Maintenance Alerts

Condensate Leaks - April Maintenance Bulletin

TO SAVE $1,000s - If your air conditioning system causes a leak that causes damage to other units - you WILL be responsible for the repairs! One simple service call will prevent damage and save you money!  Change air filters, clean condensate line, check electrical connections and clean drain pan.

 

EASY FIX - The most common condensate line leak is caused by algae build up in the condensate line. Algae growth clogs the line and the water is no longer able to properly drain to the exterior. Routine maintenance and cleaning can prevent these leaks!!

DID YOU KNOW?  Condensate line leaks can result in thousands of dollars in damage and insurance claims. Unfortunately, as owners you may pay the increased price of insurance premiums - with increases in your fees!! It is imperative that each owner maintain their Air Conditioning systems properly to prevent leaks.

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APRIL Condensate Leaks.pdf
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Click the above link for guidance from Victory Management. It is a good idea to print this flyer and keep it handy for reference.

Water Leaks - Non-Emergency

a. Leaks above and around sliding glass and French doors, bay and flush windows, and into garages have been found to originate in large, but sometimes VERY small, gaps between the siding and light fixture boxes, outlet boxes, window and door trim. Leaks above and around LOWER level doors have been found to originate from small gaps around and below the UPPER level door frame. The most common solution is to caulk all these areas, especially UNDER the upper sliding or French door frame. If an upper deck does not have a lot of clearance to the door threshold, it may not be possible to actually see the gap, but that area should definitely be caulked, as well as the entire upper sliding/French door frame and around the outside light fixture.  Please go to the Photo Gallery to see photos of water damage behind siding and above a lower sliding glass door as well as Tyvek installation on another home.

 

1.  Water Damage Under Siding-Tyvek Installed - The owner worked with the contractor to remove siding on that side of the house and install Tyvek insulation to prevent further water penetration and provide additional insulation.  Email Bill Eubanks for further information.

 

2.  Tyvek Installed Under Siding - The owner hired C&K Improvements (see Vendors We Like) to remove the siding and install window flashing and Tyvek insulation after water penetration damaged drywall twice, wood floors that were damaged during Hurricane Irene and replaced by laminate floors which were damaged after Hurricane Sandy, and window frames. Contact Hillary Frank for further information.

 

Some homes have also been found to lack flashing around the sliding doors and windows, or that the flashing has not been properly sealed, so check those areas for flashing or improper sealing.   IF THESE AREAS ARE NOT SEALED AT THE BAY WINDOWS, THE FRAMING WOOD CAN ROT CAUSING MORE EXPENSIVE REPAIRS.

 

Comment from one unit owner:  Problem was discovered during that terrible storm with tornadoes earlier this summer (2012), when our power was out for a few days.  Water was coming in like a waterfall.  Never saw a leak before....just the drywall tape was pulling up...  It wouldn't hurt to remind folks to have their bay/box windows inspected.  The repairman (DiZebba & Sons, Inc. - See "Vendors We Like") replaced all OSB with hardiplank type material that won't rot...well hopefully not for a while!! 

 

b. The pipe coming up from the ground inside the utility closet can break its connection with the pipe to the main water system if the angle at which the two are connected is too severe, causing sudden and major flooding on the first floor.  Please go to the Photo Gallery to view a repaired water pipe with detailed description of the problem and repair.

c. Air conditioners remove humidity from the air and deposit it as water into a drip pan. This pan drains out a PVC pipe down to a drain hole in your slab, and from there to the outside. If a break, crack, or clog occurs in any part of this drainage system, you will end up with water pouring onto the utility room floor. From there, it will probably flow into your neighbor’s house, too. Check periodically around your AC (and hot water heater, too!) for signs of water. Where the PVC pipe runs out of your house, consider installing a mesh or vented end cap to prevent critters from entering your home.

 

d.  IF YOUR WATER BILL is double or triple the normal amount AND you see excess water OUTSIDE your home or the ground is overly wet, you have an UNDERGROUND pipe break somewhere. You need to contact a plumber and possibly a landscape company to unearth the problem and fix it..  Please go to the Photo Gallery to see the puddle of water unearthed next to one house. The remedy was to remove the water heater and install a protective sleeve over the pipe from inside the house to the outside of the house.

Winterizing Outdoor Faucets

Winterizing outside faucets is critical to avoid burst pipes!  Click here to go to the Photo Gallery for instructions and photos for draining pipes.

Oriented Strand Board (OSB) Behind Siding

According to The Family Handyman website, the Engineered Wood Association, architects and most builders rate plywood and oriented strand board (OSB) equal in strength and durability.

Like-thicknesses of these two products can span the same distances between studs or rafters, weigh about the same and offer similar nail-holding abilities. OSB has its advantages. Some panels have a textured surface, which makes them less slippery when used for roof sheathing. OSB panels often have lines at 16- and 24-in. intervals so you know where underlying studs, rafters and joists are for nailing. In our area, 1/2-in. OSB costs a few dollars less per sheet than 1/2-in. plywood. And OSB is available in 4 x 9-ft. sheets, which means you can sheathe an 8-ft. tall wall and the joists below with a single sheet. OSB has one irritating characteristic-but only if you abuse the stuff. The edges tend to swell when they get wet and remain swollen even after drying out. This results in ridges that can "telegraph" through shingles, and even carpet when OSB is used for subfloors. So store your OSB in a dry place, then cover it with tarpaper or siding ASAP to protect it from the elements.

Bird's Nest Found in Vent Stack

 

Install A Vent Cover For Protection

 

A neighbor saw rusty water on the utility closet floor and discovered that a bird’s nest was almost completely blocking the HVAC vent stack.  During the heat cycle, excess combustion gas is supposed to be released outside the home via the stack that exits the roof.  In this case, the gas was barely getting past the nest, so it was condensing inside the stack and rusting the pipe.  This obstruction could have caused carbon monoxide to build up in the house – obviously a dangerous situation.  Everyone is advised to have their vent stack examined to be sure it is clear, and then have a vent cap installed – which is something that the builder should have done!

Mouse Trapping and Removal

We live in a wooded community so eventually mice will find their way into your home, often chewing through the drywall to get at your food treats in the pantry or other areas of your home, such as the garage.

 

The best and quickest remedy is to put some peanut butter in a round, spring-loaded mouse trap and place it wherever you see evidence of mouse activity. You may need more than one in each place.  You will find that, within a couple of hours, you will most likely trap your unwanted visitor(s). Leave the "sprung" trap in place for 24 hours, then place it in a plastic bag and discard with your regular trash.  If you do not wish to remove the trap yourself, check under "Classified Ads-Help Offered & Wanted" for the names of two residents who have offered to remove snakes, so they may be amenable to removing the mouse trap for you.

 

If the mouse has chewed through the drywall, do not repair it until you have trapped the mouse. If possible, nail plywood over the hole (if the area is hidden from general view, such as in a closet or garage) or use waterproof "backer" board normally reserved for wet areas.  Backer board is extremely dense and more impenetrable.