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Spring Cleaning: Preparing for Warmer Weather

The arrival of spring is always a welcome relief from winter's accumulation of snow and ice. After the cold weather takes its toll, it's important to assess the damages and make the necessary repairs to ensure safe grounds for the warm months ahead.

Parking Lots

Salt and ice have been known to inflict major damage on asphalt parking lots. To minimize potential injuries, please follow these guidelines:

  • Look out for any holes or large cracks that can cause trips, falls, and water accumulation. Temporarily fill the holes with sand or hire a contractor to fill in the holes and cracks.
  • Repaint speed bumps, curbs and other raised surfaces with yellow safety paint to make them as visible as possible.

Poorly marked or hard-to-see barriers can actually increase the likelihood of an accident. Typical methods of cordoning off parking lots, like draping chains or cables across lot entrances, can be hard to see, especially in low light or poor weather. These obstacles pose a threat to cyclists, skateboarders, motor vehicles and pedestrians. If you are using chains and cables, use high visibility, flexible plastic tubing to cover the length of the chain or cable. In addition, consider attaching hanging signs to barriers to increase visibility and warn trespassers.

Stairs and Railings

Inspect exterior steps to ensure there is no cracking or chipping on the edge where the riser meets the tread. Check handrails to make sure they are not loose or damaged.

Walkways and Lawns

  • Remove and dispose of dead branches, trees or shrubs that may cause trips and falls.
  • Inspect sidewalks and lawns for damage or holes that may present a tripping hazard.
  • If pesticides are used for lawn care, post warning signs on lawns for at least 72 hours after pesticide use.
  • Remove poisonous plants, such as poison ivy, oak and sumac. These plants should not be burned.

Tree Maintenance

Trees can be severely damaged by snow and ice. As Spring approaches, it is important to inspect your trees and assess the damage. Be cautious: decisions made soon after the damage occurs can, and will, determine whether or not a damaged tree survives.

Have your grounds personnel or a professional treecare service inspect trees for obvious safety issues, such as hanging or loosely attached branches and split trunks. To avoid the possibility of personal injury and/or property damage, these issues should be addressed immediately. Remove hazardous branches first. If a branch is broken but firmly attached and not in danger of falling, prune these branches. Remember: never remove limbs that have electrical wires running through them; call your electricity provider instead.

If a trunk is split down the middle, it may need to either be braced or removed. Consult with a professional tree-care service or arborist.