All inspections for winter damage should be in late March or early April, depending on the location of your HOA community. It also depends if snowstorms have subsided for the spring and summer seasons.
Amenities. Residents will spend more time at outdoor amenities when the weather gets warm. Inspect and repair tennis/basketball courts, tot lots, and other outdoor amenities. Check nuts, bolts, and screws on playground equipment and benches for tightness. Ensure the equipment is built to the manufacturer’s directions. Power-wash all metal structures, including swing sets, seesaws, and jungle gyms. Wooden structures need cleaning and resealing, too.
The community pool — which opens around Memorial Day weekend — filtration system and equipment must be inspected by a professional. Both the 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.
Common Areas. Conduct street cleaning to remove leftover sand and salt from snowstorms. Inspect walkways, roads, and curbs for damage caused by snow removal. Fix potholes or sidewalk cracks that were created or worsened by heavy snow plows and/or frost heave.
“Areas that are accessible by snow plows and snow blowers ... [should be inspected],” Gary Wilkin of Wilkin Management Group in New Jersey, said to The Cooperator. Cracked and/or uneven pavement causes safety issues for residents, especially those aging-in-place. Ask your property manager to call a professional before September for the following spring.
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. Property managers need to call a professional for a diagnostic maintenance check on irrigation systems, sprinklers, drainage basins, gutters, and downspouts. Maintenance should be biannual and 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 ... you've done all your work before the winter to prevent broken pipes and things of that nature,” Wilkin said.
Landscaping. In late April and early May, greenery begins to re-bloom around your community. During this change, you can see what the community needs in regards to landscaping. Do you need replacements for damaged trees and shrubs? Does turf damage exist from snow plows or salt? How will you address garden beds for the spring?
“The association’s buildings and grounds committee, management, and the landscape contractor ... conduct a site inspection in the spring,” James Rademacher of Rezkom Enterprises in New Jersey said to The Cooperator.
“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.”
Lighting. Lighting fixtures around your HOA community need inspection and/or replacements. The days get longer with warm weather. That means lights will be on longer. Check for bad or outdated light bulbs or broken lighting fixtures, including emergency lighting.
According to FirstService Residential, a residential property management company in Florida, check with the local utility company or consult with your property management company about available rebates. These are valuable cost-savers for switching to energy efficient alternatives.
Winter damage in your community is often handled by a community management company. These companies ensure that neighborhoods are ready for spring.
To learn more about hiring a community management company, download our Guide to Hiring a Community Association Management Company. Click on the button below to get started: