Central Florida Landscaping Companies: Here’s How to Handle Hurricanes
Hurricanes Are Destructive, Even With Preparation
Before Hurricane Ian, which hit Central Florida on September 28th and 29th, our region had not experienced a severe hurricane for several years. Residents of Orlando and the surrounding areas were stunned by flash flooding and extreme wind conditions, the aftermath of which is still being cleaned up. Many Central Florida residents found themselves dealing with water damage and extreme yard debris and damage for the first time in recent memory.
Following damage of such magnitude, professional landscaping companies – especially those that have opened within the last 5 years or so – may find themselves at a loss as to how to proceed. When lawns are flooded and obstructions are abundant, you obviously can’t just mow and edge as usual and call it a day. Here are a few tips you can take to be an invaluable resource for your clients both before and after a hurricane hits.
Before the Storm
Destruction is inevitable when a hurricane passes through, but preparation can make a world of difference for everyone’s safety and recovery. Here are a few ways you can help your clients get ready:
Switch gravel beds to mulch
Winds produced by hurricanes can be in excess of 100 miles per hour, which is dangerous enough on its own. Add some projectiles in the mix and you have a catastrophic situation on your hands. During this season, encourage your clients to switch their gravel flower and tree beds to mulch, which is much softer and won’t pose a threat to windows, roofs, and beyond.
Monitor the health of their trees
Tree analysis and trimming should be left to an arborist, but you can still alert your clients when you recognize the signs of a dying or dead tree. If you notice that a tree is frequently or heavily shedding sticks and branches, there’s a good chance it’s unhealthy. You should also keep an eye out for rot and fungus, bark that constantly peels away, and any new or progressive leaning. Additionally, if the client’s tree branches are particularly close to their home, you should encourage them to have them trimmed before the next storm arrives.
Pause your fertilizing schedule
If you’ve received notice that a tropical storm or hurricane is heading your way, don’t apply any fertilizer to your client’s property. Extreme wind and rain will only wash it away, which is bad for our water sources.
After the Storm Clears
Before you get back to maintaining your clients’ yards, it’s important to let your region’s official cleanup and repair crews complete their tasks first. Hazardous conditions can last for several days in the forms of flooding, agitated wildlife, debris, and downed electric lines. Once their tasks are completed, then you can start working on returning your clients’ yards to their original states.
Help clear debris before you mow
Obviously, large hazards like branches, stones, and construction materials will prevent you from mowing safely. Offer your clients a debris removal service on top of your usual yard beautification services.
Redo flower beds
Many homeowners wind up losing their flowers and shrubs during a hurricane because of heavy winds and excess standing water. If you and your crew are able to do so, offer to redo your clients’ flower beds, shore up trees, and trim any dead branches. If you removed your clients’ gravel in favor of mulch, you could also redo the gravel just the way they originally wanted them.
Pay attention to drainage
If you notice that there are areas where water is still pooling or where soil has eroded, you’ll need to address that with your client. Some yards may need new sod; others may need to be smoothed out and resurfaced. This can be a very labor intensive job and you may need to refer your clients to a specialist. Either way, you can be helpful in coordinating the project to give your clients the best possible results.
Your Landscaping Company is Invaluable to Central Florida
Your landscaping company is so important to Central Florida as a whole! Not only do you keep homeowners’ lawns looking beautiful, but you can also play an important role in helping homeowners recover from major environmental events. To learn more about supplies and maintenance for your professional lawn equipment in Central Florida, call Gator Mower Parts at 407-260-1292.