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Winter Readiness

Winter may conjure up imagery suitable for a Norman Rockwell painting: sitting by the fire with a hot drink in hand, watching through the window as snowflakes drift lazily through the air. But the business impact of winter weather is anything but idyllic.

AccuWeather estimates the total U.S. damage and economic loss due to winter storms in 2019 was a staggering $8 billion. From lost wages of hourly workers to property damage to lost tax revenue, winter weather can cause a devastating economic ripple effect. And small businesses are particularly vulnerable to the impact of extreme weather: An estimated 25 percent of small businesses don’t reopen after a disaster, according to the Institute for Business and Home Safety.

But it’s not just companies in the path of those epic nor’easters that need to consider winter storm preparations. The Arctic blast that swept across the nation in November 2019 affected more than 200 million Americans as far as the state of Texas. While the characteristics of winter weather vary with location, every business faces changing threats as winter approaches. Snow, rain, plummeting temperatures, COVID-19, and increased fire dangers are just a few of the threats that may impact your people and business this winter.

Whether your organization is a small business or large-scale enterprise, winter weather preparedness is key to mitigating potential disruptions. By preparing for the many hazards of winter weather, you can minimize the impact of such incidents on your employees, customers, and bottom line.

From physical winter storm preparations to ensuring employees have access to all the information they need during a winter event, here are six steps you can take to protect your business all season long.

Step 1: Assess Your Risks

There are several hazards businesses need to watch out for when it comes to cold weather. It’s not just icy roads and snow accumulation. An increased likelihood of structural stress and damage, dangerous fire activity, and slip and fall injuries are just a few of the risks that businesses face when winter arrives.

The first step to preparing your business for winter is to assess your organization’s unique risks. Where your employees live, where your offices are located, what industry you operate in—even how your employees work—will all affect which threats pose the greatest danger to your people and your business.

Winter weather threats

Here are just a few potential winter hazards to consider as you evaluate your specific risks:

COVID-19
Flu and other seasonal illnesses
Unsafe driving conditions
Road closures
Slip and fall injuries
Hypothermia and frostbite
Flight delays and cancellations
Local school delays and closures
Structural stress and damage
Fire activity
Power outages (both in the workplace and for employees working remotely)

A winter storm warning is typically issued 12-36 hours before a winter event is expected to start, so vigilantly checking local news and following travel safety recommendations can help you stay on top of regional threats. But the reality is, that’s only half the battle.

What about traveling or field-based employees? Or offices in other cities? The rise in remote working due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic also presents unique safety and preparedness challenges. With an increasingly dispersed workforce, it’s not enough to track winter weather threats in one locale—you need to track the myriad of threats that could impact all of your employees, no matter where they are located.

Winter weather events are hyper-local, and tracking such a wide array of threats manually is simply not feasible. For this reason, many companies rely on a global threat intelligence solution to track winter weather threats automatically. Providing 24/7 situational awareness, a threat intelligence solution allows you to rapidly identify emerging winter threats that could impact your people or facilities, anywhere in the world.

Step 2: Determine Who’s Responsible

When a snowstorm hits, who needs to ensure the office parking lot is safe and driveable? Who will track the storm and communicate weather-related updates to employees? The midst of a storm is not the time to figure out who is responsible for these tasks.

Your organization is accountable for your employees’ overall safety and well-being. To fulfill your organization’s duty of care, you must ensure all necessary safety precautions are taken—regardless of whether those precautionary measures are executed by your organization or a third party. As part of your winter storm preparations, review your contracts with vendors, insurance providers, property managers, and landlords. There should be specific callouts for weather-related events. If not, contact the contract owners directly to determine contractual obligations and responsibilities.

Aside from outlining the responsibilities of all external parties, it’s equally important to take a similar approach internally. From keeping employees informed of rapidly developing situations to ensuring all employees are accounted for to keeping facilities and equipment in safe operating condition, preparing your business for winter requires support from a variety of internal functions.

Assemble a project team of involved stakeholders to clearly outline the roles and responsibilities of each function. This team should include departments such as HR, Facilities, Business Continuity, Emergency Operations, and IT. In a small business where functions often overlap, a clear, documented plan of who will do what during a winter event is just as important. Having this will help avoid confusion, finger-pointing, and missteps when it matters most.

Does your commercial property need snow removal services? Call Property Perfect today: (651) 777-7530.

