three to nine times as much as scheduled preventive repairs.
If you’re a building owner, implementing a proactive maintenance program is as logical as scheduling an engine oil change — the cost of not doing it is simply too high to ignore. And if you’re a contractor who finds yourself fixing leaks on an emergency basis, it’s probably time talk to your clients about the value of proactive inspections.