If you are lucky enough to not be on the Board during that time, the decisions you make during your current term will have a mighty big impact on those neighbors that are serving. The primary question might be “Did you provide adequate reserves for the project?” That’s something you can impact right now. Check with your manager and review the specific part of the reserve fund designated for the roof. How does it look based on the reserve analyst’s projections? If it seems under-funded, then make the small adjustment needed now rather than ignoring it and allowing a larger deficit that may cause a special assessment when it’s time to re-roof.
The second thing you can do is review the roof maintenance agreement. What? You don’t have one? No surprise. It’s one of those items of preventive maintenance that you don’t embrace until you find out first hand how much it could have saved you. So many roofs fail prematurely simply because nobody did an annual inspection to repair small damage. Roofs are the best example of how a small bit of repair worth a few hundred dollars can grow into a $10,000 major repair or a $200,000 re-roof. Your roof is exposed to the harshest climate. The sun is baking on it. The winter brings wind driven moisture. If you’re in New England, ice dams appear to create even more damage. If the elements are pounding on a well-sealed roof, there is always the challenge of how long will it hold up. But when the wind-driven rain finds a hole or a loose shingle, the real problems begin to happen, and they happen fast. You don’t want to be trying to do a roof repair in the wrong season. That’s why an annual inspection in the spring is the first essential part of a preventive maintenance plan. It’s not costly. Ignoring the problem is far more expensive. It’s not an “if”, but a “when”.
If you are on a board that is facing a re-roofing project, don’t hesitate to call in some helpers. An ad hoc roofing committee can be extremely valuable in achieving the two most important goals.
#1 Evaluate the options available in materials and construction professionals.
#2 Communicate what is going on to the rest of the community so that everybody knows what’s happening and how this huge amount of money is being spent.
The committee will gather all the information from the experts and present it to the board. The board will then vote on what materials and what vendors will be used. Make it a group decision process. That way everybody has a stake in the outcome.
Two things to remember as you turn the page. Now is the time to be sure you have a preventive maintenance program in place for your roof that coincides with your reserve fund. Secondly, if you are doing a roof replacement, use all the manpower available to help you gather good information on which to base your decision. You need the advice of experts.