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Winter Risk Management

With the snow finally disappearing for the year, the summer months are a great time for commercial property managers to review their winter risk management plans. Assessing winter risk management plans in the warmer months will help streamline plans, improve performance, control costs, and better ensure the safety of visitors, staff, and the workers performing snow-related services. More importantly, summer gives managers an opportunity to identify these areas for improvement before winter returns.

RISK IDENTIFICATION

The foundation of any effective winter risk management plan is risk identification. To put together an effective plan, a thorough site review or walk-through of the property needs to be conducted. The warm summer weather will make it easier to walk around and find possible issues that could be hiding under the snow and ice during winter. Make sure to inspect these key areas of your property:

1. Building Entrances
Exterior doorways are prime areas for slip-and-fall hazards. Managers should not ignore awnings and other door or window coverings, either. These areas can collect snow and create runoff that can refreeze after a snow event, creating hazardous conditions.

2. Walkways, Stairs, and Ramp
Any surface that customers, staff, or other individuals walk on will need to be kept clear of snow and ice to prevent hazardous conditions and liability concerns. Applying de-icer before a snow event starts is a great way to help prevent snow and ice from accumulating on these surfaces.

3. Parking Lots
Crews should keep curb lines and other obstructions, including fire hydrants and decorative structures, clear of snow and ice buildup. Making good notes of the layout of your lot will minimize the risk of damage to curbs, medians, or other structures.

4. Drainage
The slope of the property can cause water to flow onto pedestrian areas and freeze. Identifying these areas is key to ensuring safety. Faulty building drainage and inoperable drains need to be identified as well so that they can be improved or repaired and minimize the risk of run-off water pooling up and freezing.

5. Snow Storage
Where to put all of the plowed snow also needs to be considered. It can take weeks or sometimes months for large snow piles to melt completely! Snow piles should be placed where they will not block driver or pedestrian visibility, or create slipping hazards from frozen run-off water. If the property does not have a suitable area for keeping all the plowed snow where it does not create any risk of liability, off-site snow removal should be considered.

6. Damage
Any damaged areas could indicate that changes are needed to your snow management plan to keep your property looking its best. For example, cracked sidewalks may be a result of run-off water that didn’t drain properly, and was able to freeze and thaw repeatedly over time, or grass and landscape damage can result from the overuse of deicers or improper snow storage.

RISK ANALYSIS – PRIORITIZE, PREPARE, AND BE READY TO RESPOND

After your commercial property has been thoroughly reviewed, you will be able to create a proper winter risk management plan that prioritizes the most heavily-trafficked areas of the property. Having these preparation and response strategies in place, and implementing them productively, will minimize liability risks and maximize the efficiency of the staff on hand. Ensuring that your winter risk management plan can stay within budget is also crucial. An efficient plan will control costs as well as possible, saving you money and the stress of going over-budget. By assessing risks, prioritizing the most important areas that need to be cared for, being prepared for a snow event beforehand, and being ready to respond as soon as possible, you can build an excellent winter risk management plan that will be efficient, cost-effective, and will maximize safety while mitigating risk and liability as much as possible.

Call Property Perfect today: (651) 777-7530.

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Commercial Snow Removal

As your business looks ahead to winter, it's important to be aware of how snow accumulation can impede your operations and hinder its success. There are many reasons to consider hiring a professional snow removal company, such as Property Perfect, for your commercial property.

1. Our snow removal services reduce your expenses.

Removing snow yourself takes a significant amount of time and energy. Plus, you have to invest in equipment like snow blowers and shovels. Some large areas may even require a plow. Another important part of snow removal is access to salt. Salt can be expensive and hard to find because of its high demand in the wintertime.

Recruiting Property Perfect’s regular snow removal services is a smart move for your business. We reduce your expenses with one cost that includes the necessary labor and access to snow removal equipment. We always have the supplies on hand that we need to keep your property snow-free.

We are experts at what we do, so we ensure your property is efficiently accessible even in the harshest of winters.

2. Minimize customer and employee injuries with our snow removal services.

Thousands of people get injured every year due to slipping on snow and ice. Common injuries associated with slipping on snow include:
• Spinal compression fractures
• Ligament strains
• Muscle sprains
• Concussions and other head injuries
• Back pain

Don't allow accumulated snow to create an unsafe environment for your customers and employees. Hire Property Perfect to take care of all of your snow removal needs.

3. Prevent liability with regular snow removal.

In addition to maintaining the trust of your customers and employees, regular snow removal prevents you from acquiring costly expenses. Lawsuits due to slips and falls on snow can make you responsible for a victim's medical bills, lost wages, and other costs.

If you enlist our regular snow removal services for your commercial property, you won't need to worry about someone, whether it be a customer, partner, or employee, slipping on snow or ice.

Property Perfect’s snow removal team gives your employees safe access to your building.

Slippery ice and accumulated snow can prevent employees from safely accessing your building. To minimize lost time, recruit our snow removal team to clear a safe path to your building. With an accessible way to enter your company's facility, your employees' productivity won't be compromised.

Property Perfect employees are trained to clear snow from a variety of tight and large spaces including:
• Entryways
• Parking lots
• Driveways
• Walkways
• Loading docks

When you choose Property Perfect, we will grant an enhanced sense of visibility and mobility for your commercial property in the winter. You can focus on your business's operations without worrying about environmental factors.

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

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Landscaping Trends in 2020

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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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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COVID-19 and Time Outside

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, spending time outside may help to alleviate some of the negative impacts of stay-at-home restrictions.

Research has shown that spending time in nature can be beneficial to physical and mental health. Being outdoors reduces stress, fights-off depression, and is vital to staying physically healthy -- something that is especially important during the current pandemic.

It’s true that we need to get outdoors to clear our minds, gather our thoughts, and keep our bodies healthy. But, with research still being compiled about COVID-19, one question needs to be answered:

Does going outside lower or raise the risk of contracting COVID-19?

Dr. David Geier, an orthopedic surgeon from East Cooper Medical Center, said that preliminary studies show that it looks like the risk of contracting the virus while outdoors is relatively low, if you stick to the six feet social distancing measure.

According to data compiled by a Canadian journalist, he found 70 percent of super-spreading events of COVID-19 happened in face-to-face business or social settings. Almost all of these events were indoors, where people tend to be packed together in relatively small spaces.

Dr. Geier said that being outdoors is one of the healthiest things to do, given that vitamin D from the sun supports the immune system. He recommends that families spend more time in nature and give their immune systems a boost, further helping them stay strong against COVID-19.

To watch Dr. Geier's full video, click on the link below.

Dr. Geirer's Video

We at Property Perfect encourage you to make time for a walk or simply sit outside in your backyard every day. Whether you spend time in solitude or six feet away from a friend, nature is likely to benefit your physical and mental health. Stay safe and be well!

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