Prepare for Tax Season with These 4 Resources

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Becky Bower | ApplyConnect.com

tax-planning

As the year comes to a close, take the time to prepare for tax season early. With just a little extra prep work, you’ll avoid a huge headache next year. Here are 4 tax resources to get you started on organizing your office, getting all the deductibles you can get, and achieving a stress free tax season.

  1. Organize Your Home Office in 4 Easy Steps

When it comes to taxes, before you can do anything, you need to be organized. In this article, we break down the organizational process into 4 easy steps. Your office never looked so clean. Read More!

  1. Use Apps to Deduct from 2016’s Business Tax Return

You want to get as many deductibles as you can get, but compiling the mileage, paperwork, and receipts behind those hefty tax deductibles can be stressful. By utilizing apps, you can cut down on the physical paperwork and access everything from your phone or laptop. Easy. Read More!

  1. Cash in on Tax Deductions for Your Rental Properties

When you have a rental property, utilizing every tax deduction you can is very important. Take advantage of our common deductible checklist and organizational list now. This can help you make sure no stone goes unturned. Read More!

  1. Tips to Having a Stress Free Tax-Season

There’s no denying that tax season can be pretty stressful. While utilizing handy apps and utilizing deductibles are certainly important, it’s also important to maintain good communication with your tenants during this time, and setting goals for 2017. Read More!

While tax season might be far from your mind as Thanksgiving comes close, by taking some time to start going through your documents and receipts, and utilizing our tax resources above, your workload next year won’t be as hefty. Once it’s all said and done, and you have that big tax refund check in hand, you’ll be happy you started your taxes early.

ABOUT 30% OF COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES NOT IN COMPLIANCE WITH S.F.’S WATER-EFFICIENCY STANDARDS

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Shared post by: Julie Littman, Bay Area, Bisnow

sprinkler-system

Property owners could soon be flushing money down the toilet if they don’t comply with San Francisco’s 2009 conservation ordinance requiring water-efficient fixtures. Violations could mean a fine of $48/month, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Owners will also be on the hook for hearing costs to resolve the matter. To show compliance, owners must submit an affidavit to the city.

Effective Jan. 1, commercial toilets must have a maximum of 1.6 gallons of water per flush. Almost 30% of the 160,000 commercial toilets in San Francisco are not in compliance with a city law requiring water-efficient toilets and faucets by year’s end.

Urinals can use no more than one gallon of water per flush while showerheads can’t use more than 2.5 gallons per minute. Faucets must also use no more than 2.2 gallons per minute. About 86% of urinals and 20% of showerheads don’t meet this requirement.

To help property owners, the Public Utilities Commission has been handing out rebates of up to $125 for a tank toilet, up to $500 for a high-pressure commercial flushometer toilet, and up to $500 per urinal. The PUC is also giving out water-efficient showerheads and offers free installation at commercial properties for a 1.2-gallon basic toilet.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s Julie Ortiz told the Chronicle upgraded fixtures can use up to 50% less water and are one of the biggest ways for the city to lower its water usage. [SFC]

San Francisco Mandates Solar Roofs

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

City aims to be powered by 100 percent renewables by 2025.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors  has unanimously passed the Better Roofs regulation to “fight climate change and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.” The move requiring new buildings to go from solar-ready rooftops to operating solar systems represents a huge step toward its goal of powering the city to attain 100% renewable electricity by 2025.

The regulation means San Francisco builders of all commercial or residential structures with 10 or fewer stories must now include solar panels.

California’s energy standards mandate that 15% of the roofs atop new “small and midsized” structures, also 10 stories or less, be ready for solar.

In a press announcement, supervisor Scott Wiener has said this law provides a way to turn unused roof space into a partner of the city’s sustainable and renewable energy policies. “By increasing our use of solar power, San Francisco is once again leading the nation in the fight against climate change and the reduction of our reliance on fossil fuels. Activating underutilized roof space is a smart and efficient way to promote the use of solar energy and improve our environment. We need to continue to pursue aggressive renewable energy policies to ensure a sustainable future for our city and our region.”

