Structural maintenance: Fla. condominium prioritizes prevention

When the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Fla., partially collapsed three years ago this month, Daniel Gonzalez knew he had work to do at The Admiral’s Walk, the 18-story condominium in Boca Raton where he has served as manager since 2009.  Gonzalez called Howard Somers, the condominium’s board president, to develop a plan to […]

Richmond Hill neighbors battle HOA over melting homes (GA)

Many people in Richmond Hill housing subdivisions say they’re dealing with siding on their homes melting in the sunlight.  One woman says her homeowners association is stopping her from making a change to prevent it from happening again.    Read the article…………………………….

‘Are we going to end up homeless?’ Chelmsford condo complex facing condemnation (MA)

Thirty families could soon end up without a home after the town of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, found concerning structural damages at Milestone Condo.  Many of the residents of the building on Chelmsford Street are low-income families, seniors, and people with disabilities. They now face a seemingly impossible task: find over a million dollars for the repairs […]

Vertical Subdivisions Receive Recognition in 2024 Amendments to the Condominium Act (FL)

This year’s extensive condominium bill CS/CS/CS/HB 1021 (“HB 1021”) containing amendments to the Condominium Act created a new Section 718.407 entitled “Condominiums created within a portion of a building or within a multiple parcel building.” It provides for, among other things, statutory recognition of what is known in the industry as a “vertical subdivision,” a […]

A Comprehensive Look at Building Safety Regulations and Florida Milestone Inspections

It often takes a crisis for society and government to react. Whether it be seat belts, smoking, or building safety, unfortunately, catastrophe can move the needle toward addressing public safety issues. This paper explores the events leading up to Florida Chapter 2023-203, the steps that impacted owners/developers/managers can take to ensure compliance, and how experts […]

Water damage in condo buildings (IL)

The irony. Your condo building stretches 20 storeys high, but it took less than 20 minutes for your floor to be engulfed by water.  When a pipe bursts in a condo building, it doesn’t take long for the water to fill up hallways, stairwells and individual units. The incident may end quickly, but the effects […]

Owners at Closed Ocean City Condo Complex Appeal for Help (MD)

Frustrated owners at the shuttered Seaspray Condominiums appealed to Ocean City officials Thursday to get the complex reopened for the summer vacation season.  For now, red tags have been slapped on the condo complex at 34th Street and Bay Avenue declaring that the buildings are currently “unsafe for human occupancy.”    Read the article…………………………….

HOA Installs Mismatched Shingles

Dear Monty: We own a condo in the only four-unit building in our condo community. The rest are two-unit, three-unit or stand-alone condos. This is an upscale community.  We had a roof leak, and the homeowners association paid for the repair, but they put on shingles that don’t match the rest of the roof. It […]

Uncovering Asbestos During Condo Refurbishment: Navigating Challenges and Options (ON)

Embarking on a major refurbishment project for a condominium is an exciting endeavor, promising revitalized spaces and enhanced living experiences for residents. However, amidst the renovation excitement, the discovery of asbestos can present a significant hurdle, requiring careful navigation and decisive action. Here, we explore the implications of finding asbestos during condo refurbishment, along with […]

Enhancing Condo Aesthetics: Window Replacement vs. Repainting Considerations (ON)

In the realm of condominium maintenance and improvement, decisions regarding windows and exterior aesthetics are crucial for maintaining property value and resident satisfaction. However, determining whether to replace windows or repaint them requires careful consideration of several factors unique to condo living. Here, we explore when it’s advisable to replace windows and when repainting is […]

Masonry Maintenance: A Comprehensive Guide for Condos and Community Associations

Masonry and brick buildings are beloved for their enduring class and elegance, but much like any beautiful thing that is to be long-lasting, they require continuous maintenance. For condominiums and community associations overseeing such buildings, implementing technically sound maintenance protocols is crucial for not only preserving aesthetics but also for optimizing costs long-term.   Read the […]

