HELPFUL HINTS FOR HOMEOWNERS††††††††††††† ÖApril 1995
Dear Homeowner and/or Resident:
With the cost of everything as high as it is today, it's good to know that a bit of preventive maintenance of your unit will pay handsome dividends later as you avoid costly repairs!
††††††††† We've prepared this booklet of "helpful hints" to aid you in your efforts to minimize your housing costs, while maintaining the value of the property, through preventive maintenance that corrects problems before they get out of hand and repair costs escalate.
† We hope you find the information useful, and that you will develop the habit of periodically looking your unit over
--inside and outside--to identify developing maintenance problems. (Please recall from the 747EBHRA CC&Rs that, generally speaking, everything inside your unit's patio gate(s) and wall(s) is/ are your responsibility, while everything outside those areas is the responsibility of the Association.† Also, all roofs are the responsibility of the homeowners.)
† Your feedback and suggestions regarding this publication, or other aspects of your Association's preventive maintenance
program, are welcome and should be addressed in writing to 747EBHRA.
-††††††† Check periodically for stucco cracks.† Cracks can be patched effectively with stucco patch and then be painted over.
-††††††† The stucco will crack if nails are pounded into it.† The stucco is put on in two layers.† The outer layer is softer than the rock-hard under layer.† A nail, for example, will easily penetrate the outer layer but will cause stucco cracking if you attempt to drive it through the harder base layer.† To avoid stucco cracking, holes must be drilled with special drill bits hardened for concrete use.
-††††††† Water that drains, pools or stands against walls and fences will eventually cause earth settling and cracking of the walls and stucco.† Water drainage should be inspected and corrected to avoid this problem.
-††††††† Stucco cracks or chip-outs on exterior building walls will allow water to enter and rot the interior of the walls.† Considerable damage can occur before it is very noticeable
† ††Wood Trims
Wood trim is susceptible to water damage.† Check doorframes.† Check at points where the roof joins the walls.† Calking around doorframes can help prevent their deterioration.† Wood damage at roof edges is likely caused by poor or leaking roof construction at the edges of the roof.† This can often cause water to run down the inside of exterior walls, rotting the structure from the inside out.† Water on inside floors near the walls after a rain may signal that kind of problem. Once the underlying cause is corrected, damaged' and/or rotting wood should be replaced and be repainted in the Approved 747EBHRA color(s).
- Inspect doors and windows to make sure they are† sealing properly.† 'That will save on heating/cooling costs.† Replacing worn out
†††††††††††††††††††††† weather-stripping often pays for itself.
††††††††††††††††††† †††Exterior doors that are not metal or "solid core" wood tend not to hold up as well as those mentioned. The "hollow core" doors tend to
†††††††††††††††††††††† last longer if they are kept well painted. Also, home security is improved by having solid core or metal doors fitted with heavy duty dead
†††††††††††††††††††††† bolts and extra long catch screws that extend into the doorframe.
- The garages tend to get very hot inside during the summer.† Interior temperatures can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit.† Think carefully about storing paint, paint thinner, pressurized cans of any type, etc., in those temperatures. Some residents attempt to lower daytime garage temperatures by cracking their garage door a few inches.
- Some garages may be subject to water damage by water running down the inside of interior walls and then seeping out under the baseboard.† Check after a rain to see if there is water seepage where the walls contact the floor.† The problem is likely a leaking roof or improper exterior grading that is allowing water to puddle and stand along below grade outside walls.
- Check for additional garage roof leaks a day or two after a rain.† Check the interior ceiling for "wet" spots.† They are often most noticeable where the ceiling meets the walls.† The location of any wet spots may not indicate where the leaks are actually located, however.
- Periodically check garage door lifters and rails.† Look to see if the door opens and closes smoothly.† Does it hit the ground hard when it closes?† Are the panels buckled when the door is closed?† Does the door squeak and creak a lot when it opens and closes?† If so, there may be adjustments that can be made to correct those problems.† Doors with side rails that squeak when the door opens and closes can benefit from a monthly treatment of silicone spray on the track and the wheels attached to the door.
- Tile roofs should not be walked on unless absolutely necessary.† The tiles can easily break.† They are dangerous and difficult to walk on and tiles can slip out of place, as they may not be nailed down.† Often, only the first three or four rows of tile at roof edges are nailed in place--the others are installed and held in place by their weight and underlying wooden strips attached to the roof.
