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Roofing shouldn’t be a continuous cost

The cost of current and future maintenance for property is a big slug of levies that owners need to pay.

Roofs are one item that is ongoing and expensive.

When working out the 10-year reserve plan, it is essential to budget well for future repairs.

At the very least you need to allow for the regular maintenance of valley gutters, replacement of flashings and sealing of ridge tiles.

Not only can this be expensive to do but seldom looks good.

We frequently come across body corporates where tiles are not of the quality that they need to be and it is necessary to replace a large percentage of them or even replace a roof completely.

Before contemplating replacing a roof with the same type of tile – and likely having the same problem later – it might be better to look at the alternative roofs that are available, many of which are zero or near zero maintenance.

Our offices were renovated when we bought them in 1987 using a coated steel roof.

Since then our roof maintenance bill has been R0 – yes zero.

If redoing flashings and servicing a single unit roof costs R2 500 per three years we are looking at a reduction of the levy by R70 per month – every month.

If you really have to replace a roof, consider replacing one at a time when really necessary.

The beauty of a coated steel roof is that it actually looks like tiles even to the trained eye.

By using undamaged tiles from a roof that has been replaced to repair other roofs in a complex, it is possible to delay the time when another roof needs to be replaced by years – a real cost saver.

And because it is a very light roof it will not need extra brandering.

Harvey Tiles, for example, come in a variety of colours to match most existing roof tiles.

In the same way it is advisable to replace wooden windows over time with bronze aluminium windows, even double-glazed ones to take away that continual maintenance that wooden windows need.

As windows get replaced the amount of maintenance is reduced, which allows more windows to be replaced until they are all done and there is no more window maintenance.

  • Mike Spencer is the founder and owner of Platinum Global. He is also a professional associated property valuer and consultant with work across the country as well as Eastern Europe and Australia.

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