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Property Management Blog

Water Damage Prevention: How to Check for Water Damage and Leaks

Brittany Kenyon - Tuesday, April 18, 2017


As a commercial property owner, it is always important to identify any potential issues or problems with your property as early as possible. Preventing water damage or leaks is essential before problems become an emergency repair your tenants are calling you about on Monday morning as they’re coming into work.


Water damage can be expensive and take time to repair, and unknown problems can lead to dangerous mold, issues with the structural integrity of the building, and ultimately impact the value of your property.  


Step one is always to follow a regular inspection routine. Maintaining the barrier between the elements and the interior of the property is the best way to keep the water where it belongs.


Prevent Problems Before They Start with Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is key, so create a schedule to inspect for water damage. Monthly reviews may be ideal, but check at least quarterly to ensure the property is in top operating shape. It is often useful to schedule a building check after a heavy storm for the best chance to catch potential leaks or water damage. Now would be a great time, after the spring rains and right before the season begins to warm up!

Key building elements to inspect

Building Exterior

Start your inspection with a walk around the building to check high-risk areas where the wall meets the ground and the surrounding areas of the building. Check building components that may interact with water or collect water in the winter months.

  • At-grade plumbing/drainage systems

  • Roof drain outlets/downspouts - ensure they’re clear of debris and directing water away from the building.

  • Check for any standing water and identify the source, (apart from potential issues of water leakage, standing water also poses the threat of mosquitoes as the weather starts to warm up.)

  • Major wall joints or exterior decorative elements


Roof

Head to the roof or attic space next, as it can be the first place rain or weather damage may show. Check carefully for:

  • Soft spots or missing tiles

  • Seals intact around HVAC systems, skylights, stack vents, or other potential openings

  • When inspecting from inside or below, do you see any daylight where it shouldn't be or water stain marks?

  • Check interior ceilings for soft or discolored ceiling tiles, and floors for water damage from above.


For flat roofs water maintenance is critical. Check for standing water, remove debris regularly and ensure that your drainage system is working properly.

Doors and Entrances

Check for water damage or discoloration on the door and floor around it. Seal integrity at bottom of a door is essential, whether it’s a regular entrance to an office or a roll-up door to a warehouse or garage space. Check that the door sits well into the frame and that all mechanical aspects are working well.

Windows

A commercial building can have more window space than anything else and it’s important to ensure they are doing their job properly. Do the windows open and shut tightly? Test locks, screens and mechanical elements. Signs of water damage can include:

  • Mold or moisture in corners

  • Discoloration inside or outside on sills or wall below

  • Cracked or broken panes of glass

  • Any “fogging” of windows

Restrooms and Break Rooms

Check carefully around water sources and connecting pipes. Inspect restroom toilets and sinks, floor drains, and any pipes leading into or away from the area for signs of problems.

  • Discoloration

  • Seal integrity

  • Loosening or cracking in the caulk. This could cause damage to the waterproof seal, allowing water to damage the walls or floor around the area.

Change Air Filters in AC / HVAC units

Inspect your HVAC units carefully, as well as interior filters or ducts. Dirty filters can force your unit to work harder, which can eventually lead to clogs, contamination or system malfunctions.

Water Heaters

Inspect the area around the water heater for any leaks or buildup on valves. You can also drain and flush your water heater tank once or twice a year to remove sediment and build up, which can make the unit less efficient and can clog drain or pipes. Follow specific instructions for your model/make of water heater, or hire a professional.

Basements

While they are not common in our area, basements offer their own potential for issues or unique conditions that should be inspected regularly. Check floor drains and systems for buildup or discoloration. Check for mold or moisture on walls, called effervescence, where moisture boils through the surface of the concrete and can be identified by flaking mortar or concrete. This can be one of the first indications of a landscaping or outdoor leak.


Have a plan for emergencies or major water damage, just in case.


Rapid response and preparedness are the most important aspects of being a good homeowner or property manager. Speed of response can be vital to getting your tenants back to normal operation as quickly as possible.


Work with building staff to have an emergency plan that includes:

  1. Making sure they know to contact their landlord or property management company ASAP.

  2. Shutting down the water supply lines quickly

  3. Safely shutting down electrical and gas if necessary

  4. Emergency numbers for response teams like fire and police, as well as specialists/companies that you may work with.

Listen to Tenants

Communicate regularly with tenants to establish a healthy relationship of trust and respect. Often they are the first line of defense or indicators of building problems. Survey the tenants when performing regular maintenance so they can easily report concerns or things they’ve noticed that may be potential problem sources.


