To date, there are a large number of buildings in need of restoration and repair. The high cost of these types of work leads to the search for solutions on the use of structural health monitoring (SHM) systems and reducing the cost of funds. For that reason an attempt was made to qualitatively assess the potential for reducing repair costs when using automated SHM systems. Project materials of building inspections and the estimated cost of repairing the facades of 65 historical buildings in St. Petersburg were used for analysis. On the basis of the cartograms of defects and photographic images, the areas of the most likely occurrence of defects are determined for all similar buildings. The key indicators were recieved, that determine the appearance of damage and their development. These indicators include humidity, temperature change, movements and pollutions. Then, a simple scheme of development and the relationship of damage, based on these four indicators, has been compiled. Based on the characteristic areas and the required monitoring parameters, the principle of reducing the cost of monitoring systems was defined. On the basis of data of the distribution of costs during repairs, the amount of potential savings in the use of automated SHM systems has been revealed.