The workers are there in plain sight, going about their jobs with intensity, laboring on the buildings around us—maybe even in your own HOA. But what are they doing, exactly? What does it mean when a contractor is hired to do a façade restoration job, or to work on an association's windows? Unless you have some training in engineering or construction methods, it's probably tough to say.
In the course of an exterior job, workers could be accomplishing several things, including repairing or replacing a façade, maintaining a building's windows, or any number of other tasks. Even with that variety, there are some fairly common kinds of exterior/façade jobs done in New Jersey's urban and suburban condo communities and you don't have to be a contractor or an engineer to have an idea of what such projects entail.
While scaffolds, suspended riggings and industrial-strength contractors' ladders are a common enough sight around community associations, having some notion of what those workers are doing up there can be helpful whenever your own association or building undergoes a similar repair or renovation project in the future. Understanding some of those details could save you time and money in the future.
Knowing What to Look For
When a contractor or inspector examines the exterior of a residential building, he is looking for signs of problems or potential problems. While there is no official façade/exterior checklist that every contractor uses when inspecting a building's exterior, experienced contractors generally scrutinize buildings by looking for certain things, says Andrew Amorosi, co-owner of The Falcon Group's Falcon Engineering in Bridgewater.
"The main issue with the façade is water infiltrating, or deterioration of the actual façade material. Deterioration could require replacement of that material," Amorosi says. "We look for a leak history around windows or balconies—that's a red flag that façade restoration should be done."