Read a detailed report on this topic at treehugger.

Top Markets for Expected Rent Growth in 2017

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Shared Post from Multifamily Executive | By

rentgrowth2

California once again dominates the list of rent-growth leaders for the coming year, with more than half of the top markets, but it may come as a slight surprise to some.

Oakland tops the list, with San Francisco and San Jose still in the top 10. Oakland’s rent-growth pace has slowed significantly recently, and San Francisco and San Jose are both experiencing rent cuts. There’s been a lot of fear about oversupply in these markets, which could be contributing to the current situation. The Bay Area economy has experienced a notable decline recently, but its job-addition volumes are substantial.

“[Apartment operators] will pretty quickly realize that the [Bay Area] market hasn’t gone off the edge of the cliff, regaining some confidence on pricing power,” says Greg Willett of MPF Research.

The continued above-average growth in these California markets is good news for business, but it’s squeezing renters more than ever. A one-bedroom unit in San Francisco in October rented for $3,373, on average, which is slightly more than half the area median income monthly paycheck after taxes, according to real estate listing site Rent Jungle.

Las Vegas is the second rent-growth leader for next year, at 6.1%, just behind Oakland. The metro was hit hard by the recession but has experienced improved growth in the past 18 months that makes it a great market going forward. Seattle; Dallas; Nashville, Tenn.; and West Palm Beach, Fla., are the other markets defined as rent-growth leaders for the coming year.

Absent from 2016 are Portland, Ore.; Fort Worth, Texas; Atlanta; and Phoenix, which all are expected to come in just under the cutoff of 4%.

Forecast Rent Growth Leaders in 2017

Rank (MetroForecast Rent Growth)

Oakland                                                     1 (6.5%)

Las Vegas                                                  2 (6.1%)

San Francisco                                           3 (5.7%)

Sacramento                                               4 (5.6%)

Seattle                                                         5 (5.4%)

San Jose                                                     6 (4.9%)

Riverside – San Bernardino                      7 (4.5%)

Dallas                                                          8 (4.4%)

Nashville                                                    8 (4.4%)

West Palm Beach                                       8 (4.4%)

Los Angeles                                              11 (4.3%)

San Diego                                                  11 (4.3%)

Fort Lauderdale                                       13 (4.2%)

Kayla Devon

Kayla Devon is an associate editor for Hanley Wood’s residential construction group. She covers business, products, and technology for both Builder and Multifamily Executive magazines. Find her on Twitter: @KaylaDevon_HW

4 KEY CHALLENGES IN COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE FOR 2017

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Shared post from IREM | Saraf Ahmed, Bisnow

cre-2017

As 2016 rapidly comes to a close, Bisnow takes a look at the concerns and priorities for real estate firms in the year ahead. Bisnow sought out IREM president Michael T. Lanning, whose background includes SVP and market leader at Cushman & Wakefield in Kansas City, MO. The following are his four biggest challenges for the industry to tackle in 2017.

Talent Growth

To keep up the momentum, management teams must focus on hiring and securing new young talent to the field—particularly with those seeking to establish their careers in the real estate industry over the long term. Brokerages and real estate businesses can do their part by supporting young professionals and mentoring them through internships and in the early stages of their careers. One surefire way to ensure the nurturing of young talent is to reach out to students who may not have considered real estate as a possible career path; IREM’s university outreach program, for instance, seeks out students before they graduate college. Planting the seed early is key; real estate is a tough industry, and those hoping to enter it must come prepared.

Sustainability

As we slowly begin preparing for the challenges and rewards of 2017, more scrutiny is being placed on the reporting and results stemming from each real estate project. Helping project owners and developers outline and reach their sustainability goals may play an important role for a multitude of real estate firms, but should begin to take precedence.

