Top 6 Winter Maintenance Tips


Is your Condo Association prepared for winter? If your COA is located in a cold climate, falling temperatures and inclement weather can introduce new challenges. Winter storms can cause property damage, interrupt services, and create many problems for COAs and their residents. To ensure that your residents make it through the winter without issues, you’ll need to plan for winter maintenance. Here are our top six winter maintenance tips for COAs.


Tip #1: Schedule Snow Removal in Advance
Winter Maintenance

First, schedule snow removal before the first storms of the season. This is a crucial part of Condo winterization. Look at the Associations’s budget to determine how much funds are available for spending on snow plowing, road salting, and removing snow from rooftops.

Now, check the weather forecast. If meteorologists are anticipating an extra snowy season, you may need to advise the board to draw from the COA’s reserve fund. Don’t skimp on these services. Too much snow can damage properties and create safety hazards for the community.

If your COA already has snow removal service in their vendor directory, schedule their services in advance based on weather estimates. (Note: Snow removal companies will most likely be prepared to accommodate you with its own recommended schedule.) If your COA doesn’t have an existing vendor, spend time finding a snow removal service to hire. Ask for recommendations from other vendors or go online for reviews. Make sure that the service provider includes everything you need for your community, including winter road maintenance.


Tip #2: Inspect HVAC

HVAC is short for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. These systems maintain indoor climate control, ensuring that every building is hospitable and welcoming. In winter months, HVAC can also be a matter of safety. If indoor temperatures dip to extreme lows, it can be dangerous, and even deadly, to occupants.

This means it’s imperative that all HVAC systems in your COA are in perfect working order. As with snow removal services, inspect the community’s HVAC before the cold snap hits. After all, you don’t want your residents to discover that their heating system doesn’t work in the middle of a blizzard!

HVAC systems can include furnaces and central heat, which are obviously the most relevant systems for the COA’s winter maintenance. In late fall, hire an HVAC repair company to inspect the heating in all of the Association’s common areas, such as lobbies, athletic facilities, laundry rooms, and shared parking garages. You should always alert residents that HVAC repair is coming, be sure to ask them to report any known issues they may have experienced that might have been overlooked.


Tip #3: Prepare the HOA’s Pipe System
Winter Maintenance

If your COA is in a region where temperatures can dip below freezing, make pipe inspections a high priority for winter maintenance. When water freezes, it can wreak havoc on pipes and sewage systems. Repairing the damage from frozen pipes can be a huge expense.

Help your clients avoid this by implementing the following:

  • Drain water from sprinkler systems. You won’t be watering the lawn or shrubs on the  property, so protect the sprinkler system by draining the water and turning it off.
  • Make sure any outdoor faucets or showers are also disabled for the winter.
  • Drain and seal off outdoor pools. Dealing with a frozen swimming pool is a headache that no COA manager should have to handle, not to mention the damage that ice can cause to a pool.
  • Add insulation to exterior pipes. If there are any exposed pipes on the property, protect them with thermal padding and/or tarps to keep them from freezing.
  • Make sure attics, basements, and storage areas are well-heated. Even if these areas aren’t frequently visited by residents, they may contain crucial piping systems for the association’s buildings. Make sure the heat stays on in these areas.

Tip #4: Plan for Power Outages
Winter Maintenance

Nothing’s worse than a power outage in the middle of a winter storm. Although you can’t anticipate a power outage, you can help your residents prepare. This is especially important for COAs located in regions that receive heavy snowfall, as well as HOAs with a large population of seniors.

If it’s in the winter budget, acquire backup generators and non-electric heaters for the Associations common areas.

We also recommend preparing emergency supplies. Pack several kits with flashlights and batteries, blankets, first aid supplies, and portable heaters. Make sure these emergency kits are easily available in the COA’s common areas so residents can access them during a power outage.


Tip #5: Inspect Roofs and Building Exteriors

Another important tip for Condo Association winter maintenance is routine building inspections. Rainstorms and snowfall can cause severe damage to buildings that aren’t properly sealed and insulated. They can also cause inconveniences for residents. We recommend hiring a general contractor to examine the COA’s rooftops for leaks and look at building exteriors to make sure all common areas are properly sealed. Repairing a small leak or a gap in a window will be much easier than recovering from the damage caused by flooding or other weather-related problems.


Tip #6: Keep Residents Informed
Winter Maintenance

Finally, you can help your COA run smoothly during winter months by keeping residents informed. Be sure to disperse information about snowplow schedules, inspections, and emergency protocols in advance of any storms.

You can also issue severe weather alerts so residents can prepare their own homes. With the right maintenance plan in place, life in the community can continue uninterrupted.

Give your COA residents’ peace of mind for the winter, so they can enjoy a cozy night-in without worrying about problems caused by the cold.

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