Maintenance

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Maintenance Articles from the Web

Buildings

  • Fireplace and Chimney Problems, Tips & Prevention April 18, 2017 Most folks consider their fireplaces and chimneys to be indestructible parts of their home that require little or no maintenance. While masonry work is generally as close to maintenance-free as you can get, fireplaces and chimneys are more than just works of masonry: they are a part of your home’s heating system, which must effectively exhaust fumes from your fireplace, furnace and water heater.  Relatively minor but regular maintenance efforts can help your chimney operate safely for an indefinite period ...
  • A property manager’s guide to roof inpections April 12, 2017 At least twice per year, property managers should inspect and conduct maintenance on their roofs. An inspection in the spring will identify any damage that occurred over the winter months, and an inspection in the fall will ensure the roof is ready for harsh winter conditions.  When conducting the inspection, take a plan of the roof and note the locations of any anomalous conditions. The results of previous inspections can be used to determine whether the roof has deteriorated since ...
  • Case Study: Harrison West Tower Re-pipe April 7, 2017 The Harrison West Condominium Association required a re-pipe of their historic 24-floor residential tower situated in the desirable PSU area of Portland Oregon. Community Engineering Services, PLLC formed a team with engineering specialists Dan Robles, PE, David Coles, PE, Architect Richard Bosch, AIA and a CM consultant. Through the client’s commitment to research, analysis, and insisting upon the services of experienced Engineers and Architects, many unique opportunities were discovered while substantial costs and risks were avoided. The resulting renovation is ...
  • Galvanized Pipe Condition Assessment April 7, 2017 Community Engineering Services, PLLC was retained by a home owners association representatives to support a Galvanized Pipe Condition Assessment for a high-rise condominium in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. The results published here were presented to a quorum of the HOA Board in November 2012.     Read the article……………
  • Service Life of Building Components April 7, 2017 The standard reference for service life of building components such as HVAC systems, Plumbing, air handlers, Digital Controls, and elevators, etc. may come from many different reference books whose authors have deduced, observed, or tested a sample of similar components to produce a “mean” service life. It is unlikely that any single author has lived long enough to test each sample in service, so some assumptions need to be made when arriving at these estimates.   Read the article……………

Buildings Archive

 

Grounds

  • How can we best terminate our landscape vendor? April 23, 2017 Q: We are not happy with our current landscape vendor. We already have bids from various landscape maintenance contractors and want to terminate the current vendor. Any tips?   Read the Q&A………..
  • Seasonal Maintenance: A Year-Round Responsibility April 17, 2017 Building maintenance follows a schedule based on the seasons, each of which presents a unique set of challenges to a co-op or condo. At certain times of the year, it just makes sense to do certain regular maintenance projects: weatherizing, boiler maintenance, winterizing gardens and landscaping in the fall; cleaning, repainting, pruning, and switching off the heating machinery in the spring, and so forth.    Read the article……………
  • Caring For Trees: The Right Tree, in the Right Place April 17, 2017 Trees may seem like the ultimate in low-maintenance landscaping; they’re naturally occurring, live for decades (sometimes centuries), don’t really require much in the way of watering, and sometimes don’t even need pruning. But while all that is true, in fact in a residential setting, trees require much more care and consideration than one would think. They play a major role in a property’s landscaping. There is a reason why the we use the term ‘curb appeal’ when referring to the ...
  • Water is an Enemy to Asphalt Paving March 31, 2017 In the asphalt paving business we are asked many questions regarding proper maintenance of pavement surfaces for driveways, parking lots and roads. Our best advice is to be proactive about maintenance to ensure the life of your pavement surface.  As we change seasons from winter to spring, one of the most frequent issues we encounter is heaving of asphalt driveways. This occurs mostly at the top of driveways, at the garage, where the concrete apron meets the asphalt driveway. Water ...
  • Prepare Your Trees for Spring in 4 Easy Steps March 30, 2017 New blooms, warm rain, and bright sunshine are just a few reasons to love spring. Sleeping plants slowly awaken and the birds sing with joy. A quick look around tells you it’s time to start working on your landscape.  Spring is a great time to give trees the extra TLC they need to make it through the rest of the year. Prepare your trees for warm, sunny days with this springtime checklist for quick reference and expanded explanations of each ...

