Apartment community swimming pool

Attractive Nuisances and Your Property

Have you ever thought that you might be liable for a trespasser injuring themselves on your multi-family complex or commercial property? If not, you should be aware that it is a serious liability if you possess amenities that could potentially be a fatal attraction to anyone on your property, particularly for children. This can include, swimming pools, old appliances, playgrounds and more. These are consider an attractive nuisance on your property. Unsure of what an attractive nuisance is or how to prevent yourself from being liable should an injury occur read below to learn more.

What are Attractive Nuisances?

Attractive nuisances are appealing items present in your property that can be potentially dangerous for children. The law states that if anything in your property is tempting and can cause an accident, you are responsible for reducing the risk of harm. Children are susceptible to danger and require special protection to prevent themselves from injury – something that parents already do every single day. Although it may seem that a child, or even an adult, trespassing on their property is their wrong, if they are injured on your property, you’ll be liable for their actions.

Most Common Attractive Nuisances

Swimming Pools

swimming pool in an apartment community

How accessible is your pool?

One of the most common dreams of a home owner is having or installing a swimming pool at their home to enjoy privately, any time. However, despite the serenity and the relaxation that a swimming pool can provide, it only takes a minute for a life-changing accident to happen. For example, an unsupervised child can find your pool very attractive and be drawn to it, without regard for their own safety. Any child can drown in the water without supervision… and even if it’s not your child, you can be liable for their drowning or injury in your pool. From possibility of death to a long-lasting injury, swimming pools are a very common attractive nuisance to ensure that you’re covered against.

Construction Sites

Construction sites and materials can be a point of attraction for children. Every kid may own a dump truck or play tools and when they see the real tools, they may be tempted to touch them or climb onto a real truck. These incidents can often cause significant accidents and leave you responsible. It’s best to practice safe equipment handling and never leave keys inside or tools sitting around. Be sure to educate or train your maintenance workers to always follow a safety first strategy when working on your property. If larger repairs are going to happen inform your residents in advance and

Fountains and Ponds

Fountains and ponds that are on your property offer a beautiful scene for residents to look at as they move about your complex. However to small children these can seem like an attractive area to play in. Often these ponds and fountains have not been treated in the same way a swimming pools have and are unsafe to swim in. They can contain bacteria and other hazards that can make someone sick should the come in contact with the water (see our blog about water contamination here to learn more). To prevent this you’ll want to make sure that they have proper signage around that clearly states “Not For Swimming” or “Do Not Swim”. You can also add rock and greenery around these areas to make them harder to get to and prevent these hazards from occurring.

Old Appliances

Old kitchen appliances from a remodel

Can children access old appliances and hide in them?

From time to time you may have a tenant whose appliance is no longer working or you may have decided to upgrade them across the whole complex, while this is great for the tenants it may be a danger to kids if they are left sitting around. Most appliances can lock from the outside and do not offer a way to unlock from the inside, small children can climb inside and get stuck. When moving old appliances around its best to ensure that you do not leave them around unattended. If you do need to leave them somewhere temporarily, like if you’re waiting for a disposal company to come, you’ll want to make sure that you put caution tape around them and secure them in a location that isn’t easily accessible by anyone, especially kids. Ensuing that these old appliances are in a safe space can save you from being held liable should an accident occur.

Playgrounds

Apartment Complex playground

Is there adequate signage about safety and liability?

Some multi-family complexes offer on site playgrounds that are a great attraction for potential residents as they offer a nice place for their children to play that’s close to home. However when used improperly these playgrounds can cause injuries that can leave you liable. Additionally you may have non residents who will sneak onto the playground also leaving you on the hook should an injury occur. The best way to avoid any issues is to have fencing around the perimeter of the playground that includes signs in an open and easy visible area. These signs should have rules of playground use to include but not limited to “for residents only”, guidelines for proper use of the equipment, “no unauthorized children on playground” and listing specific hours that the playground should be use. By doing the steps noted here you’ll be on your way to ensuing that you and your residents are protected should anything happen on a playground.

How to Decrease Your Risk of Liability?

