As part of the ongoing professional manager training, a representative of the Davidson County/Metro Codes department participated in the weekly managers meeting on Friday, June 8. Bill Penn, Assistant Director, Property Standards division, gave an overview presentation and fielded questions on a wide variety of topics from building permits and inspections, sheds and outbuildings, abandoned vehicles, fencing and yard maintenance, occupancy requirements and regulations for operation of home-based businesses. More resources are available at http://www.nashville.gov/Codes.
The June 5th Lunch & Learn seminar gave Board members the opportunity to learn about the value for regular communication within their community. Topics presented dealt with who needs to send and receive information, what type of content should be shared and how often, and what methods to use. Communication resources such as social media and email were discussed. Attendees, including Board members and Community Association Managers, were able to share about the effectiveness and challenges of what works.
In celebration of its 50th anniversary, Ghertner & Company is “Giving Back” to non-profit organizations in our community. Since 1999, the Freedom Farm Animal Sanctuary is one such organization dedicated to rescuing abused, abandoned and neglected animals in and around Middle Tennessee. FFAS encourages proper pet care and advocates spaying and neutering to help stop pet overpopulation. They use a system of foster homes to house all the animals in their care and are committed to the long-term care and placement of all animals that are rescued. Since FFAS does not use euthanasia as a means of population control, the all-volunteer board and staff works diligently to place as many animals as possible into adoption. Visit freedomfarm.net to view pets available for a home or to support the organization.
Families joined their neighbors to enjoy a great summer kick off with a pool party on Saturday, May 12th to celebrate the opening of pool season. The weather did not disappoint with 90-degree temperatures and sunny skies. Many volunteers and board members worked together to make the event a success. In celebration of its 50th Anniversary, Ghertner & Company co-sponsored this event with Ole South Builders.
Properties with playground facilities are a valuable amenity for families with children. They give children a designated area to play, allowing parents to feel that their children are somewhere safe. However, playgrounds are commonly the site of many injuries, ranging in severity from minor to serious. As a property manager, you need to balance providing a playground facility that is safe and fun, while making sure to protect against the liability that you’re exposed to by having a playground on your property.
Duty of Care
Some lawsuits related to playground injuries have centered on negligence due to lack of proper supervision. While it is not practical to expect a playground to be monitored every moment children are present, there is an expectation of a reasonable level of adequate supervision. The duty to provide safe play areas and proper supervision should be placed on those responsible for operating playgrounds.
The duty of care owed by a playground operator is the degree of care that a person of ordinary prudence charged with similar duties would exercise in the same circumstances. A public or private landowner has a duty to provide adequate supervision and to maintain the premises and playground surfaces in a reasonably safe condition.
In play areas that are not regularly attended to by a designated supervisor, signs should be posted to communicate common rules for the play area, such as under what age a child must be accompanied by an adult, the hours the playground is open and that glass bottles and alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
Safe Playground Design
Another important liability comes from dangerous or unsafe play equipment. It's important for children to have age-appropriate gear to play on so that they do not injure themselves on improperly sized equipment. When designing a playground for children of all ages, equipment should ideally be separated into three distinct groups: for children under age 2, for 2- to 5-year-olds, and for 5- to 12-year-olds.
Other safety considerations should be taken into account when planning a playground:
- Items with moving parts, such as seesaws and swings, should be located in a separate area and allow for ample space for the moving parts.
- Minimize the number of spaces that could trap a child's head, arms or legs. All openings, such as rungs on a ladder, should be either smaller than 3.5 inches or larger than 9 inches.
- Wooden equipment should not be cracked or splintered. Any cracked or splintered equipment requires immediate attention for repair or replacement.
- Any sandbox areas should be inspected regularly before children use them. Be sure that these areas are covered every night to prevent animal contamination.
The selection of safe and age appropriate equipment is just as important as the selection of a safe ground surface for the playground area. Trips, slips and falls will happen and a safe ground surface can reduce the severity of an injury or prevent an injury completely. Concrete, asphalt and blacktop are all extremely hard surfaces and are generally considered unsafe for playground areas. Woodchip ground cover is much softer, but debris hidden in the woodchips, or the woodchips themselves, can cause falls and minor injuries. Rubber mats offer the most stability, especially for younger children, and allows for the easiest wheelchair access. Property managers and maintenance staff should make sure the ground surface stays level and free of debris that could cause children to trip and fall, such as rocks, tree stumps and tree roots.