Laketown Wharf evacuation latest (FL)

Several residents remain vacated after Panama City Beach officials issued a mandatory evacuation for Laketown Wharf on Front Beach Road.  Residents in 63 units have until Saturday at 6 p.m. to pack their belongings and relocate due to a safety hazard.  According to officials they received a complaint on April 4th from a guest about […]

Roofing Changes Usually Require Member Vote (FL)

Q: Our condominium association is thinking about changing roofing materials. Our bylaws say that a majority of the unit owners who participate in a meeting can decide any issue, “unless a specific voting percentage is stipulated in the declaration, these bylaws or law.” Does this mean that a majority of the unit owners can approve […]

Ocean City Condo Complex Remains Closed for Safety Repairs (MD)

An Ocean City condominium complex that was shut down last week by the city’s construction official amid safety concerns will remain closed until structural repairs are made.  For now, red tags have been slapped on the Seaspray condos at 34th Street and Bay Avenue declaring that the buildings are currently “unsafe for human occupancy.”   Read […]

Waterproofing Your Building Envelope Protecting Structure & Health (NJ)

With severe weather events becoming ever more common—and more intense—waterproofing your building’s envelope against rain, wind, snow, and ice is a growing concern. To counter the effects of climate change on buildings both old and new, our main focus must be on maintaining the integrity of the structural envelope. Proper, proactive exterior maintenance saves money […]

Ocean Club Atlantic City, NJ Condo Balconies Are Still An Issue (NJ)

We wrote our first article about the Ocean Club Condominium, Atlantic City, New Jersey balconies issue on February 4, 2022.   More than two years later, it’s still an issue, as some residents still cannot use their balconies.  A concerned Ocean Club Condominium resident reached to us because of our previous coverage    Read the article…………………………….

The Power of Infrared Thermography in Building Inspections

Infrared thermography, a cornerstone of modern infrared inspection, stands out as a non-invasive diagnostic tool, revolutionizing the approach toward preventative maintenance and safety inspection. Utilizing state-of-the-art infrared cameras, this technology makes the invisible visible by capturing the heat emitted from objects in vivid colors, revealing potential issues in electrical systems, insulation failures, and even hidden […]

Ocean City Condo Complex Shut Down Amid Safety Concerns (MD)

An Ocean City condominium complex with a history of alleged structural problems dating back more than 40 years has been declared unsafe and was closed down by the city.  Ocean City’s construction official issued “unsafe structural notices” and ordered the Seaspray condos to be vacated until repairs can be made, city spokesman Doug Bergen said.  […]

Ask the HOA Expert: Gutters That Work

Rain gutters are an inconspicuous but necessary building component that homeowner associations deal with. Their need to perform consistently triggers ongoing maintenance and repair to themselves, exterior paint, siding, roofs and trees. Failure to keep the gutter system running smoothly causes overflows, water intrusion, interior damage, structural dryrot and enormously expensive repairs. There is a […]

Surfside condo collapse investigators provide key insights into possible causes of the disaster. Here are the top takeaways (FL)

Federal investigators on Thursday shared updates on their probe into the cause of the catastrophic 2021 condominium collapse in Surfside, Florida, providing key insights into the factors that may have led to the deaths of 98 people under a mountain of rubble.  Investigators have identified hundreds of possible points of failure in the building, eventually […]

New law mandates condo inspections for older buildings (FL)

Charlotte County sent notices to owners of 168 condominiums built decades ago that are at least three stories high, informing them the structures must undergo comprehensive inspections under a new state law.  Charlotte County Building Official Shawn McNulty explained what the new law means and how it came about during the Board of County Commissioners […]

Roof Preventative Maintenance for Multi-Family Communities

A roofing Preventative Maintenance Agreement (PMA) is a key component in property up-keep. This article will cover the basics of roof preventive maintenance: what it is, why it’s important, and what to look for with different roofing systems.  To start off, roof preventive maintenance is scheduled maintenance and cleaning designed to help maintain the overall […]