If your multifamily property or community has features considered to be an attractive nuisance, there are many steps you can take to reduce your risk.

  1. Make sure all attractive nuisances are gated and locked away when possible. Swimming pools need gates with child-proof latches. All landscaping equipment should be safely stored after work is complete.
  2. Management should inspect the property regularly. It can be easy to miss equipment or tools when you’ve been working all day on a property. Inspection from a second set of eyes can catch issues like unlocked gates, tools laying in the grass, and opened storage closets.
  3. Use signage where possible. Let residents know which areas are off limits and what the rules are for using amenities and whether or not they’ll be monitored, such as a lifeguard on duty at the pool. If construction is going to start on the property, post leaflets on residents’ doors and consider using a text or email service to remind them not to go near the equipment.
  4. Use proper lighting. Keeping areas well lit can prevent people from attempting to use your amenities at night. Motion sensor lights are a good option for when you need to keep an area dark the majority of the time or don’t want to waste electricity.
  5. Use security cameras. If you think people may be sneaking into restricted areas or using amenities after hours, a security camera can detect them so that they can be confronted or ejected from the community. If you catch people repeatedly, it’s a sign you may need to rethink your security and safety protocols around an amenity.
  6. Include specific language in leases that prohibits use of amenities after hours, and lets residents and tenants know that if they misuse amenities or otherwise access equipment and tools not intended for public use, they are accepting liability for them or their dependents if they do. This may or may not hold up in court, but is often enough to discourage misuse.
  7. Purchase proper insurance. Even if you do your best to keep amenities locked up, someone may injure themselves, or a child may sneak into an unmonitored area. A good insurance policy can protect you from financial damage.

Having an attractive nuisance comes with increased liability. You will need to be cautious about proper safety measures to avoid accidents. Your insurance company may raise your premium, usually by a substantial amount. You should also consider increasing your liability limit.

At worst, some insurance companies may even deny coverage entirely – requiring you to give up your attractive nuisance or lose your home in severe cases.

Water damage inside a commercial structure

Categorizing Water Damage

Water Damage Basics

Water damage inside a commercial structure

Untreated water damage can quickly move from category 2 to category 3.

Water damage comes in many forms and how it is categorized can effect the cost of the repairs. Simple puddling of water in front of a toilet or sink can usually be cleaned up with at home supplies like a mop but more extensive water damage like from a flood or storm needs to be handled with care by a professional. When water collects in larger amounts, it can lead to mold or bacteria that can be harmful to you and your family. It is important to contact your insurance company right away once your water damage hits a higher level on the classification scale. Classic knows how to handle all types of water damage repairs using our professional moisture testing to determine the severity and can even help you navigate the insurance claim process faster.

Category 1: DIY Water Damage Control

When making sure water damage is under control, first assess the damage by making sure the source has been completely shut off. Your next task after assessing the source would be to completely dry everything in the surrounding area as much as possible with your home supplies, this will allow you to start getting rid of any moisture that may be in your home as soon as possible. Once you clean and dry the area, make sure to remove and toss damaged porous materials and inspect for serious issues like mold.

Category 2: Water Damage with Possible Health Risks

Water damage comes in three different categories 1, 2, and 3. Each category represents a different kind of water and how that water can effect your home and family. Category 1 is the one you’d want to have, if you wanted water damage that is. It is called “clean water” and does not pose any risk to humans (or pets). Category 2 is known as “gray water” and can make you sick should you come in contact with it. If this type of water is in your home it is important to remedy it right away to prevent your family (and pets) from feeling ill and damage to your home.

Category 3: Contaminated & Unsanitary Water Damage

The most dangerous and scary water damage category of them all, Category 3 refers to damage that includes unsanitary elements like sewage, bacteria, stagnant water from a flood, and contents from a toilet overflow. It’s often referred to as “black water” and can cause serious illness or even death. Not only is this category extremely unsafe to your family (and pets) it can lead to damage in your home that can only be handled by a professional.

