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“Cardinal on the Go!” Debuts on Tablets and Phones Everywhere

smartphone-and-tablet

You live your life on the go. Cardinal-Online can go with you and is available any time you are. We are proud to announce that Cardinal Property Management’s website, www.cardinal-online.com, is available on smart phones and tablets.

Cardinal on the Go! is active now, just as you are.

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September is National Preparedness Month

National Preparedness

September is National Preparedness Month and the Irvine Police Department Office of Emergency Management would like to encourage Irvine residents to be prepared by making a family plan, stockpiling emergency supplies and knowing how to stay connected to the City. Taking these simple steps will go a long way during a natural disaster or other emergency.

Start by assembling a supply kit that is tailored to your family’s needs; develop a plan of action for meeting up with and communicating with family members; register your home and cell phones with the City’s iAlert system to receive emergency alerts and information; download the Access Irvine APP to stay informed and to receive “push” notifications; listen to 1640AM during an emergency for live updates; follow the City on Twitter and Facebook; and take a free Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course offered by the City to receive potentially life-saving information. For more emergency preparedness information, visit cityofirvine.org/prepare.

Emergency Supply List (cityofirvine.org/prepare)
It is important for residents to be prepared at home and work. Below is a starter emergency preparedness checklist. Customize your checklist to meet your family’s individual needs.

  • Water (one gallon per day, per person)
  • Non-perishable food (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  • A plan to communicate with your family
  • A designated meeting location for your family/loved ones
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First aid kit and medications (2-week supply)
  • Cell phones with chargers
  • Multipurpose tool, duct tape, tool kit and scissors
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents
  • Family and emergency contact information/card
  • Emergency blankets
  • Extra cash in $1 and $5 denominations
  • Baby supplies; games/activities for children
  • Pet supplies
  • Miscellaneous: two-way radios, extra keys to car and house and a manual can opener

Emergency Preparedness for Pets (cityofirvine.org/prepare)
If you have pets, be sure to include them in your preparations and provide supplies for them as well.

Stay connected when disaster strikes:

iAlert (cityofirvine.org/ialert)
iAlert is the City’s mass notification system to provide residents with time-sensitive information during a disaster. Go online to register your home, cell and work phones and to customize your account to receive phone, text or email messages or messages through hearing impaired receiving devices. iAlert is a critical component of Irvine’s emergency communications.

1640AM
1640AM is the City’s radio station, which is used to provide information to those in and around the Irvine area. Be sure to have your car radio and emergency radio pre-programmed to this station.

City of Irvine Website (cityofirvine.org)
The City will post updates as soon as possible in the event of an emergency.

Social Media
Many times when a disaster causes phone service to be disrupted, the Internet is still working. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive updates and information.

Facebook (Facebook.com/cityofirvine)

Twitter (Twitter.com/city_of_irvine)

ICTV Cox Channel 30
ICTV is the City’s television station that allows us to provide information to residents with Cox Cable (Channel 30) and U-verse (Channel 99) subscribers in and around the Irvine area.

Access Irvine (cityofirvine.org/accessirvine )

The Access Irvine APP also allows you to provide crime tips, access teen and City events and locate City parks and community facilities. Download the Access Irvine APP to stay informed and to receive “push” notifications during the course of a citywide emergency.

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Fuel Modification Zones

By Park West Landscape Management

Deadline for the completion of your fuel modification zones will be here soon. If your community has a fuel mod zone then you know the importance of getting it up to code annually by the required date. It is also very important to follow the written plan if one is in place. If you don’t have a fuel mod plan then you should meet with your local Fire Authority and get a clear understanding of the requirements.
Not all fuel mod zones are alike thus the maintenance requirements differ from one to another. Don’t assume that the level of clearing and removal is the same even if it is in the same county.
Once your annual fuel mod maintenance has been completed it is recommended that you have it inspected by the Fire Authority. By following these basic steps you will lessen the degree of liability for your community by providing a buffer zone between a potentially dangerous fire and your homes or businesses.

