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Subject: Roof Replacement and leaking AC units
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AlexG2
(California)

Posts:18


07/28/2015 11:33 AM  
Our Condo is in S. California, the project contain 26 units, it was built in 1987, we have a flat roof, the BOD approved to replace the entire roof, we hired a Roof Contractor and we signed a tentative contract, the roofer noticed that the AC units on the roof are as old as the building, rusted and leaking rusted condensation water on the roof floor. The roof contractor wants us to sign a warranty waiver to the effect that that if the roof is damaged due to rust water ponding then the warranty is voided.
The AC units are over 30 years old, were never been serviced, the HOA hired a AC contractor to advise if the AC units can be repaired, his response was the units are non repairable and must be replaced. The only reference to the AC Component in the CC&R’s is that the unit must be serviced on a regular basis by the unit owner. We sent a letter to all homeowners that their AC is leaking rusted water and the unit cannot be repaired and must be replaced before installing the new roof. About 60% of the homeowners agreed to purchase and install new AC units, the rest don’t have money and two homeowners said that the HOA can NOT force them to replace the AC unit.
The HOA will not replace the roof with a conditional warranty, and the roof must be replaced according to the reserve study, and if not, the building insurance will be questionable in case of failed roof.
The question is, how can we go about replacing the roof without those few units refusing to install new AC unit? One board member suggested asking the home owner to get his home insurance to add the HOA as beneficiary in case the roof is damaged due to the insured AC unit, other suggestion is to ask the Gas Company to cap the gas line going to the AC unit. We appreciate all the help and knowledge of the responders.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7304


07/28/2015 12:15 PM  
AC units are each owner's responsibility, right?

Since you have documentation from an expert that the old units will damage the new roof, and since the bad ones set on this common area roof, I should think that your HOA can hire someone to remove them to prevent common area damage. I see no benefit to your HOA to install new roofing unless those old AC units are all gone!

Check with you HOA attorney on this. If s/he gives you the go ahead in writing, inform your owners that their units will be removed on xx/xx/xxx.

Is there any way you can get a vendor to offer a bulk rate to replace these for those who do it all at one time? That might help some owners comply. In addition, can you wait till Nov. so that those who simply cannot afford new units won't have to endure too much heat without AC? And they might have time to save up the funds before the heat hits again in the spring.
PitA


Posts:0


07/28/2015 12:51 PM  
Since there exist gas lines they would actually be HVAC units.

HEATING ventilation air conditioning

heating is a life safety REQUIRED item which may NOT be removed


how one would incapacitate the a/c w/o turning off the heat remains ??????
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7304


07/28/2015 1:47 PM  
Ooooooh, important point, PitA. But why is he called them just AC units? If you're right and you always seem to be about these types of things, Alex really needs an attorney's advice.

He has personal property that's required by law setting on top of a common area that he's obligated to protect.
FredS7
(Arizona)

Posts:925


07/28/2015 1:49 PM  
> The roof contractor wants us to sign a warranty waiver to the effect that that if the roof is damaged due to rust water ponding then the warranty is voided.

> Since you have documentation from an expert that the old units will damage the new roof,

The "expert" didn't say the water WILL damage the roof, he is saying that he is not sure and doesn't want to be responsible.

It is possible that auxiliary pans and drains would solve the leakage problem. The HOA could require that the units be replaced OR furnished with auxiliary pans.

PitA


Posts:0


07/28/2015 2:07 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 07/28/2015 1:47 PM
Ooooooh, important point, PitA. But why is he called them just AC units? If you're right and you always seem to be about these types of things, Alex really needs an attorney's advice.

He has personal property that's required by law setting on top of a common area that he's obligated to protect.




Because non mechanical people do not have a clue !

Because the 'directors' usually do not have a good grasp of what they are directing !

"The roofers said xyz ......"

? what do the job specifications actually say ?

(if they even exist)

!? Puddles from HVAC causing roof damage ?!

TORIC KA-KA

A 'flat roof' requires pitch to its' drains - if significant puddling occurs the sub roof requires repair.

? Why did the directors permit non compliance for 30 years re: owner maintenance ?


aaaah, my curse of actual knowledge rears its' ugly head


PitA


Posts:0


07/28/2015 2:11 PM  
ps.

both heating and cooling are types of air conditioning as they both condition the air

therefor, by 'trade convention':

AC = cooling only

HVAC = heating AND cooling, sometimes with ventilation



generally pronounced: H Vac
AlexG2
(California)

Posts:18


07/28/2015 2:32 PM  
The roofer assured us that the rusted water on the roof floor from the HVAC will eventually damage the material. An auxiliary pan was discussed, it will be impossible to install as the entire unit is rusted.
AlexG2
(California)

Posts:18


07/28/2015 2:47 PM  
We were able to negotiate a bulk buy, which include the crane lift and building permit at a very reasonable price, but the homeowners are claiming they don't have the money and expect the HOA to pay the bill for a new unit .. LOL. One board member suggested to the HO's to get a line of credit or use the credit card.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9408


07/28/2015 3:02 PM  
You can always bill them in payments. Have a special assessment to pay for them. Then charge the owner a set amount on top of their dues to pay off the "loan". If they do not pay that amount, then you can lien them for the whole amount owed for the units.