Here’s one thing to be careful of: Category 2 water damage can easily turn into a Category 3 if it wasn’t properly addressed by either you or the company you worked with. The difference isn’t just a health risk, but can cost thousands more to remove and repair.

Why & When Pros Can Help (insurance claims for water damage)

A flooded apartment unit

Flooding causes hidden water damage, including mold.

As harmless as water damage in Category 1 or Category 2 might seem, we highly recommend getting a second opinion from a professional. When our team comes to visit your home or property, we perform several tests and can take hundreds of photos that will help document your case and ensure that any insurance claims are well-documented. Many times home and business owners find the insurance claim process daunting and overwhelming, this is where Classic comes in. We have 90 years of dealing with insurance companies and have the expertise to handle your insurance claim with ease to get your home or business repaired quickly and properly.

In Conclusion

You’ve taken the right step by learning more about the different categories of water damage so that you can ensure that when you experience it, you’re ready to find the right professional to ensure that it’s addressed safely. We know that Health and Safety are important to you and our team shares those values.

With over 2,000 projects completed within the year, our team has seen and done it all – and with care. If you’re unsure about what water damage category best describes your situation, don’t hesitate to reach out to our fully-licensed team anytime. (972) 437-0909

Kitchen with floral backsplash

Choosing the Right Tile for Your Home or Business

Tiling your floors is never an easy job. It requires patience and can sometimes be very time-consuming depending on the type of tile you choose, the shape of the space in which you’re installing tile, if you’re doing it yourself, and how much experience you have.

Tiles can be a great way to reflect your style and personality. Many who live in small apartment rooms or have small space might feel that tiling won’t work in smaller areas, but that isn’t always the case. By choosing the right size and style of tiles, you can create interesting, yet cohesive designs in your home, or even small business.

Tiled Walls and Floors

Tiles can tell your style story, evoke memories, and even add warmth to a space.

How Do Tiles Bring Out The Beauty Out of Your Home?
Have you ever wondered why celebrities invest so much money on tiles? – The reason is that suitable tiles elevate the beauty of your home to a whole new level. Tiled flooring, and even walls and backsplashes, can enhance architecture, draw the eye upward, or even direct the eye away, making a space seem larger than it is.

Tiles can be neutral to blend in with a space, so that the pops of color can be more easily traded out with fixtures and accessories. Whites and creams are great for making a space seem more open and bright and will often blend in with lighter walls to give the illusion of having a larger space.  Darker colors are often chosen for flooring to hide dirt and to make a room feel grounded. Either way, choose a grout to match to help the tiles blend in to the design seamlessly.

On the other hand, you may want your tile to be an art piece or a focal point in your space. Colors can evoke warmth, coolness, or harken back to a different era. The wonderful thing about tiles is that they can help tell the story of your style, for example, bringing in the blues that remind you of your favorite Greek vacation, or a modern avocado green that points to your mid-century modern style.

Love hardwood floors but dislike the maintenance? Did you know that tiles come in a wide array styles that mimic the look of hardwood? Add the upscale natural look of wood without the upkeep it requires.

There are tons of ideas and examples out there!

Measure and Select Your Tiles Carefully
There are many handy tile measurement tools online to help you determine how much to purchase. You can multiply the room’s length by its width to get the total square footage, but depending on the style you choose and the layout of your space, you may need to purchase extra tiling to make the pattern flow correctly.

Tiling is often sold in batch numbers, not unlike yarn and fabric. This is important to note because if you are purchasing the tile, you’ll want to make sure they’re all from the same batch so you can be certain they’ll wear the same over the years and so that the colors will match where the tiling meets. You may need to purchase extra tile up front to compensate for errors, broken tiles, and saving some back for future repair.

Choose the Right Size Tiles for Your Project

Kitchen with floral backsplash

These floral-patterned tiles in a bright white kitchen add a pop of color and visual interest.

In general, smaller tiles look better in smaller spaces, and larger tiles will fill a large space better, though there can be exceptions if the look is designed well. Larger tiles will require less grout and will look cleaner and more contemporary. Smaller tiles will look busier, which is not necessarily a bad thing! Ideally, you want to choose tile that will flow well with the layout of your space.

