Are you ready to weather winter’s worst? Brutal temperatures, freezing wind, and lots of snow and ice are on the way. Property managers need to make sure their facilities can make it through the cold months safely and smoothly.
To help, here’s a quick checklist of major items to check on in your landscape before winter comes in like a lion!
Your fall to-do list for winter readiness
Here are six things to check off your to-do list before winter arrives:
- Develop a clear snow & ice management plan — This seems obvious, but since there’s such a high cost for not clearing snow and ice on your commercial property, we feel we have to mention it. One of the best ways to make your property safer is to have your contract do a preseason inspection when your grounds are clear of snow. They should ask you essential interview questions, have proof of insurance and unambiguous contract wording. They’ll also have different contract options and will go over the layout of your property with you, so it’s all mapped out, and no accidents happen. They may also recommend removing snow and taking it off-site, depending on your property. Figuring out all these details early saves you headaches later when both yourself and your contractor start to get busy.
- Have a “Plan B” for when the going gets rough — Develop a plan for extreme winter weather that includes a strategy for dealing with severe snow and ice conditions. This “Plan B” is critical because it ensures your snow & ice firm can respond immediately when the weather changes. Timing is everything with keeping your property safe. If your contractor has to track down a key contact to make last-minute decisions, that’s hours wasted when their crews could be hard at work on your site. When the weather changes rapidly, we want to respond just as fast.
- Make sure you have up-to-date lighting & visible signage — Maximize winter visibility on your property with bright and visible signage, well-designed and updated landscape lighting, and clear pavement markings. These updates ensure both vehicles and pedestrians can navigate your property even in the harshest of winter weather. If you’re unsure whether your property is up to snuff, we can let you know during a complimentary site assessment.
- Deal with any potential outdoor hazards — These can be small, like broken or rotted tree branches, or big, like a substantial drainage issue. Remove any broken branches or trees with rot because they may be unable to withstand the weight of snow and ice. If a visual inspection reveals that tree limbs are dangerously near power lines, we’d be happy to help you safely handle tree care. As for drainage issues, keep reading!
- Shut down your irrigation system & fix drainage issues — Having a poor drainage system in place can mean big problems when snow and ice roll in. Areas that are oversaturated with water and moisture can kill grass and plants when they freeze or create slippery spots for pedestrians. Late summer and early fall is a great time to speak to a landscape professional about your property’s grading, elevation and run-off systems.
- Winterize your gardens & plants — Winterizing involves a few different things. First and foremost, every weed needs to be ruthlessly taken out, as do any spent annual plants. Then, once any fall bulbs have been planted (for spring blooming) adding an extra layer of mulch right before winter comes will work wonders. It will insulate the soil, keeping roots warmer during dormancy. From there, more delicate shrubs and trees should be covered with burlap for extra protection for cold winds and frost. We also recommend regular fertilization of your lawns and gardens so that your property develops a robust soil profile during the warm months — this gives plants the “food” (nutrients) that they need to survive the winter!
It’s never too early to start thinking about snow & ice management
You might think we’re a little crazy for writing about winter preparation during the summertime, but the best snow & ice management companies are filling up their schedules now. If you wait until the snow is about to hit, your chances of securing a spot can be slim.
No matter what time of the year it is, we’re always open to discussing your snow and ice management options. Find out more about our snow & ice management services, or request an estimate today.