Property maintenance and water damage prevention can be time-consuming and overwhelming, but it is essential to ensuring you get the best results from your investment. Please contact Aborn Powers if you have any questions about caring for your property. Remember, your investments are our priority.


Residential Apartment Video Tour in Sacramento

Brittany Kenyon - Friday, March 24, 2017
Take a tour of the residential apartment available on Bell Street in Sacramento, California. This property is managed by the Property Management & Tenant Placement Services of Aborn Powers. 


View the VideoTour on YouTube Now


Aborn Powers is a boutique commercial firm managing properties throughout California for over 20 years. While our expertise gives us the ability to take quick, efficient and decisive action when it comes to property concerns, our top priority is fixed on giving our renters and our home owners peace of mind that their investments are cared for and growing!


To learn more about this rental property or other available residential properties, visit our Residential Page today.

To see more commercial properties available from Aborn Powers, visit our Commercial Properties today. 

Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Property

Brittany Kenyon - Friday, March 24, 2017


Spring is here! Spring is here!


After a cold and sopping wet winter, I think we can all agree that we're happy about warmer weather and sunnier days. But with all of the positives of springtime comes a bit of added responsibility. (And no, we’re not talking about getting a tan!)


It’s spring cleaning time! In order for your investment to retain its value, you must ensure the property is well kept, and looking and functioning at its best. The spring season is the refreshing time period to do just that.


Here are Aborn Powers’ spring cleaning tips for your property.


Before Cleaning


Start with a walk through of the property


Before you begin cleaning, start by scanning the property for higher level issues. If you are using an external cleaning service, our recommendation is to walk through the property with them to assess what needs to be cleaned or fixed. The key here is to catch smaller issues before they become a financial disaster.


Make a list of high vs. low priority tasks


  • High priority tasks consists of all the cleaning and repairs that need to be done right away. These are the tasks that you’ve probably been thinking of all winter long, and they need to be taken care of this spring!


  • Low priority tasks are often more of a wish list, items that you would love to have done someday. Think carpet, paint, new roof, whole house fans, better windows or appliances.


This will get you on the right track of what to tackle first.


Spring Cleaning To-Do’s


Inspect the exterior. There could be damage or cracks on the roof or side of the building. Catch these issues before they become a big problem!


Check driveway, sidewalks, parking for cracks or sunken concrete. If you notice damage, it’s best to fix it soon as possible to avoid bigger problems. There are companies that can grind down concrete so it is no longer a trip hazard.


Check the fences around the property. Make fence repairs as needed.


Landscape the property. This depends on what the outside of your property looks like, but it will typically include trimming bushes and trees, replanting and cleaning up.


▢ Clear out the gutters. It’s time for all of the gunk and leaves to go.


▢ Assess the floors. Cold weather and rain can damage ground surfaces both inside and outside. Arrange cleaning and maintenance solutions that fit your flooring type. Professional grout cleaners can do wonders.


Deep clean the bathrooms. Bathrooms should always be cleaned regularly, but sometimes they need a thorough, deep clean!


▢ Clean the carpets. Cleaning the carpet in your property can remove stains, dirt and allergens, not to mention it will look better.


Dust/clean blinds and drapes. Get rid of the sneaky dust and allergens hiding here.


Inspect HVAC units. (Especially the AC before summer!) The last thing you want you or your tenants to have is a broken AC unit in the summer.


Replace air filters.


Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace batteries as needed.


Inspect all emergency and safety equipment. Check the status of fire extinguishers, security systems, alarms and more.



Other Helpful Tips


1. Stock up on items

  • Since you are in the cleaning mindset, it’s a perfect time to stock up on supplies your property needs. (Light bulbs, water filters, hardware, etc.)


2. Establish communication with your tenants

  • Communication is a key factor to having happy tenants. Set expectations and communicate with tenants so that they know what to do for the year to come.


3. Record what you did

  • Keep a record of everything you completed during spring cleaning. Come next year, looking back at your records will make it much easier to plan - both your finances and time.


The last piece of advice we have: When you have a clean and organized property, the people in that space will be happier and healthier. It’s a proven fact!


Here’s to an awesome springtime full of cleaning!


Aborn Powers has over 20 years of experience in caring for investments, which includes spring cleaning! We hope this has been a motivating article for you and your property.


Please contact us if you have any questions about caring for your property. Remember, we treat your investments as if they are our own.

New Real Estate Laws Property Owners Must Know - Free eBook

Brittany Kenyon - Wednesday, March 15, 2017

- Are you a property owner in California?

- Do you find yourself worrying about laws and regulations related to your property and tenants?

