The following article, along with additional online content, has been approved for one hour of continuing education by the DBPR. All of our readers are welcome to apply for one CEU hour at no cost, and FCAP members have access to all five CEU hours. In order to appropriate the hours, read the articles and then go to www.fcapschools.com/ceu and click on the appropriate course number to complete the process.
By Carole Inman / Published July 2016
Your aquatic professional team is very familiar with algae because these primitive aquatic plants are common to nearly all Florida waterways all year long. Together, we can all take measures to keep algae under control.
A—Algae forms on the bottom of ponds and is brought to the surface by the oxygen it produces. It converts the sun’s energy into a form that can be useful to other aquatic life but destroys the natural beauty of a waterway. The most commonly seen algae is called filamentous. There are different types of algae that are referred to as “pond moss’’ or “pond scum.” When there are a lot of algae present, it is often called a “bloom,” and green algae will appear.
L—Landscapers can help to control algae. Your aquatic professional will recommend the following preventative measures:
• It is recommended that you use a phosphorus-free variety of fertilizer, and do not use the product within 10 feet of the shoreline. Rain can wash the fertilizer into the water, which feeds any unwanted growth. If you must fertilize within the 10 feet, it is recommended that a liquid fertilizer be used that can be quickly absorbed.
• Let your landscapers know not to blow grass clippings or yard debris near or into the water where they can put nutrients into the water. During the summer rainy season, the grass will be mowed more often, which is why your landscaper plays a part in the overall plan to keep algae at bay.
G—Growth can be accelerated when nutrients get into the waterways from rain that runs off dirt roads, canals, and streets. One day you have a clean waterway, and the next day algae can appear and spread. Algae can double in size every four hours.
A—Algae are active all year and need full sun and nutrients to grow. Growth really accelerates in the hotter months, especially when the water levels are low. The months are warming up in Florida, and it is the rainy season. Rainfall actually helps with algae control. As the rain falls, it helps to break up the algae and make the water cooler. This slows down any growth and fills up the ponds so the water doesn’t get as hot and encourage blooms.
E—The effort coming from your aquatic team may suggest planting native plants along the shoreline. These plants will absorb the nutrients before they can get into the water and fertilize unwanted vegetation and seedlings. These flowering plants will also add beauty to the landscape. The most commonly recommended plants are Arrowhead, Pickerel, and Canna. There is no way to completely prevent algae from growing, but a team effort with your aquatic professionals, landscaper, native plants, and Mother Nature will help to keep it at bay.
Carole Inman is with Aquatic Weed Control at (800) 543-6694, www.aquaticweedcontrol.net.
By Connie Lorenz / Published July 2016
Congratulations to the board of directors and communities who are the proud owners of newly rejuvenated pavement. Though everyone is proud of their forward-thinking community, no one knows what to do now! First off, there is a hopeful assumption that you are using a true oil-based asphalt rejuvenator like Pavement Dressing Conditioner (PDC) and not just some over-glorified sealcoat. True rejuvenators are easily recognized, as they appear shiny, wet, and streaky for the first 90 days while the material is curing.
The streakiness is usually the first thing everyone notices, and usually it is a cause for concern. Calm down and take a deep breath because that’s what true asphalt rejuvenators do when first applied. Rejuvenators are oil-based and have to penetrate the pavement in order to condition the binders. Because some areas are more compacted than others, like where the rubber meets the road, these areas will take longer for the material to penetrate and cure than others. Therefore, when the contractors say it could take up to 90 days to cure, they don’t mean to dry, but rather they mean to even out the aesthetic appeal. By the way, rain will help cure your pavement faster because water is heavier than oil.
If there is any striping on property, the contractor should not replace it until seven to ten days after the treatment is applied. He does this to allow for the material to cure and to help communities avoid having to restripe sooner. Asphalt rejuvenators will “pull in” the paint if striped too early, so waiting a little longer will actually produce better results.
What now? Nothing, that’s it for at least one year! True rejuvenators are designed to preserve your pavement and protect it from fluid spills, UV damage, and oxidation and are recommended to be applied every three to five years when ready, not as needed. That means you don’t just apply them because you want your roadways black, but you have to wait until they are ready to receive another treatment. Also know that when using an asphalt rejuvenator, each application lasts longer than the last one.
After a year has gone by, it’s time to review your asphalt to determine if any issues have arisen that need to be addressed. Tree root damage, water damage, and other things that can impact your asphalt and subbase must be looked at annually to ensure your cap stays in the best condition possible. After three years, you perform this review again and also look to see if the asphalt is ready for another application. You may get as much as five years out of your first treatment, but you most likely will get seven to eight years out of your next treatment, and eight to ten years out of a third treatment! Follow these simple guidelines and your asphalt cap should remain in the best possible condition for years to come.
Connie Lorenz is with Asphalt Restoration Technology Systems at (800) 254-4732, www.asphaltnews.com.
By Mariann Gerwig, GC, HI, CAM, CAM CEU Instructor, and Licensed Realtor / Published July 2016
• Have management and maintenance personnel perform visual inspections of all existing conditions. A written report of these inspections should be maintained.
• Create a list of needed maintenance items. These items should be performed in a timely manner.
• Create a list of improvements that would improve the appearance and value of the property. These items may require membership votes and considerably more planning than maintenance items.
• Create and/or review reserve funds, and evaluate if they will be adequate for anticipated expenses.
• Create a proactive mindset rather than wait until something becomes an emergency.
With very little effort, you can train all employees to be visually inspecting common elements whenever they are walking around your property. However, you should have regularly scheduled, extensive visual inspections done by management and maintenance staff. This should include the entire building and grounds, from the roof down to the garage and everything in between.
