Community managers get incredibly busy in the weeks and months leading up to summer, but they don’t have to do all the work themselves.
- Community managers have a significant workload preparing for the summer
- Much of this work could involve repairing winter damage
- Regularly scheduled maintenance is also necessary
- Outsourcing some of this work can make it more manageable
As a community manager, you might dread the weeks leading up to summer because there’s so much maintenance to do. After all, you’re responsible for preparing the community for the warm-weather months when people are more likely to spend time outside enjoying the neighborhood’s amenities. Putting in some extra effort during the lead-up to summer can minimize complaints and keep your residents happy. It also ensures that your community is safe for residents and their visitors.
That’s easier said than done, of course, since you’re talking about loading extra work into your already-busy schedule. But the good news is that assistance is available if you need it. Just follow this complete guide to HOA summer maintenance – along with our helpful hints on how to make your life easier by outsourcing the work.
Clean up winter debris and damage
Before you do anything else, you’ll need to clean up any debris and address any damage winter storms might have caused.
Start by inspecting the gutters throughout the community and clearing them of any leaves and other debris. This is important because water that can’t correctly drain from the roof is likely to cause further damage.
And while you’re up there, check the roofs throughout the neighborhood for deterioration. Falling branches, ice dams, and heavy snowfall can damage roofs in your community, and identifying the ones that require attention early in the summer gives you plenty of time to repair them before bad weather returns.
Finally, you’ll also want to look at patios, decks, fences, chimneys, and external walls because anything that was exposed to the winter elements could be damaged and require repair.
Inspect the landscaping
Cold weather can damage your landscaping, and even if the community’s outdoor areas are in good shape, they could still require some maintenance.
Start by ensuring the grass is seeded, watered, and mowed, and begin planting any annual flowers you typically use to brighten up the community. You might want to speak with a landscaping expert if you have questions about the flowers and plants that thrive in your area.
You’ll also want to rake up any leaves you missed in the fall to get the common areas looking as good as possible for the summer. It’s also a good idea to check your sprinkler systems and make any necessary repairs before the weather heats up.
Prepare the sidewalks and parking lots
Sidewalks, pathways, and shared parking areas are probably the HOA’s responsibility, so getting them in summer shape is recommended. Sidewalks often crack or erode during the winter because temperature fluctuations and moisture do a number on them. You’ll want to repair any damage before they begin seeing heavy summer traffic.
The same goes for common pathways, especially those that could get overgrown in the spring. Doing some weeding and ensuring the paths are marked and accessible will keep your residents happy and help them avoid injury. This safety tip could save you significant problems in the future by preventing residents from tripping and getting hurt.
Common parking lots in your complex should be clearly marked, and you could have to repaint the lines if winter weather has washed the existing paint away. Unmarked parking areas can lead to chaos, and residents won’t be happy if visitor parking becomes a free-for-all.
Do some painting
Speaking of painting, a fresh coat on common buildings might also be necessary. You probably won’t have to do this every year, but it’s advisable to freshen these buildings up every few years to keep them looking sharp.
Summer is the ideal time to do your painting because the paint will dry faster. It’s also less likely to rain in the summer in many parts of the country, giving you a larger window for completing the painting job.
Painting individual houses in your HOA community probably isn’t your job. But this is still a good time to remind homeowners about their responsibilities when it comes to painting and maintaining the exterior of their homes.
Get the pool ready
If any of the communities you manage have swimming pools, preparing them for summer is essential. You’ll want to start by fixing any broken components you notice before you fill the pool with water for the summer. These components could include the drains, pumps, and heater. You’ll also want to repair or paint the pool liner before filling it with water.
Maintain the common areas
Communities with common areas require some additional maintenance in the weeks leading up to summer. Check the playgrounds for damage, clean up communal BBQ or picnic areas, and return any items, such as chairs and tables, that were placed in storage for the winter. Getting these common areas ready for the residents as quickly as possible ensures they can make full use of them during the warm-weather months.
Outsourcing your maintenance jobs
Getting your community ready for summer requires a significant amount of work, and it’s nearly impossible for one person – or even a small team – to handle all of it. Luckily, there are likely plenty of professional contractors in your area who can lighten your load by doing the job for you.
VendorSmart can help you identify and vet service providers who can prepare your communities for summer. We minimize your risk when working with third-party vendors and even deliver real-time oversight. Contact VendorSmart today for more information on how our vendor management platform works.