Based upon what we have witnessed in conducting commercial property condition assessments (PCAs) and commercial property roof inspections for over 30 years, we can definitely state without reservation that 'An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure' meaning that a commercial property owner or real estate investor is much better off adopting a pro active as opposed to a reactive approach when it comes to maintaining a commercial property that also acts to help extend the serviceable life of major building systems resulting in a substantial cost savings over the life thereof.
A Real Life Example
To lend credence to the above, a recent example comes to mind regarding a modified bitumen flat roof that had already exceeded its statistical life cycle by somewhere around 5 years or more whereby the current owner and occupant of the property had come to realize that it would probably only be a matter of time before they'd begin to experience more problems with the roof resulting in leaks that could jeopardize the operation of the business not to mention that any additional repairs would essentially be a waste of time, money and resources in postponing the inevitable resulting in a recover or complete tear-off and replacement of the existing roof covering. Apart from the fact that doing the later represented a considerable expense, the owner had also been debating about selling the property and moving to a larger facility as the company had since outgrown the space provided whereby a building addition wasn't an option. This being the case, a decision to put a large amount of money into the building at this time was indeed a hard pill to swallow. On the other hand, doing nothing meant taking a big chance on the integrity of an existing roof covering—a roof covering that had already exceeded its statistical life cycle in sustaining numerous repairs along the way—to make it through the Winter ahead and protect inventory inside the building against water damage due to a roof leak. Moreover, apart from there being no assurance that the roof would make it through the Winter ahead, there was absolutely no guarantee that the roof would remain a viable candidate for a recover much less a silicone roof coating application designed to extend the life of the existing roof surface for another 5 to 10 years in which event the only remaining option would be a complete a tear-off and replacement priced considerably more.
All considered, the owner soon realized that simply doing nothing posed too big a risk and was not an option. Moreover, considering that the owner didn't want to rule out selling the property as well as knowing the business would need to continue to occupy the building during the coming Winter and for at least several months thereafter dictated action be undertaken sooner rather than later. Since the least cost effective option appeared to be the silicone roof coating with a 10-year transferable manufacturer's roof warranty, the owner elected to go with this solution. Also, since the property owner had been very diligent in scheduling annual roof inspections and addressing maintenance repair needs over the serviceable life of the roof, this in turn appears to have served the property owner well as the roof was able to perform its intended function for an additional five years over and above its statistical life cycle and had now been approved for a silicone roof coating for adding yet another 10 years of life to an otherwise old modified bitumen roof covering that had reached the end of its serviceable life. And FWIW, not all older, aging roof membrane coverings at or near the end of their serviceable life qualify for a silicone roof coating or a recover using a single-ply roofing system whereby a complete tear-off and replacement often remains the only viable, not to mention most expensive, option available. In contrast, in taking a pro active approach, our property owner in this particular case was able to save $10,000.