This winter, much of the country was hunkered down under thick layers of snow and temperatures so low that even the groundhog thought twice about going outside. But thankfully, spring is here, and with the blooming fruit trees and sunnier days comes the need to clean up, spruce up and get your community ready to enjoy the season.

Here’s a list of 12 quick tips to help you spring into spring with a warmer and sunnier disposition.

1. Cool it with some HVAC work.

Now that the weather’s heating up, the HVAC units for your common areas are going to start getting more of a workout. Have them serviced now so they’re running at peak efficiency when the days get longer and hotter. And don’t forget units that service areas like hallways and guardhouses.

2. Take a look at the roof.

Harsh winters can wreak havoc on rooftops. Heavy snow and ice build-ups can damage flashing and roofing materials, leading to costly leaks. Have your roof inspected now to identify and make any needed repairs – especially before those springtime rain starts to fall.

3. Get into the gutter.

If you live in a professionally managed condominium community, gutter cleaning is usually included as part of the management company’s maintenance. If not, you or a professional need to take a look – and it may not be pretty.  In addition to common debris like leaves or tree branches, “You’d be surprised by what you may find inside gutters if they’re not regularly cleaned or maintained, says Michelle Lee-Moran, a community manager in Maryland, who has seen or heard about bird nests, dead animals or even trees taking root inside.

4. Get the pool ready.

It’ll be pool season before you know it. Now’s the time to have the pool and spa equipment serviced, with a complete check-up on filters, gaskets and seals. This is also a good time to make sure your pool safety equipment has been inspected to meet your area’s local requirements.

5. Request proposals.

If you haven’t done so already, springtime is the perfect time to start gathering proposals for special landscaping projects, like mulching or planting flowers or trees.

6. Trim, trim, trim.

It may seem counterintuitive, but when your plants are waking up, it’s time to cut them back. Different species have different requirements, so make sure your landscapers don’t go on an indiscriminate cutting rampage. Generally speaking, you’ll want to remove frost damage to promote new growth, and you’ll want to trim most of your trees as well. If you live in a hurricane-prone region, make sure to have trees cut back before the start of hurricane season on June 1.

7. Fertilize.

Certain tree species need a kick-start to the season with some deep root fertilizer. Talk to your landscape professional about what your trees might require.

8. Stop weeds in their tracks.

When spring has sprung, so have the weeds. This is a good time to apply pre-emergent weed-killer before those pesky species have time to take root. Taking this step now will keep your turf and rock areas looking their best throughout the summer.

9. Mind your watering.

Check in with your landscape team to make sure they’ve adjusted the watering clocks and rates for the new season. After a long winter, your plants will be waking up thirsty.

10. Bring spring cleaning home.

As long as you’re sprucing up the community, why not organize a clean-up day for residents?  You or your property management company can rent a rolloff dumpster and invite residents to dump old carpeting, broken furniture, scraps of wood and other household goods they no longer need or want.

11. Communicate.

With spring comes a bustle of activity throughout your community, including additional maintenance, repair and landscape crew work. Send out newsletters and emails to your community members so they know what to expect. If you don’t have a good communications plan already in place, a good property management company can help you establish one.

12. Make it an event.

It’s not just the plants that are coming out this season. Residents tend to become more active, with nice weather bringing people into common areas with more frequency. That makes spring a great time to plan events that help neighbors re-connect (or even meet for the first time). Take advantage of this season to bring people together.

Now that spring is here, follow these 12 tips and you’ll be ready to enjoy the warmer days without a long to-do list casting a shadow over the season.  For more insight to make the most of springtime living, contact FirstService Residential.  
Friday April 17, 2015