Common and Expensive Repairs That Can Blindside Strata Owners Part II
Depreciation reports are absolutely necessary for the financial and structural stability of your strata building. Neglecting to perform this task will increase the likelihood of catastrophic failure for building components. Your strata corporation will also likely be less financially prepared without an outlined reserve fund strategy to anticipate these costs.
Part I of this article discussed an event in New York City where a building facade started to disintegrate onto the sidewalk. Facade replacements are expensive, but they are far from the only problem a strata corporation could face. Here are some more building components that can create expensive repairs when left unchecked.
A roof is one of the first lines of defense a building has against the elements. Roofs are prone to wear in specific places that receive the brunt of damage from rain, wind and debris. Over time, these weak patches turn into holes that can let moisture infiltrate underneath the protective membrane.
Once the water gets in, it starts wreaking havoc on other components. Water damage can trickle down walls, weakening structural integrity, causing mold growth and triggering electrical shortages. Other times, the roof materials will begin to separate, leading to some portions becoming detached.
Replacing a roof outright is incredibly costly. Strata owners must anticipate the replacement costs as many years in advance as possible. Keeping track of smaller repairs can keep water out of the building and prolong the life of all of the components.
An elevator is a highly advanced system of machinery. When one part fails, the entire system can go down for weeks at a time. These failures can also raise safety concerns.
Elevator systems that are 50 years or older are particularly prone to breaking down. The electrical systems that run them are less reliable, and replacement hardware parts are scarce.
Newer, computerized systems can be quite pricey, but they are far more reliable and cost less to repair. Keep in mind that a single technician visit can cost over $1,600. The best course of action is to have someone inspect the elevators regularly and develop a plan for replacing systems installed 25 years ago or older.
The absolute best way to have an entire building upset with you is to have a heat system failure in the dead of winter. Winter is when these systems see the most stress and are more likely to fall.
Having a defunct boiler or furnace replaced for a large strata can often cost between $80,000 and $300,000. It can also take several weeks to schedule a crew to perform the installation. In the meantime, the entire building is cold and buying inefficient space heaters. Collecting an assessment fee in this environment would likely draw quite a bit of ire.
To avoid these elements failing, have a building assessment and a depreciation report performed regularly. Take a look at our dedicated page to learn more about these services.