Storms can be devastating. In a few minutes, the lawn you have spent months trying to bring into a perfect shape turns into an eye sore. Due to the wind, there is debris all over the yard. The rain has has turned your lush lawn into a swamp. There could even be damage.
Once it’s over, it is time for a storm clean-up. You need to have appropriate tools, knowledge, and time if you want to handle the clean-up effectively.
Below are some tips on how to do a storm clean-up:
1. Check for Any Danger
Before you start cleaning the yard, make safety a priority. Damaged trees can pose a danger before and during removal. Sometimes damaged branches can drop well after the storm is over. It is essential to note any affected trees so you can take measures to avoid falling branches.
Although it is often possible to salvage trees through trimming damaged branches, sometimes you might require expert assistance to remove it. If you’re worried about clearing the branch yourself, find a professional! If you are looking to remove branches yourself, check out some chain saw safety tips to make sure you’re being safe.
2. Check Drainage
Check the gutters, curbs, storm drains and drainage systems for mud, leaves and other debris. While clearing the gutter, check for any damage on the entire system and fix if present. For curbs, check for blockage by mud and leaves and remove them. If too much water collects on the lawn, it attracts insects and damages grass.
If you find this happens a lot when it rains, we could look at installing a French Drain. However, no system is perfect and they often need regular maintenance, especially after a storm.
Any standing water may be a health hazard, so ensure you use protective clothing and gloves. It can be tempting to probe drainage issues, but it is recommendable to leave the matter to professionals unless they are obvious.
3. Clear Sticks, Leaves, and Other Small Debris
Debris could obstruct you from seeing the sustained damage on the property. Therefore, ensure to clear all leaves and twigs that have found their way on to the ground. The leaves are suitable for composting while sticks can sometimes be thrown into an outdoor fire pit if you have one.
4. Clear Larger Branches and Debris
Sometimes you might have had larger branches fall into your yard. Sometimes they can be picked up easily, but other times they could be large enough to require sawing into smaller pieces.
Always make sure you follow proper safety protocols when using power tools.
5. Trim Damaged Plants
For plants whose stems are still intact, you can remove damaged leaves. Plants often have sufficient leaves for replenishment provided you don’t remove more than a third of it at once. You can also sometimes replant uprooted shrubs and flowers.
6. Check for Broken Branches
After examining the trees and plants, you might realise that their damage is minor. If so, you can use trimming tools and cut off the small damaged branches. Clear the branches at their point of intersection with the larger ones. However, for safety reasons, make sure that branches aren’t wider than 5cms or so in diameter, and are easily accessible from the ground without using a ladder.
If they’re not, get a professional to help!
Sometimes there could also be damaged limbs on the trees that are yet to fall. These branches pose a danger and might fall as you work in the yard. You can use a chain saw to address these areas or again – contact an expert to assist you.
7. Pressure Clean Dirty Hard Areas
When the leaves, mud, and branches fill the yard and spray your house after a storm, they usually stain the sidings, leave spots along your driveway, and can be a source of grime and mould on your porches and decks especially if not removed immediately. The stains are usually stubborn, and you will need to pressure clean to get rid of them completely.
8. Get a Professional Landscaper
You need to do a lot after a storm, but it can help a lot if you work with a professional landscaper. Experts do come in handy, especially when dealing with large, difficult and risky tasks since they are skilled to handle things with the required safety precautions and care.
9. Warning areas
Avoid Flood Waters
Any significant flooding in your yard poses a danger to you and your family; thus, you should stay away from them. The pools of water can become quite unhygienic, harbouring pests and bacteria. It is recommendable that you reach out to a professional who inspects the water before clearing it from your property. If by any chance you contact the water, ensure you wash your hands.
During storms, trees can pull down power lines and disrupt underground utilities. The environment resulting from a combination of floodwater and electrical wires can be extremely hazardous. Therefore, you should leave any tasks on grounds near electrical utilities to qualified line-clearance arborists.
Need some help?
Considering the destruction that a storm can cause in your yard, having an expert to assist you in bringing things back to order can be a wise move. At The Garden Men, we have been providing professional landscaping services all over Sydney for over 20 years. Contact us today for assistance.