Fuel Modification Pic

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Thank you to Park West Landscape Management for providing the blog article. To learn more, visit www.parkwestinc.com

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Quick Tips for Preventing Water Damage

Toilets

Risk Factors: Water damage from toilets costs $2,000 to $10,000 per incident. 78% of incidents were caused by faulty supply lines, toilet flanges, fill valve assemblies or toilets that backed up and overflowed.
Loss Prevention and Maintenance Tips

  • After flushing, remain in or near the bathroom until the fill valve has finished refilling the bowl.
  • If the bowl or tank begins to overflow, turn off the water at the supply valve.
  • Inspect the flushing mechanism inside the toilet every six months.
  • The fill valve should shut off when the float reaches the proper water level.
  • Replace the flapper or fill valve assembly if you notice intermittent or constant tank refilling when the toilet is not in use.
  • Inspect the supply line every six months.
  • Ensure the connection to the valve is secure.
  • Operate the valve to make sure the water supply will shut off. Replace if needed.

Washing Machines

Study Facts: A burst water supply line caused half of all water damage incidents involving washing machines. On average, these incidents caused more than $6,000 in damage.
Loss Prevention and Maintenance Tips

  • Turn supply valves off when not in use.
  • Consider installing a lever-type valve that is easy to operate between uses.
  • Do not operate the washing machine while the home is unoccupied.
  • Leave a 3- to 4-inch gap between the back of the washing machine and the wall to avoid kinking the hose near the valve connection.
  • Inspect the water supply line hoses every six months.
  • Ensure that the connection to the valve is se¬cure, but avoid over-tightening. Hand tighten first. Then tighten an additional 2/3 of a turn using pliers.
  • Check the hoses for cracks, kinks or blisters, which are most commonly found near the hose connection. Washing machine manufacturers recommend replacing washing machine hoses every five years. Consider reinforced braided stainless steel hoses.

 Water Heaters

Study Facts: The chance a water heater will leak or burst begins to dramatically increase when it is 5 years old. Three-quarters of all water heaters fail before they are 12 years old.
Loss Prevention and Maintenance Tips

  • Have a professional plumbing inspection of the anode rod at least once every two years and annually once the warranty has expired. The rod will eventually corrode and leave the tank vulnerable to damage.
  • Remove sediment by flushing the tank every six months. Sediment will build up faster in areas with hard water.

 

This article was printed with permission from Institute for Business and Home Safety and provided by Oakwood Construction.  To learn more, please visit their website at  http://oakwoodteam.com/ 

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“Smart” Irrigation Controllers – What You Need to Know

By: Danny Smith, Water Manager, Park West Landscape Management

With summer heat comes the responsibility of keeping your landscapes healthy and attractive. But what steps are your landscapers taking to make sure your thirsty plant palette is being satisfied? As water districts throughout the region begin rolling out tiered-rate structures for commercial landscape customers it is becoming a top priority to not only water efficiently, but to design your irrigation system to conserve water.

Why should we care so much about our water usage here in California? Because watering our landscapes, filling our pools and enjoying lavish water features account for more than 50% of all water usage in California.  Some customers will now be subject to strict tiered-rate structures. The new water rates will separate the water conscious communities from the inefficient wasteful users and will financially burden the community until the irrigation deficiencies and wasteful practices are resolved.

When it comes to your irrigation system, replacing worn leaky sprinklers is the most common practice to reduce excess run-off but may not be the best solution to obtain long-term results. For example, have you ever driven into your community and seen the irrigation running while it’s raining? Have you ever had to call your landscaper on the weekend about irrigation that will not turn off? These are common problems associated with worn irrigation controllers and their attachments.  New technology designed for the cellular communications industry is making its way into the landscape industry via “Smart” controllers. These devices will allow users to become more involved with their watering needs while staying within the budget.

Several of the top landscape equipment manufacturers such as Rain Master, WeatherTrak and Calsense have developed controllers that will not only modify their programs (watering days and station run times) on a daily basis but also apply only enough water for sufficient plant health. That means your controller will gather weather data based on your specific microclimate and just accordingly. Would you like the controller to email you and your landscaper notifications if the pre-set parameters have changed? It can do that. If you choose to add sensors such as a flow meter or master valve, you will have full control of your irrigation system including real-time water usage reports, weather data and excess usage alerts. The controllers can even determine how many days to shut down after a rainfall event and will turn on automatically before the landscape begins to show signs of stress.

