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 Property Management
the saltwater damage my pool or its equipment? How does a saltwater system work? Will swimming in the pool feel like an ocean swim?
Before the holiday season begins, check each stove and oven for proper operation, many residents only turn on their ovens at this time of year, and the problem may be as simple as a pilot light being out. Also, check the oven’s temperature calibration with an oven thermometer. Because of heavier than normal use of the plumbing, it may be a good idea to snake out your main plumbing lines. Also, sending a note to each tenant on the proper use of the garbage disposal will be useful. Note what they should and should not put down the disposal unit. A few items to include on this “No-No” list are: banana peels, potato skins, coffee grounds and any stringy food. Also make sure they turn on the water before using the disposer and put down small amounts of food at a time. Do not use the disposer as a trash can and then turn it on when full; it will clog.
Halloween and other holidays also mean more people than usual walking on your property. Is your property safe? What are some of the liabilities to worry about? Check trip and fall hazards. Sprinkler heads sticking up above the grass or landscape near sidewalks. Use pop-up heads to solve this problem. Look for sidewalks that have been pushed up by tree roots. This can be solved with a concrete grinder or replacement of the section and removal of the tree root. Cut any low hanging tree branches and look for branches that may break in heavy winter wind or rain. Check your decking for cracks or damage and inspect the exterior stairways for wear and tear. Inspect all your garage door springs, winter wind and rain may make them heavy causing the door to close or fall unexpectedly. As a precaution, always replace both garage springs at the same time and throw away any used springs. Never install used garage springs. Check all property lighting and timers. Remember: Preventive Maintenance is cheaper than “emergency maintenance!!!”
A:We are big fans of saltwater systems for swimming pools. They feel great to swim in and you do not have that chlorine smell on you when you get out. A saltwater system or “saltwater chlorine generator” is used to replace liquid or pellet chlorine with chlorine produced from salt in the water. The salt dissolves in the water separating into sodium and chloride. By passing a low voltage electrical current between special metal plates and the water, the salt- cell will convert the chloride into chlorine in a process called electrolysis. The saltwater system will create the chlorine to sanitize the water, but without the chlorine smell, taste or feel. Not to mention, you will
not need to handle or store a dangerous chemical.
Swimming in a salt pool is not like swimming in the ocean. A salt pool contains 3,000 to 4,000 parts per million of salt while the ocean is approximately 35,000 parts per million. A better illustration is that a saltwater pool is like putting one tablespoon of salt in a gallon of water and the ocean is like 9 or 10 tablespoons of salt in the same gallon of water. The saltwater pool is closer to (but, less than) the salinity of your eye’s natural levels. A typical human eye’s salinity level is about 9,000 parts per million.
While switching to a salt system pool has many advantages, there are a few downsides you should be aware of. If the pool if very old, using a salt system may further corrode the pool’s metal skimmer and return pipes faster. Older pool heaters may also be adversely affected. Calcium may build up on the tile work. Newer pools use plastic pipes and pumps; the salt will not cause any damage to these items.
We are getting close to the holidays, which means guests, cooking and an emergency call to you from one of your residents on Thanksgiving Day about a clogged sink or non-working oven with an apartment full of guests waiting for dinner. This scenario can ruin both yours and your residents’ holiday. The answer is: “Preventive Maintenance.”
Frank Alvarez is licensed contractor and the Operations Director and co-owner of Buffalo Maintenance, Inc. He has been involved with apartment maintenance and construction for over 20 years. Frank can be reached at (714) 956- 8371 or at Jerry L’Ecuyer is a real estate broker, and he has been involved with apartments as a professional since 1988.

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