Keeping Up With Tech Advancements

Most people rely on some form of smart tool as their primary form of communication, whether that’s a smartphone, tablet or laptop. Email, instant messaging, video conferencing and social media are now the primary avenues of immediate contact, and real estate firms need to recognize that—and readily adapt to it. “Real estate managers today have to be adaptable to changes in the workplace and in the properties they manage,” Michael says. “And that includes adopting new technologies, software and apps.” Whether it’s lease renewals, remote meeting capabilities, virtual building tours or online banking, real estate managers need to pay attention and adapt as more professionals begin incorporating these tools into their careers.

Economic Uncertainty

Although real estate is cyclical, every player in the industry from the small-town broker to the CEO of Cushman & Wakefield must be prepared to weather every storm. While it is impossible to predict and micromanage every aspect of the market and its effect on one’s business, it is essential to develop evolving tactics and strategies to protect it. This necessitates a wide range of skills, particularly in effectively managing. The only thing real estate brokers and managers can be inflexible on is flexibility, and they should expect to adjust their management focus on a yearly, monthly and even daily basis to satisfy clients, developers and owners.

Read more at: https://www.bisnow.com

No Credit? No Problem: How to Minimize the Risk of Renting to Tenants with Less-than-Perfect Credit Scores

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Shared post by Appfolio

co-sign

What property manager doesn’t prefer to rent to tenants with excellent credit scores? These types of people have already demonstrated that they pay their bills on time, reducing the risk of future headaches when rent comes due. But the reality is that not all renters have near-perfect credit; according to recent reports, the average credit score in the U.S. falls in the 675-699 range and the fact that this is an average means that many Americans have credit scores below this number. Some property managers can’t afford to only accept applicants with fantastic credit if they want to keep their properties full, but there are things you can do to reduce the risk associated with renting to people with less than ideal credit scores.

Tips to Minimize Risk when Renting to Tenants with Low Credit

There are some ways to protect your business and still approve renters who may not have great credit scores or even any credit history at all.

Require a guarantor or cosigner: A cosigner is a third party who will agree to pay the rent if the tenant doesn’t. Very often, rental properties that house a lot of young people, especially students, ask for a cosigner. Young adults may be fine tenants, but they haven’t had a chance to establish their own credit history yet. A parent or other family member may be happy to guarantee that the rent will get paid on time. This helps transfer the risk to a third party and allows people who have not established credit yet to get a good start.

Ask for a larger deposit: State laws may limit the amount of deposit that landlords can require, but there is usually some flexibility. If a tenant has good credit, a property manager may only ask for a one-month deposit, but if possible, it might be fair to ask for a larger deposit from a tenant who has poor credit. This extra deposit helps cover the risk that the tenant won’t make timely payments or even be able to pay at all.

Ask for rent in advance: Some people with poor credit may have access to funds to pay their rent. If it’s legal and possible, the property manager may ask poor-credit applicants if they can pay their rent a few months in advance. For example, instead of just requiring a deposit and the first month’s rent, the property manager might ask for the deposit and two month’s rent. In this case, the applicant would actually be paying ahead one month on each due date.

Require automatic payments: Rental managers might give tenants different options to pay their rent. But requiring automatic, online payments from tenants can help ensure timely payments.

Communicate early and often: It makes sense to have renters make online payments. It might also help to send online text or email messages to remind renters to pay the rent before rent day. It’s also sensible to follow up quickly if a rent due date has been missed because younger renters without established credit may require a bit more guidance.

These compromises may make it possible to approve more rental applications, but always remember to stay within the law and follow fair housing guidelines.  In order to offer a bit more flexibility, it’s important to come up with ways to transfer the risk and in some cases, provide a bit of guidance as the renter pool gets younger. Property managers are human too; some may be motivated to give certain applicants a second chance to rent a home and improve their credit.

Landlords and Natural Disasters

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By  | Original post from RentPrep
natural-disaster-prepMost parts of the United States are subject to at least one kind of natural disaster, and some areas may be impacted by several different kinds. These disasters can often be tragic and cause devastating losses in lives and property. As a property owner, it’s always a good idea to educate yourself on what natural disasters could take place in your area. Then, you can create a plan for dealing with them during and after they occur.