Protecting Your Risk
Keep informed of the latest in playground safety developments. One of the most authoritative playground safety standards is published by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in its Handbook for Public Playground Safety. The handbook contains a wealth of information regarding playground surface and equipment hazards. Any playground operator is generally expected to be familiar with these standards, and many states now require that all public playgrounds conform to them.
Partner Post Contributor: Robins Insurance Agency, Inc , Nashville, TN
Over 30 associates participated in Ghertner & Company’s inaugural Spring Fling 5k to promote better health and build camaraderie. The event took place at the MetroCenter Greenway on Friday, April 20th and was promoted by the company’s wellness “Champs” to give co-workers an incentive to get active during the Spring and pending warmer weather. Ghertner & Company rewarded all those involved with a paid half day off while Humana insurance, the company’s provider, gave team members the opportunity to earn "wellness program" points through activities such as these to spend in their online store.
Many board members took advantage of the May Lunch & Learn volunteer leadership workshop on Tuesday, May 1st. Kathleen Sutherland, Director of Development and Training, shared the topic “Creating a Code of Conduct”. This included what the code of conduct should include and instruction on how it can help a board function. Attendees were able to ask questions and participate in the discussion.
Two great organizations, that have an impact upon our Middle Tennessee community, are the recipients of April’s “Giving Back” effort.
Second Harvest fulfills its mission “to feed hungry people and work to solve hunger issues in our community” by utilizing a network of individual, local nonprofit agencies and corporate partners in our 46-county service area. Learn more about volunteering or donating at www. secondharvestmidtn.org.
The Boys & Girls Club of Maury County strives to enable all young people in their programs to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens. The focus is to offer a supportive environment where academic success, healthy lifestyles and good character can be achieved. Find out how to be involved at www.bgcmaury.com.
All it takes for mosquitoes to breed is a cap off of a plastic water bottle with water in it.
Standing water in drains, gutters, flat roofs, children’s play equipment, toys are mosquito harborages
Do everything practical so that there is not standing water for long periods of time. They breed in days and become adults within
Water in pet bowls, flower pots and bird baths needs to flushed at least once a week to prevent larvae from developing into adults. Mosquito eggs hatch in 24 to 48 hours and it takes 7 to 10 days for them to enter the pupal stage and become adults shortly thereafter.
Adults are a lot like us in that they will seek out shade during the heat of the day and typically rest on the underside of leaves to get out of the sun. For this reason they will rest in shrubbery, ivy, and areas of heavy vegetation. Keeping grass cut and landscape maintained will help to limit them. They are most active at dawn and dusk. When necessary and possible wear long sleeve shirts and pants and use a repellent with DEET on skin and clothing.
Partner Post by: By Chuck Negas of Northwest Exterminating, https://www.callnorthwest.com/
In celebration of its 50th anniversary, Ghertner & Company is “Giving Back” to organizations in our middle Tennessee community that are making a difference. Since 1954, the Nashville Rescue Mission has provided food, clothing and shelter to homeless men, women and children in the Nashville community. With the goal of reaching middle Tennessee’s hungry, homeless and hurting, the Mission serves close to 2,000 meals a day, 365 days a year. Each night, an average of 800 of men, women and children find a warm bed and safety from the streets in one of two campuses. To donate, volunteer or learn more visit www.nashvillerescuemission.org.
The recent March 6 workshop on Community Standards was well attended, and Board members had many comments and questions about rules, fines and enforcement. One topic of interest was how to manage improvements such as fences which were installed without approval. Voluntary compliance is the goal, and the importance of establishing standards that are reasonable for each community was a recurrent theme of the presentation.
Wood must be properly finished with a paint, stain, or clear sealer. Left
unprotected from the elements, it’s susceptible to rot and decay caused by
Of special concern is the fact that wood expands and contracts with normal
changes in humidity and temperature. These fluctuations may cause paint
finishes to chip and crack, and over time puts stress on caulked seams
around windows, doors, trim, and at corners. If the caulk separates and fails, wood rot may develop.
Let’s also stress that no bush, tree branches, or shrubbery should be allowed to touch the wooden surfaces of your home. Foliage conducts moisture that can find its way into cracks and tiny openings.
