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Have a plan for property maintenance in winter

Early last week, branch manager Justin Schink of Plantique in Allentown was lining up snow-removal jobs at area businesses in advance of a potential ice and snow event.

Early last week, branch manager Justin Schink of Plantique in Allentown was lining up snow-removal jobs at area businesses in advance of a potential ice and snow event.

“A lot of businesses open up early, so we have to get there to salt everything so that people aren’t slipping and falling,” Schink said. “Most of our commercial customers know to call in advance of a storm, and we are pretty proactive at making sure that commercial properties are safe.”

Area landscapers say that they have key pieces of advice for commercial customers to get their properties ready for winter and to deal with the aftermath of the harsh weather.

Figure out the hot spots or areas on the property that need the most attention, such as main entrances, walkways and parking areas. Secure subcontractors, lay out expectations and take away any movable objects on the property such as removable speed bumps and signs that you don’t want damaged by heavy snow-removal equipment.

According to Schink, Plantique recommends always having a plan in place for property maintenance.

Before the cold sets in, “we suggest to commercial customers that they may want to put down winter fertilizer on their lawns and, in some cases, lime,” Schink said. “You may want to touch up edges on flower beds and cut down perennials and shrubs.”

Businesses may find it hard to budget for bad weather since last winter alone, the Lehigh Valley received 65 inches of snow, Schink said, adding that commercial winter maintenance costs businesses thousands of dollars a year.

Plantique spends quite a bit of time maintaining its snow-removal equipment in the form of salt spreaders, backhoes and snow plows.

At Mason Landscaping LLC in Bath, manager Steve Kuhns said that there are several things commercial customers can do to maintain their property before the first snow falls.

“One important thing is to remove piles of leaves away from building foundations. What you don’t want is to make a home for ants or rodents to dwell there,” Kuhns said.

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