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Fall Lawn Care Tips

1. Remove the leaves.

A carpet of colorful autumn leaves may look nice and be fun to play in, but they're no good for grass. They block the light and trap moisture, potentially fatal knockout punches for the unlucky turf underneath. So when the leaves are falling, blow or rake them away as often as you can. Even after the trees are bare, continue raking out the corners where the wind piles leaves up. If you don't, come spring, the grass under that soggy, decaying mat will be dead.

2. Keep cutting, but to the correct height.

Don't put that mower away yet. Grass continues to grown up to the first hard frost, and so will need regular cuts to keep it at an ideal 2½- to 3-inch height. If you let it get too long, it will mat and be vulnerable to fungi like snow mold.

Cutting grass too short is just as bad, because it curtails the root system—root depth is proportional to cutting height—and impedes the lawn's ability to withstand winter cold and dryness. Regular mowing also gets rid of those pesky leaves, chopping them up and leaving behind a soil-enhancing mulch.

3. Continue watering.

People tend to let up on watering in the fall as the weather gets cooler. They figure that nature will take care of things for them. While it's true that there's more rain, more dew, and less evaporation at this time of year, that may not be enough to keep the grass roots well hydrated and healthy going into the winter.

If your lawn isn't getting at least an inch of water a week—a simple rain gauge is a useful way to keep track—then keep the sprinklers or irrigation system running until the end of October. By that time, you'll want to disconnect hoses and flush the irrigation system to avoid frozen pipes and spigots.

4. Loosen the soil.

Regular aeration—once every couple of yearsprevents soil from becoming compacted and covered with thatch, a thick layer of roots, stems, and debris that blocks water, oxygen, and nutrients from reaching the soil.

A core aerator corrects both problems by punching holes through that thatch and pulling up plugs of soil. It's a good idea to aerate a lawn right before fertilizing. All those holes in your turf will let the fertilizer reach right to the roots, where it can do the most good.

5. Add fertilizer.

Just as grass roots need water to last the winter, they also benefit from a shot of the plant sugars that protect roots from freezing and give the entire plant the energy to bounce back in the spring. Those sugars are produced by chlorophyll, which grass produces in abundance when there's enough nitrogen.

That's why we recommend a late-fall application of a slow-release granular 24-0-10 fertilizer. The numbers indicate the percentage by weight of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, respectively. Potassium is also important at this time because it aids in root growth, disease protection, drought tolerance, and cold resistance. (A soil test can tell you how much of each nutrient your lawn actually needs.)

6. Spread seed.

A dense lawn also is good protection against weeds, which is why it's important to overseed existing turf. Not only does that fill in thin spots or bare patches, it allows you to introduce the latest in resilient, drought-tolerant grasses. Fall is the best time to overseed because the ground is still warm, moisture is more plentiful, nights are cool, and the sun is not as hot during the day.

You can't simply broadcast seeds over an established lawn and expect them to take hold. They need to be in full contact with the soil, kept moist until they germinate, and be well enough established before it gets too cold. Renting a slit seeder is a better option than broadcasting, but those machines are notorious for tearing up turf and leaving your lawn looking like a harrowed field.

7. Stay on schedule.

Each of the steps above has to be done at the right time for best results. Otherwise, it's wasted effort. For instance, overseed too late and the seedlings will be too tender to survive. Fertilize too early and the grass will send up tender blades that will get hammered by the cold. Fertilize too late and the grass roots won't be able to absorb all those nutrients you're feeding them. Thinking about aerating in the spring because you can't get around to it this fall? Don't bother. Spring aeration just makes it easier for weed seeds to get established.

If sticking to the schedule during the fall is proving too difficult, a lawn care service can handle the jobs that aren't getting done. Most often, those are the ones that require renting heavy machinery like core aerators and slit seeders, which are hard to transport, a bear to operate, and often in short supply at the rental yards at this time of year. Delegating one or two of those chores to a pro during this busy season will ensure the work gets done when it should—and that you will be enjoying a thick carpet of green grass next year.

Call Property Perfect today at (651) 777-7530 to get the job done right!

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Fall Landscaping Tips

Timing is everything, especially when it comes to keeping your landscaping top-notch. For instance, autumn is great time to plant trees, but a terrible time for pruning certain shrubs. Don't wait until spring to find out that your fall garden maintenance did more harm than good. Read on to learn what not to do in the garden this fall.

