Winter may not be over in Chicagoland, but for condos and HOAs, it's time to start looking ahead to the warmer months. Freezing rain and wind beat relentlessly at the façade. Snow accumulates on the roof, turns to ice, and when it thaws, seeps into co-op or condo units below. Systems in the building work double-time to keep home-bound residents warm and cozy.
With the first days of spring around the corner, now is the time to take stock of any damage the winter has done and launch a spring cleaning and repair program. There are also those smaller aspects of getting a community ready for warm weather action.
“We have what we call management plans, that we put items on there that happen in the spring, like putting in aerators, changing clocks, that kind of thing,” says Judy Ramos, property manager at ACM Community Management in Downer's Grove. “If the buildings are maintained like they should be, you shouldn't have a lot of damage from winter. It's usually going to be rotted wood, pitted concrete from salt, turf damage from the snow plows. All of those items are items you would check in the spring,” says Ramos.
Many wood balconies and decks in the Chicago area go through some of harsher punishment of winter, and replacing any rotted wood as soon as the weather lets up allows for a stable, good-looking balcony come summer.
It’s What’s Outside that Counts
Best done in early March, a springtime inspection works from the outside in. Most managers agree the the first order of business is a comprehensive evaluation of the exterior envelope. An important initial point of inspection is simply to check the surrounding exterior of the building, especially the roof for any material that might be loose or insecure do to any harsh winter winds.