Cigarette Butts on the Roof

Just recently we had some parts of the roof repaired at the apartment. Imagine my dismay when I learned from Dods, my handyman, that one of the units had cigarette butts on the roof of the toilet. The toilet is on the first floor and my hunch is that the butts were thrown from the unit's second floor bedroom window and landed on the toilet's roof. Well it's either that or the butts have been tossed upwards from the laundry area onto the roof - which is rather unlikely.

This angered me and told the occupant about it. Only the dad was there visiting and apparently he didn't know about the smoking that was going on! He promised to relay the info. I later texted the mother about the problem just to reiterate.

This problem has a couple of serious issues:
  1. Fire hazard. Smoking in the bedroom should be a definite no-no. Not a few fires started from a sleepy smoker forgetting a lighted cigarette.
  2. Drainage problem. When butts get down the storm drain, you could imagine the potential clogging.

If I still catch this habit, I'll give them the final warning. And then off they go, if I catch them the third time. That's a lot of leeway, in my opinion.


No Power at the Apartment

If you were a homeowner and you notice one day you turn the bulb switch and the light doesn't turn on. What do you do? Of course, you'd check first if there's no electricity or power. If there's none, you'd probably check if the neighborhood has no electricity. If there's none, you'd call the power company to report it. Maybe somebody else in the neighborhood has done it and that's okay. Your calling would serve as a followup to the power company nonetheless.

If you were a tenant, you may not be the property owner, but you'd still be the HOMEowner since the property is presently your HOME. When there's no power, do some investigation first. I may be the landlord or property manager, but I'm not a babysitter. Call the power company. Ask your neighbors, do some followups with the power company. The utility may be in my name, but it's you who's directly affected by the power interruption.

So as a landlord, what do you do when a tenant calls you and tells you there's no power at the apartment? You tell him to call the power company!

Ever had this problem of getting paint in the crevices of your fingers and fingernails and having too much difficulty getting it out? Of course after painting, you could always use paint thinner or some other solvents like WD-40. Soak a little into a rag and rub it on your fingers and fingernails. Or, you could simply wash it away with plain water!

The trick is initial preparation. Just before your painting job, get a few drops of some liquid hand soap. Liquid detergent is also okay. Rub thinly on your palms, back of the hands and wrists. Spread liberally in the crevices of your fingernails.

While letting the soap dry a little, you could do some other preparation work like stir the paint, lay newspapers for the paint drips, etc.

After painting, you might STILL need to use a little solvent, but your fingers and nails will be so much easier clean by simply washing with water.

A month ago, a tenant raised a concern about water trickling down the wall from the ceiling when it rains hard. One of my frustrations at the apartment is that some portions of the roof leak and I've no idea why. I've had a couple of workers do the roof (Bert and Gerry) at different times and apparently the problem persisted. I knew the vacancy at Unit D was the most affected.

Anyway, after the concern was aired, I asked Dods to put roof sealant (Shelby GutterSeal as he requested) on all the affected units. I asked the tenants to observe and monitor when it rains. Typhoon Feria came with heavy rains and after leaving, the tenants reported no problems. And so I asked Dods to come back, this time to fix the ceiling at Unit D that has long been unattended.

See how some parts of the ceiling plywood had rotted. It became brittle due to the constant rain-drenching and sun-drying.

Notice the watermarks left on the wooden spacers. A couple of these spacer have been waterlogged for some time. That orange thing is the plastic flexible pipe for the electrical wiring.

Dods added a thin piece of wood to splice the two waterlogged spacers before covering with a new panel of 1/4" thick marine plywood. And the new panel was repainted after that.

Fortunately, it was just one panel of the ceiling.


Browsing this Blog

From recent developments, I realized that this blog is best viewed using a browser OTHER than Internet Explorer Version 8. Version 8 is the latest version of IE (Internet Explorer) as of this writing. You will not receive any errors when using IE8 to view this blog but you will not see the blog displayed correctly. The blog's sidebars don't appear on the main page and the posts are incomplete when browsing with IE8.

I've used Mozilla Firefox and have never had problems with it thus far. There are other browsers like Apple Safari and Google Chrome which I haven't tried. But for now, I would strongly suggest to avoid using Internet Explorer when viewing this blog.

If you're unsure, shown below are the icons of the above mentioned browsers:


Easy Method to Store Used Paintbrushes

One of the maintenance activities for a landlord would invariably include some painting. The best way to store used paint brushes away is to clean them first. For brushes used in oil-based paints, you clean them with turpentine or paint thinner. For those used with latex paint, with water. If the paint job is just for a day or two, handymen would just dip the brushes in either water or paint thinner (whichever is appropriate) in between painting.

But there's one thing you can do to store away paint brushes without dipping them in solvents or water. Here's what to do:
  1. After painting, ensure the paint brush has little paint left on it.
  2. Wrap the paintbrush's bristles with a plastic sheet or insert the bristle end inside a small plastic bag. The plastic should be long enough to cover the handle's neck or that narrow portion of the handle near the metal ferrule.
  3. Tie the plastic sheet tightly around paintbrush's neck twist tie or a thin wire. The wrapped paintbrush should look like the one in the photo below.

  4. Put the wrapped paintbrush inside the refrigerator (yes, refrigerator!) where it's unlikely to be moved.
  5. Tell all that you have a paintbrush inside the ref so nobody mistakes it for a popsicle!

When you're ready to use the paintbrush, simply take it out the ref and it's good to go! Don't forget about it though if you need to defrost the ref.


Simple Way to Thwart a Burglar

If there's one thing that burglars and other malefactors don't want, it is CATCHING ATTENTION.

I had an incident at the apartment when the tenants discovered a burglary one morning. Some small appliance items were stolen in one of the units. One of the other tenants not burglarized said that in the middle of night before, she saw someone jumped over the front gate. This was around 1 to 2 am.

She didn't see the face because the guy wore a baseball cap. At first she thought it might have been one of the other tenants because of the guy's built. The guy, she assumed, probably just locked himself out.

But then it also crossed her mind that it might have been a burglar. She wanted to shout to catch the guy's attention. But the thought froze her. She was afraid that the burglar would recognize it's an old lady shouting, see her and somehow harm her. Not only that, being petrified, she probably wouldn't even have had the voice to shout in the first place.

And that gave me the thought of giving each of the tenants a whistle just like the one below.

Here are some advantages I can think of:
  1. It's cheap. A plastic sports whistle costs something like Php15 to Php30 depending on the size.

  2. It's handy. And with a lanyard, it can be hung just about anywhere. The bedroom would be a logical choice with the whistle by a table or hung at the closet or bedroom door.

  3. Anybody can use it. You only need a good strong breath to make it work. You hold it, put it in the mouth and blow.
  4. It's always ready to use. There are no batteries to charge and no switches to fumble just to turn it on. You can even operate it in the dark.

  5. It easily grabs ATTENTION. A purposeful and determined whistle sound is a standard attention getter. People recognize it as coming from authority: police, security guard, nightwatch, etc. and that typically stops them in their tracks. And hopefully for a burglar, would be enough to change his mind and scoot.

There you have it. A cheap and hopefully effective solution. Happy landlording!