DO YOU MANAGE A TOWNHOUSE OR CONDO COMMUNITY IN ILLINOIS?
As a property manager, I am sure you work diligently to ensure occupant safety and protect your firm and the association from liability.
Today, I want to share some often overlooked aspects of townhome and condominium community management that might save you some headaches!
INSPECT TO PROTECT
When was the last time you conducted a thorough attic inspection of all the units in the complex? I asked because we frequently get called out to correct problems in communities that are often avoidable.
Typical problems we see include insufficient insulation, minimal ventilation, and improper exhaust of bathroom fans and dryer vents.
We see many attics that are not properly insulated. In addition to increased utility costs for occupants, insufficient insulation can also lead to moisture-related issues, mold, and ice dams that, over time, can ravage the roof and adjoining structures.
Many multi-family units also have insufficient attic ventilation, with minimal air intake and limited air exhaust capabilities. Cross ventilation is key to minimizing moisture build-up and mold prevention. Typically these problems are found in older communities, as new regulations cover insulation and ventilation requirements.
IMPROPERLY INSTALLED BATHROOM EXHAUST FAN & DRYER EXHAUST DUCT
We often see this problem, both with older communities and some relatively new complexes; bathroom fans and/or dryer vents that exhaust into the attic space instead of outdoors.
Bathroom fans pull warm, moist air from the bathroom up into the attic space. The moisture then settles on roof structures. Over time moisture will deteriorate the wood and often lead to mold growth that can quickly spread.
Dryer exhaust tubes that vent into the attic not only push warm moist air into the attic space but lint is also forced into the attic, gathering on surfaces creating a fire hazard as well.
Not too long ago, I worked with an Association in West Suburban Dupage county. The property management company was being threatened with a lawsuit by a town homeowner due to mold discovered in their attic.
We were called in to rectify the situation. During our inspection, we discovered two bathroom fans had been exhausting into the attic, and the dryer exhaust tape used to connect a length of the dryer duct had deteriorated. The tube was split open, allowing moist air and lint to fill the attic space each time the homeowner used the dryer. Over time, the moisture from both resulted in mold growth that spread through the attic, jeopardizing the indoor air quality of living spaces below.
If you manage an older community, it may be time to incorporate attic inspections and current code upgrades into your community maintenance list. Doing so may circumvent trouble, including litigation. And while you may be on the right side of the law due to building codes at the time of build-out, proving this, as you know, is still an expense to be avoided.
If you are unsure how to proceed with such a project, call us for a free consultation and guidance for your specific community. Be sure to ask for me, Cory Thomas, when you call!