Chicagoland is known for its cold and windy winter weather, which often lasts from late October all the way through March and makes “The Windy City” a well-earned moniker.
Between the cold prairie winds, and gales from Lake Michigan dumping freezing rain, snow, and ice on the city in the winter to the sweltering heat of Midwestern summer, Chicago's condos, co-ops and HOAs—as well as many of their amenities—can really take a seasonal beating. That's why boards, managers, and community staff members need to be on-the-spot when it comes to keeping those amenities well-maintained and ready for use as the seasons change.
Even a well-organized HOA board cannot spare a community from the challenges of winter weather, so what is the best way to prevent damages associated with cold, ice, snow and frozen water? What proactive measures can be put in place to extend the life of amenities? And who is best equipped and suited to manage damage prevention and repairs?
High winds, snow, ice and freezing cold all take a toll on outdoor amenities, especially those typically used during warm weather. Swimming pools, hard-surfaced sports courts for things like tennis and basketball, and children’s playgrounds are particularly susceptible to winter weather damage.
Checking all outdoor amenities immediately after Labor Day, the official end of summer, and again just before Memorial Day, which signals the beginning of summer, is both practical and necessary in a cold weather climate. Richard N. Hagelberg, CEO of Kidstuff Playsystems in Gary, Indiana, recommends regularly scheduled playground inspections by a qualified inspector at least four times a year.