Spring Thaw and Maintenance

April 2024

Birds chirping.  Trees blooming.  Yes, spring is upon us once again.  Condominium boards and managers are preparing for warmer weather.  Now is the time to make everything look good!

Summer preparations should have begun months ago while snow and ice were still on the ground.  Checklists should have been completed.  Gardeners, landscapers, other vendors and supplies should have been scheduled and now ready to proceed.  Planning should be complete and now its time to execute just as tulips are springing from the ground.

Early prep work avoids disappointment.  The board should have finalized details long ago and made their decisions on what needs to be done.  Waiting until weather warms up to begin making decisions and hiring contractors is too late.  Contractors and products are unavailable, and prices higher, than if decisions were finalized months ago.

Planning should commence about six months prior to when work is to begin, and completed by late February.  Decide on what work is needed, and source vendors before their schedules get filled.  Waiting until the last minute ensures sacrifices and higher cost.

Planning begins with a visual inspection.  Look for anything that may affect structural integrity or safety.  Check pipes and structures for damage, cracks, leaks or signs of deterioration.  Test equipment not used during the winter such as air conditioners and pool pumps to ensure they will function as the weather warms up.  Schedule repairs prior to when this equipment will be needed.  Pay attention to sidewalks and roadways.  Look for cracking, potholes, damaged curbs, water pooling and accumulation of ice.  Check mortar, caulking and sealants for cracks.  Schedule repairs for once the snow and ice are gone.

Property beautification first requires that the aftermath of winter be cleaned up.  Salt and sand used to keep surfaces clear of ice end up in lobbies, elevators and hallways.  It damages grass, trees and plantings.  Downed tree branches and other debris needs to be removed from flower beds, roofs and trees.  Windows need to be cleaned, bushes and trees pruned, and light fixtures cleaned.

Check lobbies before spring rain arrives.  Replace worn lobby floor mats, and inspect seals around windows and doors.  Clear debris or blockages from building drainage systems.

With moving season starting, ensure elevator pads are in good condition.  Missing corner guards should be replaced to protect walls from damage.  These small investments protect against the need for more extensive repairs later.

Outdoor amenities should be checked and repaired no later than April.  Outdoor pools, decks, furniture, planters and equipment may require maintenance or repair.   It may take time to order equipment, parts and furniture.  Tennis and pickleball court resurfacing, if needed, is weather sensitive and should be undertaken in early fall to avoid courts being unavailable during peak season.

Now, sit back and enjoy the weather.