What is a Natural Disaster?

A natural disaster is a significant event that occurs because of normal functions and actions of the Earth and its forces. Examples of natural disasters include:

  • Earthquakes
  • Hurricanes
  • Tornados
  • Floods
  • Wildfires
  • Tsunamis
  • Drought
  • Landslides
  • Sinkholes
  • Volcanos
  • Blizzards
  • Extreme weather, hot or cold

Natural disasters, depending on the severity, can affect an area economically and cost millions of dollars of state and federal money to help the region recover. The impact on a property owner can be significant and even in the best case scenario, natural disasters can create plenty of stress, damage and tenant issues for landlords.

Regional Risk Factors

The biggest natural disaster risks can be broken down into regions, where certain types of natural disasters are most likely to occur. There is no single area that is completely safe from natural disasters, but some areas have increased odds while others remain relatively disaster free for long periods of time. Let’s review the biggest natural disaster risks for each major geographic region of the United States.

Northeast United States

This area is subject to incredibly powerful storms in this area are called nor’easters. These macro storms get their name from the direction the wind is coming and bring heavy rain or snow, hurricane-force winds and coastal flooding in some instances. Severe winter storms can cause power outages that last for a few days or a few weeks in extreme cases. These storms can also interrupt road travel and cause property damage.

Southeast United States

In the states that border the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, the biggest natural disaster risk has to be hurricanes. From the first of June through the end of November, the area is susceptible to tropical storms and hurricanes. Hurricanes bring strong winds, heavy rain, and high waves that can affect coastal communities. A hurricane’s heavy rain can cause flooding inland so distance from the coast is not always a relief from damage. Tornados are also common in this region and can cause plenty of damage.

Midwest United States

From North Dakota down to Louisiana, the likelihood of tornados here are high during certain parts of the year. Known as Tornado Alley, this region generates many tornados every year. With strong winds, tornados can decimate a small town in just a few minutes, and cause extensive damage and loss of life. The Midwest is also subject to flooding disasters due to heavy spring rains.

Mountain West United States

Due to the dry nature of the region, the Mountain West’s biggest risk comes from wildfires. With huge expanses of dry forests and acres of grassland, a small spark can ignite a wildfire that can threaten homes and lives. Another risk of natural disaster in the Mountain West region comes from earthquakes, as several significant fault lines run throughout the region. While there hasn’t been a large earthquake in the area for decades, scientists have determined that it’s not a matter of if, but when.

West Coast United States

Similar to the Mountain West, the West Coast is most likely to be affected by wildfires, but the increased activity of earthquakes in this region catapult this type of natural disaster to the top of the risk list. Even moderate earthquakes can cause damage to structures, and the region has a history of several large earthquakes that have resulted in extensive damage and loss of life.

Natural Disaster Risk Areas

Thanks to decades of study and tracking, scientists and researchers can calculate the areas of the country with the highest risk of natural disasters as well as those places with the lowest risk of natural disasters. Several reports have been created to give residents an idea of what kinds of natural disasters they are most likely to face, depending on where they live.

Here is one report that ranks the top 10 states most likely to have natural disasters, as well as what residents are most likely to encounter there:

  1. Texas—tornados, floods, wildfires, hurricanes, floods
  2. California—earthquakes, wildfires, flooding, severe weather, tsunami
  3. Oklahoma—tornado, snow, flooding, wildfires
  4. New York—snow, ice, tropical storms
  5. Florida—hurricanes
  6. Louisiana—hurricanes, flooding
  7. Alabama—hurricanes
  8. Kentucky—flooding, tornados, mudslides, severe weather
  9. Arkansas—heavy rain, snow, ice, tornados, flooding
  10. Missouri—ice storms, snow, tornados, flooding

This report reveals both the highest risk cities, as well as the safest cities, in the United States:

High Risk Cities

  • Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas
  • Jonesboro, Arkansas
  • Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Houston, Texas
  • Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas
  • Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Austin, Texas
  • Birmingham, Alabama

Low Risk Cities

  • Corvallis, Oregon
  • Mt. Vernon-Anacortes, Washington
  • Bellingham, Washington
  • Wenatchee, Washington
  • Grand Junction, Colorado
  • Spokane, Washington,
  • Salem, Oregon
  • Seattle, Washington

It’s easy to see that where the Southeast and Midwest intersect, there are more chances for residents to encounter natural disasters. It’s always a good idea for landlords and property owners in general to get familiar with the risks associated with their region, so that proper preparation can begin.