Water districts such as El Toro, Moulton Niguel and Irvine Ranch have already implemented tiered-rate structures.  Depending on which water district’s website you visit, the new rate structure is designed to reward the customers with low water usage and penalize those whose water usage exceeds their monthly allocation. For most service accounts the customer is allocated irrigation water based on evapo-transpiration (a measurement calculated by relative humidity, solar radiation, rainfall and other factors) and the square feet of landscape irrigated by each water meter. If you are unsure of how your water bill is calculated or whether your property is billed based on an allocation, you can view your water bill or contact your water district. Overall, if you wish to reduce your water usage by up to 30% annually, “Smart” controllers can prove to be the best long-term solution. In addition, if you wish to have a “Smart” controller that can adjust its parameters per real-time weather data, but you choose not to run all capabilities, there are products designed specifically for your community. However, due to the complexity and endless capabilities of these “Smart” controllers, it is recommended you consult with a landscape professional to determine which controller type will be the most beneficial to the community.

This article was printed with permission from Park West Landscape.  To learn more, please visit their website at http://parkwestlandscape.com/.  This article was also published in the July/August 2012 issue of the OC View Magazine published by the Orange County Chapter of the Community Associations Institute.  Visit their website at www.caioc.org.

 

 

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How To Stay Pest Free This Summer

Guest post by “Termite” Terry Singleton

We are in the midst of summer and many homeowners are having problems with pests of all types. Insects and rodents can do a great deal of damage to a home and its contents. They can also be serious vectors of disease.

No one wants to live in a home that is infested with these pests. But, here’s the big question;

How can these pests be controlled without compromising the safety of your family?

This may surprise you, but there are many ways in which you can control many of these pests without using pesticides. And, if you’re the type of person who likes doing your own work around the house, you’ll find that a lot of these items can be taken care of easily and at little or no costs to you. Here are ten tips to help keep your home pest free this summer:

1. Start by controlling moisture because water is like a magnet for insect and rodent problems. Check for plumbing leaks, roof leaks, leaky rain gutters, etc. Take a look at the ground around your home and make sure that you aren’t overwatering your lawn and plants. Check your sprinkler system and adjust it if needed. Insects and rodents need a lot of water so your home needs to stay as dry as possible.

2. Keep all plants and trees cut back away from your home. Trees need to be cut back at least 4 feet away from your home and none of the tree branches should be left hanging over your roof. This one simple step can really discourage pests from entering your home and can make a huge difference!

3. Remove plants that attract insects and rodents because of their fruit. You may also want to remove other plants that harbor honey-dew producing insects (e.g. fig trees, cherry laurel, bamboo, oleander).

4. Clean up leaf piles and debris from around your home.

5. Keep firewood off the ground and store it away from your home. Be sure to check it for pests before bringing it inside your home.

6. Seal up cracks and holes in your home’s exterior walls. This will eliminate harborage for many pests and help keep them out of your home. Installing weather stripping around doors is a good way to help keep pests out, too.

7. Check the screens on your doors and windows. Well maintained screens are really great for keeping out insects of all types. Look at the screens on your attic, garage and subarea vents, too. These vent screens are especially important for keeping birds, rodents and small animals out of your home.

8. Guard against pest invaders by checking incoming materials for “hitchhiking” bugs. A lot of pests can be brought in with luggage, laundry and groceries. Take a close look before you bring any flowers or plants into your home because you’ll often find insects living in them.

9. Ensure good ventilation in attics, garages and subareas. This will help to reduce many of your insect problems. This will also help to keep these areas dry and reduce mold and mildew problems.

10. Keep food and garbage in tightly fitting containers. This is especially important to do at night because that is when many pests are most active.

Start with these ten steps first. If you still need to use a pest control product, you’ll usually find that you won’t need very much. In fact, you may even be shocked when you see how little pesticide is needed!

Article reprinted with permission from Termite Terry Pest Control, Inc. For more information on pest control services visit their website at www.termiteterry.com or call (949) 631-7348.

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Is Your Roof Warranty too Good to be True?

Guest post by Mari Fontaine Binder, Fontaine Weatherproofing, Inc.

