Time for a Checkup? How to Increase the Lifespan of Your Building

I recently went to the Dr. with the usual case of seasonal sniffles that had turned into a sinus infection. While in the office she asked me how long it’s been since I have had a complete physical. The next few moments of uncomfortable silence seemed to speak volumes. Truth be told, I don’t know if I had ever had a complete physical and the prospect of starting now seemed like a journey into the scary unknown. My Dr. took the next couple of minutes, calmed my fears and explained to me the importance of uncovering the root causes of medical conditions or “proactive treatment” as she called it, instead of merely treating the symptoms, “reactive treatment.”

This concept started me thinking about what other important areas of life do we mistakenly “reactively treat?” Since I am in the construction industry my mind immediately turned to our primary investment. People often do whatever is necessary to protect their 401k or other “paper” investments but fail miserably to protect their single largest investment; their home, condo, townhouse, commercial building, or whatever the structure type happens to be. Most people in fact treat their building the way I was viewing my health, “reactively.”

The problem with this approach is twofold. First, by only treating the symptoms, in my case the runny nose; on a building it could be painting over a water stained window sill, replacing a rotten piece of siding, or whatever…you never solve the underlying problem. Without the root cause being properly identified the chance for a large or catastrophic occurrence is greatly multiplied. Second, when you only treat the symptoms you might think you are saving money. Very quickly, however, those repairs add up; $125 here, $200 there and before long you have spent $3000/$5000 without ever identifying the true problem. By only putting “Band-Aids” on your building you have probably allowed what could have been a simple issue to become a major financial endeavor.

Did your mother ever tell you, “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure” or maybe you have said it yourself? It’s great advice that seems to have application in many areas. It is time to apply it to your building. The above mentioned water stained window sill…it could be hiding serious water intrusion and rot, or the rotten piece of siding could be telling you that elements that should remain exterior are become interior concerns. In my case, my physical exam showed that I had certain allergies; with this knowledge and proper medication the symptoms are gone. No more Dr. visits and costly antibiotics. So to, your building’s physical exam will help you to prevent catastrophic failure and ultimately lessen the financial impact as well as tell you what you need to know to make sure that you get the most from your investment.

For more information contact Watkins Service at 843-448-3900 or visit us atwww.watkinsservicesinc.com

This site and any information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Information appearing in articles could have been superseded by recent developments in the law. Please consult with an attorney if you need advice on a particular question or topic.

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