Management Report: July 2021

Posted on Thu, 07/01/2021 - 12:00pm

By Violette Deschamps, Malibu East Manager

Office Hours

DRAIN BUGS: Cockroaches, also called drain bugs, are common bugs living in the city sewer system and generally migrating into drain stacks of buildings. What keeps the drain bugs from getting out of the pipes is the “water” in the P-traps. Each of your plumbing fixtures – toilet, sink, bathtub and shower base – IS equipped with a P-trap; it is a p-shaped bend pipe used to connect your plumbing fixture directly to the drain system of the building. P-traps are designed to retain some water in the bend that prevents the escape of waste fumes and passage of bugs into the apartment. A P-trap is the elbow that is installed immediately after the drain of the plumbing fixture; that elbow is extended to connect to the drain system. It is an enclosed assembly as long as there is water in the bend of the P-trap.

If the water in the P-trap dries out because the unit is vacant for an extended period of time or the plumbing fixture is unused for an extended period of time, the drain bugs will easily migrate up into the plumbing fixture and find their way into the apartment in search of food. In an effort to remediate this situation, the Board of Directors approved, at no charge to the unit owners, to proceed with routine inspections of the vacant units. Routine inspections would ideally be performed once a month in vacant units to run water in the plumbing fixtures and check for drain bugs in the units. Note that our pest control vendor will be contacted to treat units and hallways where drain bugs have been found, at no charge to the unit owners. As far as unused plumbing fixtures in an occupied unit, please keep water in the P-trap by simply running the water or flushing the toilet.

How to trigger the routine inspections: Contact management about any units that have been vacant for more than 2-3 weeks for any reason, whether the unit has been vacated as a secondary home, or listed for sale or lease, or the resident is traveling, or the resident has been relocated to another living facility, etc. Please also assure access by taking the precaution of leaving a set of keys with management or at the front desk.

CARPET: Management is currently assessing another method to clean the hallway carpets for better results and faster turnaround. A mock-up will be performed on one floor with a steam extractor for comparison with a regular extractor that operates on a 15 amp circuit and water at room temperature. The steam method, if demonstrated to be a prime option, will require the installation of double electrical outlets of 20 amps each on every floor and the purchase of a steam extractor designed for heavy-duty carpet cleaning.

SHORT-TERM PARKING: The Board of Directors approved a motion to accommodate unit owners in need of short-term valet parking in the garage for periods shorter than the contractual minimum six-month period. The month-to-month parking arrangement will be available to unit owners at $165 per month.

AT&T TELEPHONE LAND LINES: The bundle of telephone lines owned by AT&T is running through a trench under the east sidewalk of Sheridan Road. Some of our residents started to experience interruptions of their telephone service about two weeks ago. As the days went by, service interruptions of telephone land lines increased to the point that, a week later, all of the land lines in several buildings in the immediate neighborhood went out, Malibu East being one of them. Following a number of service calls, AT&T stopped sending technicians for repairs and proceeded to investigate the growing problem. They found the source of the damage under the east sidewalk of Sheridan, in the section of their service trench facing Malibu, our neighbor. Based on the reports received from the repair supervisor of AT&T, water had infiltrated into the trench over the past years and damaged the bundle of telephone wires. AT&T cut two large openings on each side of the entry to Malibu to access and replace the wires. However, subsequent heavy rains entered the trench and damaged the new wires right after they had been installed. As of June 25, AT&T had replaced most of the bad wires although some telephone lines are still out of service. AT&T customers who still experience outages of their telephone service must contact AT&T directly for service.

BALCONY AND PLANTERS: Despite several articles on this topic and a copy of the Rules and Regulations being given to all residents in the building, we continue to experience issues of smears left on balconies as the result of wastewater overflowing from a balcony above. The last incident was caused by planters aligned at the edge of the balcony, in which a potting mix called Vigoro has been used. In this case, it appears that the potting mix contains a form of dye that caused the wastewater to be brownish. Overflowing wastewater resulted from either rain falling on the planters and/or excess watering that caused the wastewater to fall and smear about 60 balconies and furniture on three tiers, the higher balconies being the worse. This important issue can be prevented if you:

  • Avoid potting mix that may contain dye;
  • Avoid placing planters at the edge of the balcony so as to avoid rain that may fall on the planters and then produce wastewater to run off from the planters;
  • Place planters in deep and large saucers to retain excess watering;
  • Avoid overflow by watering more often and in a lesser amount;
  • Monitor the watering closely and wipe up excess water before it overflows the balcony.

BALCONY AND CIGARETTE BUTTS: We continue to get complaints from residents experiencing burn/stain damages to their furniture and balconies resulting from butts landing on their balconies. For those of you who are responsible for such incidents, please take a minute to reflect on the issue.

FOURTH-FLOOR DECK AND BALCONIES: We continue to have issues with items hung from balconies, and wastewater, dog waste, cigarette butts, construction materials/residue/dust and other objects either thrown off balconies, pushed off, washed off by rain or picked up by wind turbulence to land on other balconies, furniture and planters, and the fourth-floor deck.

Please remember the following rules:

  • No construction work of any kind, including cleaning tools, shall be performed on a balcony.
  • Absolutely nothing shall be thrown or dropped, and nothing shall be shaken, from balconies.
  • All items likely to blow off or rattle during heavy winds must be fastened down.
  • Nothing shall be hung from balconies, except those things authorized by MECA.
  • No modifications, including but not limited to painting or installation of floor covering, including but not limited to AstroTurf or tile of any type, shall be made to any balcony, with the exception of the most recent Board Balcony Policy.
  • Wastewater, resulting from cleaning, plant watering, etc., may not be allowed to flow over the edge of the balcony.