From APRA’s Nov/Dec Newsletter-Wily Nilly Drilling of Holes For Cable Leads to Major Damage

I get APRA’s (Association of Professional Reserve Analysts) Monthly Newsletter delivered to my email box every other month.The Nov/Dec newsletter has some important lessons for HOA’s on deferred maintenance and the costs that come with it.

Satellite/Cable installers are some of an HOA’s worst enemies, whether you know it or not. Cable/sat dish installers get paid the same way many of your vendors employees do,  by “piece work”. What’s piece work? Well lets say that the cable/dish installer has 5 installs in one day scheduled. He/she gets paid by each dish they install. If they get paid lets say $75.00 per dish, they can make $375.00 that day. If it takes the installer 5 hours to do the job, that breaks out to” $75.00 an hour in wages. If it takes the installer 10 hours to do the jobs, that breaks out to “only’ $37.50 an hour.

They are incentivized to slam as many dishes in as possible. Therefore, your HOA is at risk of leaks due to the installer slamming in the dish as easily and as fast as they can. Read this from APRA-

Mysterious Holes. While doing my
weekly property inspection, I noticed
holes in the stucco walls that appeared
to be vandalism. The holes revealed a
mysterious black substance inside the
wood structure. The black substance
turned out to be mold and dryrot. About
the same time, reports were coming in
regarding some of the cantilevered
balconies that had dropped an inch or two.

Engineers Called In. The board
decided to bring in experts to study
both the walls and the balconies to
make recommendations for repair and
to write the specifications so bids could
be obtained. At this point, the health
and safety of those affected residents was of great concern.

Bids were obtained from four different
engineering companies and a contract
was awarded to the low bidder at
$56,000. Arrangements were made for
the engineers to have access to all
second and third story balconies for
inspection purposes. A detailed
description of the condition of each
balcony was noted, including a rating
system to determine the priority in
which these balconies would be
repaired. As a result of the inspection, a
dozen balconies were immediately
closed off due to unsafe conditions.
The study revealed dryrot and mold
behind the walls where the small holes
had been made. It was thought that the
water came from roof leaks and poor
drainage. The holes in the walls were
created by the cable company
installing cable to individual units. The
exterior walls were coated with an
elastomeric paint which did not allow
water to evaporate when it got behind
Termites. All of the dampness had
attracted termites. A termite specialist
was brought in and the treatment of all buildings cost $100,000.

Dryrot on plywood under dish from leaks through stucco
Wires run on top of wall nailed through creates a path for water intrusion

Open holes in stucco are waiting to funnel water into the wall.