5 Warning Signs To Look For When Buying a Rental Property

5 Warning Signs To Look For When Buying a Rental Property

If you’re not careful, buying a rental property can turn into an expense rather than an investment. Repair issues can become expensive, time-consuming and can be very problematic. What may seem like a minor repair can lead to a lengthy renovation and restoration process and can put you and your property at risk. Before you invest in any property it’s imperative that you take the time to do a proper inspection and be aware of any of these warning signs you may come across.

1. Newly painted areas

A recently painted property is not necessarily always a positive sign that the seller has had the intention of improving the appearance of the property. Buyer beware, a recent paint job may indicate an area in need of repair that has been covered up by paint. During your viewing if you happen to come across an area that has been recently painted, take a closer look. It’s always best to run your hands down the walls and approach the area at different angles to get a glimpse of any signs indicating a potential problem.

2. Water damage concealed by paint

Another area of caution when dealing with paint is the potential that water damage can be unintentionally concealed by paint. If water damage has occurred under areas with paint, the moisture will become trapped in the walls, leading to mold growth. Mold not only puts your property at serious risk, it also puts your health at risk. When inspecting for the potential of water damage hidden by paint, take a close look at areas of high moisture, such as bathroom walls, or areas underneath windowsills.

3. Uneven or sinking floors

When you’re viewing a property, look out for uneven, sinking, or squeaky floors. Uneven and sinking floors can be challenging to spot, especially if the property has carpet installed or even small rugs over any problem areas. Especially in older properties if you notice any rooms that are carpeted throughout, it could mean that the wooden floor underneath could be in poor condition due to flooring deteriorating over time. Squeaks can be more easily noticed and can indicate the potential of serious damage within the property that needs to be further investigated.

Pro tip: always bring a marble with you when inspecting a property and place the marble down to test how uneven the floors are. Sometimes a property will aggressively settle, creating a hump in the middle. Uneven floors are often really hard and costly to fix, which might mean that investing in the property will come at a high cost.

4. Ceiling damage

Ceiling stains is one of the most common warning signs you will come across in properties, likely indicating a damaged roof. When you are inspecting a property, take notice for things such as cracks or any ceiling stains. The most common cause of these stains is likely due to an active leak or a build up of condensation coming from the roof. Leaking pipes in ceilings and walls can slowly release water. Pipes can also be more prone to leaks when they are older or experience extreme changes in temperature.

5. Cracked foundation

When viewing a property, it’s important to consider the condition of the foundation. Minor cracking may only be a sign of settling in the property, however larger cracks can be a sign of structural problems with the foundation.  Water will find a way to seep in if it finds damage in your foundation walls, openings between your basement footing and basement foundation, or any crack that is big or small.

Always inspect the basement of a property for potential leaks, mold or water issues. If the property doesn’t have a basement or has a finished basement that doesn’t allow you to inspect the foundation, another indicator of structural problems is by looking at the doorframes throughout the property. If the doorframes appear to be misshaped or even have difficulty closing, it is possible there could be further problems with the structure of the property.

Avoid any risks when purchasing a rental property

Have the property you are looking to purchase inspected by a professional such as Streamside Property Restoration. We can advise you on the condition of these key areas such as your walls, floors, ceilings and foundation. Also, don’t ignore the signs. If you suspect there could be serious damage, it’s important to have it looked at before you make an investment. Usually dealing with a problem earlier is going to cost you less and result in less disruption to your property.

Contact us today with any questions you may have about your building and how to keep it safe and healthy. We are always willing to help you out with any questions.

What to expect when water damage goes untreated

What to expect when water damage goes untreated

Whether you notice a small water stain on your ceiling or a little drop under your sink, both can lead to bigger, more costly problems. Water damage has now become one of the leading causes of personal property insurance claims. What makes water damage especially problematic is that it can easily go unnoticed, and if it is left untreated it can cause extensive damage to your property. If you suspect you may have water damage on your property, keep reading for indicators to help detect if water damage is present on your property.

