by Mary Girsch-Bock –
Gusty winds. Late season snow. Wildfires. Floods.
Welcome to spring in the U.S.
Spring may be the most difficult season to prepare for; simply because weather conditions can change from day to day, and sometimes even hour to hour. Is your property ready for an early spring snow storm? What about gusty, potentially hazardous winds?
In some parts of the country, spring can seem like all four seasons consolidated into a single week. Torrential downpours can destroy fragile flowerbeds. Maintenance may have spent weeks replacing air filters and inspecting air conditioners and swamp coolers, only to have a burst of frigid air that taxes the limits of the heating system. Landscaping may have prepared the grounds for spring, removing loosened tree limbs and cleaning up errant leaves, only to have hurricane strength wind gusts bring those leaves right back, along with additional downed tree limbs.
In the spring, property managers need to be ready for anything. While there’s no quick, easy way to accomplish this, here are a few tips that should get you through the cusp and into the beautiful spring days ahead:
- Continuous landscaping is a must. No one wants to look at dead tree limbs and piles of leaves, whether it’s a tenant or an applicant. Resign yourself to the fact that this is a job that will likely be necessary for the next month on a daily basis. It may be best to hold off planting flowers until the threat of a frost is over, but if flowers are a necessity, both pansies and snapdragons are sturdy, and can stand the cold down to 20 degrees.
- Don’t put the snow removal equipment in storage just yet. In areas of the west, the majority of significant snow can arrive in March and April.
- If you live in a flood-prone area, always make sure that sandbags are available. Likewise, for those living in a drought-stricken area, the threat of wildfires is elevated in the spring. Toss in some gusty spring winds, and the threat is elevated even more. Removing any potential fuel for fires such as dried brush and dead trees will reduce that risk. Consider reducing the number of trees and brush closest to apartment homes, and create and communicate an evacuation plan to your residents early in the spring.
- Consider servicing air conditioning units and swamp coolers a few weeks into the spring. For those with swamp coolers, it can be especially difficult to know when to switch over from heating to cooling. While there may be some warmer days for tenants to contend with, nights are still cool, and they’ll appreciate access to their heater those first few weeks of spring.
While spring may be unpredictable, being prepared will help to ensure a smooth passage, no matter what Mother Nature brings.