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Commercial Exterior Services & Landscape Management Blog

By interactive 11 Oct, 2017

As a business owner, you have a lot to think about. As winter approaches and the threat of inclement weather looms near, one of the things you need to give a lot of thought to is liability. If someone slips in your ice-covered parking lot, will you be responsible for the bills if the person needs medical attention? What if one car slides on the ice and damages another vehicle on your private property? Will you have to pay for the requisite repairs?

While those are certainly questions for your property and casualty insurance agent, it’s generally wise to do everything possible to keep your parking lot free of snow and ice at all times. One popular way to do this is to use road salt. Salt is generally affordable, efficient, effective, and convenient.

To determine if it’s a good idea to use salt on your parking lot, let’s take a look at road salt’s benefits on a larger scale by examining its effects on roadways. By understanding the bigger picture when it comes to salt, you’ll be better prepared to decide whether salting your parking lot is the right move for you.

By interactive 08 Sep, 2017

Just like the physical brick and mortar building that customers and business partners observe from the exterior, the parking lot acts as the face of any business. And that’s part of why keeping it in good shape is so crucial to maintaining the professionalism and curb appeal of any commercial entity. When you couple this with the fact that over 800,000 people are hospitalized each year from slip and fall accidents – many that occur in commercial parking lots – it’s easy to see how unkempt parking lots also present a safety issue. The good news is that parking lot maintenance isn’t overly complicated. But, like anything, it takes a bit of time and commitment. Here’s a closer look at what property managers need to be doing to keep parking lots in good, safe order:

  • Parking lot preventative maintenance: By working with a qualified contractor, the proper sealants and overlays can routinely be applied to the parking lot surface to prevent premature wear and tear, water intrusion, and to help minimize the likelihood of unsightly and potentially dangerous cracks and holes in the lot.
  • Repair cracks and holes immediately: Cracks and holes aren’t just unsightly and dangerous, but they can be a gateway to even more cracks and holes throughout the lot. That’s because cracks and holes allow water to enter, thereby permitting more water into the lot’s base that can wreak havoc on the pavement. This is especially bad if the water freezes in these holes or cracks. Crack filling is inexpensive, and potholes can either be fixed permanently or temporarily.
  • Clean and clear it: Sweeping and clearing parking lots of debris is important for two reasons. First, it removes any potential standing water from the surface that won’t dry because of leaves, branches, etc. Secondly, it permits a thorough visual inspection so that any issues can be identified and properly addressed. Quickly removing snow from lots in the winter months is crucial for the same reasons, not to mention safety as well.
  • Remove oil stains: With lots of vehicles regularly parking on the lot, oil stains are bound to happen. These stains should not be ignored. Not only are they unsightly, but they degrade the pavement over time. Oil stains should be addressed quickly, as stain removers can adequately extract the stain from the pavement if they are applied soon after the stain is noticed.

When it comes to parking lot maintenance, it’s important to have a plan in place. It’s estimated that a “do nothing” maintenance plan is up to 10 times more expensive than taking preventative action and making the small fixes before they become big problems. For more information on parking lot maintenanceand to have a parking lot analysis conducted on your lot, contact Earth Development today .

By interactive 25 Jul, 2017

Snow can take its toll on drive time commutes, airplane flights and home heating bills. But it can also take its toll on a business, specifically the ability of employees to get into their office and of customers and business partners to potentially do business in said offices. And when it comes to snow, it’s not just the total snowfall that poses a threat, but subsequent ice formation in parking lots and on walking paths. The bottom line is that snow doesn't just pose an inconvenience with commercial properties, it also poses a safety hazard. This makes it even more important for business owners and property managers to ensure that they’ve contracted with the right snow removal provider. Here’s a closer look at things to consider:

By interactive 31 May, 2017

Locating the insects or pests that have made your lawn home can be fairly easy to do, whether they’re living in the soil or above it. So, too, is the damage that they’re capable of causing. Some common signs of damage include the likes of brown patches, chewed-up grass blades, and loose grass.

