By Peter D'Oench

SUNNY ISLES BEACH (CBSMiami) – The city of Sunny Isles Beach is stepping up its building inspections after the partial collapse of the Champlain South Towers in Surfside.

Chief Building Official Clay Parker told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that “these are life-saving measures. It’s very important for these buildings to be properly maintained. It’s the building owner’s responsibility to maintain the buildings.”

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CBS4 followed Parker and building inspector Boris Giacoman as they reviewed one inspection at 200 Marbella Tower.

They pointed out a number of red paint markings on the building that showed possible problem areas. Parker says “When you see these red markings, this is where the areas need to be opened up. That’s where the contractor needs to go and open up those areas for the engineer.”

They also showed how inspectors look for possible cracks in the walls of buildings. “Look at all the repairs they made here,” says Parker.

Parker and Giocoman also went underneath Marbella Tower and in to the garage where they noticed that beams have been repaired. “We have special inspectors inspecting the repairs and then they finish it up. As you see they have replaced these points of the beam.”

They also noticed repairs on balconies.

Parker says, “They are doing the same basic restoration and some of these balcony slabs need to be cut back.”

Parker says he hopes his teams of inspectors can finish their work by July 2nd. They are taking a close look at support beams, foundations and any possible damage to buildings and exposed rebar which over time can become corroded and crack slabs and joints and weaken a structure.

“Rebar can get moisture in it and it can cause the reward to turn to rust or make it expand,” says Parker. “When it expands that can cause problems with the concrete.”

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Parker says they are inspecting 59 buildings which includes all condominiums in this city north of Surfside. The city says 39 buildings have had their 40-year recertification completed and 20 buildings are gathering information towards their applications for recertifications.

Parker says, “The older buildings have gone through the 40-year certification. Right now we are looking at 59 buildings and we are prioritizing buildings in the process of getting certifications. We are looking at all the structural issues.”

Parker says, “The building owners have to hire structural engineers to do the certification and what we do is follow up after the engineers submit a report to us for recertification and they come up with recommendations for repairs.

The stepped-up inspections follow both the partial collapse of the Champlain South Towers and a disturbing engineers’ report from 2018 that found major structural damage at the Surfside condo near the pool deck and parking garage and a lack of proper drainage on the pool deck.

Condo owners who CBS4 spoke with said the stepped-up inspections are critical.

Owner Monica Winston says she is now nervous about living in her Condo off Collins Avenue at 158th Street.

“I feel the building is old and living by the beach, there is corrosion,” she says.

Condo owner Andrea Von Allworden applauded the inspections.

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“I feel very good about it in the wake of Surfside,” says Von Allworden. “They’re should be someone looking out for the people living here. It’s very important to me because you want to feel safe when you are living in such a huge building. I think it’s also good with all the hurricanes here and living so close to the sea.”

Peter D'Oench