Grounds Archives

Energy & Water Conservation

  • Governor Brown Declares the End of the Drought April 20, 2017 On April 7, 2017, Governor Brown signed Executive Order B-40-17, ending the drought state of emergency in most of California. Drought restrictions will remain in effect in Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Tuolomne counties, which continue to face drinking water shortages and diminished groundwater supplies. The new Executive Order rescinds the emergency proclamations from January and April 2014, along with four drought-related executive orders   Read the article………….
  • How Condo Associations Can Get Ahead of the Energy Benchmarking Trend – Energy Efficiency Part 1 April 18, 2017 Is your condominium or co-op association required to report your building’s annual energy usage? If not, and if yours is a mid-rise or high-rise building (50,000 square feet or larger), get ready. Chances are that mandatory energy benchmarking will be coming to your area soon as energy conservation becomes a higher priority for jurisdictions.    Read the article……………
  • End of the Drought: Law Changes Your HOA Board Needs to Know About (CA) April 17, 2017 The California drought has officially been acknowledged as coming to an end. While this is great news for the residents of California, it’s not back to the normal day-to-day management of homeowners association just yet.  Desperate times called for desperate measures, which meant enforcing some strict water conservation efforts that trickled down to HOA communities through emergency legislation in the Davis-Stirling Act. If you’re an HOA board member in California, it’s important to be aware of what the official end ...
  • HOA Homefront: The drought emergency is over. Back to business as usual? (CA) April 15, 2017 On April 7, 2017, Gov. Jerry Brown issued Executive Order B-40-17, formally ending the drought emergency, which can be read in its entirety at https://www.gov.ca.gov, the governor’s web site. The order is not only confirmation of good news for California, but also immediately changes the applicability of two important statutes in the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act.    Read the article……………
  • California Makes Artificial Grass Permanent April 10, 2017 This month, Governor Brown signed AB 349, a drought bill aimed at California HOAs that restrict the installation of artificial turf. Significant protections already exist for owners who wish to install “low water-using landscaping,” but AB 349 goes a step further, directly addressing artificial turf.    Read the article………….

Energy & Water Conservation Archives

 

Fire Safety

  • Fireplace and Chimney Problems, Tips & Prevention April 18, 2017 Most folks consider their fireplaces and chimneys to be indestructible parts of their home that require little or no maintenance. While masonry work is generally as close to maintenance-free as you can get, fireplaces and chimneys are more than just works of masonry: they are a part of your home’s heating system, which must effectively exhaust fumes from your fireplace, furnace and water heater.  Relatively minor but regular maintenance efforts can help your chimney operate safely for an indefinite period ...
  • Home Fire Safety for Older Adults April 18, 2017 The U.S. fire problem is severe. Each year, home fires result in a significant number of deaths and injuries. Older adults are burdened with the gravest fire risk, and are consistently more threatened with injury or death by fire than any other age group. Raising awareness among older adults is the key to reducing home fires and preventing deaths. This multi-faceted home fire safety awareness program provides tools to educate older adults and their families nationwide about home fire hazards ...
  • Survive the Unthinkable: If a Wildfire Threatens Your Home April 18, 2017 Families in some areas of Wyoming can be safe and secure one day and have their lives turned upside down by wildfires the next. To increase your safety and preparedness, we offer the following.  Ready– Preparing for the fire threat.  Be ready, be firewise, and create defensible space. Prepare before the threat of a wildfire so you, other family members, and your house are ready. Assemble emergency supplies and belongings in a safe spot. Make sure everyone living within the ...
  • How to Prepare for a Wildfire April 18, 2017 Wildfires can occur anywhere and can destroy homes, businesses, infrastructure, natural resources, and agriculture. How to Prepare for a Wildfire explains how to protect yourself and your property, and details the steps to take now so that you can act quickly when you, your home, or your business is in danger   Read the PDF…………..
  • Fire Sprinkler Installation and Earthquake Retrofit – Are They Reserve Account Expenses? April 10, 2017 Without a doubt installation of fire sprinklers and earthquake retrofits make buildings safer and could save lives when and if they should ever be needed. Some municipalities have passed rules for installation/upgrading/modernization of these systems but most have chosen to forego putting anything into law as the cost to the owner(s) of the building can be very high. The question we are tackling from our perspective is; should the installation of these systems be paid for from the Reserve Account? ...