Boca Raton Building Recertification Ordinance: A Comprehensive Guide for Building Managers and Condominium Governing Boards (FL)

Fresh off our recent article highlighting Boynton Beach’s new building recertification requirements, we highlight Boca Raton’s updated Building Recertification program. This article covers everything you need to know about Boca Raton’s Building Recertification Program (Ordinance 5589) and the significant changes it makes to the way building recertification is conducted. It ultimately focuses on what it […]

Laketown Wharf Condominium Association’s response to evacuations (FL)

The Laketown Wharf Resort Condominium Association has responded to the mandatory evacuation of 63 units.  The owner’s association attorney is Brandon Burg. Burg issued a statement Friday morning saying they’ve hired an engineer to inspect the 2-stairwells deemed structurally unsound by Panama City Beach inspectors.   Read the article…………………………….

Laketown Wharf residents given a 72-hour evacuation notice

For the second time this year, Panama City Beach officials are calling for a mandatory evacuation from a high-rise condominium.  Inspectors say a stairwell at the Laketown Wharf complex on Front Beach Road is structurally unsound. As a result, the city is requiring a number of residents to get out of their units by 5 […]

Unpermitted construction triggers evacuation of Orange Beach condo units (AL)

Nearly 50 units at a condominium in Orange Beach were evacuated Wednesday.  Orange Beach city crews and the fire marshal determined that the east tower of the Wind Drift condos on Perdido Beach Blvd. is unsafe.  The city says occupants can not reenter their units until further notice.   Read the article…………………………….

Roof Replacement 101: A Project Too Vital to Put Off

Nothing lasts forever, not even your roof. While roofs have a relatively long life compared to other building systems and components, at some point they will need either partial or full replacement. Here are the facts and factors you and your community need to know when your roof’s useful life starts winding down.    Read the […]

Roof Preventative Maintenance for Multi-Family Communities

A roofing Preventative Maintenance Agreement (PMA) is a key component in property up-keep. This article will cover the basics of roof preventive maintenance: what it is, why it’s important, and what to look for with different roofing systems.  To start off, roof preventive maintenance is scheduled maintenance and cleaning designed to help maintain the overall […]

When Pipes Fail & Preventative Maintenance

When considering your piping systems, there are two main systems in question: Domestic Water Systems and Drain, Waste and Vent (DWV) Systems. Below are some signs of aging to look out for with each system, and how to best maintain them. In the event that systems fail, repiping is the primary option that can prove […]

When Should You Contact an Engineer?

When it comes to the reconstruction and restoration of HOA communities, the civil and structural engineers who make up a part of this niche market are accustomed to working behind the scenes. After all, there’s nothing high-profile and flashy about designing repair plans, pulling permits, or writing up engineering reports about potential issues within a […]

More than 80 condo buildings due for milestone inspections in Volusia County (FL)

In Volusia, county officials are preparing to implement and review milestone inspections for 86 buildings following a new state law.  Senate Bill 4–D was created in response to the collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida in 2021. The bill established milestone inspections, which assess the structural integrity of aging condominiums.   Milestone inspections are […]

Condominium RePiping: A Second Wave of Plumbing Failure (ON)

The second wave of plumbing failure has arrived. First it was Kitec, which caused chaos and floods in buildings due to the use of two dissimilar metals in the plumbing system. And now there’s another system raising eyebrows, and budget expenditures.  Although on a smaller scale, the newest pandemic in plumbing failure is epoxy-lined plumbing […]

FIU interdisciplinary team supporting federal investigation into 2021 Surfside condo collapse

A team led by the federal government continues to investigate the 2021 partial collapse of Champlain Towers South, the 12-story beachfront condominium in Surfside, Florida, that resulted in 98 deaths and multiple injuries.  Now an interdisciplinary FIU team will contribute to the search for answers into what caused the disaster, its ramifications and precautions that […]

Everything You Need to Know About Concrete Restoration Projects (FL)

At some point, every building will require concrete repairs and restoration. If you’ve ever undertaken a concrete restoration project, you’re aware of the many challenges they entail: substantial costs, lengthy time delays, irritation over hurricane shutters, windows and doors, uncooperative owners and the potential for incidental damage.     Read the article…………………………….

