Being close to the Atlantic Ocean is part of what makes living in the Carolinas so appealing. The beautiful sites along the coast bring many tourists, boosting the economy and making life for residents more prosperous. However, this proximity comes with its share of bad weather that can cause damage to homes, vehicles, and other personal belongings. Part of caring for an HOA is considering the weather patterns in the area and planning ahead for severe storms and natural disasters.
Among other storms, North and South Carolina have been hit hard by nearly 50 hurricanes in the past 150 years. Of these storms, 12 of them caused major damage. However, even milder storms can cause significant damage to properties. Rain can cause water to rise, flooding properties or causing leaks in the ceiling. Wind can cause damage to roofs, and hail can break windows and cause damage to siding and shingles. In addition, winter months can also have an effect on properties, with freezing temperatures causing mischief throughout the property.
Not even the weatherman can always accurate predict weather patterns, so it is crucial to have a game plan in place for your HOA to follow in the event of inclement weather affecting your area.
One of the first things you should do for the HOA is to purchase insurance. It may seem like the obvious thing to do, but in fact, 50% of HOAs fail to faithfully keep up their insurance policies. A further 25% of these don’t even have adequate coverage. If you are one of the 75% of associations that has let insurance slip by the wayside, now is a great time to update your policy.
Many HOAs have a “walls out” policy, meaning that everything on the outside of the building is the association’s responsibility, while the inside is the responsibility of the resident. With this in mind, one of the best things you can do for your buildings is to adequately waterproof the outside of the buildings. Maintenance is not an area in which to cut corners. Small leaks can turn into major downpours when destructive hail or large amounts of rain are a factor. Save the tight budget for other areas and invest in maintenance and waterproofing that will make your buildings more impervious to bad weather.
It is also important to keep up constant communication with residents in your association to help them properly maintain their homes during summer and winter months. Residents can be a great asset when it comes to winterizing properties to protect against the change in weather. Steps as simple as running the tap during a severe freeze to keep pipes from bursting can help to prevent some of the damages that would otherwise occur.
No matter where you live in the United States, weather will be a constant battle. It is important to do what you can to protect your association from the elements and to give your residents a safe and comfortable place to live.