Playground slide and stairs with various primary colored railing.

Maintenance for Community Managers: How to maintain your community’s playground equipment –

playground slide and stairs with various primary colors With the hot Summer weather drawing near, the kiddos in your community will want to start playing on the playground more frequently. Before they swarm the equipment, check out these CAI maintenance tips for playgrounds.

Clean the equipment
If you’re thinking like a parent or childcare worker, you probably just imagined yourself wiping everything down with Wet Ones. Don’t worry; there is a faster way!

The first thing you might want to do when inspecting the playground equipment in your community is have it power washed. This will not only remove any dirt or mud buildup but also allow you to see any imperfections or damaged areas of the equipment more clearly.

Check structures for insect nests
Lots of insects hate cold weather and to them, the underside of playground
equipment is a good place to build a home. Have your maintenance crew
walk the entire playground area, even the seating areas, and check for insect
nests.

You might this unnecessary because parents should be responsible for keeping their kids from bothering the insects, but there are always parents that are less attentive than you might think. The last thing you want is an angry parent holding
you responsible for their child getting stung by a bee when they’re deathly allergic.

Think “Safety First”
Take this time to have your maintenance crew tighten or replace any loose bolts
on the playground. This is especially important in cases where there are multiple slides or levels to the playground, and if your community is home to lots of children.

If you find any rusty areas on metal playground equipment, or any warped or
damaged areas on plastic playground equipment, consider getting a bid to repair it.

Playground equipment probably isn’t at the top of your Board’s list of priorities
and that’s okay. Just know that to build a new playground set from the ground up,
it can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $50,000. For higher-end communities
that want even nicer equipment, it can cause ten times this much. In the off
chance that your community playground does need some major repairs, know
that it’s cheaper to maintain it than to rebuild it.

playground swing maintenance blue swings

Budget for resurfacing
This is especially important if the playground has wood chips or tire mulch. Even if you don’t plan to completely replace the surfacing, make sure you budget to have it raked and leveled, especially under the swings and slides.

If you’re not sure if you should resurface your community’s playground, Classic Construction recommends reading the Texas Health and Safety Code regarding playground surfacing. You’ll want to make sure your current playground is up to code before worrying about whether or not it’s in good enough condition to leave in place.

Community playgrounds are amenities that do an excellent job of bringing communities together. They get kids and parents out of their homes and into connection and conversation with each other. To make sure your community playground can continue to provide this invaluable service, take some time to schedule the inspection today.

two GAF Certified quality roofing contractors on the roof taken from arial view of the roof

What does GAF Master Elite™ Certification mean for our customers?

two GAF Certified quality roofing contractors on the roof taken from arial view of the roofHere at Classic Construction & Restoration, Inc. we take pride in being among the top 2% of roofing contractors in North America. How did we achieve this lofty goal? 

We went through the process of becoming GAF Master Elite® certified!

GAF is an acronym for General Aniline & Film, which is the leading manufacturer of roofing and waterproofing materials in America. If you have a roof over your head, there’s a 1 in 4 chance that it was built with GAF’s materials. 

The Master Elite® Certification is GAF’s factory certification program that provides ongoing training to roofing contractors and assurance to you, the homeowner, that the roof will be completed well and professionally. This is a highly prestigious award because only 2% of all roofing contractors in the country have qualified as Master Elite®. 

What does this mean for you as a homeowner?

Choosing a GAF Master Elite® contractor is your assurance that you will be dealing with a quality, dependable and professional contractor. In order for a roofing contractor to qualify for the certification, they must meet the following standards:

  • A+ BBB rating
  • possess an established license for the state they work in
  • be current with distributor partners in receivables
  • have been in business for at least 3 years
  • consistently show ethical contracting in their service area
  • be adequately insured
  • show a commitment to ongoing professional training

two classic construction GAF master elite certified contractors on the roof examining roof material

A certified GAF Master Elite® roofer is the only contractor that can offer 2 of the best warranties in the industry, Silver Pledge and Gold Pledge, both backed by GAF. GAF also covers a Master Elite’s workmanship. Approximately 95% of the issues that arise on a roofing project are related to the installation of the product, not the product itself. With a Master Elite® roofer, you can be sure that they have been trained to install the materials correctly and have the ethical wherewithal to make sure that your home is protected. 

