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Property and Landscape Safety

Trimming tree branches – In the winter is a good time to see where any extra limbs can be removed that might be in the way, or hitting your home. When the leaves are off the trees you can determine any broken branches and limbs that may be getting to low to the ground or growing into the house, which can cause costly damage. Cutting back vines that grow up the house works well also during the winter months, because the weight of the leaves will not pull it right off the house.

Clean the garage and park your car in it! Far too many people use the garage as storage units and never actually park their cars inside them. Before you know it, there is just a large pile of items inside the garage that rarely – or never, get used. Apply the rule of 12 months: If you have not used it in 12 months, make a decision to part ways with it. When an item has sentimental value ask a family member of a friend if they would enjoy the item.

When there is room in your garage to park your car, you do not have to worry about frost or snow piling on the car. Parking in your garage also helps to ensure your driveway is cleared of all snow for the safest exit! Don’t forget that for any items that you need help moving you can hire a service that can help with all that heavy lifting. (Note: next time you clean the basement, this can be a place to store items for future use, instead of the garage.)

Clear gutters and eaves of debris before the snow and ice come. Having a buildup of ice and debris in your eaves in the winter is very dangerous for multiple reasons: Water could start to go under the shingles and start to drip into your home, causing puddles of water and damaging items. The ice buildup can also cause the eaves to separate from the house, causing a gap between the eaves and the house. This could lead to water getting into your basement. If the snow starts to accumulate on your roof, a roof rake will be able to reach the first 3 feet of the roof, allowing the snow to melt into the eaves and not drip over.

Keep a handy call list! Keep a list of local companies that can come assist you and your needs during the winter months. Make sure to cover any needs inside and outside of the home that may arise. Have this list placed somewhere handy where you won’t forget. Placing it on the side of the fridge seems to be a favorite place of home owners. Happy holidays, happy new year, and stay safe.•

Brandon M. Gelderman is a landscape designer and founder of Gelderlands Inc. in Burlington. 905-637-1509

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