While pests aren't ideal for your lawn, the good news is that there are some things that you can do to minimize or eliminate insect infestations. The easiest way to do this is through preventative care, which mainly consists of adequately watering, fertilizing, and mowing your lawn to help eliminate the insect's preferred habitat. But for infestations that have already begun, or if you just want someone who really knows what they’re doing to tend to your lawn in this regard, it’s never a bad idea to seek the help of a qualified professional. Here’s a look at some of the services that a professional may provide to prevent and eliminate any insect or pest infestations:

  • Aeration: Insects tend to like thick grass. Aerating helps remove this thatch, and as a bonus, it also helps water and nutrients better reach grass roots.
  • Testing: Not sure what type of insect is doing damage to your lawn? A professional can administer a variety of tests to properly identify what’s affecting your lawn. This thereby enables a proper plan of action to be made in eliminating the insect threat.
  • Grub preventer/stopper: Simply put, a grub infestation can destroy an entire lawn. Professionals aren’t just able to apply the products that prevent grubs at the right times of the year, but can also control a current grub infestation and stop it from spreading to other areas of the lawn. Controlling grub activity enables the lawn to adequately heal.
  • Pest control: Pests can be fought either via biological or chemical means. Biological treatment involves introducing another living organism to fight the threat, while chemical treatment involves applying the proper product to eliminate or control the threat. After analyzing your lawn, a professional can come up with a plan to fight the infestation via one – or both – of these means. Any incorrect attempt to treat lawn issues on your own could potentially cause even more lawn damage than there was initially.

For large-scale insect issues, a professional can take any guesswork or mystery out of the situation to ensure that your lawn returns to a healthy state. For more information on our insect control expertise and solutions, contact us today.

By interactive 28 Apr, 2017

Spring has sprung and chances are your lawn is greening up. But in order to keep it looking green and lush all summer long, now's the time to put in the work. This post will share some tips on how to prep your lawn - and the rest of your yard - this spring so that it's the envy of everyone in your neighborhood all summer:

By interactive 07 Apr, 2017

You know what they say about the importance of first impressions. It's part of the reason why it's crucial for businesses these days to do more than just provide an outstanding service, but also provide an ideal, welcome environment for business to take place in. On that note, one often overlooked aspect of gaining customer trust and building a positive brand image isn't always what happens on the inside of your facility, but on the outside as well. That's where the likes of landscape construction and maintenance can help your company or commercial property flourish.

With this being said, selecting the right commercial landscaping company becomes an important task for property managers and/or business owners. Here's a closer look at some things to look for when going through the decision-making process:

  • Qualifications: First things first, you want to make sure you're doing business with a landscaping company that's credible, ethical and does good work. Make sure you research companies through their own websites as well as third-party sites. Look for certifications, association memberships and status with the Better Business Bureau. Also, ask other area businesses for recommendations, as word of mouth referrals are often one of the most helpful means when selecting a company.
  • Business Practices: More and more consumers these days are looking for landscapes that don't just look great, but that are sustainable as well. This means a design that conserves water, uses native plants, locally sources materials and takes more steps to make any features more efficient. Are the companies you're considering qualified and experienced in creating sustainable landscapes?
  • Communication: One thing that many overlook in a landscaper is how to communicate with them. This is especially important if your company doesn't just need a landscape created, but maintained as well. That said, make sure you learn what the best way to communicate with the landscaper is (i.e. phone, e-mail, text, etc.) and who the point person is that you'll be working with. Make sure you're comfortable with this person and that you get along with them.
  • Licensed and insured: While this suggestion technically could fall under the "qualifications" point above, it's worth singling out to ensure that any landscaper you're working with is licensed and insured. If they're not, you could be held liable for any injuries sustained while they're working on your property. You may also be on the hook for any damages or issues the landscapers cause that need repair.

