Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Remember leaky condos?

Now I have never been a fan of the box in the sky approach to home ownership, but it has it's place, I guess.  And unless you are really new to the Village on the Edge of the Rainforest, you are well acquainted with the whole 'leaky condo' saga of the last 15 years.

During the whole leaky condo affair, I recall some analysts saying that it wasn't just wood frame condos that would be having issues; concrete buildings would be experiencing their own share of 'envelope' problems. They just wouldn't surface as readily as the wood frame structures.  Concrete problems wouldn't appear until about 10 years into the life of the building.

Well... the issue has sort of died off and we haven't really heard much about it for the last few years.

But I was reminded of it today as I strolled past 438 Seymour Street (northeast corner of Seymour and West Pender Streets).

Outwardly this is a very upscale building.

It still looks clean and newish.  It has a conceige/security guard at the front entrance.  But I happened to glance up and I noticed something odd about the first balcony above the entrance. Click on these images of the balcony (to enlarge them) and look at the bottom of the balcony under the green flashing.


The concrete bottom of the balcony is collapsing and sagging with a very visible bend.

I passed it on to the concierge (who came out to see it for herself and promptly called the maintenance manager). I wonder how many other concrete condo's are starting to exhibit signs of water damage?

Balcony seat, anyone?


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  1. A lot of the windows on the concrete towers have ordinary residential windows installed. Residential windows work at ground level - when you get up several floors and + you start to encounter more serious issues like substantial differences between interior and exterior air pressure - forcing moisture inside.

    What has ordinary residential construction taught us about quality control when units / residences are pre-sold? Construction is shite.

    I toured a tower in Coal Harbour a few years back. A 1/2 million dollar unit at the time (probably more now). I was astonished by the poor quality of building materials from plumbing, electrical, to the cheap (relatively speaking) finishes.

    Not to mention the coming meltdown of the Olympic Village.

  2. Also under the awning/decorative thing. Serious rust from the steel reinforcing rods and white minerals from leachate. Water should run off building parts, not percolate through.

  3. I used to own in a building in Gastown that was concrete. Went up around 1997, saw it tarped up last fall - 14 years. This town will be a mess come 2018-2020.

  4. LOL I live in this building! However I'm just a lowly renter. I guess my landlords should be expecting a special assessment soon?