R&A University

Updates, news, and information to educate and empower owners.

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Owning a multifamily complex, like an apartment building, can be as exciting as it is challenging. Along with being able to attract higher-quality renters and charging bigger rents, says Pro X Management LLC, the economics of scale that comes with such buildings makes it possible to get considerable discounts on the cost of labor, materials, and services. Since most multifamily complexes do short-term leases, owners have the chance of regularly reviewing their rent upwards.

On the downside, however, there are multiple maintenance challenges that come with owning a multifamily complex. The size and intricacy of the problems that can occur in a complex means that multifamily complex owners cannot take the same attitudes to maintenance as owners of single-family homes. They have a very slim margin for error as problems in one part of the complex can spread quickly to other areas.

One area of a multifamily complex where owners are likely to face challenges is with the building’s roofing. Multifamily complex roofing is often large and expensive; problems with the structure can set owners back by several thousand dollars. If damage to the structure is not discovered fast, it can compound the existing maintenance issues in the building or create new ones. This is why owners need a way to stay one step ahead of roofing problems in a multifamily complex.

One of the essential bits of knowledge for owners to have is the ability to tell when a roofing problem can be solved by repairing the damaged part and when the entire roof needs to be replaced. Quite naturally, roof replacement for a multifamily complex is not something any owner wants to contemplate. But a time comes in the life of a roofing structure when the law of diminishing returns sets in and roof repair becomes less cost-effective than roof replacement

Tell-tale signs that it is time to reroof your multifamily complex

As the owner of a multifamily complex, how can you tell when it is time to replace the roof on your building?

The roof is aging

Depending on the roofing material and the climate in your area, your roof will last anywhere between 20 and 50 years. Asphalt shingle roofs are expected to last 20 – 25 years,while some metal roofs will last up to 50 years.  Apart from the type of roofing material, maintenance, and climate can affect the lifespan of a roof. 

Roofs in locations with harsh climates will naturally deteriorate faster than roofs in areas with milder weather. Maintenance also plays a huge role in roof life expectancy; particularly if the previous owner of the complex did not do a good job of maintaining the roof or simply failed to replace it at the proper time.

The roof is deteriorating even if it hasn’t reached the end of its lifespan

The most common reasons why a roof fails before the end of its expected life are poor installation and inferior materials. For instance, if the adhesive used on the roof was not properly applied or is substandard, the shingles will be prone to getting blown away. Low-grade asphalt shingles will also be susceptible to balding because the manufacturing process did not embed the granules properly in the sheets.

This will lead to excessive shedding of granules. Furthermore, existing maintenance issues in a building can cause the roof to become damaged. Excess moisture and poor ventilation in the attic, for instance, will often lead to curved and curling shingles.

Replacing the roof is cheaper than repairing it

Owners of multifamily complexes are often unaware of the creeping cost of maintaining a building’s roof. Because increases in maintenance cost happen slowly and the amounts are paid out in bits, owners are not aware of just how much the roof is costing them. It is highly probable that the cost of repairing a roof will exceed the cost of replacing it, but the only way to know this is to actually do the math. 

If the monthly cost of fixing a roof is higher than the projected monthly payments for a loan to replace the roof, the roof should be repaired. Even if the cost of repair only comes close to the cost of replacement, the roof should be replaced.

You want to do other renovations or improve the look of your community

There is no better time to do a roof replacement than when you are about to do other renovations on your property. A roof replacement gives you the chance to deal with long-standing issues that could not be dealt with without taking off the structure’s roof. 

Tackling all outstanding issues at once is not only cheaper, it guarantees the best results. Moreover, if you are thinking of doing a wholesale facelift to the community, a roof replacement will make other changes to the building look better. The same is true if you are planning on making additions to the building.

I’d be an idiot if I did not take this opportunity to communicate to you how much we appreciate the way in which you conduct business and take care of our facility. In my experience you, and your team, are at the top of the list of all the roofing companies I’ve dealt with over the years. Thank you!

Jim Lowry - Bissinger's Handcrafted Chocolatier

Eric and crew were really nice to have around. They were courteous, careful and caused little if any disruption. Their work looks good too! To be honest… a good experience with a product that I initially had misgivings about. I’m a convert because of Bubba, Sam and Eric. Thank you.

Jim Lowry - Bissinger's Handcrafted Chocolatier

“I want to thank the crew at R&A for a job well done on our very leaky roof at the shop. It is certainly nice to have the drips and rivers gone from the shop when it is raining. I also wanted you to know how much we appreciated that the guys were able to stay out of our way and allowed us to do business as usual without any problems or interruptions. The roof looks great and the clean-up after the job made it so we couldn’t even tell you’d been here. Thanks for doing what you do so well!”

Jay Moore, President of Safe Way Tire and Auto Center

“My wife and I were on vacation when water pipes burst in our house. We got a hold of Craig and the R&A crew was able to start evacuating the water immediately. The best part was that they were able to start work before we even returned home. It was a very fast turnaround considering the extensive amount of water damage.”

Will from Dardenne Prairie, MO

“Craig and Mike came out in a timely fashion when we needed the work done. They did a reliable and quality job.”

Jerry from SLR Properties

“Craig helped us out tremendously with the insurance process. Timely and very professional.”

Lindell from Greater Missouri Builders (GMB)

“We purchased a house and there was some damage to the roof. Very impressed with the thoroughness of Mike’s inspection. Very comfortable with their explanation of what needed to be fixed. Most impressive was the way they protected our landscaping. Really liked the way they treated me as a valued customer, even though it was only a small project.”

Ross from Troy, MO

“I use R&A Contracting when my commercial roofs receive storm damage. They work on our behalf through every step of the insurance claim process. They perform all of the work and complete the insurance process, making our roofs better than they were before the storm.”

Director of Facilities for a large Property Management Company

“The team at R & A Contracting responded immediately when notified of our water disaster. They removed water-damaged materials and property quickly and restored our home even before the final settlement from our insurance company. They minimized how long our family had to live in a hotel and got us back to normal as fast as possible.”

Will from O'Fallon, MO