No threat to resident safety at Elkhorn Springs condos, new report says (ID)

Structural rot discovered last year in parts of the Elkhorn Springs condominiums in Sun Valley has not compromised residents’ safety, according to the latest investigation of the buildings.  The investigation, conducted by Seattle structural engineering firm AJP Engineering, is the latest in a series of reports on the buildings sparked by the late-2023 discovery of […]

Roof Preventative Maintenance for Multi-Family Communities

A roofing Preventative Maintenance Agreement (PMA) is a key component in property up-keep. This article will cover the basics of roof preventive maintenance: what it is, why it’s important, and what to look for with different roofing systems.  To start off, roof preventive maintenance is scheduled maintenance and cleaning designed to help maintain the overall […]

The Ariel West’s Terra Cotta Troubles (NY)

Ariel West has found that when it rains, it indeed pours. The 32-story luxury condo on Manhattan’s Upper West Side has been forced to take on the lengthy and expensive process of replacing its terra cotta rainscreen after dangerous defects appeared less than 10 years after the building’s construction. The alarm was raised in 2015, […]

NE Miami-Dade condo community deemed unsafe after failing 50-year recertification (FL)

Residents at a northeast Miami-Dade condo community are concerned after the county’s Unsafe Structures Unit declared the buildings “unsafe” for failing its 50-year recertification.  Vanessa Ortiz, a single mother of two, says she is moving out of the Jade Winds community because the conditions are too much for her to handle.    Read the article…………………………….

Navigating Financial Challenges: Structural Integrity Reserve Studies

Ensuring the structural integrity of buildings is a primary concern for community associations in Florida, where climate and weather events can pose a significant threat to buildings and their residents. Structural Integrity Reserve Studies (SIRS) address this by offering crucial insights into a building’s condition and future maintenance needs, safeguarding buildings against potential damage and […]

Post-tension cable snaps at Emerald Bay – Village says no safety concern (FL)

Village officials said Friday night they are monitoring a failure of at least one post-tension cable that snapped at the Emerald Bay condominium Friday that sent chunks of concrete flying in the luxury condominium’s garage. More than a dozen parking spaces were closed off with yellow caution tape and holes could be seen in the […]

Mastering NYC Building Codes and FISP

Welcome, Manhattan Coop and Condo Board Members! In the sphere of urban architecture and safety regulations, New York City sets the standard with its stringent building codes and standards. As stewards of your community’s safety and integrity, understanding these regulations, particularly the Façade Inspection Safety Program (FISP), is paramount. Let’s dive into this informative explainer […]

New videos released as officials give update on Surfside condo collapse investigation

Engineers studying the June 2021 collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium building in Surfside are releasing portions of video that confirm the sequence of visible events, but still cannot say whether the failure that triggered the collapse – what they call the “initiating event” – occurred out of sight, including in the pool deck, […]

When has a Condominium Building Reached the End of its Service Life? (CA)

If you read the earlier installments of this series, you know that the service lives of condominium buildings are shortened by inspection, maintenance, and funding failures. Recognizing when a building may begin to reach the end of its service life may be easy or hard, depending on the type of failure. A catastrophic failure by […]

Demolition Underway at Deteriorating Condo Building in Coral Springs (FL)

Demolition is underway of a decrepit condominium in Coral Springs, despite a request from a potential investor to save the building.  In 2021, the city declared the former Villa Bianca condominium at 3990 Woodside Drive to be unsafe, leading to the relocation of residents in 15 of the 16 units.    Read the article…………………………….