If you have wooden surfaces on or around your home, you know how great it looks when it's well-maintained. You may have also noticed how worn it looks when time and the elements have gotten the upper hand. For the next few months we will talk more about paint, stain, sealers, and caulk. For now, do yourself a favor and evaluate your wood surfaces. Let your Property Manager know if you have concerns.
How do I Evaluate? Examine the entire surface of your house, looking for problems such as peeling paint, open joints or seams, wet or rotted wood, and any bare surfaces. Also check for cracked, missing, or dried out caulking. Flaking paint occurs when moisture collects under the painted surface. The moisture enters the wood from the unpainted, uncaulked, and unsealed sides, gets absorbed and then rots it out.
Mildew, algae, and some types of mold can not only discolor wooden surfaces…they
can also hasten the rate at which paint, stain, and caulk must be re-applied. Pressure
washing yearly is a good way to avoid costly repairs and save maintenance dollars.
Partner Post by: Ghertner Maintenance & Remodeling, Inc.
Warmer temperatures this winter has led to trees and flowers blooming early. A sudden brief late freeze is not likely to kill or cause long-term damage to your shrubs and trees, though the early leaves and blossoms may suffer some damage. Most trees and shrubs will recover from this type of damage. The main deciding factor in how much damage your flowering tree or shrub sustains will be how far along they were in the process of breaking dormancy. If the leaf buds were still quite small, and had just begun to unfurl, you should still be in good shape. Even if actual leaves had begun to sprout, they are just the initial budding. Once the weather warms again, your tree or shrub will put out another flush of leaves. Foliar buds are more resistant to cold damage than flowering buds, but may still experience some browning or misshapen leaves. Once the plant has fully leafed out, the freeze damage may not even be visible.
If a hard frost is in the forecast, covering your plants may be beneficial. Covering with sheets or ground covers will not protect from freezing temperatures, but it will shield tender buds from the damage of a hard frost. Plastic covers can be disastrous,
as they retain the moisture, which then freezes. A woven, breathable cover allows
ventilation and some moisture exchange, and doesn't encourage fungal diseases.
If cold damage does occur to your trees and shrubs, resist the urge to immediately
prune back the damaged areas. If you prune back the damage too soon, you may en-
courage new budding and growth, which leaves the plant susceptible to the next
threat of cold weather. Try to wait until after the last frost date for your area, which
for Tennessee is early April. Once the threat of subsequent freezes is past, you can prune back branches that seem to be beyond recovery to the point of live, green wood. Be aware that pruning in the spring months will cut away the buds that have already begun to form, reducing the flowers this season, and eliminating the fruits that would have formed on fruiting trees.
Partner Post by: Color Burst Landscapes
Frank Ghertner started Ghertner & Company in 1968 and the company is celebrating its 50th Anniversary of excellence in property management in 2018. This article and picture from the Tennessean newspaper dated April 7th, 1968 shows Frank Ghertner as one of the new owners of the Park Road Apartments on West End Avenue in Nashville, TN. The seven story, 30-unit community boasts of luxury style living and many modern features. The purchase price was $750,000 and the new owners were planning some improvements for the property built in 1962.
Temperatures in the 70’s, several days of rain, this is not only a recipe for spring flowers but increased termite activity and termite swarms that split up to produce new colonies. They are a necessary part of nature to help dispose of fallen trees and other debris but unfortunately termites don’t know the difference between a fallen tree in the woods or a row of house where trees once were.
Termites never go away. They may slow down with cooler temperatures but they are always eating and working whether it be deeper in the ground or moving into the walls of your home. They eat the wood studs in the walls or any cellulose material such as paper in sheetrock, hardwood flooring, books, important papers, or even a painting on the wall.
It is important to keep clearance between the soil, mulch, or any landscape material and the siding of a structure. This makes it harder for termites to get into your home and easier for a proper inspection to be done to look for termites. Keeping landscape plants such as shrubs and ivy trimmed back off of the home will help with keeping termites out as well as other pest such as ants. Keeping firewood and lumber away from the structure is important as well. Maintaining the structure by taking care of roof leaks, moisture damaged siding and trim as well as keeping things caulked will help to keep down conducive conditions that can encourage termite activity.
