Water Damage Ain’t Just About Mold

Here’s a cautionary tale from a student property in Elon:

The ceiling of one of the breezeways…had sections of concrete fall down.

No one was injured, but the students who lived there had to be evacuated. The director of inspections for Alamance County says no one will be allowed back in until the components to support the ceiling are fixed.

“Well because the walls, those tresses [sic] are attached to hold up the second and third floors of that apartment building. We want to make sure the walls are sound before we let anyone back in there,” says Robert Key, director of county inspections.

In the video interview, the inspector said that because the trusses were hidden behind concrete it was not possible to easily inspect them, which meant that water damage went undetected and that led to the supports giving way and the collapse of the concrete.

Just one more way that water can be a maintenance professional’s nemesis.

Let’s Talk Maintenance with Fred Kicsak, Episode 7 of Not a Complex Podcast


This episode of Not a Complex podcast features an interview with Fred Kicsak, the Vice President of Maintenance and Service for Blue Ridge Companies, and who joined PTAA’s Board of Directors this year. Among other things we talked about R-22, hot water tanks, training for maintenance personnel, job skills, leadership and Fred’s favorite book and movie.

Over the coming months you’ll see (hear?) more interviews with members of PTAA’s Board of Directors. There are multiple reasons we’ve kicked off this series, but the two big ones are:
1. These folks have a wealth of knowledge to share
2. We hope this will allow PTAA’s members to get to know their leadership a little better.

So, sit back and enjoy the show. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to email them to us at info@piedmonttaa.org

Subscribe via: iTunesStitcher

Show Notes:

CFC Certification Course

Certified Apartment Maintenance Technician (CAMT) Designation

HVAC: Keeping a Cool Head in Times of Uncertainty – Article from June, 2016 Units Magazine that provides an overview of the current situation with HVACs for apartment communities (related to the R-22 discussion with Fred).

Freds Favorite Books & Movie:

Good to Great by Jim Collins

Minute Manager Series


Good Will Hunting

If You Can’t Chew It…

Here’s a couple of nice little FYIs from NAA’s Aptly Spoken blog:

During October 2nd’s Webinar Wednesday, “Tricks of the Trade: Maintenance,” Webinar moderator Paul Rhodes, National Maintenance and Safety Instructor for NAAEI, said the most common appliance-related service request is for the garbage disposal—which should really be called the “food waste disposer.”

Rhodes says residents think their garbage disposal is a chipper, often throwing in bottle caps, fish gravel, tree branches, egg shells, chicken bones and coffee grounds. But as a general rule of thumb, if you can’t chew it, neither can your disposal….

Mildew—essentially the same thing as mold—appears due to moisture, stale air and the presence of a food source. It craves moisture, which is why bleach is not the best remedy, as it is mostly made of water and simply removes color. 

Instead, Rhodes suggests using laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent, both of which have a degreaser that will help fight mildew. You can also leave a thin layer behind to prevent mold from re-growing around a window frame, for example.



The Perils of Droopy Drawers

At every community manager round table hosted by PTAA there’s one topic that invariably comes up for discussion: staff attire. Most of the concerns that managers have relate to the image being portrayed by the staff members, but in the case of maintenance staff there are other, very practical concerns as highlighted in this post on the NAA blog:

He was crossing the parking lot headed for a building across the way and was having trouble. His “uniform” consisted of a logo’ed shirt and some very baggy jeans. Those jeans had fallen to mid thigh, where his visible boxer shorts did not match the color scheme of the shirt (light blue or gray shirt, fluorescent yellow and green boxers…)  

There are others more qualified than I to comment on the fashion sense, I’m more concerned about the service… I did not meet or talk this Maintenance Tech, and only saw him this one, very quick instance. He was holding up his pants with one hand, so they did not fall any further and having to perform this kind of shuffle-walk due to the pants falling down while walking away from me so I didn’t even get to see his face. His other hand was juggling some tools and supplies. I do have a couple of questions if I could speak to him:

– Is the impression that he left on me the one that was intended? 
– Do I trust him to come into my home to repair anything?
– Does he actually work for the community, or is he an impostor?
– Some of the boys who are my daughters age are wearing this same style in high school… Has he graduated yet?