Smaller tiles can be fussier to work with, but larger tiles may require more complicated cuts to fit around fixtures such as toilets, plumbing, and cabinetry.

Tile Installation
There are heaps of tutorials and DIY instructional videos on installing tile yourself. You’ll want to make sure you are learning the correct method for the type of tile you’ve chosen, the location of the tile (Will it be on a floor or a wall?), and how the tile will be used (Will water be running over the tile? Will it be in a high-foot traffic location?). You’ll also want to be sure you are following the correct steps for specific products, ie purchasing the correct brand and size spacers.

When to Hire a Professional
Tiling a space can be frustrating, but very rewarding. Always take your time to review designs, learn about materials, and follow best practices. If the process of choosing and installing tiles for your home, restaurant, office, or other space seems daunting, you can always call in a professional. Classic Construction & Restoration, Inc is staffed by experts in remodeling and restoration! Let the pros talk you through design and do the hard work for you– quickly and correctly! Learn more about bathroom remodeling, or see our client work!

Call (972) 437-0909 today or contact us through our site to learn how Classic Construction can help you with your tiling needs for residential, commercial, or multifamily buildings.

 

cracked sidewalk

Sidewalk Damage Repair for Multifamily and HOAs

Types of Sidewalk Damage

First and foremost, it is going to be vital to understand the different causes of sidewalk damage; shifting ground, broken concrete, and root damage. Shifting ground is caused by the large amounts of water directly under concrete that can cause the ground to shift. Broken concrete is straight forward in that the concrete is chipped or split by some type of external forces, such as heavy machinery, vehicles being repeatedly parked, or other strong force. Root damage is another straight forward type of damage and is caused by trees and shrubs with powerful root systems moving the dirt underneath the concrete or even growing directly through it. Tree roots are wide-reaching, so you may have root damage even if you don’t have trees in your immediate vicinity. If you see damage on your sidewalk give a professional call right away to fix the issues before someone gets hurt. While you wait for them to arrive be sure to mark of any damaged areas with caution tape or other signage to help notify anyone walking by that this area is unsafe.
cracked sidewalk

Getting It Estimated

Accurate estimates are important for both the homeowners or businesses and the construction company you work with – we want to do our best to make sure that you get exactly what you need with the quality you expect. Our process is simple yet thorough and we’ll make sure to cover all your needs.

1. The Walkthrough: Our team will take ample time walking every inch of the project so that we can take notes about every aspect of the damage that needs to be recovered, replaced, or added.


2. The Danger Check: Safety is our highest priority for everyone involved and in addition to the damage, we check the context of the project for possible dangers that could injure someone and make you liable for lawsuits in the future. We take the danger check very seriously, so you can rest assured that when we walk through your property, we look at every possible angle.


3. The Marks: Documentation of the damage includes not just photos, but also our team marking specific areas so that we can make sure our team has a clear path forward for the project. These marks, although not particularly beautiful, are an important part of the process that kicks off a successful repair or reconstruction project.

Repairing Sidewalks Classic Style

When it comes to repairing damaged sidewalks, our team will come to your site to replace or grind down the raised edges of your damaged concrete to effectively repair it. In same case we’ll need to replace sections of your sidewalk as well. When there is damage due to water or tree roots running beneath the concrete we’ll help identify and treat the source to prevent future damage from occurring. Even the smallest of cracks can lead to big problem be sure to call Classic at the first site of damage.

When to Call a Professional

Remember “you step on crack you break your momma’s back” so call Classic ahead of time to fix minor issues before they become big problems. Prevention is less expensive than paying medical bills, make sidewalk maintenance part of your annual inspection package. We’ll be there every step of the way ensuring your sidewalk repair process is done right. Everyone needs a team they can trust, we’ll be there on time, on budget, that’s Classic!

Smoke Damage

Soot and Smoke Damage

What is soot and smoke damage?

