Pride in Our Community
Frozen, Flooded, Ruined
You may have seen the fire truck at a home on lane 7 near the maintenance shop on Saturday December 10th. The fire department was called because a passerby heard water running and knew no one was home. There wasn’t any heat in the house and the pipes froze during the below zero weather we had the previous week. When the weather warmed up enough, the ice melted and a major flood ensued. The fire department gained entry and pumped 4 feet of water out of the basement. Jeff Rickard, (Board President) turned off the water by wading through the 4 feet of water and crawled through 6 inches of mud and water in the crawlspace to get to the shut off valve. The leak affected all three floors because at least one pipe burst in the second-floor bathroom. Drywalled ceilings and walls were soaked, carpet, linoleum and other surfaces were ruined as well as a layer of subfloor on the first and second floors. The majority of the drywall in the finished basement also had to be removed. Three Fountains got the repairs started first thing on Monday because the unit is abandoned after the home owner passed away. Three Fountains started the cleanup and drying out of the unit to prevent mold buildup or any further complications of leaving the unit wet. The Board is working closely with their attorney to figure out the next steps for this unit. This is a story that has happened before at Three Fountains. Homeowner moved or passed away, no heat left on and water not turned off. This also brings up another point. The main water shut-off valves are located in the crawlspaces and are difficult to get to, especially when there is water down there. Some homeowners have had a second shut-off valve installed in the living portion of the home. In case of flood, the homeowner can shut off the water to their unit without going into the crawlspace. This is a good idea to have done because the sooner water can be stopped, the less damage will be done in the event of a flood.
The story of the flood above reminds us that as homeowners, we are required to carry HO6 insurance. This insurance is for the contents of your home. Three Fountain’s hazard insurance covers the building from finished drywall out. This means that texture, paint, wall coverings, flooring materials such as carpet, tiles and linoleum are NOT covered by Three Fountains Insurance. All of your personal possessions are also NOT covered. Most HO6 policies carry a small ‘emergency hazard assessment’ to cover deductible amounts in the event of a loss. With the current hazard policy, the deductible for wind and hail damage is 2% of the value of the affected building. While we want the values of our homes/buildings to be on the rise, this deductible could be 2% of estimated $500,000.00 or $10,000.00 just for one building. The bylaws of Three Fountains require each homeowner to carry this HO6 or equivalent insurance. Is yours up to date? Make sure you have adequate emergency assessment coverage.
Break-In Attempt Suspected
A Three Fountains resident was away for a couple of weeks in November. While they were away a relative of theirs was looking after their home. It appears that someone tried to gain entry to the home by lifting the garage door, trying to open the side garage door and went onto their patio with the probable intent of attempting to open the patio door. Upon their return the owners checked and indicated that no one had been able to get in to their unit. This is just a reminder that we all need to be vigilante in keeping doors and windows locked. We also need to stop the newspaper deliveries while we’re away. Piling up newspapers is a sure sign that no one is around. Check your front door as well. Several advertisements left on your front door can also tell someone that the house may be empty. If you do have someone looking after your home, have them change which lights are on in the house. They could also open and close drapes or blinds on different windows. A security system may also be helpful in deterring would-be thieves.
Have you had your house checked for radon? Radon gas is present here at Three Fountains. Several years ago, a homeowner had their unit tested and the results were that their home had levels above the safe threshold. Two doors down in the same building, the owner had theirs tested and they too had radon above the threshold. Then the one in between had theirs tested and their test came back negative for radon. So, it isn’t everywhere, but it is here. Homes recently tested that have been sold have often tested positive for radon. If you are concerned about radon in your home, there are a number of companies that do testing available in the Denver metro area. Testing and remediation systems are the responsibility of the homeowner.
Got Ash Pits?
