Maintaining Your Roof

Let's say that your building has just spent hundreds of thousands of dollars replacing the roof. The Association has paid the roofer and received the warranty as promised in the contract. Warranties can be good for ten, twenty or longer depending on the type of roof installed. As a member of the Board of Directors you think your focus can now turn to another issue your building faces since the roof is brand new. Wrong!

For a few hundred dollars per year you can enter into a maintenance agreement with a reputable roofing firm which calls for them to visit the roof one or two times per year and inspect all of the roofing seams, vent stacks and the flashing to make certain that there are no issues that may have occurred that would jeopardize your brand new roof. Typically, roofing companies that provide maintenance agreements charge $89. per hour for two men for a couple of hours to perform this important inspection. If the roofers, while at the building, notice a crack, ponding or that the flashing has come away from the parapet wall, they can immediately repair the problem. You should budget approximately $700 per year for a simple roof maintenance agreement.

The result is that you can, by Board vigilance, extend the life of your roof well beyond the warranty period.

Another event that can occur that spells doom for roofs is the satellite dish. Many installers working for Dish and Direct TV are independent contractors who only want to install as many dishes as possible over the course of their day and do not care about your roof and how they do the installation. That is why you can venture to the roof of many buildings in Chicago and see dishes attached to the elevator housing, the parapet wall or simply anchored into the roof in a convenient location. This can cause cracks and holes in your roof and, more important, void any warranty. There is a proper way to install a satellite dish and a process that your Association should abide by so that you are certain that the dish has been correctly installed.

Briefly, the correct way to install a dish is on top of a "sled". The sled is weighted so that it cannot move in a high wind and there is no puncture to the roof. Never on the parapet wall or a balcony or the facade of your building. Even better, the best way to install a dish is to have one central dish for all residents to hook up to and policies and procedures that govern the installation. The less people with access to the roof the more likely the roof will not experience damage over the years.

One such firm that installs master dishes and offers bulk service agreements for all residents is Access Media 3. However, there are other reputable firms that provide this service.