Letting Leaves Pile Up

Don't let fall leaves pile up

Leaf raking isn’t purely for aesthetics. Just because no one rakes the forest floor and the trees seem to do fine, don't assume your lawn will fare as well. Matted leaves left on your lawn all winter can suffocate grass and compromise airflow. Making things even worse, snow mold, a lawn fungal infection, can fester beneath the fallen leaves, leading to ugly dead areas.

Forgetting About Spring

Plant spring bulbs in fall

After a long winter, who wants to wait until April for the first spring flowers? Don't forget to take steps now to make sure your garden gets some early color next year. These cool fall days are ideal for planting bulbs like snowdrops, which look great arranged in small clumps, and crocuses, which are lovely along a walkway or even scattered randomly throughout the lawn. In early spring, when these bright flowers pop up from beneath the snow, you'll know that warm weather can't be far behind.

Pruning Yews, Boxwood, and Spring-Flowering Shrubs

Don't prune certain shrubs in fall

Although they take pruning well, yews and boxwood shouldn’t be pruned after late August. Pruning too late stimulates new growth that won’t have a chance to harden off before the deep freeze arrives. This won't kill the shrub, but you'll have plenty of winter injury to remove come spring. Shrubs that flower in spring, such as forsythia, azaleas, and lilacs, should be pruned immediately after they stop flowering. If you prune too late, the shrub won't produce flowers next year.

Storing Tools Without Proper Cleanup

Clean tools before winter storage

Tools make the hard work of gardening a little easier, so you should show them a little love before you store them away for the winter. Maintenance will help them work more effectively and last longer, and you'll save the expense of having to replace them. Start by cleaning them—for hard-to-remove bits of mud and debris, a wire brush ought to do the trick. Use steel wool or fine sandpaper to take care of rust spots, and a file to restore the edge on shovels, pruners, and lawn-mower blades.

Cutting Down the Entire Garden

Don't cut down entire garden in fall

It’s tempting to go for broke and level the entire garden in the fall. A clean canvas can be so appealing! But there are thousands of creatures that need to ride out the winter in the hollow stems, peeling bark, and other nooks and crannies of our gardens. Leave them a little sanctuary. As well, native bees, butterflies, birds, and pest-munching insects benefit from the "dead" gardens of winter.

Not Aerating the Lawn

Aerate lawn in fall

Compacted clay soil needs to loosen up a bit from time to time, and that's where core aeration comes in. This is commonly done in the spring, but at a cost: Weed seeds love the holes left behind by the aerator. Head off a weed assault by aerating in the fall, when the grass is still growing and weed seeds are minimal.

Not Protecting Young Trees

Protect young trees from winter frost

Young or thin-barked newly planted trees like maple, linden, and ash are susceptible to winter damage from temperature fluctuations and little critters that prey on their delicate flesh. By late November, protect young trees with tree wrap, starting from the bottom up, or with the plastic tube that may have come with a tree from a nursery.

Dividing/Transplanting Ornamental Grasses

Don't Divide and Transplant Ornamental Grass in fall

Warm-season grasses like miscanthus, pennisetum, and panicum require warm soil temperatures to establish good root systems. As air cools in the fall, these grasses enter dormancy. If you want to move or divide any of these warm-season grasses, wait until spring so they’ll have ample time to establish.

Pitching the Leaves

Mulch fall leaves

Take advantage of fallen leaves by packing them around new plantings as extra winter insulation. Better yet, mulch them by lowering your lawn mower and going back and forth over a pile of leaves until it's reduced to small bits that can be sprinkled over the lawn and garden beds. The leafy mulch will make the soil lighter and make earthworms and beneficial microbes happier.

Forgetting to Feed the Lawn

Fertilize lawn in fall

If you fertilize just one time a year, opt for the fall. The cooler temps of fall are conducive to root growth, so a fertilizer application now when the grass is actively growing means a stronger lawn next year.

Storing the Lawn Mower As Is

Clean mower before winter storage

After the final cut of the season, empty the gas tank by running the mower until it stops. This is important because any fuel left over the winter can gum up the carburetor. Before you put the mower away for the season, drain the oil, replace the air filter, remove the blade for sharpening, and clean the undercarriage.

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Landscaping Trends in 2022

Intricate hardscaping

Flat, uniform surfaces are giving way to more ornate, geometric ones. Homeowners incorporating stone, concrete, and other hardscaping into their outdoor spaces are requesting waves, chevron, lattice, and basket weave patterns on everything from walkways to retaining walls, according to NALP. If you’re repaving a walkway or adding a fire feature, consider something with a pattern.

