Preparations for clearing driveways are best done well before snow falls in a measurable amount, said Todd Ruedt, owner of Grounds Maintenance Services, Brookfield (http://groundsmaintenancewi.com/
Homeowners who have their driveways plowed, for example, can put in driveway markers to highlight the layout of their paving, plus any hazards for the plow operator to avoid. Ruedt suggested marking the corners and curves of a driveway, and spots such as ditches, water caps, well caps, sewer covers, fire hydrants or raised culverts.
“Mark anything that could potentially be damaged if your driveway is plowed,” he said. Low-voltage lighting and other permanent decorative features close to the pavement should also be marked.
Ruedt advised moving items such as trailers, portable basketball hoops, birdbaths and plant pots at least 10 feet off the driveway to allow room for snow piling.
If an object being marked isn’t obvious – especially when covered in snow - homeowners should tell their plowing contractor about it. Any changes in driveway design or nearby landscaping should also be reported, Ruedt said.
“If you work with the same plowing operator year after year, they’ll want to know of changes ahead of time so they can view your property before it’s covered in snow,” Ruedt said. “This small bit of proactive communication can prevent damage and potential disputes later.”
Ruedt added that homeowners should photograph their property prior to snowfall. The photos can be evidence in case of plowing damage.
November is a good time to replace broken snow removal equipment – such as shovels or roof rakes –while stores still have them in stock. Homeowners who use salt should remember that pure rock salt kills grass and plants, Ruedt said, and might consider an alternate melting mix. Time is ticking down on the final fleeting weeks while trees and shrubs can still be pruned, before nature employs its own pruning method of breaking limbs with heavy snow.
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Founded in 1999, Grounds Maintenance Services offers a full range of landscaping and yard maintenance services, plus winter snow management, holiday lighting setup and in-home Christmas tree delivery. Its professional staff prides itself on helping homeowners grow their dreams, one yard at a time.