This is the time of year when tree-leaves start falling down as we head through the season of autumn into winter. It can look very charming and pretty, with golden-brown leaves blanketing the ground, and trees becoming bare, however from a property management point of view it can be more of a challenge to make sure leaves are cleared properly, not only making things look tidier but also potentially and more importantly safer with a reduced risk of slips on them.
So here are 7 factors to think about when clearing the leaves. 7 little tricks that will help you to do it a whole lot easier and safer.
1. Slippery Leaves
Remember that you could fall over by easily slipping on leaves after it’s been raining and they become slippery, including when clearing them away or running over them. You may need to brush the leaves away from you so you’re only stepping on bare rather than a leaf-covered ground.
2. Sticky Leaves
Leaves also tend to stick together when wet, so before you know it you end up picking up a huge pile of leaves rather than separate ones. They will also stick to everything else, whether it’s your brush or shovel, bin bag, or shoes/boots and other items of clothing.
3. Use a Brush to Sweep
And the larger and more abrasive the brush the better, so you really get those leaves to form a neat pile. Remembering the above points, look out for them sticking to the brush, and work out the best direction to brush them into so it’s the easiest and quickest way to do it.
4. Use a Shovel
Again, the bigger the better to really capture them all, but you need to carefully brush them onto the shovel and dispose of them in a bin bag or other storage container. You can keep pressing them down to save space, and look at re-usable containers or bags that are simply there to move to the refuse tip or compost pile.
5. Wind Causing the Leaves to Move About
Keep in mind that as the wind blows leaves off the trees, the same wind will keep them blowing around on the ground. Ideally don’t do leaf-clearing on a very windy day as the wind has a habit of simply blowing them back, although if you must, work out what direction the wind is blowing in so that at least the leaves will be blown in the right direction.
6. Leaves Getting Caught in Other Areas
Typically leaves can end up getting caught and sunk in drains and gutters, causing blockages and water damage later on. This can eventually cause a different maintenance task altogether, although do look out for the early signs of this happening, for example trees near building gutters, signs of weeds and leaves growing in the gutters and damp patches and signs of drains blocking and seeing leaves down grates.
7. Mechanical Blower
As an alternative to a brush, you can use a leaf blower, the idea being to blow the leaves into piles. These are particularly good for large areas where there are not too many leaves and they are not stuck together, but watch out for any cables you need if they’re not battery powered, and you need to keep emptying the bags into a bin bag.
In short, have an action-plan for any serious leaf-clearing needed, not only in the typical autumn period but any other times of year where they may also be around, for example after any seriosu pruning and landscaping works.
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