Water is vital to sustaining life, but keeping it in its place is vital to the sanity—and bank accounts—of both boards and residents of HOAs.
Infiltration of H2O into an apartment or other parts of a building can throw people into a panic, cause peeling paint and damage walls, floors and carpeting. If left unattended long enough, water leaks can also lead to mildew and mold—and possible health hazards down the road.
Leaks are not only extremely destructive, but they're also notoriously difficult to locate. But good waterproofing contractors know how to find and repair leaks before their effects get serious. Waterproofing, in essence, means preventing water from infiltrating openings near a building's roof, exterior siding, windows, doors, balconies, parking garages—any vulnerable area. As with so many other building issues, keep your HOA free of leaks is a matter of staying on top of things and reacting quickly to early signs of trouble.
Mike Keller, of George J. Keller and Sons LLC, in Flanders, which specializes in roofing and siding, says the best way to keep water out is through regular inspections.
"One thing I would suggest is to have either a maintenance contract or a biannual inspection, depending on the age of the roof and siding, and to have it inspected by a qualified firm that can look at outdoor areas," Keller says. "Have them look at the roof, look at the siding, the connections between the siding and the windows, the siding and the doors. They should make sure there's no water infiltration and that there's no caulking that needs to be updated on the siding." Contractors should also make sure shingles haven't been blown off, check for nails that are coming loose, and inspect areas surrounding pipes to be sure they're properly sealed.