Roofing Warranties can be complicated, confusing, and downright tricky at times, but understanding your warranty doesn’t have to be so difficult. The extra protection a roof warranty offers is quite valuable, but will be meaningless if the warranty is voided. So, it is important that you carefully read the limitations and restrictive provisions in your warranty. Also, don’t forget that there are different types of warranties that provide different types of guarantees. Confusing types of warranties can often lead to misconceptions about the protection your warranty is offering.

There are two main types of warranties: Labor and Material.

A labor warranty guarantees the specific work performed by the installer for a period of time.

A material warranty is provided by the manufacturer and guarantees the product for a period of time.

A No Dollar Limit (NDL) warranty covers any cost necessary to fix the roof. These warranties can be purchased from the manufacturer (not the installer). The manufacturer will make sure that the roof meets their specifications before providing the NDL, and they only work with reputable installers. Although these warranties can be pricey they provide a better guarantee.

When looking at warranties, ask yourself these important questions:

  • If the company doesn’t exist who will honor the warranty? A warranty will not be backed if a company goes out of business or a product used is discontinued. The stability, reputation, and reliability of a company should be a major factor when looking at a warranty.
  • Is it too good to be true? Some companies give highly inflated warranties, but won’t always back them.
  • What are the limitations? It is standard that a warranty should have limitations. Commonly a warranty will not cover natural disasters like fires. Also, damage caused by other vendors such as satellite installation is not covered. Basically the warranty protects the client from a bad installation. If the warranty requires that the roof receives preventive maintenance—which is pretty standard—don’t forget to do your roof maintenance!

Read the terms of your roof warranty very carefully. It is important to remember that a warranty provides extra security, but this extra protection is meaningless if the warranty voided or not honored.

This article was printed with permission from Fontaine Weatherproofing.  To learn more, please visit their website at www.fontaineweatherproofing.com  

 

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Tips for Choosing Drought Tolerant Plants

With the current emphasis on water savings, many companies and HOA’s are turning to drought tolerant plant material to help lower their rising water costs. These plants are great if properly selected and can dramatically effect your property’s irrigation needs. However, you can end up causing more harm than good if these simple steps are not followed.

Irrigation

The first thing you will want to look at is at the current irrigation system. A common mistake is to plant drought tolerant plant material in an area that has an irrigation valve which covers both the new drought tolerant plants as well as existing plants with higher water needs. This will create a situation where some plants are receiving too much or too little water, effectively eliminating any expected water savings. To achieve the maximum water savings group plants together according to their watering needs and ensure that separate irrigation valves water those areas.

Location

As with any plant, you will need to pay attention to where the new plant material will be located. The soil type and sun exposure plays a large role in the type of drought tolerant plants that you will be able to use. Strategic planning is necessary to ensure the new plant material gets established. The success or failure of your new drought tolerant landscape (or any landscape for that mater) depends on the correct selection of plants for the intended area. Talk to your landscaper about the best plant options for the area you are planning on re-landscaping. Remember, there are even specific drought tolerant plants that are recommended for Fuel-Mod areas and slopes.

By taking these simple steps when planting new drought tolerant plant material, you can achieve maximum water savings and have healthier plant material.

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Reprinted with permission from Vista Del Verde Landscape, Inc. For more information about water management and drought tolerant plant material selection you may visit their website at http://www.vdvlandscape.com

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Termites and Taxes

By Isaac Camacho of Accurate Termite and Pest Control

In Southern California termites are like taxes; we all get them and though they come in relatively small amounts at a time, they build up and consume our hard earned money. Just like tax evasion can get you into a whole lot of trouble, so can termite evasion. Approaching the unwanted critters with knowledge and expertise is key to resolving the problem correctly, effectively, and with minimal adverse effect to your pocket book. Here are some quick facts about termite control that can help you make the smart decisions.

