Spring is just around the corner and contrary to the belief, people are ready to get out! After being indoors due to Covid-19, we’re starting to see communities slowly make their way outside their homes. Although we can’t ever guarantee that our lives will ever go back to normal, we can learn to adjust. As HOA’s reopen facilities and common areas, the coming spring maintenance agenda must be taken with the utmost care.
What’s the purpose of having a spring maintenance plan?
- Promotes a healthy and safe environment – Now that communities are starting to venture outside their homes, a well-planned spring maintenance agenda will be an important asset to maintaining your community.
- Increase property values – As our housing market continues to fluctuate, maintaining the value of your community is critical. Properties need to maintain a set standard, routine maintenance checks must be conducted on a monthly basis.
Determine your spring maintenance plan
It’s quite common to get into a routine when you’ve been doing the same maintenance plan year after year. Before digging into a to-do list, consider starting with a spring maintenance plan of action. This is a great way to encourage your team to stay on track and have an understanding of their overall purpose.
- Preventative maintenance plan – The most popular plan, preventive maintenance focuses on being proactive and minimizing problems before they occur.
- Minimize failed components – A preventive plan helps decrease the likelihood of components failing. That is why HOAs need to have either a weekly, monthly, or annual maintenance routine. Here are just a few examples to consider:
- Community swimming pools – every 6 months
- Common area parking lots – every 12 months
- Community office utilizes – every 30 days
- Predictive maintenance – In order to reduce the likelihood of large repairs occurring, maintaining small repairs will be a large contribution to a successful predictive plan. contribute to a successful predictive plan. The overall goal of the predictive plan is to monitor minor problems in a timely manner and on a repetitive basis.
- Ex. Checking for small holes and cracks on a weekly basis.
- Sweeping sidewalks and gutters
- Seasonal maintenance plan – With a seasonal plan, the recommended time to start your plan is two to three seasons ahead of time. A large reason for this is due to unexpected weather conditions such as a tornado or hurricane that could impact a community financially.
- Hurricanes – clearing drains and gutters or installing check valves with plumbing to prevent backups
- Tornados – maintain the cleanliness of basements or access to shelter
- Storms and floods – keep trees around your home well-trimmed
Does having a spring maintenance plan benefit an HOA budget?
- HOA budget – Another perk to maintaining a preventive spring maintenance plan comes with the ability to successfully maintain an HOA financial budget — this allows the HOA to project repairs and future maintenance.
- A scheduled maintenance agenda can help anticipate unexpected costs in the HOA’s budgets — this is done by reviewing past repairs and the average cost spent per year.
- Community swimming pools: repairs $5,000 per year
- Common area parking lots: maintenance $6,000 per year
- Community office utilizes: replacement supplies and repairs $500 per month ($6,000 per year)
- Total average cost: $17,000 (averages $1,416 a month)
Are there any risks to not having a spring maintenance plan?
In the event an HOA does not have a maintenance plan, the community may find themselves taking a more reactive approach — this is when the HOA reacts to a maintenance repair at the time it occurs vs. before. Unfortunately taking this approach will lead to an increase in cost and maintenance of the community. Reactive maintenance tends to cost 9 to 10 times more than preventive maintenance.
The spring maintenance guide
- Community pool – With spring around the corner, your community will be ready to deep their toes into the community pool — especially when the kiddos are involved. A large part of maintaining your community pool includes: cleaning filters, restarting and testing the filtration system, checking water levels, checking chemical levels, and checking all electronic functions for any glitches.
- Playgrounds – It’s no surprise to hear that the kiddos will be ready to hit the playgrounds once spring arrives. After experiencing a long winter, your community playground will likely need some major spring cleaning. A few responsibilities may include: cleaning all playground equipment from stains, dirt, rust, and grime.
- Maintain landscape and trees that may surround playground equipment
- Check for loose nuts and bolts on all playground equipment.
- Inspect for holes and sand that is missing.
- Clubhouse – As the weather starts to warm up, communities will want to start venturing into their common areas such as your HOA’s clubhouse. A few responsibilities may include:
- Assessing lights and fixtures
- Checking plugs and outlets
- Replacing broken tables and chairs
- Checking bathrooms
When it comes to spring landscaping, timing is everything. Depending on the size and financial status of the HOA, it may be best to schedule a committee meeting to discuss a plan of action.
- Schedule spring landscaping projects 3-4 months prior – this will allow the HOA to plan accordingly and be prepared for any financial setbacks.
- The HOA board of directors and the property manager will determine if landscaping will be contracted from another third-party service or an established landscaping service that works alongside the property management company.
- Common responsibilities include: planting and pruning trees, planting flowers, shrubs, watering, and maintenance, along with planning the selection of flowers.
- Sprinkler systems – Another large responsibility that comes with maintaining your HOA spring duties is with adjusting the community sprinkler systems. This also includes the responsibility of providing your community with any updates and rules regarding sprinklers. such as watering lawns at least 2 times per week in the spring.