August 2020 Newsletter
Updated: Sep 28, 2020
As summer draws to a close it's time to start thinking about what we can do to prepare our homes and ourselves for the months ahead.
Basement floor drains Some homeowners are experiencing water backing up through the basement floor drains. This problem would be reduced or even completely eliminated if all homeowners would refrain from certain actions, namely pouring grease/cooking oil down the drain which cools and hardens further down the drain which creates a back up. Please, do NOT put such items down your drain because it will cause problems for you and your neighbors. Also refrain from flushing feminine hygiene products, flushable wipes or disposable baby wipes as these items will clog the drain system and cause a back up.
Not everyone is aware that these items can cause water to back up into your basement so please get the word out to all of your neighbors so we can all rest a little easier. Because we share common drain lines, what you do affects not just your house but also your neighbors. In the meantime, to help prevent a clog from backing up into your basement floor drains you can purchase floor drain backflow preventers. These are available at Menards, Home Depot or just about any hardware store for less than $10. Don't forget you have two floor drains in your unit, so buy one for each of the drains and install them properly. Please remember that although the association has insurance to cover certain catastrophic events there is still a $10,000 deductible that the homeowner must pay. You can talk to your insurance carrier to preclude this expense.
Gutters and downspouts The new gutters and downspouts are now installed. The larger size gutters and downspouts should help reduce the chance of debris clogging the system. However, if you see water backing up and flowing over your gutters, first check to make sure that the drainpipe is not blocked or stopped up. Sometimes the end of the drainpipe gets stepped on and crushed which stops the water from exiting. If you see your drainpipe is crushed down you can carefully try to open it yourself or call Omega to let them know. It is important for every homeowner to ensure that their gutters and downspouts are cleared and working properly to prevent water from entering the basements. Insect issues Some homeowners are having issues with ants and have asked the board to consider sending out an exterminator to address the problem. The board considered the proposal but decided against it because some homeowners are sensitive to the chemicals used. It is recommended that residents find safe methods to address the problem. Terro Ant Baits are available at many hardware stores and are very effective in controlling ant populations. Projects The central courtyard fences have been stained to match the exterior color of our houses. Be careful not to stack anything too close to the fence so that airflow is not impeded. The fencing project will start again next summer with work beginning in lots B & C. Earlier this summer our contractor went around the property to look at each of our townhomes and took note of those that needed siding replacement. This is an on-going project that is done regularly. This year the contractor was checking the front side of the units. Most of the siding work is now complete and the new siding will be painted soon. If your unit has broken or deteriorated siding give Omega a call so they can look at the area next year. They will also be looking at the siding on the back (patio) side of the townhouses next summer.
The association had an arborist (tree expert) come through with recommendations on which type of trees should be planted in various locations throughout the complex. This work will begin next spring. Some homeowners have asked if they can plant trees in their patio areas. This is not recommended because tree roots can easily make their way to the foundation which can break the basement walls and cause problems. Small bushes, flowers or potted plants are recommended if you want to add some greenery to your patio area.
Disposal of large household items There have been a few instances where homeowners have brought large household items (used dishwashers, old TVs, furniture, etc.) out to the berm in an effort to get rid of them. Please do NOT do this. Placing items out on the curb makes our property look bad and can be dangerous. This spring, some children were looking at a dishwasher that was placed at the entrance to lot D; when they opened the door, the dishwasher fell on one of them cutting his leg. Last year a TV was abandoned outside of lot F, within a week the picture tube was smashed leaving shards of glass on the sidewalk, grass and street. If you have large items that you need to get rid of, call Randy's Sanitation to arrange pick up of those items. Calendar events The National Night Out Committee is considering whether to hold the event at a later date this year in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. Check back on the website for updates on this. The Homeowner's meeting which normally takes place in November has been postponed due to the Covid-19 restrictions. According to our by-laws we are required to hold the meeting in person and not electronically. The board is hopeful that we can find an exclusion to the "in-person" rule or find a date that a meeting can be rescheduled for sometime early next year. Communications Finally, the board has looked at ways we can keep all homeowners abreast of what is going on at Town Oaks. We would like a push notification system that could alert homeowners of things like: safety issues, changes to garbage collection days, alerts to let homeowners know when the plows are coming through the parking lots for snow removal. There is no perfect solution that will work for everyone. We are continuing to look at options but, in the meantime, if you would like to be kept up to date you can check the Town Oaks website (www.townoaksminneapolis.com), the Town Oaks NextDoor group (https://nextdoor.com/pages/town-oaks-townhomes/) the Omega portal (https://omega-mgt.com/login/)