The thought of it sends shivers up your spine—the shrill north winds, the snow-covered roads, the traffic jams on the New Jersey Turnpike. Yes, winter is coming. And as the seasons change once again, so too do the demands on housing communities—and their maintenance staff members.
As residents increasingly take up shelter indoors, maintenance teams gear up to take on some of the harshest elements outside—snow, ice, wind, sub-freezing temperatures, and their effects on association roofs, windows, gutters, plumbing, heating and roadways.
If your community hasn't already started the winterizing routine, there is still time. According to Andy Amorosi, president of Falcon Engineering in Somerville, many of his company's customers have already completed a winter check, December 1st is a good, final deadline—before the snow gets heavy and the ground has frozen solid.
Shoveling snow may be a good upper body workout, but one of the reasons for living in a community association is to take advantage of its "maintenance-free" environment. So, with multiple residents, vehicles, schedules and buildings to worry about, it's all the more important for a community to keep up on both maintenance checks, and new technology that can make winter run as smooth as silk—keeping the elements out, the residents safe, and the costs at bay.
Have a Plan
Even the most well-managed association needs to take winter precautions, especially in the colder climates of the northeast, according to Richard Thompson, a real estate broker, property manager, and HOA consultant with Regenesis.net, a website dedicated to homeowner and community associations. Maintenance staff and/or the property manager should do a walk-through and check the common areas; the building components, such as roofs, gutters, windows, siding, trim, decks, garages, HVAC units, elevators; the on-site surfaces, such as paving, concrete, fencing, lighting; all landscaping and equipment, such as timers, controllers, and sprinkler heads; and recreational components, such as pools, spas, saunas, playgrounds, tennis courts, golf courses, exercise rooms, and clubhouse.