Though most incidents of soot & smoke come directly from fire damage, even homes and structures that have not been burned can have an issue with soot and smoke damage from nearby fires and other causes. For example; excessive candle usage, defective fireplaces, as well as furnaces can lead to soot & smoke damage. Soot is usually formed by an incompletion of combusted carbon particles, but it can also contain detectable amounts of dust, metals, and chemicals.

Smoke Damage

Chemicals in Soot and Smoke Can Harm Your Health

Did you know that you could be breathing soot without you even knowing it? That’s because soot “particulate” is actually invisible. After a home fire, you’ll want to make sure to avoid the risks commonly associated with exposure – that includes respiratory issues, bronchitis, heart attack and even premature death. If you see the notorious black residue on your walls and around your home after a fire, that will be the easiest way to identify whether you are putting you and your family at risk for health issues caused by it.

Can I Clean It Myself? What Tools Do I Need?

Soot particulate is tough to remove because of its microscopic fine particles. There are quite a number of how-to articles that will give you directions using household chemicals like hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol or other cleaning solutions. While it’s true that those types of cleaning techniques can remove soot with quite a bit of intense elbow grease, rubbing the soot in and having loose particles fly in the air are not just a hassle, but a health risk that most families wouldn’t want to take. Additionally when not used properly these chemicals can be harmful themselves.

When to Hire a Professional

You should hire a professional to clean soot after a house or business fire or if a major fire has happened nearby – the hidden chemicals, soot particulate, and general health concerns that breathing in soot causes are all things that our team has the right equipment for and the right experience to remove without adding any risk to your family or household.

Classic Construction has done many fire damage remediations for residential, multi-family, and commercial properties, are experts. You can trust us to keep your family safe!

If you have had a small fire in your home or business and need soot and smoke damage restoration and remediation, call us at (972) 437-0909 or book a free estimation today!

Burning House
shoveling snow on iced driveway

7 Tips On How To De-ice Your Sidewalk and Driveway

There’s a saying in Texas:

“Don’t like the weather? Wait five minutes and it’ll change!”

We’re certainly finding this to be true this winter! While we’ve enjoyed some light snow drifts, 60° weather (and up into the 70s a few times), and crisp nights, we’re experiencing a cold snap unlike any we’ve experienced in 22 years! In general, when we have icy days, we’re warm enough to melt it when the sun comes out, but with several days below freezing, you may find yourself needing to de-ice your concrete walkways, sidewalks, stairs, and driveways. We’ve rounded up some ideas for you! 

Rock Salt

Rock salt (also known as sodium chloride) is one of the most widely used deicing chemical. It is inexpensive, easy to get, and works well (for temperatures above 15°F). Here in Texas, we may not have bags of it on-hand for de-icing. You can use table salt in a pinch, but it’s less effective than rock salt. If you can’t get rock salt, sprinkle a thin layer of table salt over the area you want to de-ice. The chemical reaction between the salt and the water results in heat, melting the ice.

Salt shouldn’t be your long-term solution for melting ice, because it can damage your lawn, erode your concrete, and cause animals to get sick! But in a pinch, it will do!

Calcium Chloride

Calcium Chloride granules or powder is another form of salt that is great for deicing and is good for temperatures down to -20°F. Let’s hope we don’t need that, here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area! While a little safer than rock salt for plants and animals, it can still harm them in large quantities. You may have some on hand for other uses, and it’s readily available, but you’re probably less likely to have it on hand than you are table salt!

Pet and Environmentally Friendly Alternative Chemicals

shoveling snow near an icy driveway

If you’re worried about environmental impacts from deicers, there are plenty of eco-friendly deicers on the market. Many claim to be pet-safe, less damaging to lawn and waterways, and less damaging to your concrete, if slightly less effective than traditional de-icers. Many are available on Amazon.

Sand

A readily available option that many have right in their backyard is sand! It doesn’t melt ice, but it can add traction to slippery areas. If you’re looking to get purchase for your tires on a slightly inclined driveway or help keep your sidewalk just a little safer, sand is a great option that won’t degrade your concrete or hurt your lawn. The biggest downside is the mucky mess it makes when the ice finally melts, but that’s a mop problem, which is certainly better than an injury problem! Sand can help on stairs, but melting the ice is the safer solution!

