A detailed guide on Damages of the Property
Updated: May 17
Hello, this is Zayed Ahmed from ASLBPO, on another edition of Property Preservation Training. In today’s video, I would like to provide a detailed guide on all the different types of damages that can be present and how to correctly report them. For all the maintenance types of work orders that you do, you will come across a certain portion of the report that we have to fill up called the Damage Report. On this portion, you will have to report all the damages that the property has as particular damage types. Knowing how to correctly report damage by its category is one of the most important parts of our work.
Vandalism is caused when vandals (people who deliberately destroy or damage public or private property) enter into these properties and damage the house. Any appliances such as the external air conditioning unit, hot water heater, and any kitchen appliance, if missing, can be the cause of vandals that robbed the house. Broken windows, as well as damaged or broken doors that may or may not be boarded, are signs of vandalism as well. Graffiti (writings and drawings on the wall using spray paint) in exterior or interior walls, and any presence of drugs (which will be noted down by the crew who visited the property) are also signs of vandalism. Another type of vandalism damage that you may see in these properties is when the crew reports that copper pipes for supply water are missing or when the electrical system is damaged. This can also be evident from the pictures if they show that walls in the bathroom are broken with pipelines behind them being broken or if copper pipelines in the basement are shown to be broken and damaged or if the electric meter is shown to be missing or the electrical panel box is shown to be damaged. In relation to this, if bathroom items such as toilets and bathtubs, and showers are damaged, broken, or are missing it can also be concluded that they were caused by vandals. A High Vandalism Area is a housing area where vandalism is a common occurrence, if the crew notes that a property is located in high vandalism area we will have to report this when processing a work order.
Damages due to water can occur due to several reasons; the roof of the property may be damaged, causing rainwater to enter the property and cause damage, plumbing leaks may occur causing water leakage and damage if a property has a basement it may get flooded due to plumbing leak or from water seeping in from the walls (basement is underground so water present in the soil can slowly enter the basement from the walls) or from storms and floods if a property is around an area which is prone to them. Water flooding in the house can cause additional damages to the property and if ever shown in the picture or is reported by the crew, we must also report it when submitting our work as well. A very common way to recognize if a property has water damage is if it is shown in pictures that ceilings and walls have water stains and discoloration present. Discoloration and stains on the ceiling mean that it was possibly caused due to the roof being damaged and having leaks, discoloration on walls could mean that the plumbing line behind the wall is leaking and is damaged. A flooded basement can be easily recognized from pictures as there will be water present. Water Damage can also be evident if carpets are wet, in such cases we will need to provide a bid to remove the carpet and padding from the floor.
The growth of mold (which is a type of fungus) on walls and ceiling can be caused when water damage further deteriorates. Mold growth can also occur on kitchen and bathroom cabinets, on doors as well as on the exterior siding wall. Normal mold growth on the surface can be easily remediated by cleaning with bleach or antimicrobial solutions only (if it is the fridge, doors, and cabinets, or any other wooden material), for drywall, however, along with cleaning with bleach the wall must be painted with Kilz, which is a type of paint that prevents mold growth. If the wall is made of concrete or cinder blocks, however, (walls of basement only) instead of painting with kilz after bleach clean, it is painted with Drylok. An exception to bleach clean and painting is for acoustic ceiling tiles however, (refer to the previous video if you do not know what acoustic ceiling tile is) if the tiles have water stain or have mold growth they have to be removed. Another exception to this is moldy exterior sidings, which can be pressure washed to remove mold. Sometimes, the mold growth may become extremely severe, and growth of black mold may occur, the growth in severe cases is such that it spreads underneath the surface material and contaminates whatever is underneath. In such cases if the growth is on drywall they have to be removed, the wooden studs (frame) have to be bleach cleaned and lastly, the drywall has to be replaced. The same is for ceiling tiles and doors and cabinets that if mold growth is severe on them they have to be removed and replaced with new ones as well. In rare cases the entire inside of the property may be entirely contaminated with mold, the crew will not want to enter the property as it will be an extremely hazardous condition for them, in such cases we provide a bid for a mold inspection by a professional. Sometimes, when mold growth is present in the property we bid for installing Dehumidifier, which is an electric appliance that drains the moisture from the air to prevent further mold growth, or a Damprid, a material that soaks moisture from the air.
Flood and Storm Damage:
As previously stated, water damage can sometimes occur due to storms and floods, such damages can be recognized from a flooded basement, and in rare cases if you see walls on the property have been stripped and removed on the lower half portion (because flood water damaged the lower portion of the walls). Usually, such damage will be noted by the crew that visited the property and provide you with the information.
If the foundation of a property is damaged or the walls are cracked it is called structural damage. If the damage is minor such as shallow cracks on the walls and foundation, it can be repaired by using sealant/caulking. If however, the damage is extensive, inspection by a Structural engineer (Structural Inspection) is needed to assess the damage. Structural damage can also be reported if the floors of the property is extensively damaged or are caving in.
Fire and smoke damages can be easily evident from the pictures, portions of the interior or exterior part of the house will be burnt to black. If the damage is extensive and the house is partially burnt down it will have to be demolished entirely.
If properties are not winterized in the correct time, (we will get back later on another post what Winterization is) but if it is not done in the correct time in winter, the plumbing system of these vacant houses may get frozen causing them to break. This is what freeze damage is called.
Properties can be reported as having unfinished renovation if parts of the property have still not been fully completed. If pictures show walls of rooms having no drywall and only the wooden frame, cabinets on kitchen or bathroom missing or bathrooms having no items installed in them, then it will be a clear indication that the property still has not been fully renovated.
Owner Neglect and Wear and Tear:
Lastly, any damage caused by neglect of previous owners of the property can be termed as Owner Neglect, a damaged fence, window or door trims being damaged, or a damaged light fixture can be due to owner neglect. Similarly, any damage caused by deterioration through aging can be due to “wear and tear” a damaged roof is a good example of this as it may be due to the roof being old and has thus deteriorated.
That is all for this video, remember that correctly reporting damage is one of the most important parts of completing the work. Ensuring that you understand what type of damage is present and can recognize them is crucial.