- Are you aware of the new laws that are in place for 2017?

Every year California puts new laws into place that affect you, the property owner. Some of these laws can be very detailed and the penalties may be very severe. Because we’ve owned and managed properties in California for over 20 years, we’ve stayed up to date and fully understand what these laws entail. To take it one step further, we created an eBook focused on six of the biggest new laws property owners must know. Plus it’s FREE to download!

Click here to download your free eBook now!

If you have any questions about the six laws featured or any of the other new real estate laws in 2017, please contact us. As property owners ourselves, we truly want to give our clients peace of mind when it comes to comprehending and complying with new laws.

Enjoy the eBook!

Aborn Powers to the Rescue! Our Top Service Calls of 2016

Brittany Kenyon - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Here at Aborn Powers we try to make our tenants lives as easy as possible. We value our tenants and keep our lines of communication open at all times. Yes, whenever.


Since our lines of communication are always open—even on days where mother nature or neighbors are out of your control—we get a lot of valid requests. We’ve compiled some of our most useful and favorite service calls/requests from 2016 for your reading pleasure.


We think you’ll like them, and find them useful if they happen to you!

1. “There is an enormous amount of water falling from the sky. Our garage is starting to flood! Help!”

Service call: Flooding in garage

What to do: Obtain sandbags available at nearby fire stations. If emergency, remove items prone to water damage.

What NOT to do: Pull out the canoe and have the kids wait for the fun to begin.

Prevention tip: Monitor weather ahead of time so that you know when the heaviest storms are coming. Find out if you’re in a flood zone!


2. “The roof of our home is leaking! Please help us fix this before our home fills up with water completely!”

Service call: Roof leak

What to do: Submit an urgent maintenance request through tenant portal in Appfolio.

What NOT to do: Start digging a hole in your den to make room for the indoor swimming pool.

Prevention tip: Report signs of leakage ASAP to ensure leaks don’t get worse.


3. “Our washer and dryer have stopped working, and I need my favorite pants dried before work tomorrow. Please help!”

Service call: Washer and/or dryer not working

Here’s what to do: Submit maintenance request through tenant portal in Appfolio.

What NOT to do: Take this as an excuse to go on a shopping spree.

Prevention tip: Make sure not to overload washer. It will cause it to become out of balance.


4. “Our neighbors are treating our yard like a dumpster. Can you please help us in telling them to stop throwing trash in the landscaping? Thank you!”

Service call: Neighbors throwing trash in the landscaping

Here’s what to do: Report to property manager.

What NOT to do: Throw more trash into your neighbor’s yard to show them who’s in charge.

Prevention tip: Continue to show respect to your landscaping in hopes of encouraging other tenants to want to take better care of their space.


5. “Many branches are falling from the trees in our yard and we’re worried one might fall on our dog. We need help!”

Service call: Trim branches falling from trees

Here’s what to do: Submit an urgent maintenance request through tenant portal in Appfolio.

What NOT to do: Train your dog to be afraid of branches; that way he’ll avoid them.

Prevention tip: There’s not a ton you can do to change the tree’s mind when their limbs are ready to break. Start by looking for suspect branches.

6. “We think a squirrel is running around in our ducting vents. We get the squirrels just want to find a warm area when it’s cold, but vents are not the right area! Can you send someone to remove the squirrel please?”

Service call: Squirrels running around in the ducting vents

Here’s what to do: Submit maintenance request through tenant portal in Appfolio.

What NOT to do: Accept your new fluffy-tailed overlords.

Prevention tip: Similar to the trees, squirrels are going to be squirrels. There’s not much you can do to prevent rodents from entering, but you should remove them as soon as you know about it.


7. “It’s February 1st and rent is due. I forgot my password and need assistance getting in. Can you help me log in?”

Service call: Paying rent online and forgot login email/password

Here’s what to do: Submit a request to Appfolio support for assistance.

What NOT to do: Throw your computer out the window to teach it a lesson.

Prevention tip: The password conundrum is one we all face on a daily basis. The only preventative measure here is choosing a password you’ll remember, or using a password manager, such as LastPass.

Our goal is to operate behind the scenes, keeping disruptions to a minimum and making you feel truly as if your rental was your own, well-maintained and comfortable. But remember, we’re always there for you, whenever you need anything!

If reading this blog made you realize you actually have a maintenance request yourself, please let us know! The sooner the better.

Want to become one of our awesome tenants? Check out our available properties page—We love helping people find their perfect space.

