It’s that time again to forecast, predict and document expenses for your commercial property for the next year. Budgeting is like trying to predict the future. Without a crystal ball, it’s difficult to cover all potential expenses, particularly since history may not be a good predictor of future repairs. Fortunately, there are some prudent steps you can include in your budget for the upcoming year that will help you stay in front of your commercial building maintenance.
1. An Assessment – proactive inspections followed by timely repairs is the best way to minimize unbudgeted expenses.
2. Waterproofing – waiting until you have a leak often causes additional pain for you and your building occupant. To be proactive, consider planning and budgeting for the following:
a. Coatings for both pedestrian and vehicular surfaces.
b. Joint sealants (building-to-sidewalk, sidewalk-to-curb, paving control joints, parking lot cracks).
c. Concrete tilt panel joint sealants.
d. Sealants for glass storefronts, curtain walls, and skylights.
3. Roofing – Out-of-sight should not mean out-of-mind. Keep your roofs well maintained, including:
a. Flashings at perimeter/edge conditions and penetrations (i.e. pitch pans, mechanical curbs)
b. Delaminated seams or holes/punctures in the roof membrane
“The ideal strategy is for commercial building owners and managers to consider a full building envelope assessment. In addition to discovering needed repairs, the envelope assessment will break down repairs in a prioritized list, allowing for a scheduled approach and cost management,” says Shawn Morgan, KPOST Director, Waterproofing Division.
The building envelope assessment breakdown can include the following:
- Active leaks
- Structural concrete damage
- Glazing coming out of warranty
- Mortar failing in the brick
- Cracks in the parking lot – concrete going to spall
Of course, the assessment will be specific to your property. Investing in a building envelope assessment will provide you with an action plan rather than having to be reactionary in dealing with repairs.
Nothing is “tougher” on a budget than expense variances – extensive unplanned repairs. These are the types of repairs you might see resulting from varying weather conditions – seemingly simple repair issues that can escalate or water leaks that run rampant.
Let’s take leaks as an example. When a leak appears, that is typically the tip of the iceberg. Water rarely travels in a straight line. Typically a leak travels, sometimes great distances, before becoming visible. This does not bode well for repair costs.
Of course, once you notice a situation in need of repair, it can become frustrating trying to find the right company to make that repair. How do you know the best course of action or the best product to be used to complete the repair job?
Staying Focused on the Customer
“Customer focus is at the heart of all our business, and making commercial building repairs and waterproofing is no exception, “said Morgan. “We customize our quotes based on customer needs because we have a relationship with every manufacturer and understand how to best use their products.”
While many contractors work with only one or two manufacturers, KPOST’s waterproofing division has experience with most products on the market today.
“Shawn has experience on all sides of this business. He has either sold, installed or consulted on all waterproofing systems on the market, making his knowledge unique and ensuring that KPOST can focus on the best solution for the customer,” said Steve Little, KPOST President. “If there are five different systems that could work to repair your waterproofing issue, Shawn’s team will pick the best one for your situation.”
Proactive repair and maintenance is cost-effective and should be considered during the budgeting process. Choosing to budget a building envelope assessment provides the ability to schedule appropriate repairs throughout your building and parking structures. These would include any waterproofing that needs addressing, keeping more costly repairs at bay and ensuring that your commercial property stays in tip-top shape.