Ignoring outdoor maintenance will cost you

As we prepare to leave another tough winter behind experts are highlighting the importance of exterior maintenance inspections to assess any damage caused and prepare for added costs.

“We’ve been noticing a lot of people neglecting their properties,” said Tasso Dimakis, owner of Spider Roofing, who works across the province of Alberta.

“[Investors] want to put as much cash in their pocket as possible in the short term, but in the long term they are hindering themselves. For every dollar spent on maintenance, you’re going to spend five dollars on repairs. We’re at the point where people neglect to the point of no return and then wonder why it’s so expensive.”

Dimakis advised that investors should conduct semi-annual exterior maintenance. Quentin D’Souza, chief education officer at Durham Real Estate Investors, already does drive-by inspections of his properties each quarter, looking at the roof, eavestrough and windows to see if there are any issues that need to be addressed.

“I also look for loose siding or cracks in the brick and foundation during my semi-annual inspections, which is a more thorough inspection of the entire exterior of the property,” he added.

“I do this is to anticipate any capital expenses that may be coming up due to exterior and foundation issues, and prepare to deal with those expenses.”

Most roofing and exterior manufacturers require a property owner to have a maintenance program in place in order for them to warranty their product.

“If you’re going to change the oil in your car and maintain your car why would you not do the same for your home?” added Dimakis. “If you’re going to fix the crack in your car windscreen why are you not willing to fix the crack on your roof?

“The biggest question is how long do you want it to last? With no maintenance, you’re getting 10 years. That’s it. With semi-annual maintenance, you will get 25 years for sure.

“And it’s very inexpensive. For us in Alberta, the average rate is $0.10 a square foot for commercial or multi-family properties. For residential, it’s slightly more.”
 

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