Changing seasons in Sioux Falls often brings severe weather systems. Excessive heat, frigid cold, devastating winds and large hail, causing damage to your most precious asset – your home or business. Unreported damages will leave long-term expenses to you as the building owner, or property management company. 

You’ve probably heard that you can save money by proactively maintaining your roof, but remained skeptical without the numbers to back up that statement. Before we dive into the statistics and a 15-year study that will prove this point, let’s take a few moments to define two key practices: Reactive roof maintenance and Proactive roof maintenance. For the sake of this subject matter, proactive maintenance refers to consistently having your roof inspected and maintained on an annual or semi-annual basis. Reactive maintenance is having your roof repaired only after leaks or damages become noticeable inside.

How Does Preventative Roof Maintenance Save Money?

Now that you are paying attention, let me show you the MONEY, by revealing the results of a 15-year study conducted by Firestone and Prologis, which overwhelmingly supplies evidence that proactive roof maintenance saves you money every time.

According to data gathered in a joint alliance between Firestone Building Products and Prologis (a leader in distribution facilities) over a 15-year span, it costs an average of 14 cents per square foot to proactively maintain a roof annually, versus an average of 25 cents per square foot for annual reactive maintenance. For anyone who hates math, that’s a savings of 11 cents per square foot!

In addition, the study shows a proactively maintained roofing system has an average life of 21 years compared to just 13 years for a roof with reactive maintenance only. These are averages from the study, as the type of structure and roofing system vary slightly. Of course, the longer you can extend the life cycle of your roof before replacement, the more your life cycle costs decrease – not to mention the overall savings means money staying in your pocket. 

Certification Saves Money

For example, let’s say you have a 25,000 square foot (sf) roof that you just had replaced for a total investment of $175,000. Using the results of this study, the following table illustrates how the savings can add up over a roof life span. 


Scenario  Reactive Maintenance Cost Proactive Maintenance Cost
Roof replacement #1  $175,000  $175,000
Lifespan of roof   13 years 21 years
Maintenance plane per year   $0.25/sf/year = $6250/year $0.14/sf/year= $3500/year
13 years of maintenance  $6250 x13 = $81,250  $3500 x13 = $45,500
Roof replacement  #2   $175,000 $0
Add 8 years of maintenance $6250 x 8 = $50,000  $3500 x 8 = $28,000
Total cost over 21 years $481,250 $244,500
Savings $0  $236,750
Savings per year   $11,273.81


After 21 years, when your proactively maintained roof is ready to be replaced, you have saved $236,750 or $11,274 per year! In addition, you had less downtime spent calling contractors, missing opportunities to keep renters, fewer complaint calls and distractions so property managers can focus on other key issues. 

“Proactively maintaining your roof offers more benefits than the savings outlined above. Roofs are subject to extreme weather events, as well as natural degeneration. Without a proper maintenance plan, severe damage can occur without you even noticing until it’s too late. Lack of upkeep can result in roof leaks, premature roof failure, structural damage and even a roof collapse. Too often, business owners or facility managers will attempt to save money by putting off regular maintenance and waiting for a problem to occur (if it’s not leaking, why fix it). However, by the time a leak becomes noticeable, it may take days, weeks or perhaps months, for a relatively inexpensive minor issue to escalate into a severe expensive problem” according to the owner of Bloom learning industries. 

For example, a leaky roof can cause damages and may lead to:

  • Plywood or decking delamination, rotting wood 
  • Insulation damages, increase heating and cooling bills
  • Carpet-expenses of cleaning or replacement
  • Damaged furnishings
  • Electronic equipment
  • Electrical system issues
  • HVAC equipment 
  • Mold mitigation 
  • Possible legal issues or medical complications. 
  • Loss of rental or business income

A Perscription to a Healthy Home

Just as a yearly physical exam with your doctor may occur to diagnose a health concern or prescribe a medicine to avoid more serious medical complications, a proactive roof maintenance schedule can identify potential problems before leaks and other troubles occur. In fact, proactively maintaining your roof can do the following:

  • Eliminate loss time and productivity so you can focus on the business you know, as opposed to trying to learn roofing language, determine the quality of materials, get multiple quotes, background checks into contractors, permits, inspections, coordination of construction zones and on and on
  • Extend your roof’s life by allowing issues to be repaired, helping avoid premature roof failure. (did you know that more than 80% of roof replacements are completed prematurely?)
  • Ensure manufacture warranty compliance. All manufacturing warranties state, “roofing system requires a periodic maintenance and inspections to perform as designed and keep you limited warranty in full force and effect” Failure to comply with annual or semi-annual inspections by a certified roofing expert such as Restoration RX, will reduce the ability to file claims with the manufacturer in the event the materials fail.  
  • Maintain the ability to be fully insured. Most insurance policies require the policy holder to maintain the property against loss due to neglect or lack of general maintenance. In addition, your insurance carrier reserves the right to deny or reduce claims if your roofing system has failed because of neglect. They may even cancel your policy or coverage after such a failed inspection. 
  • Provide long-term budgeting for roof replacements by giving a true picture of the roof’s current state. 

Break the Cycle with Preventative Roof Maintenance

Isn’t it time to stop leaking money and time because of failure to be proactive? Doesn’t your building/home deserve the same treatment you give any other major investment? Would you put $100,000 in a bank and never look at it for 10 years until you received a statement saying you lost $20,000? That is what you’re doing when you don’t protect your investment into your roofing system. Both data and experience show that proactive maintenance costs thousands less than emergency roofing repairs. If you’re looking for ways to cut costs and save money (who isn’t?), proactive roof maintenance is a great place to start. It’s the best way to extend the life of one of your largest investments, as well as protect assets inside your building. Contact the roofing experts at Restoration RX, located near Sioux Falls, SD, to learn more.