Ceiling discolouration

If you start to notice brown stains or soft patches beginning to appear on your ceiling it is likely due to an active leak or a build up of condensation coming from your roof. 

If you suspect a hidden water leak, finding the source is the first step to putting a stop to stains and soft patches on your ceiling. You may also see similar stains or soft patches appearing on your walls.

Weakened flooring

The wood from your floor acts like a sponge so water damage to wooden floors can be very common. Due to wood being so absorbent, the longer you wait to take action with water damage, the more the moisture will continue to travel and spread out throughout your floors causing warping, buckling and loose flooring. If left entirely untreated, the wooden flooring may start to decompose and break apart altogether.

Damaged drywall

Drywall doesn’t need much exposure to water before it begins to crack and become brittle. If you notice cracking, peeling, or crumbling on your walls there could be moisture present. If the untreated water damage is left, mold-infested water will continue to damage your walls.

Musty odors

Trapped moisture due to undetected water can cause odors to be present. Odors from water damage may be immediately noticeable or may occur some time after the initial cause is resolved and the water has been removed. Some odors are directly related to the source of water that has inundated the property; while others are residual due to bacterial and fungal growth that typically accompany water damage.

What happens if I leave the water damage untreated?

Any moisture or water will instantly weaken the structure of building materials that are not designed to be water-resistant. Any natural materials will begin to decompose and become weaker over time. This includes the building envelope that is the structure of your property. The dark moist environment inside your ceiling and walls will become conducive for mold and bacterial growth which can have devastating effects on your health and your property.

When to call a professional

If you have any indications of water damage present on your property you can contact Streamside Property Restoration to assist you. We have expertly trained technicians and inspectors to immediately respond to water damage.

Why you should hire an IICRC certified property restoration company

Why you should hire an IICRC certified property restoration company

Whether you’re tackling a home renovation or repairing damage to your property following a recent disaster, hiring a certified restoration professional is an important consideration to ensure a safe and healthy environment is maintained throughout the restoration process. When working with an IICRC certified technician, you can guarantee quality workmanship and outstanding service and client care.

What does IICRC stand for?

IICRC stands for the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification and is a non-profit organization and develops standards for the technicians working in the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries.

What does it mean to be IICRC certified?

When you are IICRC certified, your company’s technicians are properly trained and knowledgeable in restoration processes. IICRC Certified Technicians set themselves apart through training, experience, and comprehensive examination. They are bound to deliver high levels of customer service and have all the applicable licensing. Streamside’s technicians are IICRC certified, which means that our technicians are the most skilled and dedicated technicians in the cleaning, restoration and inspection industry.

Streamside Property Restoration’s IICRC certifications

There are nearly 30 different IICRC Certifications covering everything from water damage restoration to carpeting cleaning. Streamside Property Restoration is certified in these IICRC courses:

  • Water Damage Restoration Technician (WRT)
  • Applied Structural Drying Technician (ASD)
  • Fire and Smoke Restoration Technician (FSRT)
  • Applied Microbial Remediation Technician (AMRT)
  • Odor Control Technician (OCT)
  • Healthy and Safety Technician (HST)
  • Carpet Cleaning Technician (CCT)
Why should you hire an IICRC technician?

Hiring IICRC technician’s helps you take the extra step restoring your property back to its pre-loss state following a disaster. We promise to leave your property in better condition than when we found it through hard work, quality workmanship, and open communication. We work hard every day because we understand the importance when it comes to your home to properly restore your property right the first time.

Do I have to repair water damage to my building?

Do I have to repair water damage to my building?

When you experience flooding or other water damage, is it necessary to restore your property?

We often associate water damage with flooding, especially since the 2013 Calgary Flood remains fresh in the minds of many Calgarians. However, leaks can be more common than you think. Even a small leak can cause large issues, especially if you’re living in a condo building. 

