Deck Coatings & Their Care (Part 1)

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Waterproof deck coatings and Condominiums seem to go hand in hand. It seems that nearly every HOA complex has them, either over a living space or attached off a room. Residents love them because their decks are often used as another room of the house, owners and managers of income property usually detest them because of the problems that seem to always come along with them.

Some owners and managers seek to minimize their exposure to these problems by seeking to change the CC&R’s, making owners responsible for these exclusive use areas. Other Boards just put their heads in the sand, repairing decks as a complaint comes in, usually with the bare minimum of work to stop the deck from leaking. Smart managers and Boards will tackle the problem head on, looking to get their deck problems under control right away.

Inspections

The key to preventing decks from becoming a problem is in inspecting the decks. Often times the manager and or the Board will walk the Associations common area property for inspection of the components the Association is responsible for. Typical items that are checked are downspouts and gutters; the condition of the paint on the buildings, the roof and whatever else can be readily viewed from the street and sidewalks. As water proofed decks are typically on the second or third floor, they usually are never inspected. Access through the home is difficult to arrange with owners and what manager or Board member really wants to climb a ladder?

Therefore, the decks just linger by themselves, never really thought of until an owner calls to say that water is dripping into their home from the deck above them during the biggest rainstorm of the season. Then the deck problem raises it’s ugly head, causing the manager to go into crisis management mode, calling a handyman out to temporarily cover the deck, waiting for a deck company to come out and look at it, getting the Board to approve the repair, all of which can take a month or more. The owner is frustrated because their deck leaks, the manager is frustrated because he or she hears from the owner 2-3 times with complaints, the deck company is usually busy with lots of leak calls and it takes forever to get anything done that cures the problem.

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