Monday, August 29, 2011

Deferring Maintenance Brings Risks for Commercial Properties

It’s been more than 20 years since APPA published The Decaying American Campus: A Ticking Time Bomb. That report estimated that $60 billion in deferred maintenance existed on U.S. college campuses (which is more than $100 billion in today's dollars). Since then, APPA says there has been significant  progress but much remains to be done.

The problem of deferred maintenance is most often associated with institutional buildings since schools, hospitals and government bodies typically can’t just walk away from buildings, put them on the market to get what they can and leave someone else with the problem of upgrading those properties.

But government institutions aren’t the only organizations at risk. Take a look at this roofing article, where Karen Warseck describes a warehouse owner who put off a roof recover because the property didn’t have a tenant. Well, it has a tenant now and it also needs a new deck along with a new roof because leaks caused the old steel deck to rust through.

Deferred maintenance is insidious. No one decides to ruin a roof deck or let boilers go without maintenance for so long that they have to be replaced years before they should have needed replacement. But with the number of distressed assets in the commercial property market today and the pressure on facility budgets in all sorts of organizations, it’s easy to believe that a lot of needed infrastructure work is being deferred.

We strongly encourage commercial building owners and facility & property managers to ensure that basic routine roof cleaning and maintenance is done annually by a professional roofing contractor to avoid having to completely replace a roof years before it should have been. You will save a lot more money in the long-run (and basic cleaning and maintenance isn't that expensive - under 5 cents per square foot).

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