Upkeep in a homeowner association is doing all of those little things to prevent bigger problems—much like we do for our personal health. But, preventative maintenance isn’t enough to carry you through. As associations age, buildings and common areas require more maintenance. To preserve a thriving community, replacements and updates are needed. Has your HOA Board considered the HOA’s age in its maintenance strategy?
Extreme weather conditions take a toll on associations. Fortunately, East Tennessee isn’t affected very often by extreme weather. A bigger impact in our area is when neglected maintenance in the past results in costly repairs. Some older HOAs are in pristine condition, thanks to excellent maintenance. Others have deteriorated due to poor or little upkeep. The age and condition of your association is always a factor to include in your overall plan and budget.
A little preventative maintenance is about all that is needed when associations are less than ten years old. As your association ages, more expensive renovations and maintenance is needed. Regular checkups along with your reserve study (and a fully funded reserve fund) can help keep your community in tiptop shape as it ages and avoid surprise expenses. Here are some areas that to keep an eye on.
Roof – Inspect your roofs regularly for leaks, torn or missing shingles or discoloration. Roof problems can escalate into expensive repairs quickly, so take immediate action if you spot an issue.
Buildings and Exteriors – Check the outside of buildings for peeling paint, loose siding, cracks, etc. Inspect the interior of common areas. Spring is typically the time for routine exterior maintenance, and interior maintenance can be performed anytime. Avoid postponing repairs for problems that can intensify because it’s not the right time of the year.
Sidewalks and roads – Examine sidewalks and roads for cracks at least annually, especially when they are near trees.
Gutters – If you don’t have many trees dropping leaves near gutters, checking once or twice a year is usually sufficient. Plan more maintenance to keep gutters clean that are located closed to trees, especially in the fall. Lax gutter maintenance can result in future problems.
Trees and grounds – Ensure that your plan includes regular seasonal maintenance. In addition, trees should be trimmed so that drooping and/or broken limbs don’t block roads, sidewalks and walkways.
Outside amenities – Most amenities such as pools, playground equipment, tennis courts, etc. are scheduled for maintenance in the spring. Visually inspect outside amenities for safety hazards during the off-season.