The Problem with a Deferred Backlog—and How to Get Rid of It

The Problem with a Deferred Backlog—and How to Get Rid of It


Deferred Backlog

When it comes to managing building envelope assets like your roof systems, it’s easy to fall into the trap of putting off repair or replacement projects, creating a deferred backlog. A common practice is moving projects – both maintenance and capital – to a deferred backlog when you don’t have the time or capital to address them in the present. Deferring projects gets you off the hook for now, but does it really help you and your investment in the long run?

What is a Deferred Backlog?

A deferred backlog grows as spending on capital replacements, repairs and maintenance projects is put off because of budget constraints, lack of resources or other more pressing facility needs.

Runaway deferred backlogs can be nearly insurmountable as budgets tighten and institutional or corporate leadership continues to focus on new facility investments that do not resolve corrections to the current built environment. It becomes a vicious cycle that is very hard to get out of.

Deferred Maintenance Leads to Asset Deterioration

The problem with putting off maintenance projects is that while you may free up funds for other projects by putting off those affecting your roof assets, in the meantime the issues with your roof will progress and likely get worse.

As issues are left to sit, the cost of needed repairs increases. This is known as asset deterioration, and it’s as bad as it sounds. Deferred maintenance can be a silent killer for your facility investments, allowing certain assets to deteriorate increasing the likelihood of needing unexpected emergency repairs. These kinds of repairs are expensive and can interfere with planned renovations, often causing downtime and even complete shutdowns.

The Solution: A Sustainable Life Cycle Management Program

We offer a Sustainable Life Cycle Management Program which is a programmatic, restorative multi-year program that invests in annual reassessment services and properly detailed corrective repairs, preventative maintenance and practical roof warranty management. The program gives you control of your roof assets, extends the time between capital renewals and drives actual cost savings to the facilities’ spend plans.

  • Spend Plan: Reduce your overall spend by 10-12%
  • Deferred Backlog: Reduce your deferred backlog by 30%
  • Total Cost of Ownership: Reduce your TCO by 25%
  • Overall, it can extend the average life of roof assets by 15-20%

Regular Assessments and Ongoing Repairs

Establishing a health baseline of the roof assets through a portfolio-wide inventory and condition assessment allows us to prioritize capital and repair projects over multiple years. The assessment provides all the data we need to establish metrics and accountability and chart those savings through a manageable plan.

The plan we put together will account for ongoing repairs and scheduled preventative maintenance, as well as regular assessments so we can continue to gather data and monitor asset performance.

Prioritized Capital Repair and Replacement Projects

When you are responsible for several buildings with multiple roof sections and each of those sections need some kind of repairs or even a full replacement, how do you know which to prioritize? Allocating funds toward roof repair or replacement projects doesn’t have to be done with guesswork and uncertainty—or even corporate politics.

At Technical Assurance, prioritizing capital repair and replacement projects is done through triaging, in which you identify and rank projects that should be funded before others based on three factors to aid in triaging projects:

  1. Condition Index
  2. Mission Dependency Index
  3. System Criticality Index

Download Our Free White Paper to Learn More

Interested in learning more about the best approach to triaging and managing a deferred backlog? Download our latest white paper to learn more about our sustainable life cycle management program for commercial roof systems.

Schedule a Consultation with Technical Assurance

Do you have a deferred backlog that you don’t know how to triage? Our team can help you assess, plan, solve and manage your building envelope asset repair and replacement needs. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.