Simple, functional design

Minimalism has taken the world by storm, and outdoor spaces are adopting the trend, too. According to NALP’s report, people are looking for sleek, contemporary landscape designs that look good and have some useful function, preferably in multiple seasons: Think native plants, heat lamps, and protective structures that allow people to spend more time outdoors year-round.

Shades of blue

With predictions for Color of the Year 2020 trending blue, it’s no surprise that outdoor spaces are expected to as well. Expect to see more blue sculptures, water features, and plants in yards near you this year.

Personalized spaces

More and more, people are adopting the landscape design ideas that better support their lifestyle preferences, whether that’s xeriscaping to be more sustainable, creating edible gardens to consume more local, organic foods and reduce carbon footprints, or planting only native greenery to preserve the local ecosystem.

Smart irrigation

Smart home devices have made maintaining a home easier, and they do the same outdoors, too. High-tech irrigation, such as smart sprinkler systems, makes grooming a large, green yard or garden both easier and more sustainable (no more accidental waterings on rainy days!) and NALP predicts it will be a top landscape design trend in 2020.

Native Plants

Native plants are increasingly popular in landscape design, and not only in places where water is an issue. Designing with natives and non- natives allows the homeowner to save water while maximizing aesthetic considerations. It also means you can be really water smart, putting plants that need more water at the bottom, because the water flows downhill. Your whole irrigation plan can change when you’re using particular plants.

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Late Summer Lawn Care Tips

For avid gardeners, there’s no better way to enjoy the beauty and bounty of a summer garden than puttering around the yard attending to essential gardening tasks. These 10 late-summer gardening tips can help extend the summer season and ensure that your garden looks great year round.

1. Water, water everywhere Water evaporates quickly in the dog days of summer, especially during mid-day. Water lawns and flowers beds early in the morning to give the vital moisture time to reach thirsty roots.

2. Grateful deadheads Extend the life of late-summer blooming perennials by deadheading flowers as soon as they fade. Instead of expending their energy into seeds, they’ll continue to send out buds as long as the weather permits.

3. Mow lawns strategically Raise the cutting height on your lawnmower. Longer blades of grass help keep the roots cooler on hot summer days. Cut grass in the cool of the evening to give the lawn time to recover.

4. Keep weeds at bay It’s much easier to control weeds by pulling them out as soon as they appear than by tugging at them later after they’ve establish a strong root system.

5. Divide and conquer Late summer is a good time to divide plants like peonies, day lilies and iris once the flowers have stopped blooming. Divided plants are less likely to succumb to pests and diseases as well.

6. Sharpen your pruning skills A little time spent making a few artful cuts to shape a rose bush, shrub or tree can reward you with more flowers and thicker foliage. Attack suckers that spring from the base of a plant with a vengeance to prevent them from stunting the plant’s growth. See also How to safely clean your gutters

7. Convert clippings into mulch Give young plants a bit of tender loving care with a mulch made of grass clippings from your lawn. Just make sure that the clippings are free of weeds and seeds.

8. Start composting An alternative use for lawn clippings is to start a compost heap. Layer the clippings with soil and leftover vegetative waste from your kitchen. After a few months of decomposition, the matter will be transformed into nutrient-rich compost.

9. Stay on top of pest patrol Keep on the lookout for damaging aphids. The tiny pests are easy enough to spray off with a hose if you catch them while their populations are small.

10. Shop for seeds What better way to laze away a summer afternoon than by perusing seed brochures to get inspiration for next spring’s blooms? Order seeds now so that you’ll have time to plant them before the first frost hits.

You’ve no doubt earned your share of summer relaxation, so be sure to take time to sit back, breathe and take in the beautiful effects of your hard work. Just remember that investing a little time in pruning, planting and planning now can pay off later with a fall harvest and spring color.

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Summer Lawn Care Tips

Summer Lawn Care Tips:

1. Mow at the right height.

In summer, adjust your mower height to leave grass taller. Taller grass shades soil, which reduces water evaporation, leads to deeper roots and prevents weed seeds from germinating. Ideal mowing height varies with grass type. Time mowings so you're never removing more than one-third of the leaf surface at a time.

