The Elements of Fire, Ice and Water

The Elements of Fire, Ice and Water

Weather affects every property differently.  I've seen buildings side-by-side where wind completely removed one roof while leaving the building next door intact.  The elements like heat (fire), snow, water and ice take a terrible toll on property assets.  They are a constant, never ending source of pressure that can only be deflected, but never full addressed.

Fire (heat), ice and water are  the three constant weather elements affecting your real estate.  Each asset standing today that is still standing in 30 years will have survived almost 11,000 days of weather.

Here is something we can all agree on; 30 years from now every property in operation will be 30 years older.  Such a simple statement, yes?  Unfortunately it is untrue.  Some assets will be no longer having been demolished. 

Other assets will be younger than their actual years because of redevelopment or substantial rehabilitation.
One major reason for the variance in useful life is the affect of weather and the quality of the building materials (weather appropriate) used for construction.

Consider a brand new roof; with picture perfect maintenance.  Still, the life of this particular major capital expenditure is 20-25 years.  This precludes damage from wind, hail or manmade gaffs.

Like death and taxes there is no way to avoid fire, ice and water

FIRE: Heat from the sun (Fire) naturally breaks down every chemical known to man over time.  This includes roofing, any sealant in use (around windows, caulking in baths and kitchens), rubberized water line en-casements, flooring. 

ICE: Ice, as they say, is a law suit waiting to happen.  Like certain family members,  you can't stop them from showing up and hope  they only stays for a short while. 

WATER: The worst of the lot as it can boil in the heat (causing damage), melt in the sun (finding it's way into the smallest of cracks) and yet freeze again (expanding those small cracks).  Worst of all... it never goes away.  There is seldom a seasonal break from H2O.

In an attempt to direct water to flow where we choose, we build storm drains, washout's, breaker walls, waterways, culverts.  And yet water still takes a toll as even this infrastructure requires maintenance to assure that water goes where we direct.  In some instances, once water finds its path it can be near impossible to divert.

Like death and taxes, it seems there is little we can do about the elements.  The best thing to do is be pro-active in affected areas (interior and exterior) in an effort to stay one step ahead.  Sometimes this is simple, like having working gutters.  Other times hard, like when the snow budget is blown to pieces by a hard winter. 

No matter the season, we cannot ignore weather's affect or pretend as if there is little or no costs to address the elements.  They will be here long after we have moved on to our next act.

-- John Wilhoit, Jr. Releases Multifamily Insight Book on Amazon --
Multifamily Insight Volume 1 delivers hard hitting facts about how to buy and operate multifamily apartment assets. Multifamily Insight Volume 1 teaches its readers how to apply techniques to increase revenue and control expenses in today’s volatile market. It is a reference guide delivering educational content about how to implement real world strategies in professional property management and execute multifamily operations at their highest level of efficiency

About This Blog
Multifamily Insight is dedicated to assisting current and future multifamily property owners, operators and investors in executing specific tasks that allow multifamily assets to operate at their highest level of efficiency. We discuss real world issues in multifamily property management and acquisitions. This blog is intended to be informational only and does not provide legal, financial or accounting advice. Seek professional counsel.  For more information, visit:

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