Detailed records showing the date, the person doing the inspection, location of inspection, and what they may have discovered need to be maintained. The report should also include the areas that were visually inspected and no issues were found. This can help you determine when any new issue started.
Additionally, it is recommended that associations hire a structural engineer to perform an inspection of the building every few years. The engineer can find issues that are not visible but can be causing serious structural problems to the property.
Maintenance items such as crack repairs, stucco repairs, and exterior painting should be performed on a regular basis. It is recommended that a qualified painting contractor perform this work, so the work is warrantied.
Irrigation is another area that can end up costing you more if a qualified contractor does not do it.
This does not minimize the importance of having a full-time maintenance person on staff. He is usually the person who knows the most about the building and is also available full time to address emergencies that may arise.
Each year more and more states are implementing requirements for reserves on projects greater than $10,000. It is highly recommended that a formally documented reserve study be done to plan for future repair and maintenance of all major common area elements. Someone other than the association management should do these studies. However, the association management would play an important role in the analysis regarding the development, review, and application of the analysis. This is where having a list of improvements helps to plan and create reserve funds to pay for them. Owners would rather pay a little each month for these projects rather than pay large assessments.
Reserves should also be set up for emergency repairs that may arise. Normal dues are based on the annual budget to run the association. Reserves are for special projects, replacement of equipment, emergencies, etc.
Mariann Gerwig, GC, HI, CAM, CAM CEU Instructor, and Licensed Realtor is with Carousel Development & Restoration Inc. at (561) 272-3700, www.CDRI.net.
By Donny Morelock / Published July 2016
We paint our buildings to protect and beautify. Painting on a regular cycle will lead to reduced wood repair and reduced concrete and stucco repair of damage, which if left untreated will lead to very costly structural repairs. The ability to show prospective buyers of units in your buildings that there is an ongoing maintenance plan implemented for the exterior of the building coupled with the updating of color schemes will increase the unit value to the owners in your building compared to other buildings in the area.
Fact: Painting is a form of waterproofing.
Fact: Paint will become chalky at the end of its useful life, letting us know it is time to paint. Some degree of chalking is normal and can be a desirable way for a paint film to wear.
What is chalk? It is a powdery residue on painted exterior surfaces. When this chemistry is happening, the paint sheen will become duller, and the paint film will get thinner. Chalking can cause color fading.
• Local paint manufacturer representative: In almost all cases, he will give you a free, honest assessment of your current paint to include a timeline on when you need to budget your upcoming exterior paint job. He will also provide you a paint specification detailing the scope of work needed so you can get apples-to-apples proposals from your favorite painting contractors.
• Painting contractor: A trusted or highly-recommended paint contractor is another free resource for annual or bi-annual inspections of your current building conditions. He will alert you to chalky paint; excessive stucco cracking; wood rot; damaged waterproof caulking at windows, expansion joints, etc.
It should be noted that if you have ongoing waterproofing issues or any signs of structural issues, then it is recommended that you contact a trusted or highly recommended engineering firm.
Reasons to paint now:
• Existing paint becomes excessively chalky
• Color starts to fade
• Maintenance inspection reveals excessive stucco cracks, wood or concrete issues, damaged waterproof caulking, etc.
• Extensive repairs were recently made to the building
• Owners want to update the colors
• Existing paint job is out of warranty. This is usually on a 7 or 10 year cycle.
• Inspect your building regularly.
• Perform repairs when they present themselves—do not wait.
• Be proactive and not reactive to save dollars.
If you practice this, you will save the owners thousands and thousands of dollars over the years.
Donny Morelock is with CPR (Concrete Painting & Restoration at (727) 939-9393, www.CPRpainting.net.
By Stella Amador / Published July 2016
Roofing industry sources indicate that with proper roof maintenance, building owners can increase the longevity of their roof system by as much as 30–40 percent. The presence or absence of preventive maintenance influences the life span and energy savings performance of a roof system. A preventive roof maintenance program should be in place as soon as a roof is completed, and it should be budge-ted and monitored along with the overall building maintenance program.
• Extend the life of your roof by five to seven years
• Lower yearly repair costs significantly
• Prevent future leaks
• Protect the interest of tenants
• Increase the value of your property
Additionally, most roofing material manufacturers require roofing maintenance on a yearly basis to uphold their warranty. It is usually in small print under the “conditions” or “customer obligations” or some similarly named portion of the warranty. Like buying a new car, the manufacturer requires annual maintenance be performed and documented by an “authorized” or “certified” company with that manufacturer. Ideally, once you purchase a new roof and you are given a warranty, the company that installed the roof should provide a maintenance agreement and explain the benefits and your obligations as a new roof owner.
The latter is a crucial step that may be easily overlooked; however, the right maintenance plan will ensure that your investment is protected. The key to saving money is to monitor your investment closely by reviewing the maintenance reports as they are done and having clear documentation that satisfies the manufacturer requirements. Each manufacturer provides their guidelines and some have their own forms and record-keeping requirements.
Another scenario is if your roof is aging and has not been proactively maintained, what are your options? The most important thing to look for is an expert opinion from a roofing contractor that specializes in roofing maintenance (not all do)—preferably, one that is “certified” by the roofing material manufacturer. They will be able to provide a roof condition report explaining the immediate and future areas to address along with a proposal to do so. The idea is to make the major repairs needed now and follow up with a comprehensive maintenance plan for the remainder of the life of the roof.
It is important to note that roofing maintenance can be done on most roofing systems unless the roof has been severely neglected, is damaged, contains excessive moisture, or has reached the end of its protective life. However, with proper maintenance, your roof should exceed its expected life span and provide additional protective years.
Stella Amador is with Florida Quality Roofing at (305) 306-7663, www.floridaqualityroofing.com.