2. Water properly.

For the healthiest grass, water your lawn deeply and infrequently. Check with your local water authority or Cooperative Extension System office for recommended irrigation schedules. Discover tips on how much water a lawn needs. Learn the basics of lawn watering.

3. Treat for Grubs.

Japanese Beetles, June Bugs (Beetles) and European Chafers lay eggs in grass in early to midsummer. Eggs hatch into Grubs in mid-to late summer. Timing varies by Beetle and region. Check with your local Cooperative Extension System office to determine the best time to put down Grub control.

4. Clean up after your dog.

The family dog can cause dead spots on a lawn. If you see dying grass due to your dog's urination, flush the area with water to dilute the urine in soil. The best solution is to create a mulched or pebbled area and train your dog to use that area for bathroom breaks. Also, keep waste picked up and dispose of it properly.

5. Avoid parking on the grass.

Driving or parking on the lawn is never a good idea. It leads to soil compaction, which can cause a host of other problems, including dead grass. During drought or times of excessive heat, it's even wise to limit foot traffic on grass to avoid damaging turf crowns.

6. Sharpen your mower blade.

A dull mower blade tears grass, creating ragged, brown edges that provide an opening for disease organisms. Sharpen your mower blade regularly. The rule of thumb is that a sharp blade lasts for 10 hours of mowing. Consider purchasing a second blade so you'll always have a sharp blade at the ready.

7. Let clippings lie.

If you're mowing grass at the right height, you can let clippings lie on the lawn. This practice is called grasscycling and saves you time, money and fertilizer. 8. Fertilize warm-season grasses.

Warm-season turf grows strongly during summer and needs nutrients. Check with local Cooperative Extension System office to learn fertilizer schedules for your region. Do not fertilize cool-season lawns during summer. Wait until fall or early spring.

9. Pick up litter.

Summer activities can result in toys, water games, lawn chairs or tools being left on turf. Pick-up everything to avoid damaging the grass or creating dangerous obstacles while mowing.

10. Tackle weeds.

Apply weed control to help control weeds. Always read and follow label instructions. Do not apply a pre-emergent herbicide in fall if you plan to seed or over seed.

Property Perfect is your Experienced Landscape Designer and Lawn Maintenance Specialist. Contact Us Today for a FREE Quote for lawn care, landscaping, or hardscaping.

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11 Landscape Design Ideas to Improve Home Value

Are you looking for ways to increase your home’s value? Landscaping is one of the more cost-effective options for sprucing up your home before putting it on the market—it can even increase home value up to 20%. Use these 11 landscaping tips to improve your home’s curb appeal, boost property value, and attract more potential buyers!

Maintain a Healthy Lawn

A major factor behind making your home look presentable is to keep your lawn looking great. Overgrown grass, weeds, and dead spots are a sign of neglect and can drive the value of your home down. Fortunately, lawn care doesn’t need to be a budget-killer. Set up a fertilization schedule, mow regularly, and keep your lawn watered. And if you don’t want to do it yourself, lawn care companies are perfect to partner with!

Install an Irrigation System

One of the simplest solutions for maintaining your yard—and giving your home value a little boost—is to install an automatic irrigation system. Whether you’re looking to add a drip system or an in-ground sprinkler system, both distribute a selected amount of water so you can keep your landscape looking its best without worrying about overwatering or drying out.

Consider an Artificial Lawn

If you live in an area of the country where an arid, dry climate is the norm, artificial grass can provide your home with a quick value-add. Artificial grass eliminates the need to buy upkeep equipment or hire lawn maintenance companies. Better yet, yard turf can last up to 20 years, so you don’t need to worry about replacement if you plan to move within that timeframe. In addition, artificial grass conserves a lot of water, which can significantly lower water bills—an attractive selling point for your home!

Plant a Tree

Is your yard looking a little empty? Consider planting a tree! Depending on where you live, trees can add between $1,000 and $10,000 to your home’s value while also helping to fill empty space. That said, planting a tree isn’t an automatic boost, as mature trees are what buyers are looking for. It can take anywhere from three to eight years for a tree to reach maturity, so try to plant trees as early as possible. You can also look into landscaping companies that can assist you with planting mature trees—keep in mind, however, that this can get costly depending on tree size, relocation, and difficulty of planting.

Trim Shrubs & Bushes

If you have a lot of shrubs or bushes around your home, not taking care of them is noticeable to potential buyers. Make a point each year to prune and shape bushes in your yard to get rid of overgrowth or dead branches. Trimming shrubs and bushes down encourages healthy growth from the interior of the plant, which is vital to maintaining these landscape features long term.