Plus check with your local utilities. They may have program available that you can fund a new unit through your utility bill. We have such a program here. You also qualify for a refund if you use a contractor on their list. I replaced my entire unit and registered with the program. I received $500 back and more coupons for installing insulation. Utility companies encourage green savings and offer many programs or incentives...

Former HOA President
LarryB13
(Arizona)

Posts:4099


07/28/2015 3:55 PM  
Alex,

Have you consulted with an HVAC contractor? Roofers, and many other contractors, seem to live solely to find an excuse to do work without having to warranty it. I would seek out a second opinion from someone qualified to evaluate the condition of the existing AC units before blindly taking the word of a roofer.

AlexG2
(California)

Posts:18


07/28/2015 4:11 PM  
We consulted with an HVAC contractor, he said the units are old and rusted and can not be repaired for the condensation water leak. We do not understand how a home owner would not want to replace an old unit with an Energy Efficient unit, even if he have to go out and borrow the money, always one or two homeowners are spoilers
RichardP13


Posts:0


07/28/2015 4:18 PM  
Check your CCRs. Generally, special assessments must be applied equally or a percentage of the square footage. Can do special assessments for individual owners.

You can bill the owners separately and on a payment plan, but I would want a consensus from the other owners before proceeding.

If the money to pay for initially comes from the reserves, you much vote and put into the minutes of that meeting a repayment plan, payable within one year.
AlexG2
(California)

Posts:18


07/28/2015 4:34 PM  
The cost of replacing the entire roof is funded from the reserve fund, no much money left to loan individual homeowners.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3987


07/28/2015 8:51 PM  
Cost of new roof?
Cost per HVAC unit?

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
AlexG2
(California)

Posts:18


07/28/2015 10:14 PM  
New roof $70,000
Cost per HVAC $3500 to $4100 depend on brand name
LarryB13
(Arizona)

Posts:4099


07/28/2015 10:35 PM  
Alex,

The useful life of an AC unit is about 25 years. If all the AC units are original to the 1987 construction, they are living on borrowed time.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3987


07/29/2015 6:44 AM  
Posted By AlexG2 on 07/28/2015 10:14 PM
New roof $70,000
Cost per HVAC $3500 to $4100 depend on brand name


Some simple math:

Roof = $70k
HVAC = $100k
Total = $170k

Pay $70k from reserves
Get a $100k line of credit from bank

Individual HO Options:
A. Pay $3-3.5k for HVAC unit (assuming bulk purchase discount)
or
B. Pay $80 per month for 5 years (or some other time arrangement that covers the carrying costs of loan, maint & insurance, etc.)

IMO, you will be debating this forever if you don't figure out how to get the financing done by the HOA.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
MarkM31


Posts:0


07/29/2015 8:28 AM  
Condensate is mostly water, what is that bad for a roof.

Ask the roofer exactly how "rusty" water can destroy the roof.

He's just yapping his gums.
AlexG2
(California)

Posts:18


07/29/2015 8:50 AM  
All the licensed and professional roofers we interviewed had the same concern about the rust.
MarkM31


Posts:0


07/29/2015 9:17 AM  
Because they are being cautious. It's a lot cheaper liability-wise to claim concern than to outright bless something. But I can't find anything that shows dilute Fe*2O*3 is deleterious to either PVC or composite torch down roofing.
RichardP13


Posts:0


07/29/2015 9:38 AM  
Posted By NpS on 07/29/2015 6:44 AM
Posted By AlexG2 on 07/28/2015 10:14 PM
New roof $70,000
Cost per HVAC $3500 to $4100 depend on brand name


Some simple math:

Roof = $70k
HVAC = $100k
Total = $170k

Pay $70k from reserves
Get a $100k line of credit from bank

Individual HO Options:
A. Pay $3-3.5k for HVAC unit (assuming bulk purchase discount)
or
B. Pay $80 per month for 5 years (or some other time arrangement that covers the carrying costs of loan, maint & insurance, etc.)

IMO, you will be debating this forever if you don't figure out how to get the financing done by the HOA.



60% of the homeowners already replaced their A/C units.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3987


07/29/2015 9:43 AM  
Posted By RichardP13 on 07/29/2015 9:38 AM
Posted By NpS on 07/29/2015 6:44 AM
Posted By AlexG2 on 07/28/2015 10:14 PM
New roof $70,000
Cost per HVAC $3500 to $4100 depend on brand name


Some simple math:

Roof = $70k
HVAC = $100k
Total = $170k

Pay $70k from reserves
Get a $100k line of credit from bank

Individual HO Options:
A. Pay $3-3.5k for HVAC unit (assuming bulk purchase discount)
or
B. Pay $80 per month for 5 years (or some other time arrangement that covers the carrying costs of loan, maint & insurance, etc.)

IMO, you will be debating this forever if you don't figure out how to get the financing done by the HOA.



