The kids are back in school, the air is cooler, the leaves are falling – fall must be here. But, before you can enjoy those pumpkin spice lattes, you need to make sure that you're prepared for the wetter months ahead. Is your homeowners association ready?
The HOA board can start to review the situation by protecting Association homes and buildings against drainage failure. Here are some maintenance areas to consider:
At least twice a year, it’s a good idea to have a qualified service provider remove all leaves and debris from your roofs and gutters. Make sure the water drains properly, not only on flat roof drains and scupper drains, but also on sloped roofs, around flashings, and all areas where water is channeled during heavy rains.
If a service provider is working on this project, don't forget to have them clean out all the downspouts and clear them of clogs. It also would be a good idea to have them check to see if any gutters or downspouts need replacing or additional strapping to the building. This is the time to avoid a 'pain in the drain' in the future. Make sure the service provider cleans up - a tidy vendor is a good vendor!
Windows and doors
Remember to vacuum your window and sliding door tracks periodically. Leaking often occurs at the bottom corner joints of windows and sliding doors when debris gets lodged in the track of a sliding frame or when the built-in weep holes are too small. Replacing old sliding glass doors and windows before they start leaking will save hundreds of dollars from water damage.
Seal any wall openings—hose bibs, light fixtures, fireplace flashings, windows, and doors – while being careful to leave the release flashing undisturbed. The HOA board may also want to remind homeowners association residents to check the caulking/sealing around plumbing fixtures inside their home while the issue is fresh in their mind. This reminder may avoid water damage issues later on.
Don't forget to also check the decks within the Association. To avoid draining issues, decks should also be free of leaves and other debris. Patio-deck drains are typically small, meaning it’s easy for a single large leaf to block the drain. This might be a good time for a walk-through with an HOA board member and the manager to detect any problems areas that may pose an issue later.
Finally, the Board should contact the manager if you should need recommendations of reliable vendors or more information on how to maintain your drains. They should be able to provide a list of vendors who have the correct insurance coverage, work history, and expertise to be an asset to your homeowners association. Hiring a reliable vendor to complete this necessary work will pay off in the long run for the Association, to avoid a 'pain in the drain' later.