Landlord Plan for Natural Disasters

No matter where you live in the United States, as a homeowner and landlord, you should find out what natural disasters may occur where your properties are located. There should be plenty of state and local resources on how to prepare physically for a natural disaster.

Insurance

As a property owner, consider reviewing your current insurance policies and see what kind of coverage you have signed up for. Some areas require separate insurance for certain disasters that is outside of a standard policy. For example, if your rental property is located on a flood plain, your standard homeowner’s insurance may not cover any damage by a flood and you would need to purchase a separate insurance policy for floods. Follow your insurer’s advice on listing the features of the property and even taking pictures to document everything before disaster strikes. Also, educate your tenant on renter’s insurance.

Records

Keep your information about insurance and so forth in a safe place so you can access it after the natural disaster occurs. If you live in the same area as your rental property, keep hard copies of important documents where you can access them easily. It’s a good idea to create digital copies and store them in the cloud or in an online storage facility like Dropbox or as attachments to an email. Even if you are without a computer or power, you will eventually be able to access the documents. They may be the only versions left if your own home is affected severely.

Tenants and Lease Agreements

It’s also important for landlords to become familiar with the laws concerning the destruction of rental property and how that affects the lease agreement. If the laws are vague or non-existent, landlords can include wording in the lease agreement for clarity in the event of a natural disaster that destroys or otherwise makes a rental property uninhabitable. For example, will rent be temporarily abated while the property is being restored or repaired or will the lease be dissolved?

In other words, make sure the lease agreement has specific wording that covers provisions if the rental property is partially or completely destroyed. Of course, check with a landlord tenant attorney to ensure that your lease is compliant with state laws on the subject.

Structural Preparations

Depending on what types of natural disasters your area is prone to, there may be some things you can do to minimize damage to your rental property. For example, if your rental is in a high hurricane area, consider replacing standard windows with impact resistant glass and installing hurricane shutters. In an earthquake area, take the time to anchor large appliances, like refrigerators, with hooks and straps. For rental properties in wildfire zones, choose landscaping that places shrubs and trees several feet away from a structure. Taking the time now to prep a rental property can mean the difference in thousands of dollars worth of damage and may even lead to keeping tenants safer.

Other Factors

Other factors to consider when it comes to rental properties and natural disasters:

  • Whether a lease is terminated because of a disaster.
  • What happens to the tenant if the rental property is uninhabitable.
  • If the tenant’s job and income is affected by the disaster and how that can impact the ability to pay rent.
  • How the tenant might pay rent on time if normal methods are not stable (mail delivery, electronic banking, etc.).
  • How tenants become informed about the steps for them to recover from the loss of personal belongings or injury claims due to the disaster through FEMA or other avenues, as well as from their renter’s insurance policy.

In order to minimize the amount of stress and to ease the financial burdens for landlords in the event of a natural disaster, the best advice is to be prepared. While there is no way to predict where and when a natural disaster will take place, you can control your level of preparation and ensure the best possible scenario for your property and your tenants.

Landlord Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Natural Disasters and Severe Weather

Federal Emergency Management Agency: FEMA

USA.gov: Disasters and Emergencies

Red Cross: Prepare for an Emergency

You can also go online and search for your state’s division of emergency management or emergency department for resources and guidance specific to your state.

What steps have you taken to protect your property from a natural disaster and minimize the stress of a devastating aftermath? Please share this article and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Learn more about RentPrep at RentPrep.com

A Look to Apartments of the Future – Millennials Will Dominate

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Shared post from Axiometrics | by Louis Rosenthal

apartments of the future

The apartment market is always changing. What was popular in the 1980s is a relic today. While today’s renters enjoy the amenities and locations featured at newer properties, changing economies, culture, technologies and interests will make the apartments of the future different.