Lay Down a Fresh Bed of Mulch

One of the best ways to keep your home landscaping looking fresh for longer is to add new mulch. Mulch helps to retain moisture in the soil. It prevents evaporation, insulates soil, and helps maintain lower root temperatures, providing plants with essential nutrients that help them look their best. Not to mention, it’s the a perfect complement to any landscape design!

Cultivate a Low-Maintenance Landscape

An excellent way to improve your curb appeal and boost home value is to opt for low-maintenance landscaping. Rock gardens don’t need upkeep beyond replacing stray rocks. Succulent gardens and xeriscaping require little to no watering and are ideal for arid climates. You can also plant perennials around your home, which come and go with the changing of the season, so there’s almost no maintenance.

Highlight Your Home with Landscape Lighting

Landscape lighting has quickly become one of the most desired outdoor landscaping features for homebuyers. With good landscape lighting, you can illuminate the outside of your home, accentuate landscape design elements, and even improve home security. Keep costs on lighting low by looking for LED and solar options, both of which will be bright enough to light up the outside of your home without increasing your electric bill!

Accent Walkways with Lights

Pathway lights are a simple solution for improving curb appeal. Not only do they help light the exterior of your home and highlight its features, but they also provide safety for anyone walking up and down walkways, stairs, driveways, and other paved surfaces throughout your home’s landscape.

Design an Outdoor Living Space

If you’re thinking about a large-scale update to your current landscape design, consider adding an outdoor living space! Outdoor kitchens, patios, decks, pergolas, swimming pools, and fire pits can all increase your home’s value, as buyers seek out homes with these spaces.

Introduce a Water Feature

Looking for a way to make your front yard landscape design stand out? Add a water feature! Features like waterfalls, fountains, and even small ponds are perfect for sprucing up your curb appeal and giving your home value a boost! While some larger water features may need some upkeep, most are designed with water recycling features that require less maintenance.

Call Property Perfect today at (651) 777-7530 to get the job done right!

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Liquid Deicer Vs. Salt: What's Best For Commercial Properties?

Getting rid of snow and ice on your commercial property isn’t as simple as it used to be, whether you manage an HOA, apartment building, or a retail facility. The need to increase safety is also higher than ever, with insurance companies taking a much closer look at how vulnerable a property is due to potential slip and fall lawsuits. For this reason, it’s important for property managers to have full confidence that their snow removal contractor is working efficiently.

Here at Property Perfect, we take pride in finding the most effective products to combat ice on the commercial properties we service. There are hundreds of different products (and blends of products) used to melt ice: from bulk salt, to brine—which is essentially liquid salt, to liquid deicer (which comes in many varieties itself). So, when it comes time for property managers to discuss their options with their commercial snow removal contractor, it’s understandable that the choices can seem a bit overwhelming.

Liquid deicer is a fairly new product within the snow removal industry, but it’s one that the more innovative companies have started to pay serious attention to. Liquid deicer works as a pre-treatment by keeping snow from bonding to the pavement, so that after snow is removed, ice doesn't reform as quickly and therefore less post-treatment deicer is needed.

Liquid Deicer: Cheaper, But Slower Working

Pros
It tends to be cheaper.

Though this isn’t always the case, liquid deicer does tend to be less expensive than salt when you pay by application versus paying for salt in bulk. For years, it has been standard industry practice for snow contractors to charge for salt by the ton. This doesn’t encourage crews to pay close attention at all to how much salt they’re putting down, let alone measuring in pounds exactly how much is being spread.

Due to our sustainability initiatives, the Property Perfect team is always looking to eliminate waste.

This means monitoring our salt output and becoming a champion of other snow contractors charging per application of salt instead of per ton. Charging this way encourages crews to be more conscientious of how much material they’re putting down.

Liquid deicer causes less damage.

Liquid deicer can be applied with much more precision than salt, which spreads as it’s sprayed. For this reason alone, it often causes less damage than bulk salt. We experienced this first hand when we began using liquid deicer last winter at Crocker Park. In the past, we’d replace around 20 trees per year on the massive 75+ acre lifestyle center, which gets serviced 7 days a week in the winter. This spring, that number was under 5, which is a savings of thousands of dollars.

Lower labor costs.