Landscaping can do a lot for your property, which is why the importance of choosing the right landscaper cannot be downplayed.

By interactive 02 Mar, 2017

While it’s a dream for many to own a business, the commercial property that often comes with business ownership is not always easy. And we’re not just talking about your bottom line. One fast way to derail a business is getting tangled up in lawsuit that results from someone getting injured on your property, slip and fall accidents being the most common. Whether you’re a business owner or a commercial property manager, the threat is there – and the consequences of failing to implement preventative safety measures can be devastating.  

So how can you take preventative care of commercial property to avoid costly lawsuits and legal fees so that you can concern yourself with more important things? Here’s a look at some easy tips you should be implementing:

  1. Better lighting: Injuries have a greater tendency to occur at night when visibility is limited. Consider investing in better lighting around your property so that people aren’t guessing where they’re walking and always have good visibility while on the property.
  2. Repair pavement: When you combine fluctuating temperatures with regular wear and tear and age, pavement certainly isn’t immune to its share of issues – whether it’s a parking lot or a sidewalk. Make sure that issues like cracks, uneven spots, holes or other abnormalities are patched, sealed and repaired accordingly to reduce the risk of slips and falls.
  3. Maintain landscaping: Don’t forget about commercial landscape maintenance, such as trimming and pruning the likes of trees, shrubs and overgrown plants around your property. Any out of control landscaping can impact visibility, which can lead to safety issues. And be sure to rake any leaves that fall seasonally, as leaves can hide trip hazards on sidewalks and pavement. Wet leaves can also make for a slippery surface. Finally, make sure any downspouts are directed away from walking paths to avoid standing water and the potential of ice formation from overnight low temperatures.
  4. Salt and shovel: Winter weather often leads to icy, snowy conditions, which can potentially pose a safety hazard for people getting in and out of the property. Make sure that you either shovel and salt affected areas first thing after a snowstorm or contract with a firm to do it for you.
  5. Consider safety/handicap accessories: If the property caters to an aging population or handicapped people, or you just want to ensure that people are as safe as possible, consider installing hand rails on walking paths. Entrance ramps leading to doors in lieu of or in addition to any steps can also make for a safer property.

By interactive 21 Feb, 2017

The changing seasons combined with regular vehicle activity can place a lot of strain on the pavement in a parking lot over time. And it should go without saying that a parking lot in need of maintenance isn't really all that desirable of a place for consumers to frequent. Not only may it look unkempt and unappealing, but it can also pose a hazard to the automobiles that use it, not to mention a possible safety hazard for anyone that's walking through it.

Wondering about some signs to look out for that may indicate a need for parking lot maintenance? Here are five to keep a watch for:

  • Raveling: Raveling is defined as the separation of particles in the pavement from the surface of the asphalt itself, which leads to a bumpy or rough texture. It's common in northern climates that experience the four seasons and is best repaired by applying an overlay, though other repair solutions include micro-surfacing or sealing.
  • Traverse Cracks: These cracks form perpendicular to the centerline, and may be the result of several factors, such as reflective cracks, old age or poor initial construction. Traverse cracks are repaired based on their severity. While minor cracks can simply be sealed, more severe cracks may need to be treated with an overlay.
  • Longitudinal Cracks: These are defined as cracks that form parallel to the centerline of the pavement, typically forming around the joints, which are usually the weakest areas of the pavement. These types of cracks are repaired similar to traverse cracks. For cracks that are minor, a crack sealing will do the trick. More extensive cracks, however, should consist of removing the affected pavement and replacing with an overlay.
  • Potholes: Potholes are unsightly and a hazard - and they should be repaired immediately to minimize damage to vehicles and injury to people. Potholes are best repaired by replacement patch.
  • Alligator Cracking: Alligator cracking consists of various widespread, small cracking that resembles the scale of an alligator. It typically characterizes an overall weakening of the pavement or a parking lot that is in structural distress. Because the cause of alligator cracking is structurally related, the best, most effective solution is to patch the entire affected area.