60% of the homeowners already replaced their A/C units.


If that's the case, only $40k line of credit needed. Even better.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
MarkM31


Posts:0


07/29/2015 9:48 AM  
And remember, even with new HVAC units, the condensate will still drain to the roof
AlexG2
(California)

Posts:18


07/29/2015 10:10 AM  
We have PVC drain pipes on the roof for each and every unit
PitA


Posts:0


07/29/2015 10:30 AM  
oh, for crike's sake, I could have replaced the roof AND the units by now

blah blah blah

gab gab gab

take the non compliant owners (failure to maintain as per contract) to court and force their compliance

grow some circular objects

take action

done
MarkM31


Posts:0


07/29/2015 10:36 AM  
Posted By AlexG2 on 07/29/2015 10:10 AM
We have PVC drain pipes on the roof for each and every unit




Which is good unless they aren't pitched correctly and freeze. It's normally a case of KISS, and the less poorly fastened piping on a roof for people to trip on, the better.
RichardP13


Posts:0


07/29/2015 10:47 AM  
Posted By PitA on 07/29/2015 10:30 AM
oh, for crike's sake, I could have replaced the roof AND the units by now

blah blah blah

gab gab gab

take the non compliant owners (failure to maintain as per contract) to court and force their compliance

grow some circular objects

take action

done



I love this idea! Why didn't I think about it.

How do you know they are non-complaint. How often are you required to maintain your A/C unit. I haven't done anything with mine in 8 years. If it ain't broke, well, you get the picture.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16801


07/30/2015 3:58 AM  
Posted By RichardP13 on 07/29/2015 10:47 AM

How often are you required to maintain your A/C unit. I haven't done anything with mine in 8 years. If it ain't broke, well, you get the picture.




The most common problems with A/C units are:

1) Filers - Dirty filters reduce air flow.
2) Clogged drain lines. If you don't take the time to make sure the drain line is clear from time to time, it will clog.
3) Dirt accumulation (other than filters). Dirt on the cooling fins reduces the efficiency (won't provide as much cooling as it could) of the unit. Dirt on fan blades will reduce air flow and cause increase current draw to make the fan operate, potentially requiring the fan unit to be replaced. Dirt accumulation on Heat pumps heating coils (if drastic enough) could cause a fire when the electric heat kicks in.



PitA


Posts:0


07/30/2015 4:41 AM  
I love this idea! Why didn't I think about it.

How do you know they are non-complaint. How often are you required to maintain your A/C unit. I haven't done anything with mine in 8 years. If it ain't broke, well, you get the picture.


They ARE broke.

The casings and condensate pans are RUSTED THROUGH and leaking rusty water.

By the way, the owners are BOT non-complaint AND non-compliant
PitA


Posts:0


07/30/2015 4:48 AM  
Richard,

As per the OP
The only reference to the AC Component in the CC&R’s is that the unit must be serviced on a regular basis by the unit owner.


?Would you not want the Covenant(s) enforced?

Lack of circular objects of previous BODs now has created a situation where the roof may be difficult to replace while getting a warranty.

The units require replacement.

Some owners claim 'lack of funds' (unless the unit actually quit).

Some owners claim lack of HOA authority.


Once again, the well meaning volunteers have the situation AFU.

If the BOD simply had done its' job all along .............................
PitA


Posts:0


07/30/2015 4:49 AM  


BOT should have been BOTH

RichardP13


Posts:0


07/30/2015 9:06 AM  
Posted By PitA on 07/30/2015 4:49 AM


BOT should have been BOTH




So, provide Alex a solution based on California statues.
PitA


Posts:0


07/30/2015 3:37 PM  
Have an attorney help to enforce the covenant.

By obtaining court orders if necessary.

Do NOT reroof until all the units have been maintained as per contractual obligation of the owners.

Inform the owners of said policy.

Inform the non-compliant owners they will be assessed for any leak related damage to either the building or the roof.

or

Hold an 'informational meeting' of the members.

Inform them of the situation.

Set a time limit for compliance.

THEN

Reroof regardless of warranty and 'let the chips fall where they may'.

? got a better plan ?
PitA


Posts:0


07/30/2015 3:42 PM  
OR

Attempt to amend the Covenant to include the HVAC units as a common expense.

Raise assessments to cover said costs.

Will be cheaper per unit in the long run as you would have ONE vendor / supplier.


The bottom line is:

The units MUST be fixed/replaced after 30 years.

This WILL cost money.

LESS money if put out for bids and done all at once.

OR

Wait for the roof to leak and the owners to begin screaming for action.

THEN, since it is now actually an emergency,

replace the units and fix the roof using a special assessment
RichardP13


Posts:0


07/30/2015 4:46 PM  
I would opt for Plan A- Get an attorney
DoryR1
(Arizona)

Posts:7


06/13/2016 6:10 PM  
I was looking for a thread about AC/HVAC and stumbled upon this post. If you don't mind my asking, how did it turn out? What was the homeowners' decision? I'm hopeful that the developments, if there are any, were positive and for the betterment of everybody.
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