Signs it’s time to re-roof your multifamily complex

Signs it’s time to re-roof your multifamily complex

Reroof multi family complex

When investing in multifamily properties, the four fundamentals you want to get right every time are: buying the right building, getting financing right, making sure the property is in a great location, and managing your property in the best way.

These four fundamentals are critical, but the most important one is how you manage the property. That is because you can get the other three fundamentals right and still mess up the investment if you manage it the wrong way.

On the other hand, you can take a multifamily property deal that is not the best at the outset and, by managing it right, turn it into a great deal. The performance or non-performance of your multifamily complex often comes down to your ability to manage.

When operating a multifamily, one of your most significant issues will be how to renovate the complex to minimize costs and maximize your returns. In this regard, you will often need help deciding on the best remodeling projects to pursue.

Typically, you can do two kinds of renovations on a building. Cosmetic improvements that improve the ambiance of the property versus functional upgrades that impact the livability of your property but may not necessarily help you raise rents.

Replacing the roof of a multifamily complex falls within the category of functional upgrades. If the roof is in poor condition, every structure in the building is exposed to a greater risk of damage. Hence, this project should naturally take precedence over all others.

But given the massive cost of replacing the roof of a multifamily complex, you don’t want to do this unless you absolutely have to. There is no reason to replace the roof of any building if the structure can still be repaired.

As the owner of a multifamily complex whose roof is aging or showing signs of damage, how do you know that the issues have gone past what you can fix and that the roof needs to be replaced?


Signs that it is time to re-roof your multifamily complex


1.   The age of the roof

Reroof multi family property

This is the most critical factor because the frequency and severity of the other signs listed in this post increase with the roof’s age. As your roof gets closer to the end of its projected lifespan, it will become progressively more expensive to maintain.

How long a roof takes to reach this point depends on the roofing material, the climate in your location, and how the roof is maintained.  On average, most roofs will last 20-30 years, but only if maintained and repaired as expected. If your roof is near or past the end of its lifespan, you should start planning to re-roof the complex, even if it is not showing signs of imminent collapse.

2.   Widespread roof damage

Reroof multi family complex

Just because parts of the roof are damaged is not enough reason to replace the entire structure. What you want to look at is the kind of damage and the extent of the damage. For instance, missing shingles can happen due to strong winds. There must be more than a few missing shingles to order a new roof. But if shingles are missing across the entire roof surface; it could be because the glue has failed; that roof needs to be replaced.

Also, if you are seeing widespread curling or buckling of shingles, it is a sign that the roof is failing due to extreme temperature changes. In the case of asphalt shingles, the top has lost its heat-resisting abilities and needs to be replaced if there is massive shedding of granules.

3.   Escalating roof repair and energy costs

Reroof multi family complex
On average, how much do you spend on roof repairs every month? How close is this amount to the monthly repayments for a loan to replace your roof? If you are paying anywhere close to the monthly amounts for a roof replacement loan on roof repairs, you are better off replacing the roof.

Do you see a spike in the building’s energy cost? And have you checked but cannot find any changes in energy use to justify the higher bill? There is a chance that your higher energy bill is because your roof has become less energy efficient. The roof plays a role in insulating your building; problems with the roof can show up as high energy bills.

4.   You are renovating your building

Reroof multi family complex

If you are thinking of giving your multifamily complex a facelift or adding more buildings to the complex, there is no better time to replace the roof. An old roof will look out of place on your newly renovated building.

You will not be able to maximize the improvements by increasing rent. That’s why the old roof will detract from the appearance of the rest of the building. In the same way, you will get mixed results if you add new buildings to the complex. However the roof on the different buildings in the complex are dissimilar.

It’s more efficient and cost-effective to deal with all the problems at once, and you’ll get better outcomes. Moreover, if you plan on giving the whole property a makeover, a new roof will complement the other renovations beautifully.