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Latent Effects of the `Big’ Mid-Atlantic Earthquake of 2011

Posted on January 10, 2012 by rick

I have found, in recent months, on several buildings we manage in Washington, DC a very odd, if not perplexing side effect of last Augusts’ quake.  After inspecting our properties’ for foundation cracks, wall separations, etc. one of the most common effects that has been observed is the separation of vent piping from their adjoining rooftop surface, known as flashing!  On a number of my buildings located in Dupont Circle that were built circa 1920, the vent pipes, typically PVC, broke through the membrane that sealed them to the roof.  I can only assume that when these buildings, with their solid foundations `moved’ the vent piping (that is attached to the waste stacks that carry away toilet waste) did not move with them.  While this analysis constitutes nothing more than a layman’s opinion from one not qualified as a professional engineer to make such an evaluation, I can only say that “the proof was on the roof.”  So managers, beware of leaks around vent pipes in 2012!  Larry.

 

Thanksgiving and Disposals

Posted on November 18, 2011 by rick

First, Happy Thanksgiving.  Many residents are cooking over the long weekend.  Some for the first time.  The most common emergency call during this weekend each year is for a blocked kitchen waste stack.  As a property manager I have come to expect these calls.  Too often the kitchen disposal is used as a waste basket with all foods being put down the sink.  We all know that celery is commonly the cause of such blockages. Excessive use is another. Please note that the word “disposal”  does not mean “all”.  Only incidental food should go down the sink.  The bulk of the food items should be placed in the trash or compost if possible.  By using the disposal sparingly one can prevent the calamity of blockage, flooding and emergency service costs over the long weekend. 

 

FIOS is coming!

Posted on September 13, 2011 by rick

Our property managers recently met with representatives of Verizon to discuss the roll-out of FIOS for multifamily properties.  We learned that they will be building out Woodley first.  It turns out that Woodley is the old term for the telephone exchange, 966.  We used to refer to these phone numbers as “Woodley 6” plus the last four numbers.  Verizon requires that the host property enter into an access agreement.  It is important that each property have these documents professionally reviewed.  Currently we are working with the engineering representatives who will be submitting plans for the build out.

 

First an earthquake and now a hurricane.

Posted on August 28, 2011 by rick

It has been quite a week. Our properties fared well through the earthquake and then the hurricane. After spending several days inspecting utilities, structure and chimneys we moved right into hurricane preparations. No doubt we will be spending some time next week cleaning up and putting furniture back on roof decks. Appreciation and thanks to our hard working staff and conscientious residents!

 

Elevator Modernization

Posted on August 3, 2011 by rick

I spent a good portion of the day today at a prebid meeting for the modernization to two elevators.  We are turning an old manual freight elevator into an automatic elevator first.  When that is done the old passenger elevator will be modernized.  We measured the distance from the entrance level to the floor of the tow level in order to determine if a new electric generator will be necessary.  The building fell within the height limit that does not require a generator by code.  This saved the owners big bucks.  I also had on hand and interior designer.  She will be coordinating cab design with future hallway design that is planned to be performed after the elevator modernization.