It is official, spring has sprung.  Just as the grass begins to green and the blossoms begin to bloom, you will start to feel it.  It is that same, familiar urge to shake off the shivers and to emerge from the darkness of the winter months and start anew.  May we recommend that you take that sense of determination and rejuvenation and apply it to some of the, often neglected, areas within your community?  Let’s get motivated and do some spring cleaning, HOA style.  

Keep it Cool (and Clean)

As the temperatures begin to rise, you will likely find yourself relying, once again, on those steadfast servants; the ceiling fans inside of community buildings like clubhouses and fitness centers.  Over the cooler months, it can be easy to let these trusty tools lay dormant, allowing the dust to slowly build up over time.  Before you switch them on however, you'll want to be sure that you have taken the time to properly clean them, not only for the sake of efficiency, but for the health of your community members.  Unwelcomed pathogens like mold spores, bacteria and various allergens can be hanging out on the blades as well as other parts of your fans, and turning them on, before taking the time to exercise these demons, can contribute to diminished air quality within your buildings.  Additionally, allowing debris to build up within the mechanics of your fans will cause the motor to work harder, decreasing the efficiency (which translates into a higher energy bill), as well as cutting into the life expectancy of the machine, neither of which are desirable outcomes.  The solution?  Simple, a good cleaning at the start of spring.  You will want to first dust each of the blades, removing any visible gunk, and then wipe each one down with soap and water.  Be sure to use a cloth or sponge dipped into water, rather than a spray bottle, as spraying the fan can potentially harm the motor.  Be sure to let everything dry before waiting it on and feel free to repeat frequently.  At least more than once a year, okay?

Safety First

We are fully aware that we have brought this up multiple times before.  Yet, we will bring it up again now, and likely many, many times in the future.  While you have the ladder out and ready from your thorough cleaning of your ceiling fans, take the time to test out and replace the batteries in EACH of the smoke detectors in your community buildings.  It is recommended that this is done once a month, but if it has been longer since you last checked, the bite of the spring cleaning bug is a perfect reminder.  While you’re at it, you will want to give these little life-savers a little love.  It is recommended that detectors are vacuumed every six months in order to remove dust and other debris that can sneak in.  You can do this with the brush tool of any household vacuum cleaner.  

Think of the Children

As the temperatures warm, residents will begin to make use of the outdoor amenities that your community boasts.  This will, of course, include your tiniest of neighbors.  That being said, this is an optimal time to give some TLC to any outdoor play structures that you have in your community.  Make sure to look closely for any damage that may have occurred over the past weeks and months, to be sure that everything is safe and ready for use.  Once it has been established that all equipment meets safety standards, you’ll want to give all play structures (and even picnic tables, etc.) a good clean.  If this is not included in your association’s regularly scheduled maintenance, it can be easily done with a power washer and a can-do attitude.