El Dorado Hills Brewing Company

Brittany Kenyon - Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Aborn Powers is excited to introduce EDH Brewing Company located at 875 Embarcadero Drive in El Dorado Hills, CA. EDH Brewing Company is a family-owned brewery ran by Dennis and Anessa Dovala. They take pride in offering an excellent dining experience using a menu that’s created using as much locally sourced produce and sustainable ingredients as possible!

How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?

Dennis, the brew master, had been home brewing for 25 years. Dennis & Anessa dealt in the customer service industries for years. Anessa has a degree in communications & marketing.


What service(s) or product(s) do you offer/manufacture?

We manufacture great craft beer. Specializing in English & German Ales, we also do a variety of IPA’s.  We sell it in local supermarkets & restaurants. Out of our tasting room, we offer a small variety of pub foods & local wines. We also offer sodas & sometimes make our own root beer.


How long have you been in business and how long have you been at your current location?

We have been in business & at our current location since September 2015.


What is unique about your business?

We do not offer overly hoppy beer. All of our beers are well balanced. Our tasting room offers affordable & delicious foods.  Both appetizers & meals are offered. We are family friendly. We have games for all ages.  Dogs are allowed on our patio & offered a dog treat. Our fresh popcorn & bottled water is complimentary for paying customers.


Why do your customers select you over your competitors?

Comfortable atmosphere, friendly staff & well-balanced beers are just a few reasons. Plus we offer a larger space where families can grab a bite to eat or just hang out & play games.


How do you hope to grow your business?

We hope to grow the business by introducing more people in the community to our tasty, fresh craft beers & our delicious food.


How many employees do you currently have?

Right now, we have 2 employees, but we hope to have more in the future.

Pro-Line Cleaning Services

Brittany Kenyon - Thursday, December 08, 2016

Pro-Line CleaningWe here at Aborn Powers are excited to introduce Pro-Line Cleaning Services located at 6100 Enterprise Drive, Unit F, Diamond Springs. Pro-Line is a family operated business that has been servicing El Dorado County and surrounding areas since 1987. As a business they aim to achieve a sweet spot between quality and affordability. The price you pay includes all of the necessary things to do a good job. Pro-Line’s goal is to provide an exceptional level of cleaning, every time. They want every client to feel satisfied with the results of their work. Please take a moment to read what Paul, the owner, has to say about his business

What service(s) or product(s) do you offer/manufacture?
We specialize in residential and commercial cleaning services. We provide carpet cleaning, tile cleaning & sealing, upholstery cleaning and water damage restoration to both residential and commercial clients, as well as janitorial services for our commercial clients.

Is social media a large part of advertising your business?
Being in a semi-rural area, social media is slowly catching on. We anticipate it to grow more and in preparation we have a full suite of social media accounts and promote our services, as well as weekly blog posts, interesting articles, DIY projects, and maintenance tips.

To what do you attribute your success?
Our success is due to a strong set of standards, both in customer service and in the quality of our work. In addition to that, we also owe much of our success to our hard-working employees.

What made you choose your current location?
We chose our current location due to the clean, professional looking façade. It’s a nice-looking building with ample parking and it’s quiet. One of the nicest buildings in the area.

What are your responsibilities as the business owner?
My responsibilities are to make sure the company overall runs smoothly, enforce our quality standards, and explore new opportunities whether it’s a potential new service or a better, more innovative method.

El Dorado Hills Music

Brittany Kenyon - Thursday, November 17, 2016

Aborn Powers is pleased to introduce you to another one of our valued tenants, El Dorado Hills Music, located at 873 Embarcadero Drive Suite #1 in El Dorado Hills, CA 95762. El Dorado Hills Music has a wonderful collection of instruments for sale or rent. They also offer lessons to assist in mastering the instruments, sales of music related items and of course support. Locally owned and operated by Paula Johnson, they have been in business since 2003. Please take a moment to read what owner Paula has to say about her business.

  • What has been your largest hurtle as a business owner?
    Competing with online businesses. Often times customers see something online and expect you to be able to meet their price. That is sometimes possible, but most times online can offer items for less because they don't have expenses incurred in running a storefront business.
  • How do you hope to grow your business?
    There is a large interest in used instruments both as consignment or sale. Not everyone likes to transact used instrument business via Craigslist or other social media. This is an untapped market that I believe there is a need for in our area.
  • How many employees do you currently have?
    I am an owner/operator but have a great staff of 5 talented music instructors capable of teaching most any instrument you would like to pick up as well as being a wealth of knowledge on instruments and music theory.
  • How do you advertise your product/service?
    The bulk of local advertising is by donations to school band/fundraisers. I try to support all the local schools I can with donations of instruments to help their fund raising.
  • Does your company help your local community in any way?
    We are pleased to say we support local school music programs as well as other music related shows, productions in the area.
  • If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
    Provide an environment people want to return to. A smile and friendly approach to business is always rewarded by additional word of mouth customers.

