Spring Cleaning: Preparing Your Grounds

Spring is a good time to assess your property and make the necessary repairs to ensure safe grounds for the warmer months ahead.

Parking Lots

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 (for blacktop) or mason (for concrete) 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 1.) increase visibility and 2.) 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.

Roofs and Drain Pipes

Check for loose or missing gutters or flashing.

Repair damage to lightning rods.

Clear leaves and debris from exterior drains.

Inspect roofs and replace missing slates or shingles.

Service sump pumps.

Walkways and Lawns

Remove and dispose of dead branches, trees or shrubs that may cause trips and falls.

Prune trees according to a seasonal maintenance plan (consult with an arborist for more information).

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.

If there is a playground on your property, check the protective layers which often get displaced in the winter. Make sure the surfaces around and under play equipment have a minimum of 12” of wood chips, mulch, sand or pea gravel.