Residents in communities with a Homeowners Association (HOA) often reap the benefits of perks such as a clubhouse, pool, common-area parks, scenic walkways, and other features. When well-maintained, these areas can significantly enhance the value of the homes. Conversely, they can quickly lower property values and turn away prospective tenants or buyers if poorly maintained.
The HOA usually bears the responsibility for maintaining common areas, as defined in the HOA’s governing documents. The following tips for maintaining HOA common areas can help associations understand what maintenance adds value and keep common areas in good repair, safe, and looking great.
Keep the Landscaping Manicured
Landscaping helps set the tone for the neighborhood. While the common areas do not need to look like the grounds of a palace, residents and potential tenants or buyers will appreciate well-tended and landscaped walking trails, entrances, parks, and other neighborhood public areas. If the HOA has budgetary constraints, focus on areas of the property that are the main focal points.
Target areas with more aggressive weeds and other issues since weeds in common areas give the impression that no one cares about the property. Keep new sprigs trimmed on shrubbery and ensure that landscape maintenance includes keeping the edges of lawns and flowerbeds neat and defined.
Treat Concrete Areas to a Pressure Wash
Stained, dirty concrete and buildings make the property look old and neglected. One of the best tips for maintaining HOA common areas is to make concrete and stucco look new again with pressure washing to remove dirt and stains. Pressure washing can increase the curb appeal, residents’ morale, and pride in their community. Algae, dirt, and grime build up on walkways, pool decks, and other hardscape common areas. Pressure washing removes the unsightly buildup and makes surfaces look clean and well-maintained.
Pressure washing can also prevent permanent discoloration and potential accidents such as slips on algae-covered concrete. Pressure washing also protects the environment because it works well with only water.
Keep the Pool Sparkling Clean
A clean and maintained common area pool adds to the community’s attractiveness and enjoyment but requires regularly scheduled maintenance to keep it in tip-top shape. If the property has trees or shrubbery near the pool, keep them trimmed and well-maintained to reduce the number of leaves that fall into the water. If leaves and other organic matter stay in the pool water, they clog the drains, start to decompose, and foul the water.
Additionally, have regular pool maintenance to brush off sediment from the pool's walls, skim leaves and debris regularly from the water, clean the filter, and monitor the pool’s chlorine and other chemical levels to keep the pool safe and enjoyable for residents.
View Common Area Maintenance as an Investment
Regarding the HOA's budget, there are better options than skimping on common-area maintenance. Taking good care of common areas and neighborhood infrastructure gives residents pride in the appearance of their community. They will likely respond by doing their part to respect and maintain the areas and their properties. Regular maintenance also improves the community and keeps property values up.
The HOA’s board of directors must ensure maintenance happens appropriately by using high-quality service vendors and developing detailed work specifications for them to follow. Regular common-area maintenance protects the HOA from legal liability due to accidents caused by fallen tree branches or cracked, uneven sidewalks. It can also save the HOA money because taking care of minor repairs via maintenance avoids letting common areas fall into disrepair and having to complete costly overhauls.
Prepare for the Rainy Season
Regular maintenance of trees, storm drains, rain gutters, and landscaped areas to control and manage rainwater protects the neighborhood from damage during and after a storm. You should ensure that commercial storm drain cleaning is performed periodically to keep the system free of debris to prevent rainwater from pooling in the streets and other areas. For the safety of residents and to avoid damage from fallen branches or debris, schedule a cleanup crew to come immediately after a storm to remove broken branches and clear debris from roadways, sidewalks, and front yards.
Tips for maintaining HOA common areas don’t always address open grassy areas designed to collect rainwater, called swales, but they are no less important. Swales capture rainwater and let it soak into the ground instead of pooling in the streets and residents’ yards. During the dry parts of the year, residents may enjoy these areas as part of a community park.
Swales need specialized maintenance to care for trees and ground cover planted specifically to stabilize the soil and prevent erosion. Keep the area mowed and have it maintained so the bottom area remains level, so rainwater stays put.
Keep the Clubhouse Clean
Community buildings like a clubhouse or gym tend to get dirty and show signs of wear and tear, even if residents clean up after themselves. Schedule routine maintenance such as sweeping, mopping floors, wiping down walls and equipment, and cleaning counters and other surfaces. A janitorial service can provide this type of cleaning on a routine basis.
Additionally, schedule periodic maintenance, like painting interior walls and making necessary repairs. Inspect and repair flooring that has lifted to avoid liability for trip-and-fall accidents. Have leaks in the walls or ceilings fixed and inspected, as these can signal more significant repairs that need attention before they create more extensive damage.
Hire the Right Experts
Regular common area maintenance makes a real difference in residents’ enjoyment and property values in a neighborhood. HOAs can rely on quality vendors to keep common areas in good repair and looking great.
When it comes to maintaining storm drains and other parts of the community’s stormwater management system, CatchAll Environmental can supply more than just maintenance staff. We are your CatchAll company because we provide comprehensive stormwater management solutions at an economical price. Contact us today and see how we can help!