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Cardinal Managers Attend Legal Seminar

All managers from Cardinal Property Management, AAMC/ACMF, recently attended a day-long legal forum sponsored by the Community Associations Institute (CAI). Cardinal has an extensive history of supporting the continuing education of its employees. Held in Irvine, the conference offered a variety of classes for community association managers and board members, including advanced sessions about some of the legal technicalities of serving in such positions. Cardinal also hosted an exhibitor table with information about the unique capabilities of the company. President Farrah Esquer and Senior Account Manager, Director of Property Management Karen Holthe staffed the table and met with attendees throughout the day.

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Cardinal President Farrah Esquer, Account Managers Theresa Hirschman and Bruce Horvath, and Senior Account Manager, Director of Property Management Karen Holthe pose proudly in front of the Cardinal exhibit at CAI’s Legal Forum.

 

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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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“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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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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Muy Caliente!

You don’t have to have ESP to know when Taco Tuesday is here. All you have to do is lend an ear! Elite Service Providers (ESP), a team of seven non-competing providers, recently brought tacos and a lunchtime fiesta (complete with mariachis) to the hard-working members of Cardinal’s staff. ESP consists of 24 Hour Restoration, Advanced Painting and Wood Repair, Nordic Security Services, Quickel Paving, Ranscapes, Roy Palacios Insurance Agency, Inc. (RPI), and The Perry Law Firm.

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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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Cardinal Staff attends the November 30 Anaheim Ducks hockey game!

Thank you to Las Flores Landscaping for hosting Cardinal at the November 30 Anaheim Ducks hockey game! Gracious hosts Joe and Debbie Hamby (Las Flores owners) shared their suite at the Honda Center with Cardinal employees and their guests. The “goal” was to “skate” into a fun evening. “Net” result? Goal exceeded! And the Ducks quacked up the Canadiens 4 to 1.

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Lunch-n-Learn

Dan Miller, Project Designer for The Vinyl Fence Co., discusses the benefits of vinyl fencing with several Cardinal managers during a recent Lunch-n-Learn meeting at Cardinal headquarters. We actively support continuing education for all our staff.

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