As a full-service general contractor proudly serving North Texas for over 90 years, and one who qualifies as a top 2% roofing contractor, you can rest assured that your roof is in good hands with Classic Construction & Restoration, Inc. 

If you find yourself in need of a new roof, call Classic Construction today for your free quote!

GAF Master elite logo

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!

Pest control contractor working in the flat. Man using pesticide under white sofa to exterminate large black cockroaches. Man is using white suit, glasses and face mask to protect himself.

Pest Prevention and the Benefits to Your Home

Pest control contractor working in the flat. Man using pesticide under white sofa to exterminate large black cockroaches. Man is using white suit, glasses and face mask to protect himself. Pests are called “pests” because they are not only irritating, but they also cause mayhem wherever they are found. So it can be almost disastrous when they take up residence in your home. With the rain we’ve been getting here in North Texas, we would all be wise to seek out some pest prevention methods that we could put into play in order to protect our homes. Here are just a few we found from the Community Associations Institute’s Spring 2018 magazine

And when it comes to pests, our homes need protection. We’ve discussed the damage termites can do to your home in a previous post. Another silent terrorist you want to be aware of is the carpenter ant. 

Why are they called carpenter ants?black carpenter ants crawling on brown tree trunk

Because similar to the way termites eat wood, carpenter ants like to do their dirty work in wood. Both of these pests live and die by destroying the wood in your home. While the destruction caused by carpenter ants is not as severe as that caused by termites, it has the potential to grow into a devastating amount of damage over time. 

As the ant colony grows, it will continue to expand into other wooden elements of your home including framing, support beams, floor joists, posts, ceiling joists, siding and wall studs. Carpenter ants will typically only nest in wood softened by moisture, so pay particular attention to their potential points of entry such as your attic vents, foundations, cracks, electric wires, and plumbing pipes. 

Other types of pests to protect your home against are rodents.

These critters are already unsavory houseguests due to the diseases they can carry, but their indiscriminatory tastes will have you trying to kick them out before dinner once they’ve made their way into your home. Squirrels typically will chew their way through roofing or siding near roofs and under eaves, making their way into your attic. Mice and rats usually eat their way into your home on the ground level.

When I say they have indiscriminatory tastes, I mean they will eat or chew through just about anything! This poses an obvious threat to the belongings in your attic or garage, but more than this is at stake. 

Rodents will cause damage to your home in a myriad of ways through gnawing, nest-building and defecation. They will chew on just about anything that they deem necessary to build their nests. They will chew up wood to create shavings for the rugs. Insulation isn’t safe either as they will burrow into it to create their beds and sofas. They will even chew through wiring around electrical outlets and appliances, thereby installing their very own entertainment room!

Aside from the wood shavings, the damage caused to your home by rodents chewing through insulation and electrical wiring puts your home at risk of catching on fire. Because of this, it’s important to take steps to “pest-proof” your home as best you can. 

Eliminate possible food sources

Keep food in thick plastic or metal containers with tight lids

Secure garbage in similar containers with tight lids

Keep outside cooking areas clean

Clean up spilled food right away and wash dishes and cooking utensils soon after use

Keep compost bins away from your home

Keep pet or other animal food stored in thick plastic or metal containers with airtight lids

Eliminate excess moisture

Fix up dripping taps and leaking pipes

Make sure your gutters’ down spout deposits water at least a couple of feet from your foundation

Fill or remove any indented areas of your lawn close to your home so that they won’t hold standing water

Seal all the holes and gaps inside and around your home

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, mice can squeeze through a hole the size of nickel and rats can squeeze through a hole the size of half dollar. And of course, ants enter through holes we might not be able to see. Keeping ants out can be trickier, but it’s not impossible if you follow the steps below.

