Monthly Archives: April 2016

Finding a Contractor to Fix Hail Damage

hail-damageThe roof of your multi-family unit has been through a hail storm and you can see the damage without even having to climb on a ladder. Your insurance company is willing to pay for repairs, but you have to submit a bid of how much it’s going to cost from a professional contractor. So what do you look for in a contractor, and what questions should you ask? Well, below are some suggestions to help you:

  • First of all, ask other business owners who they use or if they have any suggestions. Sometimes finding the right contractor is done by finding someone who comes with a personal reference from someone you know.
  • When checking contractors, verify licenses and see if they are bonded. Also ask if companies have property insurance, Workers Compensation Insurance and general liability insurance.
  • Ask for references so that you can call and see what the past customers thought of the work done and if service was provided in a timely manner.
  • Make a verification that the contractor and any sub-contractors being used have state business filings which are up-to-date and applicable. Also run criminal background and sex offender checks on both the contractor and subcontractors. You’re hiring people that will be around your tenants and possibly the tenant’s children.
  • Finally, run a check and see if there are any civil judgments or liens against the contractor or if the business has any financial problems.

In addition, you’ll want to ask what experience the contractor has had with hail damage. You will also want to know how long the contractor has been in business, and what is the contractor’s work-style. So does the contractor work weekends? How late does the contractor work? Will the contractor take on other jobs while doing the work you need to be done? Ask any question that you feel you need to have answers to in order to feel that this is the person you want to work with.

When hiring a contractor, you really need to know what questions to ask and to always check references.

Maintaining Balconies in Multi-family Apartment Units

balconyWhen you have balconies on your multi-family apartment units, keeping them in tip-top shape is a priority. Because they need to be maintained and cared for to look their best and stay safe for your tenants to use. Also, balconies can be an added point of value when you’re renting out your apartment, and keeping them well cared for then is to your best interest.

Now if the balconies you have are metal and concrete; or made from wood, there are some signs to look for to keep needed maintenance and repairs from getting out of hand. So below are some things to look for in this:

  • On the balcony itself, look for any rust stains, cracks, discolorations on the floor or the roof; or salt stains. This means the metal that is used to support the balcony could be rusting, or water could be finding a way in and deteriorating the slabs.
  • If there is a small crack in the cement in a balcony floor, measure it and record it so that you can at the next inspection see if the crack has gotten larger or if there are any changes in it. By watching it for about six months, and if there aren’t any changes, there may not be a need to worry.
  • Railings on any balcony can also be a problem if they are loose. And if they’re metal, you need to regularly check for rust or to see if screws need to be tightened. Also checked for signs of any other deterioration. As an example, an embedded railing may be collecting moisture causing either corrosion if it’s metal; or if the railings are wood, the railing could be rotting and need to be replaced.

As far as other maintenance:

  • If a wood balcony has been sealed to prevent moisture from seeping into the wood, you will need to power wash it once a year and check to see if sealant will need to be applied again.
  • By using rust inhibitors on the metal balconies and protective coatings on the wooden balconies, you can extend the life of your balconies.

The balconies on your multi-family apartment units can last for a long time if properly taken care of.