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Magnum York hosted a Zoom webinar with Davin Layton, Senior Project Advisor at Fort Sands Construction to learn how to walk around your property and keep an eye out for the most visible, and costly deficiencies in your property.

Davin Layton, Senior Project Advisor
Fort Sands Construction

Founded in 2018 and with 600+ projects under their belts across Alberta, Fort Sands is a full-service General Contractor working with Condo Boards, Property Managers, Engineers and Architects to revitalize properties. They offer a wide range of remediation and renovation construction services: building envelope, balconies & decks, roofing, windows & doors, interior renovations, concrete systems like parkades, parking lots, & sidewalks and project management.

The health of your building envelope determines the wealth of your property

The building envelope is the physical boundary of a multi-family residential property. It separates the indoor conditioned space from the outdoor environment. Albertans in particular deal with harsh weather conditions and seasonal extremes, so maintaining the building envelope is of the utmost importance.

What is the building envelope?

The building envelope includes the roof, exterior walls, windows & doors and the foundation.

A well-designed and properly maintained building envelope helps to control the flow of heat, air, and moisture in and out of the building, which in turn affects the overall comfort and energy performance of the building. Maintenance will also help prevent additional damages that can be expensive for condo associations.

Proactive Property Maintenance

11 Building Deficiencies Condo Board Members Can Easily Spot by Walking Around:

Rainwater Management System

Water should not be overflowing or flowing underneath the gutters.

It’s important to inspect your gutters regularly for any signs of damage, such as cracks or holes, and make sure there’s no debris clogging them. Additionally, ensure that your gutters are properly sloped and that your downspouts are securely attached, directing water away from your building’s foundation. Don’t forget to check your drainage systems, like french drains or catch basins, to make sure they’re not clogged as well.

Downspouts should be carrying water at least 4 to 6 feet away from the building foundation.


It is advisable to inspect your roof for any visible signs of damage such as missing or damaged shingles, cracks or splits, or sagging areas. Be sure to check the flashing, which seals the joints between the roof and other parts of the building, and the edges of the roof to look for any lifting or rot.

Example of a blowoff. The main reason a blowoff can happen is if there wasn’t enough nailing into the shingles.

Exterior Walls

It’s important to examine the exterior walls for any signs of wear and tear. This could include examining for cracks, gaps or indications of water damage like stains, mold or rot. Additionally, check the siding or stucco for any discoloration, holes or dents. Pay special attention to the areas where the siding meets the roof and the foundation.


When inspecting the foundation, it’s essential to look for any signs of damage or cracking, such as diagonal or stair-step cracks, bulges, or shifting. Also, be sure to check the soil around the foundation to ensure proper drainage and that the soil isn’t settling or eroding. Finally, inspect the interior of the building for any signs of shifting, such as cracks in the walls or ceiling, or doors and windows that don’t close properly.

Example of stair-sep cracking, starting from the foundation.
Foundation crack.

Windows and Doors

When inspecting your frames and sills, it’s important to look out for any indications of damage, such as cracks, rot, or warping. It’s also essential to check for any weatherstripping and caulking deterioration, as this can lead to energy loss and air leaks. Make sure that locks operate smoothly and correctly. Additionally, examine the glass condition for any cracks, chips, or fogging.

Every window and door should have flashing at the top and the bottom to ensure the water stays away.

Balconies and Decks

Example of rot on the deck/balcony.

It’s important to inspect balconies and decks for any signs of damage or deterioration. Look out for cracks, splinters, or rot. Additionally, check that the railings and supports are securely fastened and in good condition. Take a closer look at any waterproofing materials, like the flashing or sealant, and ensure that everything is in good working order. Finally, inspect the areas where the structure is joined to the building. By doing these checks, you can ensure that your balcony or deck is safe and functional for your use.


To ensure the safety and stability of your fence, it is important to carefully examine the fence posts. Check that they are firmly anchored to the ground and not tilting or damaged in any way. Look out for any signs of cracks, rot, or insect infestations that may weaken the fence. Take a close look at the fence boards and posts, checking for any missing or broken pieces, as well as rust or corrosion. Finally, don’t forget to inspect the gates and hardware, ensuring that they are functioning correctly and not sagging or misaligned.

Example of a fence leaning, causing a safety concern.

Landscaping and Drainage

It is important to inspect all retaining walls for any signs of erosion or water damage. Check to ensure that the slope and grading of the ground surrounding the building allow rainwater to flow away from the building and not collect in pools. Additionally, check for any signs of disease or damage, as well as any overgrowth or overcrowding. Lastly, evaluate the condition of the outdoor lighting and identify any potential hazards that could pose a risk to occupants or visitors.

Sidewalks and Parking Lots

During a property walk-through, it’s essential to inspect the sidewalks and parking lots for damages like cracks, potholes, or uneven spots. This helps to identify tripping hazards and areas that may freeze when winter comes. Also, make sure to check the drainage systems such as catch basins or culverts to ensure they are functioning correctly and not blocked.

Example: Pooling and puddling in a parking lot


When inspecting the parkade of a property, it is important to carefully look for any indications of harm, such as cracks, leaks, or water damage. Additionally, it is crucial to assess the quality of the lighting, ventilation, and fire protection systems. It is also recommended to examine the condition of the pavement and markings, as well as the operation of garage doors or gates. Finally, it is essential to check the safety and cleanliness of elevators or stairwells, as well as the handrails.

Common Areas

When conducting common area inspections, it is important to be thorough and check for any indications of damage, wear and tear, or other issues like cracks, leaks, or broken fixtures. Additionally, take a look at the concrete leading into the entryway and stairwells. Make sure to test the functionality of common areas like elevators, stairs, handrails, and lighting. Lastly, inspect the walls, ceilings, and floors for any signs of water damage or discoloration.

Anywhere you walk around, keep an eye out for any deficiencies, including paint peeling or buckling bricks on pathways.

Download a FREE eBook which includes a
“property walkaround checklist”

11 Building Deficiencies Condo Board Members Can Easily Spot By Walking Around

Questions & Answers with Fort Sands

Fort Sands answer questions from our live Zoom event.

Thank you

Finally, we would like to express our gratitude to the whole Fort Sands team, with special thanks to Davin for sharing such valuable educational insights. We also want to extend our appreciation to everyone who participated and attended the webinar. If you’re interested in attending our upcoming webinars, please feel free to check out and register.

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