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Category : Roof Repair

Tips for Property Managers: How to Decorate Your Building for the Holidays

Commercial Building Decoration

There are so many reasons to celebrate in December, as Hanukkah begins the night of December 2nd, followed by Christmas on the 25th, Kwanzaa on the 26th, and of course, the New Year on the 31st. So how to share the holiday spirit with your tenants?

You may not be big on decorations, but if you don’t decorate your building or host a party, you may be viewed as a modern-day Scrooge. On the flip side, if you add too many holiday symbols (Christmas trees, wreaths, lots of tinsel, yards of lights, menorahs, and Kwanzaa’s traditional Kinara candle holders), you might be accused of going overboard.

How can you strike a happy balance? According to Ginny Decker, vice president of property management for Monument Capital Real Estate Services, Miami and Katherine Furniss, marketing manager at CFH Group, another property management group in Miami, founding the middle ground has helped them keep tenants happier and encouraged them to renew.

Question: What is your company’s approach to decorating so building owners or property managers show they care—without making the building look like Santa’s workshop?

Decker: We let the on-site staff at each building decide based on tenant demographics. You want to have some decorations but not so much tinsel—for example—that it makes it hard for prospective tenants to see the building and sign a lease. We encourage an “understated ” look.

Q: How does that translate into decorations?

Decker: Generally, we say you can’t go wrong with simple, classic, white holiday lights that make residents feel good when they return home from work or when prospective tenants drive up to the building. Lights always add cheer.

Furniss: We take the same approach of keeping decorations simple and using maybe one color of lighting so they look generic, and maybe light the entrance and corporate leasing office. We might also put a wreath at the front door. We refer to all the celebrations as “the holidays” rather than to specific events.

Q: Anything else you do beside lights?

Decker: Because we try not to celebrate one denomination, we like other generic symbols such as snowflakes, snowmen, silver colors, as opposed to red and green, a tree, menorah, or Kwanzaa symbols. We want to be inclusive, especially since we often don’t know which holidays our residents celebrate.

Q: Have you had tenants complain about too much or too little?

Decker: Not so far.

Q: Do you also host holiday parties this time of year on- or off-site?

Decker: We do, and they’re on-site. The specifics vary from community to community-based on the resident profile. For buildings with young children, we might bring in a Santa Claus for photographs with the kids. For other sites, we might have gift wrapping parties where we supply the gift paper. We’ve also organize pot-luck suppers where we provide a ham or turkey, and residents bring side dishes and desserts. At some buildings with mostly lower-income residents, we may give away turkeys. We try to find out what residents want most by doing a lot of surveys throughout the year.

Furniss: We’ll host a party in the common area of a clubhouse or maybe on a pool deck of a building. We might have a movie night and ask residents for suggestions, and if their movie is picked they’ll get a prize. We’ll set up “Santa’s workshop” at each building with all the supplies needed to wrap gifts–paper and bows, and make it available the entire month of December. Many of our managers have been with us for years so they tend to know what works and doesn’t.

Q: How about saying thanks with contributions to a favorite charity in your tenants’ honor?

Decker: We try to do something like that during the season, or ask tenants to donate canned foods and toys so we all give back to our community beyond the building. We also let tenants know where their community may be hosting dinners they can attend.

Q: When do you suggest taking down decorations?

Decker: Usually, by the middle of January.

Furniss: We’ll take them down right after Christmas.

Q: Do you decorate for any other holidays to build camaraderie and good building morale?

Decker: We try to do things consistently year-round and in each quarter such as Halloween decorations come fall and a pool/barbecue around July 4th or some time during the summer. Again, we ask for tenant feedback to find what they want.

Furniss: We decorate for Halloween, and sometimes the staff dresses up, often with a theme such as witches

Q: Do you set a budget for these types of expenditures, and if so would you share?

Decker: I can’t give you a dollar amount since it varies so much by community and the number of units and occupants, which influences the amount.’

Furniss: Our buildings tend to spend between $500 and $1,000 for such events.

Q: Any parting advice?

Decker: Yes, keep decorating and hosting these kinds of celebrations and polling residents regarding what they want so they’ll take advantage. If we get 30 to 50 residents at an event, we consider that a good turnout and a success. We find that by taking time to do these things residents tend to renew their leases and remain longer with us

Furniss: We often try to have an event that offers children an activity when we can.

Now we’d love to hear from you! What do you do at your buildings to keep spirits up through the holiday season and even into the long month of January?

Tips To Find And Fix A Leak On Your Roof

Tips To Find And Fix A LeakLeaks are the most common roofing problems because of the changing weather, environmental toxins, and everyday wear and tear. Identifying a leak early is the best way to prevent serious damage but many people do not realize they have a leak until it is too late. Any visible water damage inside the building indicates that you have a leak. It can be challenging to find the source of a leak, so you should call a roofing contractor to help.

Tips to Find and Fix a Leak

If you think you have a leak, you can attempt to find it yourself and repair it if small enough. The first place to check is roof penetrations, such as vents, ducts, dormers, and siding. These are the most common places for leaks to start. Watch for water stains, mold, and black marks and should you notice these, you will know you have a leak. In that case, you should contact a roofer to inspect and repair the problem.

It is not always easy to find leaks and some are too small for untrained eyes to find. Hiring a professional roofer will be the best way to find these. By soaking the roof with water and watching for leaks on the inside leaks can be identified. Sometimes drips will appear far away from the actual leak and this is common in roofing where plastic vapor barriers are installed in the insulation. Professional roofers can move this aside to find the smallest leaks that may have been hiding from you.

  • Check the vents: Plumbing vent boots are typically made from plastic, metal, or both. Plastic cracks easily and metal seams can open, making the vent boot a good place to start looking for leaks. Any broken seams or cracked plastic needs to be replaced immediately. When you are replacing the broken or cracked vent, replace all nails with screws because they interfere less with the roofing material.
  • Dormers: When the weather is severe, water can leak from places other than the rooftop. Cracks in windows, dormers, and siding are all possible and will allow water to seep inside. Check the edges with a knife to identify any leaks and then if you are unable to repair the cracks yourself, you can call a roofer to add new caulk to seal the damaged areas.
  • Flashing: Flashing is usually installed in buildings where the walls intersect the roof. Flashing is used to move water away from the roof. With time they can rust, weaken and allow leaking so if you see any rusted or defective flashing, reach out to a roofer to see that it gets repaired immediately.

Call us today to schedule an inspection so we can help you to find any leaks. We have the experience and trained roofers to find even the smallest leak, so your roof will be secure for years to come.

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Hiring A Roofer For Your Flat Roof

Hiring A Roofer For Your Flat Roof

To keep your flat roof looking its best and able to withstand all conditions, you need to work with a professional roofer. They can inspect your roof regularly to ensure that your roof stays safe and strong enough to get through all weather and any harsh environmental conditions. Every roof suffers from natural wear and tear, but with regular maintenance and repairs, it will be guaranteed to last longer. There are some common problems you can expect with flat roofing and hiring a roofer will be the best way to prevent these or get them repaired as soon as they appear.

Hiring A Roofer For Your Flat Roof

  • Ponding: This is common with flat roofing and it occurs when water from rainfall or snow pools on the roof. If ponding is not corrected right away, the materials will become weaker and give way to leaks and structural problems. Internal damage can result once ponding has formed and any internal structural damage can be expensive. You should contact a roofer as soon as you notice the ponding to get the situation corrected.
  • Cracks: If you notice cracking or splitting along the membrane, you need to get a roofer out to look at it right away. An experienced roofer can identify any cracks or splits and repair them before they spread and cause further damage.
  • Blisters: These occur when air gets trapped between the felt layer and substrate. This is common with flat roofing and you will typically notice elevated pockets in your roof surface. Call a roofer as soon as you see these air pockets, so they can remedy the situation and prevent more expensive damage.
  • Ridges: When a bituminous buildup occurs within the joints of the roof insulation, the result is ridging. When moisture condenses under the felt layers you will notice ridging along the membranes. These long, narrow crevices are common in flat roofing where membranes are not securely attached.

Being aware of these common flat roofing problems will help you identify them in time so that a roofer can be called out to inspect the roof. With regular inspections and maintenance, they can be prevented or repaired if needed. Call us to schedule an inspection even if you have not noticed any of these problems. This is the most efficient way to prevent these problems from occurring or identifying them before they cause too much damage. Hire a professional roofing contractor to take care of your roof so your investment is protected and your flat roof will stand the test of time.

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What Should You Know Before Replacing Your Roof?

What You Should Know Before Replacing Your RoofReplacing your roof is an investment so you need to think before jumping in. You have a number of options, so need to research all possibilities to get the best service according to your budget. Every roof is susceptible to everyday wear and tear and changing seasonal weather can also take its toll. Before you replace your roof, there are some key tips to remember:

What Should You Know Before Replacing Your Roof?

