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Local Law 11/98: Keeping Your Building’s Façade Safe

December 20 2018
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If you are a building owner in New York, you know all about Local Law 11/98. It demands the owners of properties over six stories high to inspect exterior walls every 5 years by a qualified exterior wall inspector and report the results to Department of Buildings within 60 days after the check-up. Numerous accidents involving falling bricks and collapsing parapets led to the adoption of such a law twenty years ago. Local Law 10 existed for a while before the 11/98 was passed. However, the requirements were much lighter. The building owners only had to inspect the front façade and side walls up to 25 feet from the street. Since the accidents continued, the law was toughened.   Pieces falling off buildings don’t just hurt the passerby, they pose a danger to building workers, such as façade repairmen or teams doing pro window cleaning.

Equipment For Inspections

Under the Local Law 11/98, the inspection of the building has to be done using scaffolding or observation platforms. This has made it more expensive and time-consuming for the building owners. In order to save time and money, property owners may cooperate with nearby buildings to arrange inspections on the same dates.

Maintaining The Facades

Keeping the façade condition under control involves following a maintenance schedule. A building owner can save money by combining pro window cleaning and minor façade repairs. Many companies, which work with high-rise buildings, offer a wide range of services using a height-access equipment.

Unexpected Repairs

Inspections made compulsory under Local Law 11/98 have been discovering unexpected problems with the New York building façade for two decades. Older buildings may have certain integrity problems, which result in formidable expenses. Such problems often lead to building owners refinancing their mortgage to get money for large repairs. In order to avoid unexpected repairs, companies opt for independent inspections between the official check-ups by qualified wall inspectors. Early detection can save money and problems during the official inspection period.

Getting Ready For The Inspection

If your building is in a mint condition, you may still not be ready for an inspection. Any loose debris hanging around the façade can lead to a bad report. It’s up to you to talk to the tenants and have all the flower pots and other items hanging out of the windows removed. Another trick is to find an experienced inspector, who will not overact to minor problems. Consider finding a firm specializing in façade restorations rather than simply filing inspection reports.

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