Seal interior holes:

Inside, under and behind kitchen cabinets, refrigerators and stoves

Inside closets near the floor corners

Around the fireplace, doors and windows

Around the pipes under sinks, washing machines, hot water heater and furnace

Inside the attic, basement or crawl space

Between the floor and wall juncture

Seal exterior holes:

In the roof among the rafters, gables and eaves

Around windows and doors

Around the foundation

At attic vents and the crawl space

Under doors

Around holes for electrical, plumbing, cable and gas lines

While we here at Classic Construction won’t come clean your dishes for you, we can provide you with the best sealant work in DFW. If you need help making sure you catch all the nooks and crannies that need new caulking, contact us for a free estimate today. 

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.

Construction engineers discussion with architects at construction or building site

What you need to know about working with insurance companies

Catastrophe strikes at the most inopportune times. Dealing with insurance for repairs as a property owner of a multifamily property or HOA building can become tricky and confusing, making repairs after a storm a daunting task.

Interacting with insurance companies is inevitable and will be necessary to get the repairs started. To help aid through this journey, we have detailed a few things that you will need to know.

The owners will need to notify the insurance company

Construction engineers discussion with architects at construction or building site

The first step is to notify the insurance company that there’s been some damage to the property. Most policies will state a specific time frame for reporting damages and if your people fail to report them within this time frame, it might result in the denial of the claim.

Even if your residents have to leave the property for safety reasons, the owner or HOA Board president will still need to reach out to the insurance company within the specified amount of time.

Make sure your owner or Board member has many photos that clearly detail the damage, as well as comprehensive notes and remarks that they can provide the insurance company with. The insurance world is all about the little details so be very thorough.

The insurance company will likely want to send an adjuster from their own firm to handle that portion of the process, know that this person doesn’t always have the best interests of the owner or Board in mind.

In case you are unaware,  your people have the right to hire a public insurance adjuster. In the case that you decide to hire a public adjuster, make sure they are trustworthy and can help get the most from the insurance company.

Find out what your budget is going to be

The insurance adjuster will let your insurance agent know what needs to be repaired or replaced and how much it will cost. This is why it’s so important to look for an adjuster that has your property owner’s best interests at heart.

When you get this report, know that the adjuster is only going to repair or replace what was already on the property with comparable materials. If the owner or the homeowners of a HOA want any upgrades to the property, these will likely be coming out of their own pockets.

It will be your job to find a contractor

Not all contractors are equal. You might be tempted to go straight to your preferred vendor list when looking for someone to help you fix up the property, but that might be a mistake.

When it comes to insurance claims, you’ll need to look for a contractor company that is used to working with people in the insurance industry. Typically, these contractors are known as restoration contractors.

Restoration contractors have years of experience and the knowledge necessary to repair homes that have been damaged by fire, water, smoke or wind. In these situations, it is essential to keep in mind that there is a distinct difference between restoring a damaged home as opposed to remodeling or renovating an existing home. General contractors are not nearly as familiar with the insurance claim procedure.

Classic Construction & Restoration Inc. is one of North Texas’ most well-known restoration contractors. If you’d like more information on navigating an insurance claim or on restoration project, please give us a call today.

 

Sources:

https://www.adjustersinternational.com/newsroom/hiring-a-contractor-for-your-property-damage-insurance-claim-tips-for-home-and-business-owners

https://www.adjustersinternational.com/newsroom/how-to-file-a-homeowners-property-damage-insurance-claim

https://www.insurance.wa.gov/hiring-general-contractor-homeowner-insurance-claims

https://www.millerpublicadjusters.com/free-property-insurance-claim-advice-blog/insurance-company-contractor

https://www.builtrighthomesolutions.com/about-us/news-and-events/22281-whats-the-difference-restoration-vs-general-contractors.html