Summer is almost over and winter is around the corner – and in New England, we know that from October through April we could wake up to a sheet of ice or foot of snow without warning. And while the past few winters have been fairly light on the snow front for Boston standards, you never know when there’s a record-breaking winter lurking around the corner.
Whatever this winter brings, it’s not just the snow you need to worry about: from snow to ice to freezing temperatures, you need to protect your outdoor green areas and get your landscape ready as part of proper property management. Getting your landscape ready for winter involves predicting the negative impacts of snowy and icy conditions and taking preventative measures to protect it from winter.
Here are five landscaping services to consider to help prepare your property for winter.
1. Clearing the Gutters of your Building
You have a year's worth of leaves and debris build-up in your gutter. The buildup can cause an ice dump, where water collects, freezes, and floods. Debris can block the flow of water, and water may even overflow and start damaging your brickwork or result in damp walls.
Landscaping professionals with the right tools and experience ensure that debris is safely pulled out and through the downpipes, and into a bucket for disposal.
Washing debris into the end and down the pipe is not recommended as it may lead to pipe blockage. The dirt and debris shouldn't go into your soakaway system either to avoid blockage. Gutter clearing ends with cleaning the downpipe using a hose pipe to ensure proper pipe drainage.
2. Clearing Water from Your Irrigation Systems
Pipes and other irrigation systems must be water-free to prevent freeze damage during winter.
Sprinkler pipes, for instance, can be located very shallow in the ground and may be susceptible to freeze damage. Turning off all water getting into the pipes and pulling all the water out of your irrigation system from all the different zones prevents damage. Using pressure devices such as a shop bag ensures that all the water clears out.
A professional can also clear your garden hose of water and store it in your garage or shed over the winter to prolong its life. They can use gravity to push water out of the pipes and should also cap the pipes to prevent water from getting in.
3. Sort Out Lighting around Your Property
Unlike summer, the sun sets earlier during winter. Days are much shorter, and darkness starts creeping in before 4 p.m. You need lighting with a longer life around your property to keep your property well-lit and security during the long winter hours of darkness.
A landscaping and maintenance partner can survey the exterior of your property, checking the lighting you need to replace, cleaning and polishing lenses so they are clear, installing missing bulbs, and replacing bulbs that have burnt out or are fading. They can also grease outside lights that have threads or metal fixings to ensure minimal corrosion during winter.
4. Rock-salting Your Pathways
Spreading rock salt around your property helps achieve a non-slip surface during snowy or icy conditions. Rock salt also helps prevent precipitation from freezing as temperatures drop lower and lower.
A landscaping or maintenance partner can help put the salt down before it snows if you are expecting a light snowfall, or as needed to help prevent slippery and unsafe ice from forming.
5. Lawn and Greenery Prep and Winterization
Preparing your lawn for winter is probably where the bulk of the work lies. There are several things a landscaper can do to help you prepare your lawn for winter. Some of these include:
Trimming trees and branches
The trees on your property can pose a hazard once the winter sleet and wind start blowing. Removing dead trees and overgrown branches away prevents them from falling on your home during extreme weather.
A lawn with a buildup of debris can host pests and fungi, prevent proper drainage, and suffocate grass — raking prevents these hazards. Raking is best done on dry days as leaves get wet and heavy when it rains and are also clumpy and messy. A gentle breeze can also make it easy to rake leaves in a particular direction. Leaves are best thrown into a compost pile if you have one so that they can add on carbon-rich brown matter.
Other lawn prep winterization services you may need
It’s not just about cleaning up leaves and trimming the trees! Here are a few other winter preparation lawn care services you might want to consider before the temperature drops to low and snow begins to fall this winter:
- Clearing dead plants from flower beds and planters
- Lawn de-thatching and aeration
- Fertilizing and aerating your lawn to encourage root growth
- Mulching the lawn to moderate soil temperature and prevent moisture loss
- Burlap-wrapping young trees
- Cleaning summer maintenance equipment and storing them in a sheltered spot
Hire Property Management Services You Can Trust
The harsh weather is about to arrive and you need to get your landscapes and hardscapes ready to avoid lots of repair and maintenance work next spring. These tips will help you prioritize what needs to be done before winter arrives. But did you know that a property management company can help?
CHARLESGATE provides HOA boards, property owners, developers, and investors like you with reliable maintenance services. We have long-standing relationships with reputable contractors who will ensure that your property is adequately maintained. Our experts will also advise you on the best steps to take to mitigate risks to your property during the coming winter season. We also provide 24/7 emergency response just in case something goes wrong during the winter season.
Don’t hesitate: take advantage of the partner network a property management company like CHARLESGATE can offer and keep your property in tip-top shape this winter.
Ready to take the next step or learn more? Contact us today and learn how we can help keep your property in top condition as the harsh winter weather approaches.