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The Importance of Proper Home Maintenance: An Interview with Robert Rogers of ESRA Facility Management and Consulting, Inc.

By Robert Rogers

Please describe the background of your company and your qualifications.

ESRA is a licensed general contracting company formed in 2009 with a staff of engineers and technicians to provide a combination of support services at our clients' facilities or residences as well as consulting on facility issues and operations. The core services we provide are building repair and maintenance, janitorial, and lawn care services. Additionally, we perform facility energy audits and retrofits on both light commercial buildings and residences. Our consulting services include capital planning, building assessments, and construction management.

Robert Rogers is the owner and principal manager of ESRA Facility Management. He served as a mechanical engineer in the U.S. Air Force achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. After his retirement from the USAF he worked at Valspar Corporation in High Point, NC as plant engineer and maintenance supervisor. Mr. Rogers received a bachelor's degree from NC Agricultural & Technical State University in Mechanical Engineering and a master's degree in Engineering Management from Western New England College in Springfield, MA. Prior to forming ESRA, he served as the project manager on the Facility Management & Support Services contract for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Research Triangle Park, NC. He has more than 33 years of maintenance and construction experience.

What are the dangers of ignoring a leaking pipe?

Water settling on wood, sheetrock, or caret can lead to mold growth and rot not to mention a higher-than-normal water bill. Any leakage from a water pipe should be controlled as soon as possible to prevent further costly damage and repair.

What are the advantages of receiving routine maintenance on my lawn?

Routine care of your lawn controls weed growth, stimulates new growth of intended grass, covers bare spots in the lawn, and provides professional care for your lawn. Many people love to have a good-looking front lawn but don't find the time spent in the lawn to be very pleasing. Contracting a professional lawn care company to manage their lawn allows them to have the beauty of a well-kept lawn without the burden of doing it themselves.

What are the benefits of having an Energy Audit?

Many commercial and residential facilities have areas of energy inefficiencies and "leaks" that allow energy to be wasted or not efficiently used for its intended purposes. An Energy Audit locates these inefficiencies and provides the owner with remedies to fix them and save the energy that is being lost. Correcting those inefficiencies will save the owner money by allowing the energy sources to affect the building more completely and closer, if not exactly, to its intended purpose.

While the Energy Audit is important, accomplishing the remedies or completing the Energy Retrofit is just as important. The Energy Retrofit is typically the completion of those remedies and recommendations listed in the audit and provided by the auditor. They can be completed in phases or all at once, but the savings are not realized until the retrofits are completed.

What are some preventive measures I can take to limit the amount of water coming into my basement or crawl space?

Making sure your gutters and downspouts are performing as they should and directing the rain water away from the foundation is the first step. If you don't have gutters and downspouts in place and have water impacting your basement or crawl space installing them is highly recommended. Another area to inspect and take action if needed is the slope of the land away from your foundation. Make sure the natural drainage of your property is away from the foundation of your home. Make sure all of the plumbing and mechanical systems/pipes in your basement or crawl space are intact or not leaking.

Do the best you can to find and identify the source of the excess water in your space. After your inspection and finding, you may want to contact a local contractor or energy auditor to take a look at your situation and provide you some preventive measures and advice on the issue. It is always good to get the advice of a trusted professional on this type of issue around your building.

What are some visible signs that it is time to repair or replace the exterior of my home?

Sometimes buildings or residencies need to have the siding completely replaced rather than spot repairs. Things to look for when it is time to replace the siding are rot and numerous areas needing repair. Of course the type of siding you have is your first area of concern. Masonry siding is least likely to suffer from weather damage and therefore least likely to need replacing. Vinyl and metal siding typically lasts a long time as well if installed properly.

Some siding can allow water to get behind it and affect the wooden sheathing, causing rot of the sheathing; but this can typically be repaired and not require complete replacement. Wood-based siding material will require more maintenance and eventually need replacement due to weather damage and rot. Lots of wooden siding structures show the signs of numerous rotting areas, joint gaps, bowing and sagging, and nail holes, all of which are indications of maintenance, repair, or replacement. Taking good care of your siding by inspection and maintenance will prolong its service but keep a good eye on its wear and weather resistance.

What other important home maintenance points that homeowners must keep in mind to ensure minimal or zero damage to their property?

Zero damage to a building is tough to come by considering a building sits outside all the time and fights against the weather to keep its occupants warm and cozy. Snow, ice, rain, wind, hail, high temperatures, low temperatures, leaves, humidity, and dirt are all affecting the structure of your residence/building. With that the key is to stay on top of the required maintenance. If you find something when it's small and fix it, then you won't have the larger issue to contend with in the months or years to come. Don't kick the can down the road; fix it early or as soon as you find it and save some money.

What is the best way for people to get in contact with you?

We stand ready and able to meet with home and building owners on any building issues they may have. We love serving in this capacity and our objective is to save our clients' money in the long run. We can be reached by email, phone, or USPS mail at, (336) 210-0201, or ESRA Facility Management, 101 Blue Bell Rd, Greensboro NC 27406.

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About The Author

Robert Rogers is the owner and principal manager of ESRA Facility Management. He...

Phone: 336-210-0201

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