Condo Buildings and Water Leaks

One of the main perks of renting in a condo building is that you can personally avoid dealing with any property upkeep, construction or renovation costs your building takes on. You will likely contribute financially for it indirectly through rent or condo fees, but usually someone else coordinates the maintenance and repair of your building envelope and common spaces.

How quickly will water damage start to affect my property?

Be aware that any water damage can result in the growth of mold. Mold can begin to form within the first 24 hours of the water damage so it’s important to take action and notify someone whether you notice water damage inside or outside of your unit. If water damage is left unattended, it can detrimentally impact the structure of the property, or produce other complications, including mold and mildew that pose a health risk to those residing on the property.

Does water damage have to be repaired?

Because each situation is unique, it is best to have a professional assess the situation. In many cases, if the leak or flood is caught right away, steps and actions can be taken to reduce the affects of the water damage and ideally maintain the integrity of your building. Again, because each situation is totally unique, in many cases, it will not be possible to just “dry it out” and leave the water damage untouched. If it is left unaddressed, your building can be put at risk for safety and health. If in doubt, there are experts who see and deal with water damage every day and can offer professional advice on your best next steps. 

Do you know who is responsible if unexpected water damage occurs to your unit or building? 

If you are a renter, it’s important to double check the details of your lease and have a thorough understanding of what you are agreeing to and what is covered when you sign your lease. Many landlords recommend tenant insurance to cover any damage to your personal belongings while occupying their building. While it’s up to the renter to contact the landlord if any issues occur in their unit, it’s up to the landlord to make sure their unit is liveable. This includes any upkeep and maintenance such as plumbing repairs due to leaks. We believe everyone deserves to live in a building that is properly maintained and therefore a healthy and safe place to live. 

calgary apartment condo

What should I do if I notice water damage in my condo building?

Regardless of whether you rent or own the unit in the building, condo associations maintain insurance and financial surpluses to cover unexpected and planned maintenance of common areas of the building complex. Often, individual condo unit insurance policies are responsible when covering the ceilings, floors, walls and contents of the unit. It’s best to contact your condo association or landlord if you notice any water damage occurring outside of your unit such as a ceiling leak, or an overflowing washing machine in a communal area.

When it comes to water damage in your unit,the area of responsibility can become a little murky. Determining the cause of the water damage will come into play when deciding who is liable for the repair.  If water damage in your unit occurred due to a toilet overflow or a bathroom pipe burst, it is likely that the claim will go through your personal insurance. If you are the victim of water damage caused by an adjoining unit, your insurance company will make the decision of determining who becomes liable. When damage is to the building envelope such as unplanned damage to the roof, it is likely that the condo board or building owner will handle the situation. The bottom line is that the situation is unique every time, depending on the source of the damage, whether or not an insurance claim will be made, what the repair entails, and much more. 

Is water damage more likely or less likely in a condo or apartment building?

When living in a multi-dwelling building, more water is used than living in a single-family house, therefore it puts more people at risk of water damage to the building. To avoid any water troubles, property owners need to maintain their buildings and seek professional help at the first sign of water damage.

If you become the victim of water damage at your property, Streamside Property Restoration can help. Our expert technicians and inspectors are trained to immediately respond to water damage emergencies, develop a recovery plan, then if necessary, reconstruct and restore your property back to its pre-loss condition.

Condo unit owners: The top 5 things you should know about building envelope failures in Calgary

Condo unit owners: The top 5 things you should know about building envelope failures in Calgary

What are the most common issues that happen to multi-unit dwellings? As experts in remediating and repairing building envelopes in condo units around Calgary, we can tell you what to be aware of.

Whether you are looking to buy a multi-unit asset for rental income, you are the property manager for a building, or you own a unit in a condo complex, you should proactively ensure your building is safe from the following concerns. If left unattended, these areas can worsen and result in risky or unhealthy conditions for the building and those living there.