Most termite control that is done in multifamily structures today is a form of localized treatments for termite eradication. When performed accurately and regularly, localized treatments can be an effective method of termite control for multifamily structures. Most of the work and cost associated with localized treatments is in the inspection itself. Once termite infestations are found, treatments are as simple as drilling into the infected wood member, injecting termiticide, and filling the drill hole. The majority of time and labor is spent in finding the problems. Hence, when acquiring a regular termite control contract, avoid having that any one building be inspected in it’s entirety more than once a year. Even after swarming, new termite infestations rarely become a major issue within the first year of a new colony. After the entire building has been inspected once, spot inspections and treatments as needed for one year is sufficient to get good control of the termite situation in the community.

Make wood repairs a part of your termite control program to reduce the likelihood of having major damage in the future. Performing regular wood repairs and treating under damaged wood is also a great method of keeping termites under control. Termites like their food (wood) as soft and moist as they can find it. By repairing and replacing old and damaged wood, you reduce the likelihood that a new swarm will choose your community as a new home. When planning wood repairs, plan to ask your termite company to treat under the damaged wood, this makes it very likely that you can treat right at the source of the problem. In short, plan to leave some money left over to handle wood repairs after termite inspections and treatments are done. Never acquire a contract for wood repair unless the contractor has already provided you the specs of work for each building. Allowing a contractor to extrapolate a wood repairs bid from only one inspection, or just a few inspections is a dangerous and costly thing. Termite inspection reports contain a lot useful information; use them throughout the entire project.

In a termite control program, the reports can be just as valuable as the service itself. Inspection reports will help you see where your largest problem areas are, how large the problems actually are, and how much damage is present on the property. Acquiring a termite control program is a great opportunity to receive a full-scale view of damage throughout the community all at once. Being able to “see” all wood repairs needed in the entire community all at once will give you the ability to plan and wisely allocate resources to areas according to where they are needed most first. Acquiring the right contracts at the right time will reduce future costs in repairs and sometimes treatment. Savings can be directed to termite prevention to secure and protect a good standing in termite control for a long period of time.

Termites swarm high and look for cool dark places to start their new colonies. This is why most major termite infestations are commonly found in eaves and attics. There are products and treatment methods available, which actually do work, and prevent termite infestations from reoccurring. The products work best on non-painted exposed wood such as the wood in your attics. Having your attics treated for termite prevention is the treatment of most value you could acquire when it comes to termite control. Do remember, however, that before termites can be prevented they have to be treated—always start at step one.

In short, termite activity is always changing and so are your community’s needs. What you may have been doing in the past is not always the best option today. Take the time to consider your trusted termite professional’s recommendations and options; get informed, and make the decision of best overall value.

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Thank you to Accurate Termite and Pest Control for providing the blog article.  To learn more, visit www.accuratetermitecontrol.com

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What is a Community or Homeowner’s Association and Who is in Charge of It?

  by Farrah Esquer, CCAM, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, President

A community or homeowner’s association is a common interest development comprised of a common area such as landscape areas, pool areas, and other recreational components that each homeowner or member shares an interest in.  Each member of the Association is required to pay assessments, which are used to maintain the common areas.  The Association is considered a non-profit mutual benefit corporation and may be either incorporated or unincorporated.

The Board of Directors consists of volunteers who are responsible for making the decisions for the Association.  In most cases, to serve as a Director an individual must own a home within the Association.  However, this can vary depending on the Director qualifications in the Association’s By-Laws.  The members of the Association elect Directors to the Board during the Association’s Annual Meeting.  The Directors then elect the Officers.

Directors have a fiduciary duty to make decisions in the best interest of the Association as a whole and to abide by and enforce the Association’s governing documents. They must also abide by the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act and local, state, and national regulations.  In most cases, the Board of Directors will contract with a management company such as Cardinal or employ management staff to assist them in carrying out administrative duties, however the decision-making duties remain with the Directors.

The volunteer Directors typically meet on a monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly basis, depending on the size and business of the Association.  The Association is required to post or distribute the agenda of each Board Meeting at least four days in advance so that the membership is aware of the discussion topics in advance.  Homeowners are encouraged to attend Board Meetings to be apprised of the condition and activities of the Association and are welcome to address the Board during the allotted time for the open forum that is held at each Board Meeting. Board Meeting Minutes are available to the membership upon request.

Volunteers from the community, whether serving on the Board or a Committee, are vital to the successful operation of the Association.  Membership input is also critical so that the Board can make informed decisions.

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