So what does the medium- and long-term market look like? What should renters, investors and economists know about it in 2025, 2035 or even 2050? This isn’t an idle exercise: While the forces of supply and demand don’t change, the drivers of supply and demand do. In that sense, as we move farther into the future, observers should be keen to demographic and generational changes, technological disruptions and shifting market dynamics.

Starting with demographic and generational changes, the prime renter age group for the next decade or more will be that much-discussed millennial generation. We consider the prime-renter group to include those ages 20-34. If we consider millennials to be anyone born between 1980 and 2000, then the oldest millennials will be 40 years old in 2020, when some of the youngest millennials will be 20. In other words, the youngest of the millennials will still be considered “prime renters” until 2035. Some may think they are entitled, bratty and materialistic — but they will be driving the apartment market for at least the next 20 years.

Consider this: 27% of millennials ages 18-33 have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to only 20% of the previous generation, Gen X, according to Pew Research. Only 28% of adult millennials are married, compared to 38% for Generation X when they were 18-33 years old. Perhaps more interesting is how millennials approach the two most expensive assets they will likely ever own: houses and cars.

In 2014, 76.7% of 20-24 year-olds had a driver’s license, compared to 82% of 20-24 year-olds in 2008 and 91.8% in 1983. Over the course of 30 years, the number of young 20-somethings with a driver’s license fell dramatically.  Clearly, the brakes have been put on the car culture that defined Americana in the post-war years. Likewise, only 35% of those 34 and younger own a home, compared to 39% in 2010 and 41% in 2000. In short, Millennials are less interested in driving a car and — at least for now — owning a home.

So what do these trends mean for the apartment market? The homeownership rate is of particular importance because people are classified as either an owner or a renter.

“If the homeownership rate goes down, then the number of renters should go up,” said Jay Denton, Axiometrics Senior Vice President of Analytics. “So, in the end, a declining homeownership rate should benefit the multifamily space, especially given demographics.”

Technology also will be different in the apartment of the future.

Transportation technologies are likely to completely upend the way we think about getting around the city. As driverless cars and Uber-like ride-hailing services become the norm, declining rates of car ownership, more disposable income and the repurposing of America’s 40,000+ parking garages and lots (about 800 millionparking spaces) should follow. This will mean a major change in the physical space that an apartment property occupies, as well as its immediate vicinity. The parking lots could be repurposed into another building or more green space in urban “jungles.”

This, too, ties back into demographic trends: Do millennials want a parking space or do they want adjacent retail shops, movie theaters, restaurants and so on? If it’s the latter, we can safely assume that apartments — particularly those located in urban core areas — will be even more attractive to young renters.

Of course, the economy is a large factor in driving housing decisions. Job growth is the key variable that predicts apartment rent and occupancy growth. When the number of jobs grows in a particular metro, more people come to the metro to take those jobs — and a sizable portion of those job-holders will be renters. In short, when the economy is doing well, so is the apartment market.

So, when we think about the future economy, we need to consider the role of demographics and the business cycle. Starting with demographics, Denton said: “Our country is based on growth, and if you look at millennials, they are waiting longer to have kids, and when they do they are having fewer of them. That means we are not building up our population enough, so we will have to draw on people from other countries.”

In other words, if we are not increasing the population today, then future demand for apartments will suffer as fewer individuals occupy that prime renter age group.

Never far from anyone’s mind is the threat of another recession. As Denton described, “If the economy takes another downturn in the next two or three years, is that another black eye for the single-family home industry? Does the single-family space get hit with a double whammy?”

Another recession in the near future could have two medium- and long-term effects.

  • In the medium-term, it will only further sour younger Americans on homeownership. What is the point in trying to build home equity if there is a deep downturn once a decade?
  • The long-term effects could be similar, but their impact will be protracted: For the youngest millennials alive today, what does it mean to have your formative years colored by deep recessions? Will single-family homes become even less desirable than they might be for the older millennials? Time will tell.