Heated Mats

Heated mats are an expensive solution, most likely added to a new build, and generally more widely used in areas that stay colder than Dallas-Fort Worth. If you live toward Collin County or any of the more northern counties in North Texas, and you’re building a new home or commercial property, this might not be a bad option to consider!

Anti-icers

Anti-icing solution is a chemical spray that is applied to your sidewalks and driveways before wintery mixes and snowstorms happen. Most come as a liquid in a jug and use a sprayer similar to a fertilizer or pesticide sprayer. Many claim to be eco and bio-friendly and non-toxic, though, like any chemical you apply outside, you’ll want to use it as sparingly as possible. Anti-icers are fairly easy to find (though they may be more readily available in colder climates) and are a great choice for retail and multifamily properties, where slip and fall suits might be a concern.

Shoveling

Good, old fashioned shoveling might do what you need if your ice isn’t too thick and you don’t have too large a surface to shovel. You’ll want to use a flat, wide shovel if you have one available.

Classic is here to help!

Classic Construction & Restoration, Inc is prepared in case you need emergency water services, and can de-ice on a large scale for retail and multifamily properties. Call today at (469) 290-8980 if you have experienced burst pipes (link to burst pipes blog) or other winter-weather related (link to water damage page) damage to your home, business, or multifamily property.

Slate roof

Hiring a GAF SlateCrafter Specialist

Slate roof

Finding a reliable, timely, and trustworthy slate installer can be nearly impossible with so many contractors available, but our SlateCrafter Specialist team at Classic Construction can make it easy. Classic Construction is one of the top 2% of contractors who are GAF Master Elite Certified and now also SlateCrafter Specialists, which helps ensure that only the best quality and installation practices are being used.   

What GAF SlateCrafter Certified means to me

Being GAF Master Elite Certified and GAF SlateCrafter Specialist is more than just a title; it’s a promise and commitment to get the job done On Time and On Budget. Gaining our certification means that you are selecting a safe choice from the top 2% of roofing contractors with hours of training and a warranty to guarantee our workmanship.

Safe Choice

Being a GAF SlateCrafter Specialist is a safe choice for you. When you choose a SlateCrafter Specialist, you are guaranteed the best quality slate; a real hand-split quarried slate. You are also ensured an installation system that requires less slate for every net square. One of the most important promises that our team at Classic Construction can guarantee as a SlateCrafter Specialist is affordability. 

Our Training 

To become GAF Elite Certified and GAF SlateCrafter Specialists, our team has dedicated hours to slate installation training in the classroom and in practice. Aside from training, our crew is also tested to ensure that we can perform premium, high-end slate applications. Because of all the hours dedicated to slate installation, our team has diverse capabilities. 

Warranties 

To guarantee peace of mind, GAF SlateCrafter Specialists offer a lifetime limited warranty with coverage on workmanship and manufacturer defects. 

Why It Matters

Becoming a capable and knowledgeable slate installer can take years. Locating a company that cares about the quality of material, quality of the installation, and affordability is rare. GAF SlateCrafter Specialists have trained, learned, and been reviewed to ensure experienced installation. You will be guaranteed the best quality installation done by a knowledgeable crew member and the best possible quality slate, which will have been tested using the standard American Society of Testing and Materials. If you want a slate roof that will last you years for a reasonable price, choose quality and reliability by selecting a GAF SlateCrafter Certified Specialist. If you want a family that also cares about you and your project, who is On Time and On Budget, choose Classic Construction.

Empty apartment turnover maintenance

Preparing for Tenant Turnover: What Major Maintenance Items Should Be on Your Checklist?

Tenant turnover is a year-round problem for property managers and landlords. But with the warmer weather on the horizon, turnover rates will be on the rise. According to the National Apartment Association, turnover expenses have the potential to reach up to $162,000 or more annually, depending on the property’s location and turnover rate. 

With that being said, here are 3 of the top turnover maintenance tips to help you manage this busy season more effectively and save money in the process.

