Homeowner’s Association (HOA) Property Maintenance: Who Should You Trust?

Homeowner’s Association Property Maintenance – It’s Not Buy it and Forget it

property maintenance HOA inlet repair - sweeping.com
A storm inlet repair. A HOA has the resources to arrange for this complicated repair.

People work hard throughout their lives with a particular goal in mind. Some want their every desire fulfilled which they could not while they were young. Some want to travel the world and enjoy different cultures. Some want to fulfill their craze of cars that they have had since they were children. Some want to spend their lives peacefully with their loved ones in a house they always dreamt of buying.

The thing about buying a house, however, is that it’s not like once you buy a house, you are done with it. You have to keep it maintained, repaired and clean. This doesn’t just apply to single properties, but also other commercial properties as well.

This is not an easy task, as many people find out with their first experience of home ownership. If you are also one of those individuals who want their property properly managed and maintained but prefer NOT to the job yourself, then a community with a Homeowners Association (HOA) is a good fit for you.

There are many responsibilities that HOA’s do for you to maintain your property, including lawn maintenance, shrub trimming, power washing, concrete repair, street and parking lot cleaning, and possibly many other tasks.

When you put HOA in charge of maintaining your properties, there are some established rules that resident need to follow. Not respecting these rules could lead to fines which the violator will have to pay.

Property Maintenance – Who is Responsible for What?

parking lot paving condominium - sweeping.com
Parking lot paving. Another project that is better managed by a HOA.

The scope and extent of responsibility for property maintenance adopted by a HOA can be influenced by the type of real estate ownership established in the community.  There are three basic types of ownership for communities who establish a HOA:

Fee Simple 

In this type of ownership, the homeowners own the structure and property. Some communities establish a HOA to maintain any common elements such as playgrounds, storm drain basins or landscaped entries, however in the majority of fee simple communities, the homeowner is generally responsible for doing the property maintenance work on his or her own home.

Condominium 

In this type of ownership, the land is owned in partnership with others who live in the homes on the property. The owner of the structure is the homeowner. When it comes to property maintenance responsibilities, they are distributed between the HOA and the individual property owners.  The HOA is usually responsible for exterior property maintenance, and the homeowners are generally responsible for the structure.  The property maintenance responsibilities do vary significantly in these communities.

Co-Op 

The property in this type of ownership is owned by a corporation. If you buy such a property, you are actually buying shares of the corporation. The residents are generally free of maintenance responsibilities in this type of ownership.

Property Maintenance – Making the Right Decision

community sweeping - sweeping.com
Community street sweeping. Definitely a HOA responsibility.

The aim of mentioning the types of ownership is to help you understand the responsibilities of maintaining a property, whether it is your personal, or a business property.  If maintaining a property is not something you want to do, you can partner with an experienced property maintenance company who will:

  • Save time – Finding someone who could care for all the needs of your property can be a tiring task. You will either find someone who can repair concrete and not trim bushes, or someone who can trim bushes and not repair concrete. Instead of wasting time searching for people who perform different tasks, the Home Owners Association (HOA) will contract and manage all of these responsibilities.
  • Reduce Stress – Maintaining a property can be stressful. Some people can hardly maintain one house, maintaining several is way over their heads. So instead of stressing about how you will handle the maintenance of several properties, let a HOA do its job.
  • Save Money – One of the top reasons for living in a community with a HOA is that you will be able to save money. Think about it yourself. If you hire different people for each property maintenance task, you end up spending more money. Instead, hire one company that does all the tasks, in a much lesser amount.

Property Maintenance – Finding a Trusted Partner?

Are you involved with a Homeowners Association Board? Do you need a trusted partner to help with property management responsibilities?

C & L Services is a third generation family owned property maintenance company. We have been providing property maintenance services to real estate developers, commercial property owners and communities in New Jersey for over forty years.

Our services include community sweepingpavement maintenanceseal coating, and line striping.

We can give your property the attention needs and keep your residents happy.

If you’re in North Jersey, Contact us at 908-730-7884.  If you’re in Central New Jersey call us at 732-886-1940 to arrange for HOA property maintenance.

Shopping Center Inlet Repair – The Pros and Cons of Postponing Repairs

Shopping Center Inlet repair –  When Is The Right Time? 

Timing is everything. There really is a best time to do most anything.  

When you see a crack in your windshield, it’s best that you have an auto glass specialist look at it immediately and repair it before it turns into a broken window. Timing is everything.

Or if you hear about bad weather, getting the rain gear or snow shovels out so you are prepared for whatever is needed for access to your stores. Timing is everything.

When it comes to Shopping Center inlet repairs, if you notice cracks or depressions that weren’t there before,  it might be a good time to have somebody look at it. Timing is everything.

Shopping Center Inlet Repair – What is a Shopping Center Inlet

Shopping Center Inlet Repair - sweeping.com
Typical shopping center inlet repair

A standard shopping center inlet has a perforated or slotted metal grate embedded into the pavement.

The grate covers a below-ground concrete structure. This inlet allows rain and storm water  to drain into the structure to keep a parking lot from flooding.

Shopping center inlets have a variety of names and are also known as storm drain, storm sewer, surface water drain/sewer, or stormwater drain.

What Can Go Wrong With A Shopping Center Inlet?

The most obvious issue for shopping center inlets is if they get clogged, it causes a flood.  The simple resolution is to remove the debris clogging the drain (usually leaves or paper) and the water drains.

Regular maintenance usually prevents this from happening, however if the shopping center is close to a heavily wooded area or if a recent event has generated a lot of paper (flyers, tickets or banners for a political rally) the inlets in the parking lot can create and unexpected blockage.

shopping center inlet collapse - sweeping.com
An inlet that has dropped approximately six inches from previous position with very poor repair efforts. Unsafe and unsightly.