An annual inspection is an important thing to do to be proactive in protecting your home. Over time a traditional liquid treatment will dissipate allowing termites to move in. If it has been more than 8 eight years since the structure was treated it is imperative to “update” the termite protection with either a traditional liquid treatment or a termite baiting system to protect your investment. Again annual inspections are important to check for activity as well as changes in the environment around the structure that may become conducive conditions. Conducive conditions simply means an environment that is inviting and hospitable to termites. If a bait system has been installed it is important to have it inspected and maintained in order to remain effective.
A good termite program is important in protecting your home from termites much like insurance for fire is imperative for protecting your investment.
Partner Post by: Chuck Negas of Northwest Exterminating, www.callnorthwest.com
What Good Color Can Do For You
If you've driven around town looking for painting ideas for your condominium or building, you may have been struck by the extremes.
If you've driven around town looking for painting ideas for your condominium or building, you may have been struck by the extremes.
In one group there are rows of boring beiges, grim grays and “what's with all the whites”? Then, just when you think you might nod off behind the wheel, you're startled by an infusion of bold blue, garish green and terrible turquoise. And that's just on the trim.
Attract new residents, increase your property value
While you would never advocate that a condominium looks pretty in pink, you are struggling to create a color scheme that will appeal to most of the prospective new residents who visit your building. You know: if they don't like what they see, they will do exactly what you did: keep driving down the street.
Then, too, you realize that paint holds the potential to increase the property value of your condominium and other buildings. Paint may not be the most sizable financial investment you will make in your condominium, but it's an investment nonetheless. What the exterior painting of a condominium lacks in financial force it makes up for in execution, for painting projects often take time to complete even when weather conditions are ideal.
For all reasons, you'd prefer to choose a winning color palette you feel confident about. To achieve this positive outcome, consider five tips from paint experts who understand your wish to stand out – in a good way:
Isolate what will not be painted first
Start off by segregating those elements that will not require paint, such as the chimney, vinyl siding and windows, railings or doors. Take a good look at the colors of these elements. Then use them as a baseline as you consider a palette for the exterior painting of your condo.
Learn about the color wheel
A conscientious painting contractor will explain the basics of the color wheel – how contrasting colors complement each other and also how staying within one color family might be the best choice for the exterior painting of your condo.
Your condominium and other buildings don't have to be “old” or reside in a historical district for you to take a bow to history. The town itself may teem with traditional hallmarks. That same contractor can show you how to choose shades that were commonplace at the time your building was constructed.
Choose light colors to burnish size
The grandest estates in the country are often painted white, including a most distinguished home on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. Light colors make buildings look larger. And psychologically, they are thought to provide a mental lift. If white is too stark for your taste, downshift to a pale cream, ivory or linen. The differences may sound subtle, but they will look distinctly different on the expanse of a condominium.
Use dark colors to add drama
Frank Lloyd Wright immortalized the technique known as “banding,” or using darker colors to accentuate lighter ones. You can employ this dramatic approach on shutters, trim and doors. You can even use dark colors to disguise building flaws.
If you're already feeling that it's “better to play it safe” with paint color, trust your good instincts. And realize that few improvements can invigorate a building like paint. People *will* notice – and hopefully, will put on the brakes when they pull up in front of your freshly painted building.
Partner Post Conributor: Renovia, Nashville, TN
Saddle Up!’s mission is to provide children and youth with disabilities the opportunity to grow and develop through therapeutic, educational and recreational activities with horses. Over 240 riders benefit from the care and expertise shared by its 250 active volunteers. Founded in 1990, this non-profit organization provides a year-round program on its 34-acre farm near Franklin, TN. For many riders, Saddle Up! is one of the few, if not the only, recreational programs available to them. Learn more at saddleupnashville.org.
In celebration of its 50th anniversary, Ghertner & Company, is “Giving Back” to organizations in our Middle Tennessee community that are having a positive impact with a $500 donation.
In celebration of its 50th anniversary, Ghertner & Company is “Giving Back” to organizations in our middle Tennessee community that are making a difference. The Tennessee Children’s Home in Spring Hill, TN is one of four locations across the state that provides for physical, social, emotional, spiritual and educational needs of children and youth in a safe and secure environment. The children live in on-site homes with other children and with House Parents. The residential care is structured to help the children be successful, with an on-site school, tutoring services, church attendance, counseling services, and substance abuse counseling. Learn more at www.tennesseechildrenshome.org.