SURFSIDE — Since the tragedy in Surfside, condo residents all over Florida have been paying close attention to the conditions of their own buildings and wondering if small blemishes that have been ignored could be a warning sign of a collapse, later on down the line.

People in Century Village in Boca Raton know their buildings are the same age as Champlain Towers South. They told the CBS12 News I Team they are concerned about heavy rain during storms and water intrusion, especially since hurricane season began earlier this month.

Florida has 1.5 million residential condos and 600,000 of them are 40 years or older. Post Surfside, for all of them, water is an enemy not to be underestimated.

“There are many signs of water getting in,” Helene Harris told the I Team, the week of Surfside’s one year anniversary.

In 2016, Harris moved to Century Village from New York. Many of her neighbors are also native New Yorkers, and they’re proud of their reputation for being outspoken, blunt, never taking ‘no’ for an answer.

“It’s hurricane season,” said Century Village resident Suzanne Sheber, “When we had that near-storm a week or so ago, I know many of the residents were in fear that we now have more damage. I have a water meter. I go into my closet and I can see day to day how much water intrusion there is. The remedy is not coming fast enough.”

It’s fair to say right now many New York attitudes inside Century Village are on high, as residents are in a conflict with the cable company that provides service to the complex.

It’s not about monthly bills. The fight is over what’s happening along some of the exterior walls in the community, a concern that has been amplified because of the Surfside collapse that killed 98.

“It has to be addressed and our safety is what matters,” Harris said.

One building in particular is the focus of the anxiety and the arguments. Wolverton C has several gaping holes and water is getting inside the structure, according to residents. It’s happening where covered ducts — for protecting the TV and internet wires — have been attached to the building.

The resident newspaper of Century Village, The Village Sentry, published by Fred Hadley, has been covering this ongoing problem and the lack of response so far.

There are more than 100 buildings in the community. The buildings that are two, three, and four stories tall have the same ducts.

“How can that be safe? If that’s getting pounded with hurricanes, air, water, wind, if it gets in there. So then do we become the next pancake? I don’t want to be in a pancake,” Harris said.

Picking up on her point, here is why water intrusion is worrisome:

The week after the Surfside collapse, the CBS12 News I Team detailed the findings of a 2018 field survey report at the Champlain Towers South.

A company hired by the association, Morabito Consulting, had found multiple spots around the building where there was cracking.

“[We] do not see this crack as a source of water infiltration,” one part of the report reads, referring to one of many cracks.

Forensic engineers are now exploring if that conclusion was wrong, if water caused heavy corrosion deep inside the building, beyond view.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is the agency investigating what happened in Surfside. There are six separate teams. Earlier this month, they gave an update, only to say they haven’t been able to pinpoint the cause of the collapse and that could take another year, maybe two.

Responding to Surfside, lawmakers in Tallahassee passed a bill about condo safety during a special session back in May. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed it.

The takeaways are:

Condos will need to be re-certified after 30 years if they are three stories or higher, or are 25 years old and within 3 miles of the ocean. Then, every 10 years after that, they’ll need to be re-certified.

And Florida will require condominium association boards to maintain money in reserves to cover critical repairs, starting in 2025. For decades, current law has allowed boards to waive the requirement.

Boca Raton attorney Lou Caplan is an expert in the laws that govern condo boards. After Surfside, he sent a letter to Gov. DeSantis calling for a state condo task force to be empaneled. We asked him about what lawmakers have just done.

“Well [for condo residents] it’s going to be special assessments potentially, especially for these associations that have not been funding reserves over the last 7 to 10 to 20 years. As for Senate Bill 4, it’s really the municipalities that are going to have to enforce the statewide requirements,” Caplan said. “I think it’s more palatable at this point, even though [the law] is going to affect people’s bottom line and affect them financially.. but it's much more palatable and I think the beautiful part of the legacy of Surfside is now we’re going to have safe buildings as opposed to inexpensive buildings.”

Back in Century Village, Helene Harris talks about the legacy of Surfside, too. One year later, she told the I Team a positive effect of the devastating collapse is the pivot towards urgency, away from procrastination.

In condos, repairs that might have been “put off until later” are now seen as time sensitive. And potentially life-saving. And Helene said she’ll keep speaking up when things need to be fixed.

“We have stucco cracking and we have to determine what needs to be repaired, how it needs to be repaired. The cracks could be from many factors but one thing we see are the conduits from the cable wires going in, and we didn’t see the cracks before that.”

The I Team has contacted the cable company in question about these concerns and we are waiting on a response at publishing time.