New Start Nutrition

Cathy Lacy - Thursday, July 07, 2016

Marlene Balch the property manager of Grand Avenue Plaza in Santa Ana, Ca, would like to introduce New Start Nutrition one of the tenants at 2525 N. Grand Ave., Unit T, at our plaza. Kelly and Ryan are the owners and operators of the business. They host a variety of health items. Kelley is there daily to Introduce you to their products. Her knowledge and education in nutrition will impress you. She can get you started on the correct health program. They opened in February of 2015 and have built a large following.


New Start Nutrition is a nutrition club with the sole purpose of assisting in improving the well-being of our members. We accomplish this goal by providing products and knowledge as well as an outlet to communicate with our health coaches to meet the needs of our members. We provide healthy meal replacement shakes, energizing tea, and delicious aloe as part of a total health program. We also retail supplements vitamins and minerals through our distributorship with Herbalife.

  1. How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

    Kelley and I got the concept from previous Nutrition Clubs that are all throughout the world. Kelley had previously worked at a Nutrition Club and has always had the aspiration to run her own club. Previously I was a client of Kelley’s and made it a ritual to have my nutritious shake almost every day. When the right opportunity presented itself we both decided that opening our own nutrition club was the logical step forward for both of us.

  2. What has been your largest hurdle as a business owner?

    The largest hurdle we had to overcome as business owners was the endless tasks required to open. From permitting to construction to inspection making sure we abide by all rules and regulations was something I underestimated the complexity and time to complete all the steps.

  3. How do you hope to grow your business?

    We hope to grow our business through satisfied customers who are looking to achieve their health goals. Happy customers are great ambassadors for our business and the most effective way at increasing our sales. We provide a comprehensive nutritional program with guidance 100% of the way.

  4. Is social media a large part of advertising your business?

    Social media influence is a major part of our business. We are active on multiple platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Yelp. Being able to connect with our members in ways such as social media creates the warm atmosphere we believe is key to our business.

All-Star Gymnastics

Cathy Lacy - Wednesday, May 04, 2016





We here at Aborn Powers are excited to be able to introduce you to another one of our valued tenants, All-Start Gymnastics & Cheer, located at 6160 Enterprise Drive, Suite A, Diamond Springs. Owned and operated by Andrea and Michael Van Ry, All Star Gymnastics & Cheer is celebrating just over 10 years in business. Their mission is, “To provide a safe environment with an emphasis on quality instructions, unity of those that represent it and to provide outreach to our community.” Please take a moment to read what owner Andrea has to say about their business.


How do you hope to grow your business?

By continuing to operate a business that stays true to our community and the families in it. We always want to grow and improve in everything we do and to provide a place that is safe, fun and family friendly.


How many employees do you currently have?

We currently have 28 employees.


What service(s) or product(s) do you offer?

We offer recreational gymnastics for children that are crawling to 18 years of age, competitive gymnastics, all levels of tumbling, cheer basics and special needs classes. We also offer many special events such as: Kid’s Play Nights, Birthday Parties, Camps, Field Trips and Open Gym.


How do you advertise your product/service?

Word of mouth is our biggest advertiser. We have a website and Facebook as well.


To what do you attribute your success?

Our passion for providing the best gymnastics & cheer facility we possibly can. Customer Service is absolutely something that we pride ourselves in and because we have happy customers they keep our business growing. I also have an amazing staff that work very hard to be good role models for the children they work with.


What are some of your company’s goals?

To improve our technology to become more efficient in all that we provide, including online registration which we will be launching very soon. We will also be working on additional community outreach projects and some exciting new programs within the gym.


What is unique about your business?

One of the most unique things about our business is that athletes that train here for years normally turn into our coaches. So not only do they get to do a sport they love they can also start a career in it.


What made you choose this type of business?

I always wanted to own my own business, but I wanted it to be something that I could be proud of and that mattered. I think I found that!!


Does your company help your local community in any way?

We donate over 20 birthday parties a year to various organizations.


If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

Do your research in all areas and know your market. Be prepared to give 150% and always remember your clients and your staff are your most valuable assets.


Find Us

3181 Cameron Park Dr., Suite 105
Cameron Park, CA 95682‎

Phone: 530-676-6760
Phone: 916-638-2611
Fax: 530-677-3528
Email: info@abornpowers.com

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