Begin the process before your current tenant moves out

As long as your resident has given you written notice of their intent to vacate, you can start the turnover process by scheduling a pre-inspection at any time before the current tenant moves out. During this time, you’ll be able to assess the condition of the flooring, the blinds, the appliances and any other big-ticket items that you might need to order in advance. 

Speak with your vendors about availability of materialsa kitchen with with stainless steel fridge, black stove and a black over the range microwave. White cabinets and black countertops. Kitchen receiving maintenance and being cleared.

Because you were smart and started the turnover process early, you now have the opportunity to make sure that your vendors have what you need in stock, or place your order for the materials so that you receive them in a timely manner. 

Additionally, your maintenance team will be able to prepare for whatever make-ready responsibilities they will be handling after the tenant is gone. These can include, but are not limited to, replacing window screens, air vents, appliance upkeep and cleaning. 

Prepare for both major and minor renovations, if necessary

If during your pre-inspection you realize the unit is overdue for a light remodel, you will be able to assess what items need replacing. Simple renovations such as new light fixtures, additional electrical outlets, or new paint can potentially generate a higher rent and depending on the skills your maintenance team possesses, can be done by them for a relatively low cost.

However, if you or the property owner have been going through the process of completely updating units and this one needs a major remodel, this is the time to request contractor bids and estimate the costs. Doing this before the current resident is gone will help you when looking at your turnover budget and you will be able to then determine an accurate timeline for when the unit can be rent-ready.

Empty rooms with clean wood floors a fireplace receiving maintenance. Room has white walls and a white ceiling fan with three lights turned on. Empty room maintenance managing tenant vacancy

Fortunately for you, Classic Construction handles everything from general maintenance to full remodels to large insurance claims. If you find your maintenance staff overwhelmed with their turnover responsibilities, give us a call or contact us today for a free estimate!

Traces of termites eat wood, Timber beam of door damaged by termite which eat for a long time, The wood home with termites damage in kitchen.

Termite Tip & Tricks: How to asses and prevent termite damage to your home 

Spring is often considered a beautiful season as it is the time of year when nature comes back to life after hibernating during the winter months. We see new flowers, new baby animals and lots of new growth all around us. While all this newness can be exciting, the ugly truth is that spring also brings to life termites and other pests we’d rather not see again so soon.

Termites specifically are nasty pests to deal with because they do most of their dirty work out of view and the damage can be catastrophic to your home. According to the National Pest Management Association, termites alone cause up to $5 billion dollars in damage in the U.S. each year!

And it’s not just cosmetic damage; they eat into the very structure of your home. It’s a well-known fact that termites eat wood and many of the foundational elements of your home are made from wood. This includes support beams, floor joists, posts, ceiling joists and wall studs. In addition to their regular fare, termites also enjoy the occasional gourmet meal of plaster, insulation and metal siding. 

Visible signs of termite damage include:Traces of termites eat wood, Timber beam of door damaged by termite which eat for a long time, The wood home with termites damage in kitchen.

  • Discolored or drooping drywall
  • Peeling paint that resembles water damage
  • Wood that sounds hollow when tapped
  • Small, pinpoint holes in drywall
  • Buckling wooden or laminate floorboards
  • Tiles loosening from the added moisture termites can introduce to your floor
  • Excessively squeaky floorboards
  • Crumbling, damaged wood
  • Stuck windows or doors
  • Maze-like patterns in furniture, floorboards or walls
  • Mound of drywood termite pellets, often resembling small piles of salt and pepper
  • Piles of wings left behind after swarms, often resembling fish scales
  • Mud tubes climbing the foundation of your home
  • Flying termite swarms anywhere on your property

If you’re seeing any signs of termite damage to your property, you should definitely call a professional termite company for an inspection because the damage is probably already worse than you think. Termites can live in your home’s foundational elements for a long time before being detected, which means these unseen items have probably already taken on worse damage than those you can see.

A couple of ways to prevent termites from entering your home during the pre-construction phase include pouring a concrete foundation and using pressure-treated wood for framing, etc. These are common in most new homes in the DFW area these days. 

