The recent condo collapse in Surfside has left many condo residents with questions and concerns. Below is a sample response to residents of a hi-rise condo:
"Dear Owners & Residents of (community name),
What happened last week to the condo building in Miami was devastating. I’m certain it leaves all of us with a heavy heart as well as a frantic mind. It raises a lot of questions. One question in particular is, if it could happen to them, could it happen to us? Properly maintaining a building is no small task, especially one on the beach where you have so many elements working against you. My goal every day is that my owners will be able to enjoy the building to its fullest as well as sleep soundly in their beds at night.
To give you some assurances that your building is in good hands and will not experience what happened at Champlain Towers – or even anything remotely close to that, I have been working to put together a summary of inspections and maintenance that has occurred over the years.
In 2017 there was a Reserve Study done on the entire property. It is recommended that these are done every 5-7 years so we plan to have another study done very soon. This study is made available on the website.
In 2017-2018 there was significant concrete work done that involved replacement of the overhang’s ceiling frame and repairs to columns by the pool. This was done by (contractor name) and had a total expense of $57,610.
In 2018 the building was thoroughly inspected by (contractor name). They provided a report on their findings which led to the following year’s Concrete Restoration.
In 2019, (contractor name) was hired to perform a concrete restoration of the building. The Board did approve to proceed with addressing all concerns in the Engineer’s report and no issue was left unresolved. During this project, the entire exterior walls (including the columns located along the exterior walls) and balcony surfaces were inspected and repaired as necessary. Additionally, soffit areas and the Porte Cochere were completely replaced. This was a total expense of $1,259,537.
In 2020 (contractor name) was hired to modernize both the service and passenger elevators.
In 2021 (contractor name) has started the Sun Deck Project with includes reinforcement of the deck by installing carbon fiber and related waterproofing.
Soon to start in 2021 we have the pipelining project and the replacement of the dock and seawall.
Additionally, we recently had (contractor name) inspect our pool pump room to verify if components were ideal or not for the stored equipment. We had the garage exhaust fans replaced. We are in the process of adding a cooling fan for the pumps in the garage. We had an electrical engineer examine the garage’s components for possible electric car chargers. (contractor name) did a full building survey to look for any potential safety concerns. The report they provided noted only a few minor items that have all since been addressed. We had Infinity Roofing do a roof inspection and we approved all proposed repairs which were completed last week.
Currently the Board and I are interviewing Consultants to advise on the roof replacement we intend to do in 2022.
Out of these projects, the only ones that are structurally significant to the building are the concrete restoration, the sundeck and the roof. But with every project comes inspections and with every inspection comes a professional set of eyes that are trained to look for any concerns worth noting. (contractor name) has been involved with (community name) for over 20 years. He is invested in our property and is a great resource for us to have. Aside from the previously noted projects, he has assisted in a couple smaller inspections and keeps in touch with our building regularly.
I am not an engineer and have no specific knowledge of structural inspections but what I can tell you is that the building in Miami did not just fall down. There were structural cracks in the garage several years before the tragedy. Buildings that are more than 30 years old may have been built with concrete using beach sand that was not properly cleaned of salt. As the years went on moisture and salt near rebar/structural steel began to rust the metal causing spalling (when the concrete “pops” and flakes off) which may have been happening for years. The pool pump room was filled with water. There were so many warning signs. In 2018 a $15 million restoration was proposed to the building and three years later, for different reasons having to do with changing of Boards, changing of Engineers, and owner push back, the project had yet to be carried out.
I assure you that your building is in good hands. You have a very thorough Board and Manager looking out for you and your property. The staff at (community name) is good about communicating any potential concerns that they may come across. Between all of us, we form a solid team. We do not believe there are concerns that have been left unaddressed. There is no evidence of stress cracks in the garage or utility rooms. There is no standing water anywhere inside the building. Various vendors have even been impressed by the condition and cleanliness of our property.
I hope that this brings you some peace of mind. If you have any questions or would like to discuss this further, I invite you to call me or stop by the office any time.
Your Property Manager"