J.R. from DuPage County, Illinois writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I live on the first floor of a 5-story condominium. All condos have balconies with stucco walls. Balcony work is being done this summer. Repairing and repainting stucco walls is part of the work. I have 2 significant sunken areas (ea. about 12-14 inches across & circular) on one of my stucco walls as well as a 5-inch horizontal bulge on the same wall. I assumed these would be repaired but was told in an email last week that repairs are limited to cracks and holes. They (the board) said sometime next year they will do a study of stucco areas that are sunken but not cracked and see what options there are for treating them. My concern is a water leak from above & behind the stucco caused these sunken areas. They move slightly when you push on them. Other parts of the wall don’t move when pushed on. Waiting a year+ does not seem like a good/safe idea. Your thoughts?
Mister Condo replies:
J.R., waiting a year may not be a good idea if there is a structural problem. However, your Board has decided on a course of action and the association needs to live with that decision. Unless you feel your unit is in imminent danger of collapse and failure, you would do well to voice your opinion but also realize that the Board has limited resources to tackle the problem. Repairing the walls is this year’s remedy; a deeper study may reveal a deeper problem requiring a more significant investment of work and money. Since the Surfside, Florida condo collapse, all associations are wise to be vigilant and address structural issues when they surface. My guess is your Board has decided that this problem is more cosmetic than structural. Ideally, they will get an engineering opinion and then make the best decisions possible for the safety of all owners and residents. All the best!