The more costly and potentially unsafe issues can occur when a shopping center inlet begins to deteriorate.

If water seeps in between the pavement and the inlet apron, this can cause erosion of the sub-strata and the collapse of the pavement surrounding the inlet.

Several potential issues can result.  The first is the pavement becomes unsightly.   Visible cracks and deterioration are evident around the inlet and it appears neglected.

The second issue is the pavement becomes unstable and unsafe.  An individual driving (or even walking) on the pavement surrounding the inlet can cause it to collapse and damage the vehicle or cause injury to a pedestrian.

The final issue is complete inlet collapse.  The pavement around the inlet collapses and the infrastructure of the inlet disintegrates.  This creates a major inlet rehabilitation project at a substantial cost.

What kind of shopping center inlet repairs can be done?

In many cases the asphalt perimeter of a storm basin can be repaired so the inlet is returned to its intended purpose, to drain stormwater.

If the catch basin if the inlet has been damaged, it will need to be replaced.

Both projects require specialized expertise for asphalt and concrete repair as well as the administrative expertise needed to coordinate engineers and local officials for construction permits.

What Are The Pros of Waiting?

There are actually no pros to waiting.  Although it may appear that costs savings are achieved by waiting, the actual costs may be much higher if preventative maintenance is deferred.

It is much less expensive to continuously inspect and prevent shopping center inlets so problems can be “nipped in the bud” compare to replacing asphalt.

And replacing asphalt is much less expensive than replacing a shopping center inlet (requiring engineering, permit and possibly traffic fees).

What Are the Cons of Waiting?

As we mentioned above, timing is everything.  The longer you wait for shopping center inlet repair, the higher the cost will be.  The costs range from simple asphalt repair costs to major construction costs (and the most dreaded possible lawsuits).

Timing is everything, don’t postpone your decision to conduct shopping center inlet repairs.

Do you have a shopping center inlet that needs repair?

C & L Services is a third generation family owned property maintenance company. We have been providing inlet repair services to shopping centers, commercial property owners and communities in New Jersey for over forty years.

Our services include inlet repairconcrete repair, asphalt repair, and pavement maintenance.

We can give your property the attention needs and keep your residents happy.

If you’re in North Jersey, Contact us at 908-730-7884.  If you’re in Central New Jersey call us at 732-886-1940 to arrange for shopping center inlet repair.

 

Inlet Repair – Why You Should Fix Your Storm Drain Inlet

Inlet Repair – Functions of storm water inlets

inlet repair - sweeping.comStorm water drains have different names. Whether they are called curb inlets, drop inlets or drain inlets, they are all the same thing.

Storm water inlets drain storm water runoff and diverts it to underground piping. This prevents flooding and diverts water to basins or waterways designed to manage storm water.

Inlet repair – Sinkholes and their links to drainage structures

You may have noticed that sinkholes sometimes appear around storm water drains. One of the major causes of sinkholes around storm water drains is structure leakage.

This happens when the seams around the structure begins to leak through water intrusion. The degree of the leakage increases over time if not fixed. The materials used in the joints between the pipes will gradually deteriorate and the leaks will become wider. This process of sealing pipe joints is known as parging.

It is important to note that postponing an inlet repair will result in significantly higher repair costs. Since leakage points will deteriorate and widen, the sinkholes will gradually get deeper and also more expensive to repair.

In other words, the longer you ignore leaking structures and an inlet repair project the more you increase your costs in two ways – repairing the leaks and filling the sinkholes. Once you notice a sinkhole, no matter how small, immediately contact inlet repair experts to find the cause and fix it before it becomes a full inlet collapse.

Inlet Repair – More Causes and Consequences

Another cause of sinkholes or leaks in the drain structures is the settlement of the adjacent soil. When the ground begins to sink, the drain structure could shift out of position. This could lead to leaks since the shifting frequently stretches the sealing materials. Apart from leaks or leakages, shifting can also cause cracking or breakage of the joints. This also leads to inlet collapse.

The speed at which leakages turn to sinkholes depends on a couple of factors. First of all, the volume of water flowing through the drain or flowing into the drain plays a prominent role in this. The higher the volume of water passing through the drains the faster the buildup of sinkholes.

The second factor is the size of the leaks. Larger leaks lead to larger volumes of water intrusion and accelerated deterioration.

Here is  detailed article on the causes of inlet failure – Concrete Repair: Why Inlets Collapse and What To Do About It

Inlet Repair – How to fix leaks in storm water structures

Although this is not the most effective effective solution, the first intervention to fill up sinkholes with an aggregate of gravel or soil. This just treats the symptom, not the root causes..

Generally the filler material does not stop the sinkholes from getting bigger. Once the filler materials have washed away, the sinkholes will reappear and the cycle of adding filler materials begins again. The permant solution to sinkholes and in order to prevent a costly inlet collapse, you must complete a thorough inlet repair.

Filling sinkholes without any inlet repair is just like refilling a leaking bucket with water. If you don’t plug the leakage, filling it up with more water will just be temporary. After a short period, depending on how big the leakage is, the water level would drop again.

Some people prefer to install additional parging on the leaks and this also works for a short period. During the cold days of winter some drains and pipes freeze and this increases the chances of parging failure. So, additional parging can only work for a short period.

The best and most effective solution to leakages of storm water drainage structures is to seal all the leaks in the joints one after another. After which you can then fill up the sinkholes. However, this method can only be effective if the stormdrain repair is done with the right sealing materials by experienced stormdrain repair experts.

Do you have an inlet in need of concrete repair?  Is your inlet sagging, cracked or not operating properly?  Call us at 609-886-1940.  We’ll be glad to assess your needs and guide you to the proper inlet repair.