It pays to be proactive with maintenance when it comes to the condition of your parking lot, as making repairs when necessary can take care of most minor issues before they have a chance to turn into major ones that require more extensive - and expensive - construction work.

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By interactive 11 Oct, 2017

As a business owner, you have a lot to think about. As winter approaches and the threat of inclement weather looms near, one of the things you need to give a lot of thought to is liability. If someone slips in your ice-covered parking lot, will you be responsible for the bills if the person needs medical attention? What if one car slides on the ice and damages another vehicle on your private property? Will you have to pay for the requisite repairs?

While those are certainly questions for your property and casualty insurance agent, it’s generally wise to do everything possible to keep your parking lot free of snow and ice at all times. One popular way to do this is to use road salt. Salt is generally affordable, efficient, effective, and convenient.

To determine if it’s a good idea to use salt on your parking lot, let’s take a look at road salt’s benefits on a larger scale by examining its effects on roadways. By understanding the bigger picture when it comes to salt, you’ll be better prepared to decide whether salting your parking lot is the right move for you.

By interactive 08 Sep, 2017

Just like the physical brick and mortar building that customers and business partners observe from the exterior, the parking lot acts as the face of any business. And that’s part of why keeping it in good shape is so crucial to maintaining the professionalism and curb appeal of any commercial entity. When you couple this with the fact that over 800,000 people are hospitalized each year from slip and fall accidents – many that occur in commercial parking lots – it’s easy to see how unkempt parking lots also present a safety issue. The good news is that parking lot maintenance isn’t overly complicated. But, like anything, it takes a bit of time and commitment. Here’s a closer look at what property managers need to be doing to keep parking lots in good, safe order:

  • Parking lot preventative maintenance: By working with a qualified contractor, the proper sealants and overlays can routinely be applied to the parking lot surface to prevent premature wear and tear, water intrusion, and to help minimize the likelihood of unsightly and potentially dangerous cracks and holes in the lot.
  • Repair cracks and holes immediately: Cracks and holes aren’t just unsightly and dangerous, but they can be a gateway to even more cracks and holes throughout the lot. That’s because cracks and holes allow water to enter, thereby permitting more water into the lot’s base that can wreak havoc on the pavement. This is especially bad if the water freezes in these holes or cracks. Crack filling is inexpensive, and potholes can either be fixed permanently or temporarily.
  • Clean and clear it: Sweeping and clearing parking lots of debris is important for two reasons. First, it removes any potential standing water from the surface that won’t dry because of leaves, branches, etc. Secondly, it permits a thorough visual inspection so that any issues can be identified and properly addressed. Quickly removing snow from lots in the winter months is crucial for the same reasons, not to mention safety as well.
  • Remove oil stains: With lots of vehicles regularly parking on the lot, oil stains are bound to happen. These stains should not be ignored. Not only are they unsightly, but they degrade the pavement over time. Oil stains should be addressed quickly, as stain removers can adequately extract the stain from the pavement if they are applied soon after the stain is noticed.

When it comes to parking lot maintenance, it’s important to have a plan in place. It’s estimated that a “do nothing” maintenance plan is up to 10 times more expensive than taking preventative action and making the small fixes before they become big problems. For more information on parking lot maintenanceand to have a parking lot analysis conducted on your lot, contact Earth Development today .

By interactive 25 Jul, 2017

Snow can take its toll on drive time commutes, airplane flights and home heating bills. But it can also take its toll on a business, specifically the ability of employees to get into their office and of customers and business partners to potentially do business in said offices. And when it comes to snow, it’s not just the total snowfall that poses a threat, but subsequent ice formation in parking lots and on walking paths. The bottom line is that snow doesn't just pose an inconvenience with commercial properties, it also poses a safety hazard. This makes it even more important for business owners and property managers to ensure that they’ve contracted with the right snow removal provider. Here’s a closer look at things to consider:

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