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How Roof Maintenance can Save Your Residential Community Thousands in Replacement Costs

Posted March 17, 2008 by Patrick Morin
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Here’s a case study to show how communities can save thousands of dollars by simply maintaining their roofs.

Property: Village at Forest Heights, Portland Oregon

Size of roof on property: 885 squares on a pitch of 8/12.
Current replacement value: $693,000

Degradation schedule if left unmaintained is 15% during the first 5 years, 25% in the second 5 years, 35% in the 3rd 5 years and then between the 15th and 20th year the roof will need to be replaced. If you use simple math you can see what unmaintained degradation costs.

If the roof is treated every 5 years with an environmentally gentle but effective wood preservative treatment (we don’t use harsh chemicals, and we don’t recommend pressure-washing for roof maintenance) the degradation is held to 15% every 5 years. If repairs are made on the roof every 5 years prior to treatment, the repairs will blend in for a uniform appearance.

There are 200 shakes in each square of roofing. The Village has 885 squares.

That’s 177,000 shakes on the property. 15% degradation would mean replacing an average of 2,655 shakes every 5 years.

We replaced 4,706 shakes in 2007 as a 10-12 year old roof with no previous maintenance. This is a very good roof for new construction. (Quality of shakes in new construction varies, but is seldom this good.)

Let’s forecast the expenses to properly maintain this roof……
Treatment in 2012 will be $35,400 (at current prices, unadjusted for inflation)
Repairs will be an average of 2,655 shakes for $18,585.

Total maintenance expense in 2012 is estimated to be $53,985. And remember, the value of your shake roof is increasing as it ages, due to replacement costs. In 2007, shake prices went up $100 a square. On this property alone, that’s an increase in value of $88,500.

Because of proper maintenance, this 17-year-old roof is at 30% of its expected service life while un-maintained cedar roofs of the same age are being totally replaced all over Portland.

How old is your cedar roof? Ready to talk about maintaining it?

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