The future is unknowable, and we aren’t presumptuous enough to say that we have some special insight into what the future holds for the apartment industry. We can forecast the key supply and demand variables in the apartment market five years into the future, and we can do so with a considerable degree of accuracy.

But all predictions are necessarily imperfect. What analysts and observers should be doing is asking the sorts of questions raised in this post: questions about the replicability of historical trends, demographic changes, technological disruptions and so on.

All the better to ask these questions now so that the future can be accommodated rather than resisted.

Roof Coatings are not Roofs!

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Tom Scherer  | T&G Roofing

roofing materials

Roof coatings became popular in the 1970’s and 80’s, along with the “Bee Gees”, and they have been around ever since. Coatings are applied over an existing hot tar roof in an effort to “extend” the life of the roof and to add reflective qualities to the system. This is sound thinking, however, in many cases, coatings are misrepresented by the coating industry and contractors who install them. Most of the waterproofing is done before the coating is even applied. (All cracks and holes are mended with plastic roof cement)

To “extend” the life of the roof could mean getting an extra year or two out of the existing system. But I have heard boasts of 10 and 15 year warranties that may not hold water. I installed one of these coatings exactly as directed by the manufacturer. After being told that I would get a 10 year “leak free” warranty from the manufacturer, I had to refund my customer’s money after the first year. I then installed a single ply TPO system to keep water out of the building and to keep myself out of the “People’s Court.”

Since elastomeric coatings are as thin as a piece of paper, how could they be expected to maintain a waterproof membrane for more than a year or so? They can’t and they don’t.

Coatings are not to be confused with actual roofing systems like hot tar, torch-down or single ply. Coatings, by themselves, are not considered to be a legitimate roofing system. They are considered to be a roof restoration only.

Coatings are often required to be installed over a cap-sheet roof so it meets the title 24 (environmental reflective demands) requirement. But it was never intended as a waterproofing system in itself. Single ply systems, on the other hand, have a reflective coating, that meets Title 24, built right into the system.

The best available flat roofing systems as of Jan. 2015 are single ply systems (TPO or PVC) that carry 20-30 year warranties. Hot tar systems are legitimate, but they do not compare with the single ply across the board in terms of safety, longevity, environmental issues. Torch-down is at the low end of the tier. It has the shortest lifespan, uses open flames, and has safety issues.

Emulsion and elastomeric coatings rely on the roof system that they are covering for longevity. When the roofing that the coating is covering deteriorates then the coating fails.

I know of some manufacturers offering 10 year warranties on their coatings however, the warranty has stipulations that do not protect the property owner. The cost of coatings is about half of regular flat roofing options so many property owners are lured by the lower prices and the long warranties, however these warranties do not stand up to close scrutiny.

Single ply roofing does not rely on the existing roofing at all. It stands by itself, whether it’s over an existing roof or bare plywood. It is like large sheets of thick rubber. This material is substantial and will not allow water to penetrate it for 20+ years. The warranties for single ply are legitimate and are validated by reputable companies.

There is really no comparison between the two. One is akin to painting over a roof (coatings) while the other is a new roof covering (single ply).

New buildings across America are roofing with single ply roofing. No building chain (Lowes, Home Depot, WalMart etc.) is roofing their buildings with a coating only.

Hot tar roofing is an acceptable re-roofing choice as it is substantial and will last 15+ years, however single ply is the better choice for longevity, reflectivity, and environmental effects. (no fumes, not oil based, and it’s recyclable)

At T&G Roofing Company, Inc., we pride ourselves on quality. Every installer is a professional with many years of roofing experience. The materials that we install are of the highest quality, always number one grade and we never use seconds. We install brand name roofing products such as GAF, CertainTeed, Owens Corning, Monier-Lifetile, US Tile, and Eagle. These products have proven time and time again that they can stand up to what Mother Nature has to dish out.