Home is where the heart is, sure – but it's also where most of where any given owner or shareholder's money is. For most people, their home represents their single biggest investment. And in a community association, both individual units and the entirety of the building or development will determine the owner's return on investment (ROI). It's not enough to ensure that everything is operational, though that is of course hugely important; it's also important to consider the appearance of buildings, grounds, and other exterior elements.
In this regard, cleanliness is indeed akin to godliness, especially when it comes to the exterior of the property. After all, a building or association's public face is the first thing that's going to catch the eye of a would-be buyer. As such, board and management must be diligent, take regular stock of their surroundings, and plan as best they can for the unexpected – especially where inclement weather is concerned.
Routine Maintenance, Man
Having a set schedule for walking the property and taking note of anything that looks askew is the easiest way to avoid more complicated – and ultimately costly – clean-up and repair jobs.
“Regularly scheduled exterior maintenance is important, and it is helpful to have a staff dedicated to that maintenance, when possible,” says Mark Anker, President of Anker Management in Hartsdale, New York. “Staff that is able to identify potential issues will assist in the proper maintenance of a property. Having a schedule or time frame to inspect the envelope of a building is important as well, as it creates a routine and helps the staff by reminding them to take a look at specific areas. Roofs, windows, caulking, pointing, painting... all of these areas should be inspected and properly maintained.
“Associations should avoid allowing ivy to grow on the bricks of buildings,” Anker continues. “Although it may look pretty, it can severely damage the masonry of the property. And allowing dirt to build up on the facade can conceal underlying issues, such as weak or missing mortar joints, which will allow water infiltration. A freeze-then-thaw pattern will cause bricks to pop, leading to yet more damage.”