Planned Obsolescence—not a Bright Idea

  • Ernie Cecchetto

Sometimes when I’m sitting around a table with a bunch of friends, I start a conversation off by asking: “Have you ever heard of designed obsolescence?” And so begins a tirade about how refrigerators and dishwashers are programmed to stop working after six years!

But most people don’t really think about it much. They simply, unscrew that light bulb and replace it with another one. But oddly enough, the term’s very roots come from that very light bulb. The first time people learn that light bulbs were designed to fail after 1,000 hours (clearly marked on their packaging), they kind of stop and just ponder the statement in disbelief. HUNH?! NO WAY?! SERIOUSLY?!

You mean to say, that the hundreds of light bulbs I replaced in my life that went straight to the dump could have easily lasted …well…a lifetime in comparison?! The simple answer is yes…yes they “could” have.

Instead, the manufacturers created a failure mechanism so that they would no longer work after a prescribed period…so they could sell you more light bulbs. Pretty nefarious hunh…

Worse yet, google what toxic chemicals are in some light bulbs, hence, what’s been filling our landfill sites for well over a century…chemicals that have been leaching into our soil and groundwater!

How does this apply to the roofing industry? How long will your low-slope roofing assets last? How long were they “designed” to last? Would you like to know…more…? Leave a comment below or message me and I’d be happy to give you the RMS answer to these questions and more.