Preventing or Reducing Problem in Existing Condos

Preventive measures and good maintenance practices can reduce the risk of the types of problems described above. These measures will cost more money now but will most likely save a lot more money down the road. Here are a few tips:

  1. Have your building thoroughly inspected on a regular basis. For example: before the developer turns the building over to the home owners association, before the end of any warrantee period, and then at least every 5 years. These inspection must include some of the interior surfaces, window frames, private decks and other elements that might show issues with association responsibilities like the exterior envelope.
  2. Hire a very good property management firm to maintain you condominium complex. Don't hire the least expensive outfit. Hire the best!
  3. If you do find problems, avoid partial fixes. For example, if the siding has failed, chances are that you will have to modify some related elements. You may have to change the flashing or roof lines.
  4. Many of the problems with condominium buildings are complicated and involve design mistakes, installation mistakes, material failures, poor maintenance and delayed analysis. I see too many corrective steps that don't address these problems in a comprehensive manner and result in more exterior envelope failure.
  5. Don't even think about replacing EIFS, stucco, wood composite, and vinyl siding with the same stuff. The newer version of the failed systems may be a bit better than the stuff that failed but there are simply too many cases with multiple failures (see item #4 above).
  6. Work with your fellow home owners to solve these problems. You may have purchased a condominium in order to reduce your involvement in the maintenance of your home. That was a pipe dream.