  • Re-roofing: Many decide to re-roof over existing roofing rather than replacing it completely as this is often cheaper. However, this can actually cause you more problems as heat can build up between the old and new materials, creating moisture build up and serious damage.
  • Measurements: Overspending on materials is a big problem with roofing. You need to make sure you only buy what you need so you need measurements so you can accurately buy within your budget. Once you know accurate measurements you can decide on the material you want and buy only what you need.
  • Ventilation: You need to have proper ventilation if you want your roof to last. Installing good ventilation can save you from having to do expensive replacements. Ventilation regulates temperatures keeping the roof cool in the summer and preventing moisture in the winter. Look into ventilation options available so you can help your roof last longer.
  • Materials: There are wood and sealant under rubber membranes and a top material that makes up your roof. Only replacing the top layers may not solve the problem. If the underlying materials are weakened, the new top materials will be a waste as damage can still happen from below.
  • Reputation: You need to make sure you work with an experienced and professional roofer. Do some research before hiring because there are many to choose from. A good roofer will inspect the property and provide an estimate first, so avoid anyone that charges for these right away. Checking reviews from previously satisfied customers is also a good way to find a good roofer.

Do some thinking before investing in an expensive roof replacement. Contact a licensed roofer to inspect your property and they can advise if you need repairs or replacement. We provide free estimates and suggestions to fit every problem and every budget. Call us today to make an appointment.

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How Long Will My Roof Last?

how long will my roof last

Don’t ever assume the age of your roof.  It is important to know how long your roof will last and regular maintenance and inspections are the best way to ensure that you get the most years out of it.  Most roofs last for decades providing they have been cared for.  You need to make a point to start checking it regularly for damage whether the roof is old or new.  It is better to find any damage early on to prevent serious damage and entire roof replacement.  Over time untreated damage can affect the structural integrity of the building.  Learn about the different roofing materials so that you know the best way to care for your roof.

Know your materials

Most building come with asphalt or composite shingles and these last around 20 years.  The premium version can last close to 50 years.  If you have fiber cement you can expect it to last close to 25 years and architectural asphalt and cedar shake will last close to 30 years.  Some materials can last even longer like metal which will give you between 40 and 80 years.  Slate and tile will give you even more years lasting between 80 and 100 years.

Weather damage

All roof materials an potentially be damaged by severe weather. Harsh winds can push shingles out of place or pull them away entirely.  Missing shingles or gaps can leave other areas of the roof vulnerable to exposure and damage.  Depending on the airflow through your house, winds can create suction and pull materials away.  It also causes objects like trees to fall and dent or crack the roof surface.

Hail is a serious weather problem which involves small or large ice balls being thrown forcefully at your house.  You can end up with dents and cracks as well as shingles being worn away.  Most materials can withstand smaller hailstones but it is a good idea to check your roof completely after any big storm.

Most roof materials can tolerate snow and ice but heavy snowfall can cause cracks.  Cracks pose a serious problem because they allow melted snow to seep in and the refreeze and expand.  This loosens and moves tiles causing weakness in the roof.  The sun also causes cracks and damage because of the strong UV rays.  Over time constant exposure can break down materials leaving the roof vulnerable.

Time for repairs

Always check your roof for signs of damage and aging such as curled shingles or any cracks and missing pieces.  Check your gutters for granules if you have an asphalt roof and look for punctures and weak spots with slate and tiles.  Weakened slate and tiles will also show signs of wear through rough surfaces and flaking.

Don’t forget about your chimney and skylights as these are notorious for rusting and denting which allows water to seep in.  Any cracks can be home to mold and moss, so be sure to look thoroughly for that.  Wood shake, in particular, is vulnerable to moss because it absorbs water over time which allows mold to grow easily.  Always check your roof on the exterior and interior.  Go to your attic to look for leaks, staining, and wet spots, using a flashlight when necessary.

If you find damage do not jump to the conclusion that you need to replace your roof.  Chances are if you catch the damage in time, there are options for repair that will not be as costly as the replacement.  You want to get the damage inspected and evaluated right away.  As professionals with vast experience and knowledge, we can assure you that we will provide an accurate assessment and fair estimate for repairs.  When it comes to your roof, the most important thing to remember is that regular inspections will add to its overall longevity.