5 Areas to Check When Preparing Your Community for Spring
Keep your community ahead of the curve for seasonal changes.
The importance of preparing ourselves for the seasons to come is universal, and springtime is no exception. It’s this time of year that the days become longer, and the sun shines a bit brighter. With the emergence of warmer weather, now is the time to start thinking about getting your community ready for the spring and summer months ahead. But as temperatures begin to rise and more homeowners are gearing up to spend time outside, where do you start?
While there are some obvious things that will require focus, there are also many areas of improvement that might not spring to mind immediately. Here are five things you should check this time of year to prepare your association for spring in Texas so that your community can transform into the lush green oasis your board desires.
1. Playgrounds, Parks & Green Spaces
After weeks of winter weather, the return of spring marks the return of play and recreation for people of all ages. So, you can rest assured your playgrounds and parks will start to see more activity. Start getting those areas ready by giving playground equipment and park furniture a good power washing to remove dirt buildup and check all structures for any issues that need to be addressed.
Proper maintenance helps keep your playground and surrounding environment in top shape while prolonging the life of your equipment. So tighten up or replace any loose bolts and repair any damage to equipment so that it is safe for children to play on. You may also want to consider budgeting for resurfacing the playground if it has become worn or unsafe.
Here are some additional things to check for:
• Broken or missing equipment
• Secure anchors, barriers, & panels
• Heavily worn moving parts, swing parts
• Cracked and/or broken plastic parts
• Rusted, worn, or corroded metals
• Broken glass, trash, and other debris
• User modification such as rope swings
• Vandalized, broken, and defaced property
• Insect damage or infestation
• Tripping hazards like exposed tree roots
2. Property décor
Whether you live in a master-planned community or high-rise building, it's important to help keep your community a safe and attractive place to live. Watch for deterioration or significant gaps that need filling while assessing and repairing main driveways. Pay special attention to fences, decks, and patios that may have been damaged over the last few months and spray away soot, dirt build-up and leaves.
Daylight saving is also near, so right now is a great time to install outdoor lighting and make any aesthetic changes or repairs. Lighting improvements are easy to achieve and highly effective for lowering costs and improving efficiency for your building or community.
Double-check emergency lighting in all communal areas as well, and be certain all batteries and backup power supplies are working and charged correctly. Making sure these emergency needs are in place will save valuable time and effort in the event of some April showers. If you need help with electrical items, like string lights or motorized decorations, get the process started with securing RFPs from current or prospective vendors.
Pro tip: If you're planning to decorate deciduous trees, be sure that they're trimmed before adding lights to reduce fire hazards.
Springtime is the right time to take care of landscaping issues before summer rolls around. Address safety concerns by having your landscaper check the property for broken tree limbs, raised sidewalks, or any drainage hazards.
You may need to remove or replace fresh trees or bushes that didn’t make it through the winter and lay a new layer of mulch in community landscaped areas as well. In hot, dry places like Texas, plants that do well in intense heat and are drought-resistant will thrive. In neighborhoods with many surrounding plants and trees, it’s especially important to ensure they are properly watered. Conduct annual sprinkler tests to ensure your parks and gardens get the right amount of irrigation.
If you’re a high-rise community, fresh landscaping can create a nice aesthetic quality for your building and encourage resident engagement in shared areas. Beautify your courtyards with unblemished flowers and throw away any damaged garden items or consider repairing them, if possible, to create a more collaborative space. With its increasing popularity, you may want to consider the implementation of vertical greenery. Not only does it make a dramatic statement, but it also creates a welcoming environment for homeowners.
The value of excellent quality landscaping cannot be understated. With plants blooming and grass regaining its color after a frosty winter, your neighborhood will come back to life and sprucing up the landscaping will not only increase the curb appeal but also inspire residents to improve their homes as well.
Pro tip: Landscaping issues that make your community look old and outdated can lower the property value of your neighborhood.
4. Pool Maintenance
We can’t emphasize just how important your community pool is during warmer months. Whether your pool is an Olympic-sized fitness lover’s dream, a resort-style oasis, or a rooftop paradise, it’s an important feature for your residents that enhances their lifestyles every day and is a major source of summer entertainment.
Remove any leaves or debris from the pool and make plans for it to be cleaned and treated for use. Power washing the concrete around the pool area could be a good idea too, in order to keep things as clean as possible.
Enhancing your community pool with furniture upgrades or modernizations is also a great way to spruce up the area. Safety and durability, along with style and cost, are a few things to keep in mind when switching out pool furniture. FirstService Residential helps our clients select furnishings that best meet their community’s requirements, and can offer choices and styles at a low price based on our ability to leverage our company's buying power to get preferred pricing from vendors. A good management company should be able to depend on it's vendor relationships to do the same.
Pro tip: Before opening the pool, be sure to assess any safety concerns within the vicinity of the pool, such as hiring a lifeguard, checking for cracked tiles, etc.
5. Central HVAC & Common Area Appliances
Aside from your regular HOA maintenance schedule, it’s necessary to plan out checkups for seasonal maintenance to service your central HVAC system. You should also clean or replace filters in common areas to help ensure your system is running efficiently. It will keep energy costs in check and remove extra allergens, which can be helpful during the spring season.
Additionally, this serves as a terrific opportunity to send out a reminder in your resident communication to homeowners with some tips on replacing the filters in their homes as well.
Pro tip: Meet with the facilities and maintenance crews to determine the best time to turn back on the HVAC system.
After a frigid winter, residents begin to look forward to outdoor activities and enjoying the amenities of their community. And while no one can control the Texas weather, we do know that warmer temperatures are just around the corner, so it’s never too early to start getting ready for the spring hustle.
Remember, homeowners are always checking for a well-maintained neighborhood. Keeping these 5 tips in mind can help position your board for success and get your community ready for the season ahead.
For more information on obtaining the true vendor partners you need to enhance your community, contact FirstService Residential, Texas’s leader in residential property management.