RealManage Insight

Completing the Maintenance Checklist for Autumn

Completing the Maintenance Checklist for Autumn

HOA | Condo Seasonal and Holiday, HOA | Condo Maintenance

Fall is the time of year when businesses and communities start preparing their property for the travails of winter -- a process known as winterization. Winterization serves two corollary purposes: it protects property against weather damage and ensures the property is ready to use when spring rolls around. If your community lacks a maintenance checklist for winterization, now is the time to create one that focuses on the following important seasonal issues, among others.

1. Cracks in Parking Lots

Before winter arrives, seal cracks in blacktop and concrete parking lots. Because water expands as it freezes, the cracks will widen over the winter. A winter in which the ground thaws and freezes several times can seriously damage a parking lot that is already cracked. Blacktop and concrete companies frequently offer affordable packages for resealing parking lots.

2. Water in Exposed Pipes

Unless water pipes are insulated against cold or installed in a temperature-controlled space, they could burst when the water inside them freezes in the winter. Common examples of pipes that must be purged of water before freezing temperatures arrive are: outdoor water fountain pipes, pipes in park restrooms, pipes in fountains, and pipes for lawn irrigation systems.

3. Cutting Back Perennials

Perennials are a good investment; they come back year after year. However, in order to preserve their lifespan, you must clip them shorter after the first frost. Unclipped perennials are prone to soil born diseases that can kill them during the fall and winter. If your community has beautiful gardens of rose bushes, imagine if they failed to bloom when spring arrived.

4. Bagging Autumnal Debris

Autumnal debris on lawns is one of the seasonal issues that almost all communities tend to have. However, neighborhoods must also remove the debris from street gutters and drains as well. If left in place, the debris can cause a phenomenon called “ice damming”, in which the debris traps water that freezes and creates an increasingly large block of ice that inhibits drainage.

5. Seasonal Furnace Inspections

As summer heads into autumn, communities should have furnaces in common buildings checked for proper operation. Over time, motor belts need replacement, oil ports on the motor require more oil, and the coil needs to be cleaned. If your community doesn’t staff HVAC workers, it can schedule furnace inspections by calling a local HVAC company.

6. Winterizing Walking Surfaces

Of all winter seasonal issues, winterizing walking surfaces often the most difficult to accomplish. Because slip and fall accidents increase in winter, communities must vigilantly keep walking surfaces in common areas free of ice and water. Ice melt should be applied to outdoor areas. Slick surfaces such as steps and walking ramps should be outfitted with slips of no-strip tape.

If your community needs assistance developing an official plan for winterizing the neighborhood, don’t wait until the temperature hits the freezing mark; contact a provider of HOA services today.

By Staff Writer on Oct 21, 2013 6:01:00 PM
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