Fire Safety Archives

Security

  • Package Theft in your Community April 22, 2017 While worse during the holiday season, package theft is a year-round concern for anyone who shops online. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, there are people who drive around communities looking for unattended boxes sitting on porches. If you or anyone you know has ever had a package stolen, you know the frustration it causes.  Since this threat is a reality for every community, we encourage you to be mindful of the below tips to avoid package theft with your homeowners:   ...
  • Men posing as plumbers rob woman in Pompano Beach condo (FL) April 21, 2017 Clair Casale said she was conned Wednesday by two men who showed up at her Pompano Beach condo posing as plumbers.  The men told her they were sent to make repairs.    Read the article……………
  • West Ashley homeowners say suspects with guns attempt to break into cars (SC) April 19, 2017 A West Ashley neighborhood is on high alert after several home surveillance cameras captured some attempted car break-ins showing the suspects holding guns.  It happened in the Hunt Club neighborhood off Bees Ferry Road Monday morning.  A member of the HOA board said car break-ins have occurred over the last three years.    Read the article……………
  • Thousands of condo owners at risk as thieves bypass entry-phone systems with default passcodes April 19, 2017 Joe Rae lives in a complex that has been hit by burglars who didn’t need a crowbar or any other tools of the trade to break into the building. Instead, it appears all they had was a default passcode for the building’s entry-phone system that could easily be found online.  “It was just driving us crazy,” Rae said. “My wife was upset. I said, ‘That’s it, I can’t keep this building safe. We’ve got to sell and move.’”   Read the ...
  • Desert Shores residents want HOA to spend on security, not big money cosmetic upgrades (NV) April 13, 2017 A Las Vegas community is worried about crime, and the people say their homeowners association is apparently looking to spend six figures on cosmetic upgrades instead of security.  Neighbors in the Desert Shores community near Buffalo Drive and Smoke Ranch Road say safety is a much larger concern.    Read the article…………..

Security Archives

 

Amenities

  • 10 Residential Amenities That Rock April 30, 2017 Gym, spa, blah blah blah. Sometimes the hit list of residential amenities sounds like the same old broken record. Any condominium or residential complex can offer an Olympic-size swimming pool. But a swimming pool aquarium? That would be extraordinary (if it actually existed). We’ve heard of the Porsche Design Tower’s automated car elevator. Now that’s thinking outside the box. Here are amenities that truly catch the eye (or ear or taste). Let’s call this amenities compilation “The Greatest Hits.”   Read ...
  • Swimming Pools: Summer Fun or Summer Burden? (IL) April 28, 2017 Many communities have swimming pools for residents to enjoy. A lot goes into maintaining a clean, healthy, safe and fun swimming pool facility. These community facilities can add great value to the properties, but are they fun, or a burden for those who are responsible for maintaining all necessary expectations for smooth operation? Below are some guidelines to help ensure the successful operation of pool facilities and to provide   Read the article……………
  • Siena Golf Club homeowners offered chance to save course (NV) April 27, 2017 More than 800 golf courses have been shuttered nationally in the past decade because of financial distress and other issues, according to data from BusinessInsider.com.  SilverStone and Badlands have closed in the Las Vegas Valley, and legal battles are in process. Homeowners have been left with declining home values and a lesser quality of life.  And last week, Dr. David Lee, one of three owners of Siena Golf Club, was quoted in an email to Siena homeowners as stating that ...
  • Oakmont to hold recount in election that empowered pickleball foes (CA) April 12, 2017 It appeared for a moment that the staggeringly divisive and complex pickleball controversy at Oakmont might be settled by the election that bestowed control of the homeowners’ board to a new majority opposed to building courts in the heart of the senior-citizen haven.  Instantly upon taking office, members of the new, four-person majority on the Oakmont Village Association board acted to suspend work on a pickleball complex alongside the Berger Center. Those directors intend to initiate, at the board meeting ...

Amenities Archives

 

Maintenance – General Articles

  • Seasonal Maintenance: A Year-Round Responsibility April 17, 2017 Building maintenance follows a schedule based on the seasons, each of which presents a unique set of challenges to a co-op or condo. At certain times of the year, it just makes sense to do certain regular maintenance projects: weatherizing, boiler maintenance, winterizing gardens and landscaping in the fall; cleaning, repainting, pruning, and switching off the heating machinery in the spring, and so forth.    Read the article……………
  • Managing Community Maintenance and Improvement Needs April 12, 2017 Whether your community is self-managed or professionally managed, maintenance is a big part of the day-to-day responsibilities. It’s a responsibility that can quickly become overwhelming, especially when you walk in on a Monday morning to a list of what went wrong over the weekend. If you’re on the board of an association, you’re in luck! Our experts have some helpful advice that will make prioritizing that list and managing both maintenance and improvement needs a little easier.    Read the article…………
  • Addressing Water System Failures Before They Happen April 7, 2017 In the heyday of the real estate bubble, developers flipped tens of thousands of apartment structures into condominiums – with little regard for the condition of the potable water system. Many of these galvanized steel or early copper systems are rapidly approaching the end of their service life. Unseen, a small leak can cause thousands of dollars of damage and a ruptured main riser can amount to millions of dollars in claims and severe hardship for the community of homeowners. ...
  • Correcting HOA Maintenance Dysfunction April 7, 2017 Here’s How The Problems Start:  The board of directors of a homeowner’s association is entrusted by the residents to hire a contractor to perform a complicated reconstruction project. Unfortunately, condominium board members are not very good at writing contracts or issuing requests for proposal or collecting bids. When a contractor is selected, the scope of work is often poorly established. The expectations between the community and the contractor begin to diverge. Soon, a law firm is engaged my some residents ...

Maintenenace – General Articles Archives

 

Mold

  • Man asked to leave condo after mold found (NV) February 20, 2017 A Las Vegas family said they have nowhere to go after a crew started tearing open the walls of their condominium while they were still living there.  Thomas Torman said he noticed mold in his apartment near Lake Mead Boulevard and Buffalo Drive about a year after moving in.  He said everyone in the family was sick, so they had this inspection done and came back positive for mold. When Torman let his landlord know, he said the landlord sent ...
  • Debunking some toxic mold myths September 18, 2016 In 2000, a new “toxic mold” panic swept the country, and after 16 years of untold lawsuits and billions of dollars spent, major myths still plague and unnecessarily panic association boards, managers and homeowners. The myths all too often cause exaggerated repairs, unduly frightened residents, and conflict. In this and the next column, I will address thirteen pervasive toxic mold myths.     Read the article…………..
  • Mold at Marina del Rey Condo (CA) Complex Made Him Ill, Ex-State Senator Alleges July 2, 2016 Former state senator and Los Angeles City Councilman Nate Holden sued a Marina del Rey condominium complex Friday, alleging a water leak into his unit developed into mold that made him ill.   Read the article……………
  • HOA Horror: Toxic Stories About Mold Pt. 4 March 31, 2016 Mold is a fungus.To Some degree, it is always in the air- both inside and out. Mold is an equal-opportunity organism, and it doesn’t discriminate between new construction and older buildings, geographical locations or poverty and wealth. It can attack one unit at a time or infect an entire building through improperly maintained common elements, including HVAC systems.   Read the article………….

Mold Article Archives