But if you are trying to prevent termites from entering your lived-in home, the number one thing you can do is remove all landscaping and soil from around your home’s foundation and siding. Create a 4-inch barrier between mulch and your home. Keep plants at least a few feet away from siding and windows. Make sure the soil around your foundation is at least 6 inches lower than the siding. All these items retain moisture and moisture attracts termites and their very large families. 

If you have determined that your home already has termites and termite damage, the first thing you should do is make sure those buggers are dead and gone. Consult with a termite specialist to determine the best way to remove these nuisances from your property.

Then, determine which parts of your home are majorly damaged and which parts are only cosmetically damaged. Most cosmetic damages can be handled with some weekend DIY projects. These include sheetrock/drywall repairs, painting, and floor covering replacement (after your foundation and framing have been repaired, if necessary).

Man in pest control equipment with pesticide in left arm spraying pesticide with ergo grip For major repairs, you will need to look into hiring a general contractor. It is not recommended that you try to repair any of the damaged foundational elements of your home mentioned above unless you are a licensed contractor yourself. This is because you might need a more in-depth analysis of the damage in order to accurately assess what needs repair vs what needs replacing. Depending on the age of your home, you might also have code upgrades that might need to be made and a GC can help identify these.

damaged sidewalk

Concrete Repairs: Who is responsible for repairs or replacement?

For many homeowners in an HOA community, severely cracked and damaged sidewalks and streets aren’t just a nuisance, they’re a safety hazard. And there can be a lot of confusion and drama surrounding the issue of who should be responsible for fixing up these damaged areas and making them both pretty and functional again.

When it comes to the streets, it’s clear who is responsible for the repairs. Many municipalities, Dallas included, take responsibility for street and alley repairs as these are owned by the city. These repairs are done by the Department of Public Works.

Curbs are part of the streets and as such, the repairs are also the city’s responsibility. However, curb repair or replacement is usually only done where the curb is hazardous or is causing a significant standing water problem.

damaged sidewalkAlthough we at Classic would love to give you a straight answer on who is responsible for sidewalks and walkways, the truth is that it’s not this simple. It all comes down to why or how the concrete came to be damaged. And this is where the drama comes into play.

Many homeowners assume that because the sidewalk is public property, it is a public responsibility (aka, the government’s problem). However, the truth is that many cities and municipalities hold the homeowner directly adjacent to the sidewalk responsible for its repairs.

This issue of responsibility for repairs is further complicated in HOA communities if the HOA technically owns the public spaces. Homeowners then think that the Board is responsible for making sure these eye sores are repaired, but the Board might beg to differ.

If the damaged sidewalk is causing or has the potential to cause injuries to community members, of course they want it repaired. But if the homeowner adjacent to the damaged sidewalk is responsible for the damage, they might pursue measures that would make the homeowner financially responsible for the repairs.

Examples of this would be if a homeowner is known for repeatedly driving their vehicle over the sidewalk or has planted a tree on their property where the root system would easily reach the sidewalk. Both of these actions could cause cracks and shifting of the sidewalk, which would in turn cause damage.

These are just a couple of the issues that surround concrete repairs in an HOA community, but another one we should briefly consider is the cost.

Because more municipalities across the country are placing responsibility for sidewalk repairs in homeowners’ hands, homeowners should consider upping their insurance liability coverage. This is especially true of homeowners in older communities where sidewalk cracks and damage are more likely to occur. Regardless of whether or not you are actually responsible for making the repairs, you wouldn’t want to be caught unprepared for a costly lawsuit if someone got hurt right outside your front door due to a faulty sidewalk.

According to HomeAdvisor, it can cost anywhere between $663 and $2,016 to repair a patio, residential walkway or sidewalk. These numbers are not accurate for every location across the country as they will fluctuate depending on the extent of the damage and construction prices in your area.

You should also check with your local Department of Public Works to see what the requirements are and if your city offers a cost/share program to assist with the replacement of sidewalks and driveways. Some places, like the city of Dallas, require a permit to perform sidewalk repairs/replacement, but they will also help to offset some of the costs.