This one might be a corollary to our first point, but overall, it takes fewer crew members to apply liquid than it does bagged salt. If you have a full service seasonal contract, labor costs might not be something that concerns you, but for clients who are billed monthly, this is a huge benefit. Fewer workers on your property might not only lead to lower costs up front, but it can also make for a less intrusive snow removal experience.

Cons

It takes longer to work.

In general, liquid deicer takes longer to melt ice than salt does. This is why we use it most often as a pre-treatment solution for preventing the formation of ice on the walkable surfaces of your commercial property.

Salt: Faster, But More Damaging For Your Landscape

Pros

Salt works faster.

During the winter months, we’re constantly monitoring the weather for any signs of impending snow or ice. As soon as we think a freeze or snow fall is coming, we’re heading out to properties that have full-service seasonal contracts to apply pre-treatment. Liquid deicer works well here, as it keeps ice from bonding to the pavement.

But deicer can be slower than desired for removing ice once it’s already on the ground. So, for our clients who request service only after snow reaches a certain height in inches (usually 2-4 or 4-6), we sometimes rely more on salt simply because it works faster.

Salt can also be applied faster

Even though liquid deicer can be applied by fewer people, the average crew spends much less time putting salt down. If snow is falling rapidly time (or the lack of it) is always an important factor to consider. You might be thankful for this if snow starts to fall heavily right before your business opens.

Cons

Salt can damage plants, buildings, and interiors.

Another reason why we think it’s so important that crews are conscientious of how much salt they put down is because using too much salt can cause a lot of damage. As mentioned above, sodium leaches moisture away from vegetation and can essentially cause your turf, trees and shrubs to dry out. You may not notice the damage done until spring, when trees and shrubs don’t leaf out.

But the damage doesn’t stop there: salt can cause erosion on even the most durable of surfaces. Overtime, salt particles crystallize in porous materials like stone and eventually cause them to crumble. When it’s tracked indoors on people’s shoes, it can wreak similar havoc on wood, tile, and carpet.

The price and supply of salt can be unstable.

Winters with heavy snowfall will always lead to an increase in the demand for ice melt products. This is not only the case for salt, but also liquid deicer. What makes salt prices so much more unsteady is that there is a finite supply of it. When harsh winter weather hits, governmental and municipal transportation departments always get top priority. This leaves commercial snow contractors in steep competition for whatever is left. Basic economics dictates that when demand for a commodity rises, so does price.

More potential waste

As we said before, salt scatters when it’s applied. That’s just the nature of the product: it bounces along pavement where it lands and gets moved easily when people displace it as they walk. An apples to apples comparison in volume of salt vs liquid deicer will show that salt loses in the sheer amount that generally gets applied.

So Why Aren’t More People Requesting Liquid Deicer For Their Commercial Properties?

Despite the fact that liquid deicer has been used for years by municipal transportation departments in larger metropolitan areas, it’s still fairly new concept for many property managers. And, as with any new product (especially a chemical one), deicer will take some time to make inroads within the market.

As always, the Property Perfect team is here to help. If you’d like talk with anyone about the benefits of incorporating liquid deicer into your commercial snow removal routine, please reach out to us today. It’s never too early to start thinking about winter.

Call Property Perfect today at (651) 777-7530 to get the job done right!

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Importance Of Commercial Ice Management

Owning a business or managing a commercial space means paying attention to the weather carefully in order to prepare your location for the worst winter can throw at you. Here we’ll look at the most important reasons why a professional commercial ice management team is a must hire.

1. Safety

Not only can it be a liability insurance nightmare, but more importantly, you want to ensure to the best of your ability that your commercial space is safe. Safe for you, your employees, clients, and potential customers. This means (depending on the size of your space) professional ice management and snow removal services that can be counted on throughout the cold and dangerous winter months.

2. Keeping Doors Open

If your business cannot open or is inaccessible, essentially your doors are closed and you cannot operate normally. This can mean missed payments, lost revenue, wasted hours, and money that could’ve been earned as opposed to lost. Making sure your business is accessible and safe is a must throughout the winter months, be sure to get a professional winter weather service on board to help keep your doors open.

3. Making The Right Choice

There is a number of different snow removal and ice management companies who operate in our local area, but you want to be sure you’re hiring the right contractor. How long have they been in business? When can you expect clean-up when a storm hits? What are the costs involved? Just a few things to keep in mind and get answers to before you hire anyone.

Call Property Perfect today at (651) 777-7530 to get the job done right!

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