Editor’s note: This month, experts share how communities can take care of their grounds and building exterior. / Published March 2016
By Dan Bozone
Where you see a few dozen bats, several hundred live close by. Left unattended, colonies can grow into the tens of thousands. They only need a very small gap—as little as half an inch—to squeeze themselves into the structure of a building. Ironically, a large opening is less likely to attract them since their predators can also enter such areas. Bats are nocturnal and are generally very shy and docile. They can live for 30–35 years and can consume their own body weight in small flying insects in a single evening.
In Florida, all species of bats are protected from being harmed because of their great importance to the balance of our ecosystem and their unmatched contribution to managing the mosquito population. This legislation applies year round. However, because bats can also pose some potentially serious health risks to people when they take up residence in homes and commercial buildings alike, experts such as Friends Of Bats are permitted to perform humane exclusions during much of the year. Their removal and exclusion methodologies ensure that the animals leave the premises safely and guarantees that the bats can’t return.
Aside from health concerns, the primary cause for exclusions is because of staining on buildings, the build-up of significant guano deposits (droppings), and the odor emanating from such deposits, as well as from the urine and the bats themselves. The urea in their waste products is very corrosive, creating structural damage over time.
For more information on Friends of Bats, visit www.friendsofbats.com
By Blake Morrow
There are many factors that can affect the quality of your waterways, such as invasive species, sediment build-up, shoreline erosion, lawn fertilizer run-off, and much more. What can you do to help? There are several best management practices that can keep your waterways as healthy as possible. It is important to educate homeowners and community managers about the hazards of over fertilization and proper lawn maintenance best practices, such as limiting fertilizer, using zero-phosphorus fertilizer, restricting fertilizing within 50 feet of your waterway, and reducing or eliminating the use of pesticides on your lawn and garden.
Another important practice is establishing and maintaining a shoreline buffer zone of native vegetation. This shoreline buffer helps prevent erosion, and it filters the runoff from stormwater and over fertilization. This area also acts as a critical habitat for fish and wildlife. Another recommended practice is the installation of an aeration system to increase the dissolved oxygen and water circulation in your waterway.
Created and preserved wetlands must be maintained to meet specific standards set forth by federal, state, county, and city regulations. Because they are to be preserved and allowed to grow unhindered, these areas cannot be cut, trimmed, or manicured like landscaped areas.
Another exciting best practice added to Lake & Wetland’s service list comes with the addition of Weedoo® Workboats. These workboats provide the ability to mechanically cut and harvest emergent, submerged, and floating vegetation, as well as maintain littoral zone aquatic plants and algae. These amazing workboats can cut plants underwater down to five feet and remove the plant material from the water thereby reducing nutrient recycling, which will help prevent future algal blooms and invasive aquatic plants. With the Weedoo Workboats, the amount of herbicides and algaecides typically used to combat algal blooms and invasive aquatic plants in our waterways can be reduced.
For more information on Lake & Wetland Management, visit www.lakeandwetland.com.
By John Browne and Micah Valladares
Roofs and Exterior Paint: Replacing roofs or repainting a few years earlier than needed is unnecessarily expensive. To help you maximize the life or your roofs and your paint, we’ve put together some ideas to keep in mind.
Roof Maintenance: Proper maintenance includes regular inspections and periodic cleaning/roof stain prevention. Since roof cleaning is one of the leading causes of roof damage in Florida, many communities are moving to preventing roof stains and eliminating the need for cleaning. Communities are realizing that prevention saves unnecessary wear and tear on the roofs and there are products/services that can do it cost-effectively.
Note: High Pressure and strong concentrations of bleach are not good ideas. They can damage roof fixtures—boots, valleys, flashings, etc.—the places where roofs are most likely to leak anyway. Using strong bleach is also hazardous to the environment and can void your warranties.
Pressure Cleaning: A lot of effort usually goes into selecting the best quality paint, but not enough effort goes into learning how to maximize the life of the paint. Excellent paint jobs can be easily ruined and warranties voided by improper cleaning.
Proper cleaning consists of an application of a mild bleach solution—strong enough to kill mold and algae but not strong enough to have an adverse effect on painted surfaces, window framing, or landscaping—and a high-volume/low pressure rinse. A common mistake by inexperienced contractors is to clean with high pressure. Professionals understand that “pressure cuts, volume cleans.”
For more information on Roof-A-Cide, visit www.roof-a-cide.com. Micah Valladares is with Integrity Pressure Cleaning.
By Orlando E. Ballate, PE
In Florida, parking garages have historically experienced premature and severe corrosion-related structural deterioration due to the aggressive environment of coastal climates with sea water and salt air. A structural repair and rehabilitation program to restore structural integrity can cost millions of dollars, thus posing a financial hardship to owners and associations. That is why responsible association boards and property managers are developing and implementing garage maintenance programs to ensure safety and long-term durability. One dollar invested in preventive maintenance can save as much as 20 dollars in future expenses, in addition to avoiding the interruption that repairs cause to building occupants and operations.
The first step in the development of a comprehensive garage maintenance program is a condition appraisal of the facility by a professional engineer experienced in parking structures. The program must be tailored to your parking garage and take into consideration such factors as type and age of construction, quality of materials, and exposure. The garage maintenance program should include routine, preventive, and repair/replacement maintenance.
Based on my professional experience with existing parking garages, a budget should be $400–$500 per car per year excluding standard operating management, such as housekeeping, security, and utilities. Therefore, take care of your garage, and you will enjoy a safe parking experience.
For more information on The Falcon Group, visit www.thefalcongroup.us.
By Donny Morelock
IMPORTANCE OF IDENTIFYING and FIXING A WATERPROOFING ISSUE EARLY
What everyone needs to realize is that while waterproofing is a preventative method of protecting your building, it is an ongoing process that must include both a proactive and a reactive building maintenance plan. With the harsh weather conditions Florida has, extremely high humidity for long periods of time; extreme sunlight, which extracts moisture from even the best urethane waterproofing caulking material, most buildings are built with dissimilar materials (example: block and stucco base with the second or third floor being wood framed).
WHAT IS THE LEADING CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM (just to name a few)
• Lack of having a waterproofing plan (Include waterproofing in your 7–10 year re-paint cycle)
• Improper materials used (Ex: using a silicone caulk when a urethane was necessary)
• Not addressing the problem immediately (Look for signs from your building: extreme white chalkiness present, excessive buildup of algae or mold, visible cracks in the stucco, reports of leaks, etc.)
• Improper construction when originally built
Use both preventative maintenance and reactive maintenance in your building asset protection plan
• Preventative maintenance
• Inspect your building regularly
• Perform repairs when they present themselves (Do not wait)
If you practice this, you will save the owners thousands and thousands of dollars over the years regarding damage caused by water intrusion.
For more information on CPR (Concrete Painting & Restoration LLC, visit www.CPRpainting.net.