It’s that time of year again. The leaves are falling, the temperature is dropping and you might even see a few snowflakes in the air. For a Homeowners Association (HOA) this is a time to get a few loose ends organized to ensure that your property is protected during a long period of inclement weather. Often referred to as winterization; the tasks of preparing your water system, buildings, roads and walkways will make your property and neighborhood safer for everyone.
Exterior Water Systems
A good first step is to protect all outdoor water faucets and sprinkler systems. Make sure all exterior faucets are turned off and covered, if possible. Sprinklers also require special care to prepare for winter. Sprinkler systems should be cleared. This is best done by hiring a professional who will use an air compressor to blow out all remaining water.
Exterior pipes are a special concern during the winterization process. All exterior pipes should be wrapped in insulated sleeves. The last thing that you want is a frozen pipe in the middle of the winter.
Create a plan and gather all necessary supplies for snow removal. Snow needs to be removed from roads and oftentimes stored in a designated area. Many HOAs choose to hire a service to remove snow. Also, pathways need to be cleared of snow and salted so that ice does not form and cause a hazard. Snow removal laws vary by State so your HOA Board should be well aware of the law in your area.
Fall is a great time to set-up a holiday light display. Cold temperatures, snow and ice can make winter work a real chore so it is best to set up lighting a month or two in advance. On the other hand, some HOAs will have a holiday lighting policy for individual home owners and renters. It is a good idea to make sure that you are well within your neighborhood policy when taking on all holiday lighting décor.
Other Preparation Tips
Preparing to winter is not limited to exterior pipes and lights. There are a number of financial and tax items that your HOA Board or Management will need to successfully close out your year. Now is the time to approve and/or schedule tax preparation and an audit. It is a great time to create a budget, get it approved, and share with membership. Follow these tips and your HOA will be well prepared for this winter season.