Fall tips for homeowners: Preparing your HOA for fallWith the dog days of summer behind us and the leaves starting to change, it’s essential that your community association begins to change its maintenance activities as well.  In fall, preparation for winter is key – after all, despite an occasional lingering warmth in the air, we know that in many parts of the country, cold weather is inevitably on the way. Whether your HOA is self-managed or professionally managed, getting started on your fall and winter prep will help keep your operations running smoothly as the seasons and temperatures change – and that will keep your residents happy as well.
Here are a few maintenance tips to keep your building or community at its autumn best.
  1. Landscaping

    Just because mowing season is over doesn’t mean you can sit back and ignore your landscaping. Fall is the perfect time to spray for bugs and weeds, and to plant annuals in your landscaping beds. It’s also time for your association to aerate turf, complete spot seeding in any patchy areas, and do your deep root fertilization.  But that’s not all – be sure to check your equipment, including your watering clocks and your irrigation system to make sure they’re in tip-top shape.  And don’t forget to remove all of the hoses from hose bibs, and clear away fallen leaves from bushes and drainage areas.  Your maintenance staff may be able to perform these activities, but if you need to find qualified landscaping firms, a good property management company can provide referrals.
  2. Pool and spa

    With the end of summer, it’s time to focus on your swimming pool and surrounding pool area. Check your motors and pumps and clean and replace the filters. It’s also a good time to take a look at the piping to see if you have any leaks or corrosion. Don’t forget to clean all the filter baskets and grease the pump motor and bearings.

    If you live in a part of the country where your pool and spa will be shut down for the season, remember to secure the area for winter. Backwash the filer and drain the water from your filter tank, then drain your pool to the manufacturer-recommended level. Put all the pool equipment away and keep an eye out for any safety or performance issues throughout the winter. Again, if you need to find quality pool maintenance vendors, consult with a property management company.
  3. Lighting

    Now that the days are shorter, it’s a good time to check for bad bulbs and any broken lighting fixtures. Your HOA may opt to do a full LED conversion – a win-win for both reducing your energy costs and protecting the environment.  Check with your local utility company about any available rebates, or consult with a good property management company to learn about rebates and other valuable cost-savers.  And while you’re at it, double-check your emergency lighting as well.  These changes are well worth doing – lighting improvements easy to achieve and very effective for lowering costs and improving efficiency for your building or community.
  4. Seasonal D├ęcor

    Planning on decorating for the holidays? Then get a jump start on the festivities by reviewing your decor plans with your management and internal staff, and create a decorating committee to set your ideas in motion. If you need help with electrical issues, such as stringing lights and putting up decorations, get your RFP process going with your vendor prospects. One very important piece of advice:  if you’re planning to decorate deciduous trees, be absolutely certain that they’re trimmed back before lighting to reduce fire hazards.
With the heat of summer gone and an approaching crispness in the air, it can only mean that fall has arrived – many people’s favorite time of year. By following these four key maintenance steps, your community will be ready for the fall and winter – and your residents can enjoy the season’s bounties without leaving home. 
Thursday September 24, 2015