Handling Roof Repairs and Replacements as a Property Manager 101
Have you ever heard those fateful, terrorizing words: “Our roof is leaking!” You probably thought, “What do I do? Where should I turn? Who should I call?” Then, there’s the really big one: “How much is this going to cost?” Those are probably the questions going through your mind as a property manager, or worse keeping you up at night as you wait for that call from your tenants.
Don’t worry, we at Horizon Roofing are here to help. These tips will help you get started on the right path to not just getting your roof replacement done correctly, but perhaps avoiding it altogether. We’ll show you how to get the best work done at an affordable price.
Remember, you are going to have to explain to your clients who own the property how you handled this difficult situation. We’ll help you be in the best position to show that you are a professional when it comes to handling these unforeseen repairs.
Preparation is key
Don’t be pennywise and pound foolish. Schedule preventative maintenance today by calling professionals like those at Horizon Roofing. Getting your roof inspected regularly is key to avoiding middle-of-the-night phone calls from your renters, sending you into a panic.
When a licensed, qualified roofer inspects your roof, they can let you know how to plan for the future. You’ll get an idea of what needs you must address today, and what can wait. It’s much better to know that your roof will last another couple of years, so you can plan for a replacement, than to wait until it’s leaking.
Having a roofing inspection also helps address easy-to-fix items like the buildup of leaves or sticks that can allow water to accumulate, or a broken shingle here and there. These will cost little or nothing to correct now but prevent major repairs later.
It’s important to communicate this to your clients. You need to be financially in a good spot to handle these repairs. Nothing is going to complicate and compound things more than if you don’t know where to come up with the cash to pay for a repair.
It’s recommended that you set up a reserve bank account, and keep putting money away in it so that when the need arises, you are ready to go.
Repair or Replace?
This is an issue that comes up quite frequently. This is a conversation you’ll need to have with your clients as well. Sometimes, roof repairs can be fairly inexpensive, making the decision pretty easy. In other situations, the repairs required may be so extensive that starting from scratch may be a better idea.
Check the age of the roof. By knowing when it was installed, you’ll be in a much better place to make a decision. A good roofer can help you decide if it’s better to simply start from scratch. For example, if the roof is 28 years old, and probably should be replaced at 30 years, it doesn’t make sense to spend thousands of dollars on repairs, when you really should replace the whole thing in a couple of years anyway.
On the other side of the coin, perhaps a leak developed after only five years of the roof’s life. Then, it is much more likely you’ll want to focus on repairing the area that needs work rather than replacing the whole thing.
Don’t forget that new innovations in roofing materials may make a huge difference in heating and cooling costs, so that may nudge you in the direction of a replacement if the roof is getting a little long in the tooth.
Picking a Roofing Company
Preventative maintenance and picking a roofing company can go hand in hand. A great idea is to use a roof inspection as a way to evaluate a roofing company. Then, when you find a roofer you like, they can be your “on-call” service when repairs are needed, saving you time.
Ideally, you’ll find a few companies you like. If a roofing need arises and one is booked up, you’ll be able to call the next one and the next one, and so on, getting that repair done much faster. It’s scary and not recommended to fly blind and just pick a company at random! You won’t know how their work and reliability rate until it’s too late.
When the roofer comes out, you’ll want to take note of their professionalism. There are some important things you’ll want to look for:
- Was it easy to get a hold of the company? If they didn’t answer your call, did they call you back quickly? If they don’t, try to imagine not being called back when your tenants are complaining about water leaks and the damage is increasing every minute.
- Was the roofer who came out professional? Did they appear knowledgeable and helpful?
- Do they seem overly pushy to do more than you need? A good roofer will not sugar coat bad news, but they won’t push you into doing a full replacement or buying more expensive materials if they aren’t necessary.
- Very important: are they licensed? Are they carrying the proper types of insurance?
Communication is Key for All Parties
Whoever is paying the final bill for the roof repairs isn’t likely to be jumping for joy at the news. You’ll want to remind all parties that the roof is arguably the most important part of the structure. There’s a reason why people use the cliche, “a roof over my head!” Without it, water intrusion starts to affect everything else, including the people inside! If you’ve followed the tips we’ve given you, this conversation will be much easier.
Start by reminding the property owners how important it is to have a sound roof. Then, you’ll be able to continue by explaining why the roofer you chose is qualified, and charges reasonable rates. You’ll also be able to explain why repairing was preferable over replacing, or vice versa.
Remember, that preventative maintenance puts you in the best position to inform everyone about what to expect!
If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to show your clients that you are a true professional at property management!
Horizon Roofing – serving the Orange County, CA area – is your reliable local roofing contractors. We specialize in residential roofing and commercial roofing and have been in the industry for over a decade. We have excellent reviews and look forward to serving your need.