Foreclosure Trash Outs: Problem Pools  

by Pool Builders on 07-13-2010 in Articles

Summer Weather Brings Increased Necessity for Proper Property Preservation

Foreclosures hit another record high in May 2010 - with experts expecting over 3 million homes to be repossessed this year and next. That not only means more work for agents selling REO (Real Estate Owned) homes - it also means more demand for property preservation services, companies that perform foreclosure trash outs and other important maintenance and repairs to vacant properties.

And part of those maintenance duties involves attending to neglected swimming pools that pose a threat to neighborhoods.

Unfortunately, because there are still so many homes in limbo all across America - the residents have left, but the banks have yet to officially foreclose - tens of thousands of swimming pools aren't attended to, creating a neighborhood health and safety hazard that becomes markedly worse in the hot summer months.

Teenagers have been known to hold wild parties at the bottom of empty pools of foreclosed homes. Not only that, children can sometimes fall into the pools and get seriously injured. And, even though the pools may be empty, water can still collect in the bottom from rain and sprinklers.

That standing water creates an ideal place for mosquitoes to lay their eggs - and that ends up rapidly producing hundreds of insects that could potentially be disease-carriers as well. One mosquito egg raft produces around 300 new bloodsuckers. That means empty pools in about a five mile radius can end up creating about a million extra mosquitoes.

In San Ramon, a California town that lies east of the San Francisco/Oakland metro area, the mosquito problem has become huge. "We have a real serious problem when people abandon their homes and leave pools unattended," said San Ramon's Chief Building Official and Code Enforcement Officer Reggie Meigs.

A public affairs official for the area, Debbie Bass, commented, "I've seen pools that look like they are boiling with mosquitoes." She added, "These mosquitoes are the same breed that carries the sometimes-fatal West Nile virus." Regularly maintained pools don't have that kind of insect problem, due to the chlorine-treated water and filtration systems.

Foreclosures, especially larger homes, frequently have many other mosquito-friendly places where the pests can breed. Birdbaths, spas, outdoor vases and flowerpots all collect standing water and end up attracting more mosquito eggs.

The biggest problem, perhaps, is being able to locate these vacant homes to attend to these recurring and dangerous problems. The processing time for foreclosures is becoming increasingly longer, due to the record-setting numbers, and that means more and more homes are "off the radar."

The immediate need for property preservation companies to perform foreclosure trash outs and other vital tasks such as pool maintenance is obvious. Demand for these companies is already at an all-time high and a proven lucrative career choice in these tough economic times.

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