Up on the Rooftop Out of Sight--Not Out of Mind

Everyone needs a good roof over their head. And when you run a condo or co-op community, you're responsible for dozens or perhaps hundreds of people having one. With so many people to please and the increased complexity of roofing an entire community as opposed to just one house, HOAs have their work cut out for them.

Unlike a lawn, which needs care on a weekly basis, a roof is easy to forget about. They're generally not visible, and since a good one can last for 30 years or more, it's easy to forget about them.

Residents only worry about a roof when it rains or there is a problem, according to Dave Zanolli of Centimark Corporation, a roofing contractor based in Roselle. With the exception of high-rise apartment complexes where roofs are generally flat, most buildings, however, have pitched or sloped roofs, and unique engineering challenges. The first step to determining what state your roof is in, however, is to have an expert climb up and check things out.

Getting Ready for Inspection

According to Edward Frank of Arthur Edwards Inc.—a property management firm in Westwood—determining the need for a new roof is often a matter of deduction and analysis. "We track all our service issues and requests throughout the year, and at the end, we tally them up and look to see what the common repairs are. We do a cost-benefit analysis and say, 'look; we did 'x' number of dollars in skylight leak repairs,' and determine if it would be to our benefit to replace the skylights or replace the roof. We also do semi-annual inspections of our roof where we send competent roofers up with digital cameras and have them document any areas of concern. We then share that information with our boards, we compare it to our reserve schedule, and then make a determination as to whether to replace the roof."

According to Bob Martin, owner of Roof Maintenance, a registered roofing consultant firm in Farmingdale, the best time to have those inspections done is after the summer.

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