By Bob Pecor
Ah, spring is here. Seems like just yesterday we were dealing with concerned homeowners who were worried about ice dams, snow on the roof and possible flooding from snow melt. Concerns now will turn to the health of shrubs and the treatment of winter kill on lawns.
Spring walk around inspections are an important part of a manager’s job as part of HOA management services to set the stage for scheduling work into early summer. Here are a few things to be checking as the snow melts.
- Gutters and downspouts: Spring rains could bring problems if gutters and downspouts have been damaged due to ice. Most downspouts also have extensions that can easily be knocked askew during snow removal, so make sure they extend where they are intended to drain.
- Grounds damage from snow removal: Most contractors will take care of plow damage to grounds caused by snow removal, but it is important to catch that early and alert your contractor. While they may not be able to do repairs for quite some time, make sure you have pictures and notes to document repairs that you expect.
- Driveway shortcuts: It’s not uncommon for homeowners to cut across corners during the winter and continue to do so in early spring when the ground is soft and easily damaged. Managers need to distinguish between contractor plow damage and homeowner carelessness.
- Pet residue: Most associations require homeowners to clean up after pets. Some homeowners do, but not all. Many associations also allow homeowners to repair turf from pets. It’s important to note obvious pet damage early to avoid disputes about pet damage versus winter kill.
- Driveway damage: Many homeowners utilize salt to control ice and don’t realize the damage that creates on asphalt, concrete and adjoining lawns. Check for evidence of that damage to alert homeowners.
Inspections by a professional management company and noting these issues early can head off problems as the lawn mowing season gets into full swing.
(Photo credit: Cristian N Biederman via Flickr cc)