Do you use your fireplace? Have you cleaned out the ash pit lately? If you burn wood, or anything other than gas, in your fireplace, ashes can fall into the ash pit below even if you have the trapped door closed. Sometimes these ash pits can get full and even over flowing. Access to the ash pits in most homes in Three Fountains is in the crawlspace. At the base of the chimney either in the crawlspace or outside the home, there should be a small metal door on the wall of the chimney. Inside that door is where ashes can collect and should be cleaned out regularly if you burn wood in the fireplace. Hot coals and cinders can fall into these ash pits and smolder for long periods of time. The smoke from these smoldering cinders can escape through the door of the ash pit into the crawl space. We have had reports of the smell of smoke permeating other units that share the same crawl space. One person at Three Fountains didn’t know about the ash pit, and someone apparently stuffed some trash down into it. At some point after, they had a fire in the fireplace, some coals must have dropped through the trapped door and caught the trash on fire. Please remember to clean out the ash pit on your fireplace and remember to have the chimney cleaned periodically as well.
The directories are in progress. So far we have received 97 owners’ permission to include their name, address, phone number(s) and e-mail in the directory. The Directory Committee is working on getting formatting just right and hope to go to publishing very soon.
Clubhouse Reservations (and Cancelling)
There have been several instances when a clubhouse reservation has created problems this past year. A list of the REALLY important parts of the reservation process are included here: Go to the Community Room- Located in the lower level of the clubhouse. Check the Calendar- (check to make sure the date and time of your event is actually open) Mark your event on the calendar with name and times. Three Hour Window- Make sure there is a three (3) hour window of time after the previous events’ ending time and your desired start time. The maintenance crew needs time to check for damages, rearrange the furniture for the next set up and make sure the room is ready. Reservation Form- Fill out a reservation form and file it in the reservation notebook (in the location of the month and date of the event). Map/Floorplan-Fill out a map of how you want the tables & chairs etc., to be set up for your event and file with the form in the reservation notebook. Deposit Check-Put your damage deposit check (amount varies by number of attendees expected) in the drop box on the wall in the community room. Please put the date of your event on the check. If you are using the clubhouse for an organization group of 15 or more attendees, please put a check in the box for usage, (the amount also varies by expected attendee count). Cleaning Deposit-If you wish to have the Three Fountains maintenance staff clean up after your event, put a separate check in the box for that as well (varies by number of attendees expected). By following these few easy steps for your reservation, you should not have any conflicts with other homeowners scheduled events. Cancelling-CANCEL IT! The crew has set up numerous events that were never used or cancelled without notice. You may be preventing others from using the clubhouse just by not cancelling your event. When cancelling your event, go to the community room and remove the reservation from the calendar, reservation form and map from the book. Your deposit check will be returned to you. PLEASE LEAVE THE CLUBHOUSE IN THE SAME CONDITION THAT YOU FOUND IT.
Some home owners have indicated that, occasionally, after they have put out their trash, it mysteriously grows into more than they had put out. All the homeowner trash is collected by the City and County of Denver without direct charge to the homeowner. There is no reason to put “yours” with anyone else’s. Should you be using a contractor, they should be taking their trash with them. If your trash is missed on trash day and it was out by 7:00 am as directed by the city, you can call 311 to have it picked up. Also: if you put your trash out the night before pickup, you might want to make sure you have it in a trash can with a lid. Some critters, including crows can and have torn through the bags and made a big mess on the lane.
Members of the Board
Your board members and their terms:
Jeff Rickard President 2018
Barbara Florey Vice President (interim) 2017
Kathy Mehlmann Treasurer 2019
Barbara Griswold Secretary 2019
Cassandra Rocha Member at Large (interim) 2017
Board of Managers Meetings
January 24 ………Regular meeting………….. 6:00PM
February 22 ….. Regular meeting ……….. 6:00PM
March 28 Regular meeting (note time change)… 4:00PM
March 28 Semi-annual Members meeting 7:00PM
April 25 …………Regular meeting …………… 6:00PM
May 23 …………Regular meeting …………… 6:00PM