Preparing your Community for Winter Weather
The cold winter months bring many challenges for homeowners and for HOA’s, especially in regions where the elements are very severe. For this reason, it is crucial for your Community Association to plan carefully for winter, ensuring the right precautions are in place to keep residents safe and communal property in good working order. There are a few steps that are vital for true winter preparedness:
- Simple planning goes a long way. Property management and maintenance staff members should do a thorough walk-through of the community, checking to make sure roofs, gutters, sprinklers, timers, windows, decks, HVAC units, and other essential systems and components are all working well.
- In particular, check the roof and repair any leaks; a leaky roof in the bleak months of winter can prove devastating. Check the gutters, ridding them of any debris or clogs. Check around windows and doors for any areas where cool air could enter, and caulk as needed. Check community deck and patio areas for dry rot or moisture issues, which will only get worse during winter.
- Surveying the grounds is equally important for ensuring the safety of community members. Repair broken lights and fix major cracks in the asphalt or in sidewalks. Also clean out drains, ridding them of any clogging debris.
- Checking the water is also vital, as many winter maintenance issues are water-related. Go to any spigots where pipes could freeze—that is, in non-insulated areas—and ensure they’re working. Cover as many of those non-insulated pipes as you can in order to prevent freezing. And, as a safety precaution, blow any water out of community pool house or patio areas.
- Winterize your irrigation systems by draining out all the water and turning off the sprinklers.
- Have your heating system cleaned and serviced, if you have not done so already. Don’t wait until the middle of a snowstorm to make sure it works properly! Also have your buildings checked for carbon monoxide levels, which can prove dangerous in cold months where all the windows and doors are sealed shut.
The important part of this is to be prepared, don’t wait until the last minute. Preparing your community for winter weather might be the best economical decision you make!