- Anywhere the roof meets an abutment there must be a metal flashing to avoid leakage.† Also, corners may need a diverter flashing to avoid puddling.† These flashings should be checked every year or two by a roofing expert to make sure they don't have cracking that would allow water to enter.† The combination of Arizona Summer heat, Winter cold and rainy seasons causes expanding and contracting of roofing materials that produces cracking at abutments and around chimneys, stand pipes, etc.† All cracks should be sealed with a good quality roof patching or sealing compound.
† Tile roofs also often leak at the edges if metal flashing was not originally used under the tile to protect from water intrusion into the underlying†
†††† wooden roof sheeting.† This kind of damage should be detected and corrected early on as roof repair, is quite expensive.† Tile roofs, for example, have
†††† to be lifted, new plywood sheeting† has to be installed, and new tarpaper must be put in place before the, tile can be re-laid.† Insist on roof edge
†††† flashing if roof repairs are needed.† When installing a new roof, it would be wise to contact the Association to insure that appropriate †flashing and
†††† drip edge metal is properly installed.
† One of the best ways to inspect what is happening with a roof--and the associated runoff water--is to check it out during a rainstorm! .Even getting a bit wet may be worthwhile in terms of identifying one of a homeowners priority concerns: WATER DAMAGE.
- In a climate like Arizona another major homeowner concern is termite infestation and damage to wooden structures.† 'Termites need a pathway between the structure and the earth as they need to move back and forth.† They are sensitive to light so they often build mud tubes to travel in if they are entering via exterior walls.† If wood directly contacts the ground they have a natural entryway into the structure.† All of the units at 747 E. Bethany are stucco over wooden frame.† Since termites eat from the inside out, a lot of structural damage can occur before it is very noticeable.† If any stucco is missing at ground level exposing the underlying wooden structure to ground level, or near ground level, these openings provide an "open doorway" for termite infestation.† Periodically check the exterior perimeter of the unit where the walls contact the ground.† Look for stucco voids and/or vertical mud tunnels (about the thickness of a soda straw).† If these situations are observed, the area should be sprayed for termites and the exterior wall repaired to break the ground-to-structure pathway they require. (747EBHRA dues pay for monthly pest spraying of external structures and grounds.† Homeowners and/or residents can augment this basic service for an additional payment to the spray contractor (currently $7/month).† The additional payment covers patio spraying as well as garage and unit interior spraying.) It's important to note that the spraying just described provides NO protection from termites.† That requires a different spray and a different application technique.
Landscape/Sprinkler System (Patios)
††††††††† Many of the units have the original patio landscape plantings.† These plants are now 20 years old and may have overgrown their original use.† What were originally planned as foundation shrubs may now be tree size.† Some of those original plants may now be too large and overgrown and constitute a potential problem.† Remember, all of that top foliage is supported by an equally large root system.† Shrubs and trees planted
close to the foundation of structures may now, because of their† size, be applying pressure to the structure (walls, fences, etc.). Roots of large, mature plants and trees on the patios may lift or crack the foundations, patios and walks.† The roots may also severely impact the various utility lines running under the patios and plant areas (e.g., electric service, cable, telephone, natural gas, water and sprinkling system).† The roots of oversized plantings on patios can do a lot of expensive damage.
††††††††††††††† Patio sprinkler heads should be checked periodically to see if they are working properly. Since the water to them is provided by the
†††††† general sprinkler system for the complex, it is necessary to watch and determine the days and times the system is activated '† At those
†††††† times sprinkler heads can be checked for operation and flow rate.† Sprinkler heads not being used should be turned off to save water.
†††††† Flow rates of sprinklers in use should be adjusted so that the ground around them is not constantly saturated with water. Not only will the
†††††† reduced flow save water, it may also result in healthier plants. Over-watering creates weak plants that are heavily water dependent.
†††††† If plant beds are constantly saturated with water, any underlying utility lines are much more susceptible to early rusting out (e.g-† electric supply†
†††††† conduit, water pipes, gas pipes, etc.). This can be checked by inspecting pipes for rust where they just exit the ground. If the metal is heavily rusted††
†††††† or eaten through at ground level it is very likely in the same or worse condition under the ground. An extremely wet planter area that doesn't dry, or†
†††††† has water percolating to the surface when the sprinkler system is activated, may indicate a broken sprinkler system water line.
†††††† The PVC plastic used for sprinkler systems becomes weakened and brittle after it has been in the ground for several years. Expanding shrub and
†††††† tree roots easily rupture the lines.
†††††††††††††† As maintenance of all areas inside patio gates and walls is the responsibility of the homeowner, it is necessary to conform to the approved
†††††† paint standards for the complex.† The two basic colors are both special mixed colors that are available from several major paint dealers, one of whom†
†††††† is Dunn Edwards on Camelback.† The Dunn Edwards brands and mixing formulas are as follows:
Wall Color-Dunn Edwards DEC 716 Stonish Beige EVERSHIELD 40
Trim Color-Dunn Edwards Q3-16P Crete EVERSHIELD 50
Door Color-Dunn Edwards Q3-16P Crete EVERSHIELD 50
Metal Color-Dunn Edwards Q3-16P Crete EVERSHIELD 50
†††††††††††††† Plumbing leaks may be a major culprit inside a dwelling.† Again, itís the water damage problem.† And, the problem may be extremely acute in two story structures where there is an upstairs bathroom or two.† Second floor plumbing leaks can result in very expensive repairs, both upstairs and downstairs.† Condo owners and/or residents should periodically check their units to see if plumbing under the sink is secure, dry and not rusting through. This includes drains and water lines, including the supply valves and kitchen garbage disposals.† Moist, leaking or heavily rusted plumbing may need to be replaced.† Any warping of the floor of the sink cabinet is an indication of a past or present problem with water leakage.
††††††† The toilet is firmly anchored to the floor.† A loose or rocking, toilet can easily leak at the floor seal.† If the floor bolts are tight the wax seal ring
may need to be replaced.† Leakage around the tank is also a potential problem.† Check water supply lines and valves for moisture, dripping or heavy†††††††††† rusting.† Rubber gaskets in the tank and the tank mechanism should be checked for deterioration and be replaced if found to be in poor condition.
††† Tubs, showers and shower doors are well sealed to prevent water from escaping.† Showerheads and faucet controls should be checked for†
† leaking or rusting and be replaced before damage to walls, floors, etc. occurs.
††† The hot water heater is leaking or rusting through.† Check the 'supply lines and valves for moisture, dripping or heavy rusting. , Drain a quart or
two of water from the tank--from the bottom drain 'faucet to gain an indication of the condition of the tank.† Discolored and/or heavily mineralized water from the tank may indicate that it is, nearing the end of its useful lifetime. (Most hot water heaters "wear out" because of a build up of sludge in the bottom of the tank.† Most manufacturers recommend that tanks be drained once a month to keep sludge from building up, thus extending their useful lifetime.)
NOTE:††††††††† You should know the location of the main water shut off valve to your home!
Other Water Damage
Wet ceilings may indicate second story or roof leaks.† Homeowners and/or residents should periodically check for moisture spots.† They are most often noticed where the ceiling meets the sidewalls, in corners, in open areas or along the baseboards.† These leaks may be confined to a single unit or also impact adjoining units if the wetness is noticed along the "common" (shared) walls.† Water leaks around chimneys at the roof level may also cause ceiling moisture spots inside the dwelling near the fireplace.† It is important to keep in mind that the location of a wet spot or area does not necessarily indicate exactly where the leak is located or what is causing it.
Fireplaces and Chimneys
Depending on the amount of use, fireplace chimneys should be cleaned by a chimney sweep every 1-3 years.† The frequent burning of wax impregnated paper fireplace logs causes the build up of a waxy material on the walls of the chimney.† Most chimneysweepers dislike the paper logs because they "gunk-up" the chimney and constitute a potential fire hazard.† Wood burns much hotter, producing a dryer ash and soot--easier to clean out of the grate and chimney area.† The inspection and cleaning of chimneys is best left to the pros.† They may also need to check the vent cap on the top of the chimney.† It might be rusted out or be partially plugged with wax, negatively impacting the chimney's draft.
for the Architectural Committee
of the 747EBHRA Board of Directors