Nothing can turn a good property investment into a nightmare faster than discovering serious code violations that require unplanned and expensive repairs. The trouble usually starts with tenant complaints. When tenant complaints are ignored or poorly managed with substandard repairs, these situations can quickly snowball into major code enforcement violations, fines, accidents, evacuations, loss of life, litigation and even criminal negligence.
The building codes are different in every town, city, county and state. They are living, breathing documents that continue to change as new materials, products and construction techniques continue to evolve. Other contributors to changes in building codes are more subtle, such as socially recognizing that people with special needs must have equitable access or the true consequences of natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes and earthquakes. Continue reading
You may have read our post on stabilizing seawalls a few months ago. But what about raising them?
As ocean levels begin to rise due to global warming, it will become more common to raise seawalls to help combat flooding during high tides.
Seawalls help prevent erosion of land area or damage to structures by placing a barrier between the sea and land. This helps prevent damage to structures from wind, wave and tidal forces. Typically, seawalls are curved or flat-facing, and can be built using gravity retaining walls, cantilever retaining walls, and pile-supported retaining walls. Seawalls are usually constructed of concrete, but in the past stone was used due to its durability. Stone is also used as rip-rap in front of seawalls to prevent or minimize scour as well as reducing wave energy. Continue reading
Hurricane image courtesy pixabay.com
As we get closer to California’s rainy season, which is usually between November and March, meteorologists are warning of a record-breaking El Niño. El Niño is a warm weather pattern that can cause heavy rain in the Pacific Ocean and surrounding land masses, such as the Pacific Rim countries, including portions of the Western United States.
Over the last six months, California has experienced several major rainstorms. While this has been great for our rain-deprived residents, it’s wreaked havoc on the parched landscape created by the state’s record drought. In fact, the drought has caused the soils to dry out, leading to surface cracks that will fill with rainwater. Continue reading
HOA Maintenance Image Courtesy Pixabay.com
When you live in a Homeowner’s Association (HOA), you get some great perks, such as an HOA maintenance team. Some associations also boast parks and pools, full-service yard care. The maintenance teams usually keep those facilities in great condition. If you’re not familiar with how these associations can afford offer these benefits, they typically collect a monthly fee from all residents within the association. Usually agreement to pay these fees is a prerequisite to purchasing a home within the association’s communities.
HOA’s often include homes or condominiums in their communities. We’ve recently been working with condo-based associations that are having difficulties with keeping up their HOA maintenance programs. Continue reading
Image courtesy Pixabay.com
For those who live on a coastline, the sea can be a beautiful sight to wake up to. But as beautiful as it is, its awesome power can be harsh on manmade structures. Unfortunately, you can’t always see the damage before it is too late. Periodic engineering inspections can prevent many problems.
People have worked tirelessly to keep back the elements of the ocean and improve the safety of homes exposed to it. One of the first lines of defense is the bulkhead, or seawall. The use of seawalls goes back thousands of years. Did you know there were seawalls during the time of Constantine I and Byzantium? Things have come a long way since then.
Aftermath of a roof collapse – image courtesy of pixabay.com
A roof collapse can be sudden, dangerous, and devastating. Often, excessive loads can be the cause of a collapse. These loads can be weather related, involving things such as heavy snow or pooling rainwater. Another cause may be improper roof repair, such as failure to remove shingles or tiles when re-roofing or repairing leaks.
Roofs are typically designed to support their own weight (consisting of framing members, sheathing, and roofing materials), plus the weight of expected live loads. Live loads consist of people who might need to walk on the roof to service equipment or to perform roof repairs, and the estimated weight of ponded rain (if the roofs are flat), and accumulated snow (if the building is in a snow area). Each of these conditions must be considered in the design of the supporting members. One problem that is particular to flat roofs is the deformation of roofing support members that can cause water to pond on the roof. Once the water begins to pond, the framing members deflect more, which leads to more ponding, which leads to more deformation. An unstable condition is created in these roofs that can eventually lead to collapse of the roof. Continue reading
Landslide mitigation can help in areas prone to landslides, such as in Malibu, California. Image Courtesy Pixabay.com
The city of Malibu is one of California’s most beautiful coastal destinations. Located along the famed Pacific Coast Highway, the area is framed by the Pacific Ocean as well as the Santa Monica Mountains.
While coastal zones and properties are highly desirable, they can be difficult to build on. In part, this is due to erosion, rainfall, soil composition, and poor grading. Malibu has steep, clay slopes that are prone to landslides. Continue reading
Rainfall image courtesy pixabay.com
In the last several weeks Southern California has received much needed rain, helping to alleviate the state’s drought conditions. It’s critically important to our ecosystem that we get enough rainfall each year. However, it can be devastating to property owners and to public areas, especially if a property is not properly prepared to handle large amounts of it. Areas of concern can range from water intrusion into buildings to unstable slopes becoming mud slides. Continue reading
Water pipe image courtesy of pixabay.com.
Without water most foundation problems would not exist. If you experience rapid foundation movement and the sudden appearance of cracks and separations, it may be time to call a plumber. This is especially true if the evidence of movement is near bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. Leaks can occur in pressurized plumbing lines, most often in hot water lines. Have you noticed warmth coming from your slab floor, or sudden spikes in your gas or water bills? These can be symptoms of a hot water leak. Sewer lines can also leak. Tree root intrusions are one of the most common problems associated with a leaking sewer line. Continue reading