West Miami-Dade condo owners allege irregularities in roof proposal process [4-8-16]
Article and Video Courtesy of Channel 10 Local News
By Christina Vazquez
Published April 2, 2016
CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – When the new roofs began to fail at a Coral Springs community, residents began wondering whom to hold accountable and how to keep this from happening to others.
Residents called Local 10 News investigative reporter Christina Vazquez to help them get answers that they weren’t getting from the city of Coral Springs.
“Any kind of wind we have, there’s just thousands of projectiles scattered across the neighborhood,” Dennis Chavis, of the Eagles Nest Townhomes, said.
Chavis took Local 10 News on a tour of blue tarps that protect the roofs in his Coral Springs neighborhood.
“They are supposed to last for twenty years,” he said. “They basically lasted for four.”
The roofs replaced those damaged by Hurricane Wilma in 2005. A few years ago when he was putting up his rooftop Christmas decorations, Chavis discovered there may be a problem.
“All the shakes started pulling away from under my feet,” he said. “This is where the nails should be. But they are gone. They are just totally disintegrated away.”
Homeowners question how the roofs passed a final city inspection.
“You hear about these things happening to other people. You never think it’s going to happen in your community,” Beth Licata said.
A roofing consultant hired by Eagles Nest found that more than 25 percent of the roofs are damaged beyond repair and that some materials didn’t meet Florida building code.
Among the many problems the consultant’s report cited: the uses of steel nails, which he noted have rusted away leaving a majority of the roofs not fastened to the sheathing. The report also noted problems with the roof flashings, noting they were not copper as required with a Cedar Shake roof, and that some of the skylights were “packed with roof cement,” and “lead plumbing pipe flashings were left open which allows water in to the roof.”
Building permits for Eagles Nest Townhomes roofs show ABC/TriCoast roofing LLC as the contractor and list Joseph Taylor as contact person and project manager. Vazquez visited Taylor Roofing and Construction for comment, but an employee said Joseph and David Taylor weren’t there.
Eagles Nest homeowners filed a lawsuit against Barry Carter, ABC/TriCoast Roofing LLC, and David and Joseph Taylor earlier this year.
In a phone conversation, David Taylor denied the findings that the job was not done to code and blamed nails he said were made in China.
“Either the nail was defective or they ran out of nails,” Coral Springs Mayor Skip Campbell said. “What I have been able to surmise is that there is something called an in-progress inspection, where you go out and inspect the product to make sure the product meets our code, and in this particular case, the product met code and you are supposed to use galvanized nails.”
“We know that some of the project did use galvanized nails, because some of the project did not have any type of problems, like other portions of the project. So I don’t know if they didn’t use galvanize nails or whether the nails were actually defective that caused the problems to this particular property.”
Campbell was in the Florida Senate at the time the roofs were replaced. After Hurricane Wilma, legislation was passed tightening the Florida building codes.
“This was inspected. The job was done according to standards; Florida building code, and something happened,” Campbell said. “And it was done by a city of Coral Springs employee who is no longer with the city.”
That employee, Fred Squires, is currently retired.
“He did a good job,” Campbell said.
According to Eagles Nest Townhomes board member Mary “Beth” Licata, it’s costing each homeowner about $31,000 each; money they hope to recover in their lawsuit.
“Shame on you. They have seriously impacted other people’s lives,” Licata said in reference to the contractors and roofing construction company.
“You got to make sure the people you are dealing with are reputable, responsible. And that’s who I’m going to hold responsible. We are going to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Campbell said.
Licata has some advice for other community associations: “Don’t leave the hard work to everybody else. Get in there and figure it out. Try to find out everything that’s going on and step up to the plate.”
Since the Call Christina team began the Eagles Nest Townhome investigation, the community has hired a project manager and is in the process of installing their new roofs.
A note to readers about ABC Roofing: there is more than one ABC Roofing company listed in state records. The ABC Roofing in this story is not the company currently doing business from a Coral Springs, Florida address. Campbell said the ABC in Coral Springs has a very good reputation.
The Eagles Nest Townhomes lawsuit is still pending.
Local 10 News also reached out to Barry Carter of ABC/TriCoast roofing for comment on the Eagles Nest Townhomes lawsuit, as well as the inspector for Coral Springs who passed the final inspection to find out what may have happened during the job. So far, they have not returned any requests for comment.