Risk Management Part 2

Hey welcome to a very awesome Spring! It’s been a very busy spring around here, and I’ve been working a couple of big internal projects that will allow us to offer a broader range of services.

With it being springtime, we’re getting a lot of calls about rusted stairs, rusted car port support posts, and pretty much anything else. With the kind of winter we had, a lot of salt went down without very much snow or water to wash it away. Anything that’s several years old is probably showing signs of corrosion and fatigue.

When it comes to stairs and carports, a property owner really needs to think about risk. Yes, I know that repairs to stairs and carports are pretty much a dead expense and you can’t raise the rent because of the repair work. Maintenance tasks work out that way a lot. They cost money that doesn’t always have a direct return.

As I mentioned, we get a lot of calls about stairs and carports because the property owners know situations have progressed too far. I go meet with the property owners or managers, and make an honest assessment about the progression of rust, and how the structural strength has been degraded, and so on. Then I make a further assessment of what the correct method of repair should be. 99.9% of the time, conditions are such that it really is best to remove the old steel and replace it. This includes steel that goes down into concrete (such as carport columns), and that means a lot more cost than what the customer was hoping for.

So then we have conversations like “well, can’t you just patch it?” Well, yes, maybe, but that won’t mean it’s fixed. It will just mean you’ve spent money to make it look better and hide the real problem. I’ve seen several times where rusted carport columns have held up an asphalt replacement project, and the asphalt company has recommended putting an extra 2 inches of asphalt down rather than have those rusted columns hold up their project. These conversations all happen with no consideration for risk, and in the end the decision is made to do nothing at all.

However as the song goes, by choosing to do nothing you still have made a choice. And without fail when you choose to do nothing, life still goes on without you. The progression of rust continues, and eventually gravity takes over, or there’s a windstorm, or the local Building Inspector shows up.

Several years ago I quoted replacement of carport columns and foundations to a very reputable building owner, and he told me he’d have to wait a year. Seven months later his carport was flipped over by a windstorm, and was laying on several of his tenants’ cars and there were very dramatic pictures in the local paper. Last year I quoted replacement of a stairway on the side of a building for a prominent attorney (you’d think he might know something about risk) and he chose to wait. Three months later a building inspector revoked the occupancy permit for the building. Luckily nobody was hurt in either situation, but just imagine if they were….

Life is risky, and Amerivet Services is here to help you through those risks. We understand that repairs and maintenance cost money, and we always try to help our clients navigate those waters, and not just with stairs and carports, but with heavy equipment, metal buildings, industrial equipment, and pretty much anything else you can imagine.

In other words, our focus is on solving your problems the most logical way possible, with Risk Management being the priority. If you have a problem, you should have a conversation with us.