  1. Water damage to the building envelope

Hands down, water damage is the top concern we help people with. Water wreaks havoc on buildings and should always be top of mind in any multi-unit dwelling.

Where does the water come from? Everywhere! We have dealt with everything from water that was dripping down from one unit’s bathroom into another unit’s bedroom, to large scale leaks in the building envelope due to ground settling. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on water damage to a building’s structure, known as the building envelope.

The ideal state of a building is to be waterproof so therefore any area of construction where 2 building elements come together, there is a chance for water to come in. Be aware of all areas of your property where cracks or openings can exist. Consider windows and the casings around them, basement foundations, roof and attic areas, holes or cracks in walls, entry points for pipes, skylights, doors and garage entry ways, and even empty nail holes from construction. Water and moisture can enter a building from even the tiniest space.

cracked foundation from water damage

What’s the big deal with water damage? One of the worst-case scenarios is mold. Talking about mold is another article on it’s own, but trust us, you want to avoid mold issues! It can literally damage your building resulting in dangerous air quality conditions and large repair bills.

If you are lucky enough not to get mold as a result of water damage, your building can still suffer from finish material problems like warped floors, peeling paint, windows that don’t close tightly, discolouration, sagging walls, droopy ceilings, stained wood and so much more.

  1. Roof damage or deterioration

The roof on any building will break down over time and it’s essential that you keep an eye out for potential damage. A weak spot in your roof, will allow water to seep in, which will seep into your building and cause damage. Pay close attention to areas near chimneys, skylights, vents, etc.

  1. Window impairment

Look for damage or water leaks around the edges and below windows or patio doors. Failures can happen inside the window pane, alongside where the window adjoins to the building, imperfect exterior window casings and more.

damaged window casing from water damage

  1. Deck weakening

How can a deck cause damage to a building’s envelope? More easily than you might expect. Over time, even the most well built decks can suffer from settling and weakening of materials. You should look for wood rotting underneath, settling or dropping slightly at the connection point to the building and changes to the side of the building in and around where the decks is connected. Once a deck starts to settle or rot, it needs to be repaired to avoid bigger issues in the future.

  1. Ground water / basement leaks

Springtime in Calgary is the best time of year because the snow finally melts! With the melting snow, comes rain. With melting snow and rainfall, comes a rising water table. There are several neighborhoods in and around Calgary with water tables that are naturally high and once spring hits, their water tables become a problem! Water will seep in if it finds damage in your foundation walls, openings between your basement footing and basement foundation, or any crack that is big or small. Always inspect the basement of a property for potential leaks, mold or water issues.

basement footing and foundation

Why do buildings in Calgary suffer more damage to building envelope than other cities?

Due to our weather in Calgary, it is common for many buildings to encounter issues with their building envelope components. This is partially because our harsh weather and big fluctuations in temperature can exacerbate any water issues that are already in your building. Everyone loves a chinook in the middle of winter, but your building won’t love it if there is a tiny amount of water or moisture in areas where there shouldn’t be any water. For example, even a tiny crack where a window is inserted, can allow small amounts of water in and then when that small amount of water freezes and thaws, it expands and contracts resulting in damage to the building area around it. Over time, this small area can grow in size, allowing more moisture to come in the next time. As well, once moisture is in an area, it creates the perfect environment for mold to begin to grow.

How can you keep your building safe and in good condition for the future?

Be proactive. You have just read the top 5 areas where building issues can happen. Have your building inspected by a professional once a year. That person or company can advise you on the condition of these key areas such as your roof, windows and decks.

Also, don’t ignore the signs. If you or someone suspects water is coming into your building, get it looked at sooner rather than later. Usually dealing with a problem earlier, is going to cost you less and result in less disruption to your property.

Contact us today with any questions you may have about your building and how to keep it safe and healthy. We are always willing to help you out with any questions.