With the vernal equinox occurring on March 20, spring will be here before we know it. But while spring brings many benefits like warmer weather and longer days, it unfortunately is also one of the worst times of year for those with allergies. Tree pollen season is set to begin in March, and grass season will not be far behind.
Researchers estimate that about 50 million people in the United States suffer from nasal allergies, affecting as many as 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children. Depending on the severity of the allergies, they have side effects ranging from sneezing and itchy eyes to rashes, hives, asthma attacks, or even death.
Homeowners associations are responsible for ensuring that their residents are safe and comfortable in their neighborhood, and in spring, this can be done by reducing the potential allergens in a neighborhood. Here are some steps that an HOA can take.
Many seasonal allergies can be traced to plants, so assessing your neighborhood’s plants can be a great first step to reducing neighborhood allergens. Unfortunately, it will likely be very difficult to completely eliminate allergens in a large neighborhood or association, but taking the time to eliminate some of the worst plants for allergy sufferers can go a long way.
These are some of the worst plants for those with allergies:
- Mountain Cedar
- Arizona Cypress
Overgrown foliage, piles of leaves, and poorly-maintained yards are all contributing factors to bad seasonal allergies. Your association should make yard work a priority for common areas, and enforce standards that require residents to keep their flora well-maintained. Cleaning the neighborhood can also work wonders. Keeping the common areas dusted and performing regular street sweeps are also recommended during allergy-heavy months.
Carpeting has many benefits, but it also is one of the parts of a home that do the most to attract pollen and dust. If possible, consider replacing the carpeting within the units or in common areas with wood or other hard surfaces that are more allergy-friendly.
As your residents’ representatives, it’s important that your HOA know what they want and what they need in their neighborhood, and that you keep them informed of all coming events and possible changes to the neighborhood. In your HOA newsletter for the spring, include a section on allergies and what they can do to reduce allergens in their residence. In addition, keep your lines of communication open and invite your residents to come to you with concerns over things that might be aggravating their allergies and how your association can help them feel more at ease.
About Scott Litman Insurance Agency
At Scott Litman Insurance Agency, we are dedicated to protecting HOA’s like yours. We have a unique understanding of the industry and the common risk exposures that you face in your daily operations. In fact, we find that 90% of the policies we review are missing coverages that violate the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R), exposing the board, HOA and management to lawsuits– which is why our comprehensive policies are tailored to meet your specific needs at competitive prices. For more information about our products, contact our experts today at (818) 879-5980 ext. 201, or fill out our online form.