Some movies use time travel to show how one decision leads to a different outcome in a parallel universe.
Books tell tales of characters choosing one of two possible routes and describe both outcomes. Hey even in school we could read “Choose Your Own Adventure” books. The technique is classic and we’re using it here to show how one choice – act fast or wait – can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. We’re here to talk about roofs – two roofs that were in the same situation that had very different outcomes.
In this case, the strata had their roof replaced seven years prior by a low-bid roofer. The material used for the roof was inexpensive and the work was done incorrectly.
This client called us to investigate a leak in one of the units. We discovered the drywall was damp and investigated further. It didn’t take long to see what was happening.
Due to incorrect vent and ducting installation, the fiberboard became saturated with water. We provided a quote to install breather vents to dry the roof without having to replace it.
The strata chose not to treat it as an emergency and it took a number of weeks for them to review the quote and make a decision. In that time the roof rotted and became unsalvageable. The difference between getting repairs done immediately and waiting four weeks will cost that strata almost $300k. And just think about that: that strata had just paid for a new roof seven years prior. This is going to hit them where it hurts.
During a leak investigation we discovered water in the roof deck in 20 places. This was due to previous vent installations that were done incorrectly by a low-bid roofer.
We vacuumed the water and repaired the defected vents that were causing the water ingress.
In this situation we were able to save the roof by installing breather vents. These vents are pulling moisture up out of the roof, drying it out, so the entire roof doesn’t have to be replaced.
It’s pretty obvious who made the right choice. As a property manager, these choices can seem out of your control when a strata insists on putting off something that really is an emergency.
It’s also worth noting another lesson we can take from this story. In both cases, a low bid was chosen and the work done caused damage. Roof Two still had to pay around $40k for those breather vents. It’s not as expensive as having to get a roof replacement but if you add that to the original bill they paid the low-bidding roofer who incorrectly installed their roof vents, you’ll see the lowest bid is not the lowest cost.
Please share this story with your stratas and encourage them to embrace emergency decision making.