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5 Places To Look For Winter Damage In An HOA Community

Posted by IKO Community Management on April 5, 2018 at 9:00 AM


All inspections for winter damage should be done in late March or early April, depending on the location of your HOA community and if snowstorms have subsided for the spring and summer seasons.

Many community management companies in Maryland, like IKO Community Management, keep calendars and databases that automatically notify property managers that it’s time for a maintenance check-up.

    1. Amenities. Inspect and repair tennis/basketball courts, tot lots, and other outdoor amenities that residents will spend more time at with the warm weather.

      All nuts, bolts, and screws on playground equipment and benches should be checked for tightness according to the manufacturer’s directions. Powerwash all metal structures, including swing sets, seesaws, and jungle gyms. Wooden structures need cleaning and resealing, too.

      As for the community pool, which typically opens around Memorial Day weekend in late May, the following needs to be done:

      • The pool, filtration system, and equipment must be professionally inspected.
      • Pool and equipment must be operational.
      • Chemicals and materials for the season must be ordered.
      • Pool furniture, signage, and safety equipment must be cleaned and set up.
      • Winterized plumbing must be restored.
      • Locker rooms and bathrooms must be cleaned and stocked.
    2. Common Areas. Conduct street cleaning to remove leftover sand and salt, and inspect walkways, roads, and curbs for damage caused by snow removal. Fix potholes or sidewalk cracks that have been created or worsened by heavy snow plows and/or frost heave.

      “Areas that are accessible by snow plows and snow blowers and so forth [should be inspected],” Gary Wilkin of Wilkin Management Group in Wayne, New Jersey, said to The Cooperator.  

      Cracked and/or uneven pavement causes safety issues for homeowners and renters, especially aging-in-place residents, so ask your property manager to call a professional before September for the following spring.

    3. Community Center. An area of immediate concern is any building, like the community or fitness center. With the melting snow and warm rain, potential flooding becomes a big concern. 

      It’s important for property managers to call a professional to conduct a diagnostic maintenance check on irrigation systems and sprinklers, drainage basins, gutters, and downspouts. This should be done biannually, around the drastic change of seasons (winter to spring and summer to fall).

      “There shouldn't be too many [other] mechanical things you need to look at since, hopefully, you've done all your work before the winter to prevent broken pipes and things of that nature,” Wilkin said.

    4. Landscaping. In late April and early May, greenery begins to re-bloom around your community. This is a time where you can see what the community needs in terms of replacements for damaged trees and shrubs, if turf damage exists from snow plows or salt, and how to address garden beds for the spring. 

      “The association’s buildings and grounds committee, management, and the landscape contractor generally conduct a site inspection in the spring,” James Rademacher of Rezkom Enterprises in Ocean, New Jersey, said to The Cooperator.

      “At this time, they determine what areas were damaged and schedule the necessary repairs. Ongoing tree/shrub replacement projects can be worked on, and spring flower plantings completed.”  

    5. Lighting. An uncommon place for maintenance, lighting fixtures around your HOA community need inspection and/or replacements. The days get longer with warm weather, which means it’s a good time to check for bad or outdated light bulbs or broken lighting fixtures. This includes emergency lighting. 

      According to First Service Residential, a residential property management company headquartered in Dania Beach, Florida, it’s smart to check with the local utility or consult with your property management company about available rebates and other valuable cost-savers for switching to energy efficient alternatives.

For a full list of property inspection areas, download IKO Community Management’s checklist of post-winter places to clean and repair:

Click Here To Download Your Checklist

Topics: HOA Board, community