In New Jersey, we’ve been lucky so far, it’s mid-January and the weather’s been mild. But, as we brace for the first big winter storm, I thought it might be a good time to help people understand how our property managers prepare for the bad weather on behalf our client’s communities.
Cold weather preparedness is an important element in a property manager’s responsibilities. Rain and snow, freezing temperatures and damaging winds all impact the properties we serve, so there are several things we do in advance to know the communities we serve are as prepared as possible for bad weather.
Here are a few things we do before a major snow storm:
- We are in constant contact with each Association’s Board of Trustees in our portfolio. The Board makes the decisions on alerting, informing and executing plans ahead of bad weather. That simple check-in sometimes results in email or phone communications from Sterling’s managers to property owners.
- We assist the Association’s Board in communicating snow procedures and owner responsibilities, like removing vehicles from the main road, leaving areas like walkways clear for contractors to remove snow properly, and the like. Owners are reminded of the policy on when and where the removal will commence (most communities usually wait for a 2” accumulation).
- On behalf of the Association, we keep snow contracts fully updated; executing them in the fall, so that there’s no question our clients will be serviced when the weather hits. The commercial properties have zero tolerance, so these sites are cleaned up immediately, and inspected for re-freeze conditions. Contractors then take appropriate steps to keep the property clean and safe.
- We ask owners to report any damage, ice or other conditions that would make the property unsafe.
- With the Jersey shore properties in our portfolio, like Nautilus, early in the season we assist the Association in preparing a newsletter reminding owners of the simple things they can do before the winter. The ConEd “Stay Warm and Safe” is a great video with tips to protect your property from the cold.
- After a big snow event, maintenance crews inspect our client’s common properties and also their roofs. Just by design, some roofs are more susceptible to snow drifting and some can have inadequate drainage following a storm. Roof collapses from excess ice and snow accumulation are often reported after storms, so it’s important to inspect those properties where these problems persist.
The key to being protected in a storm starts well before it actually takes place, with regular maintenance and constant inspection of your property.