We are in the middle of the Atlantic hurricane season, and our area is vulnerable to the effects of summer and autumn storms. Strong winds and pounding rain wreak havoc on trees, plants and fences. The process of clean up is a messy one, and there is no time to waste when HOA members are expecting immediate cleanup.
The first step is to check trees for damage: When the storm has passed, visually inspect your trees while maintaining a safe distance. Broken branches are a certainty, but look for more intensive signs of damage, such as split or leaning trunks. If you see any signs of lifted ground, your tree is in the process of falling. It is important to call for professional help right away and stay well away from the path of any compromised trees.
Next, check hardscapes and plants for damage: A close look at your landscape will help to determine if there is severe damage or if minor clean up and pruning is adequate. Woody plants are at the most risk of damage, especially in the wind. Keep in mind that any large tree branches requiring removal cause more debris to fall, so waiting to clean up these areas until your trees are professionally addressed will save you the hassle of cleaning up twice.
Lastly, check drainage systems: Gutters, downspouts and storm drains easily become clogged by fallen leaves or damaged by wind and debris. Areas of standing water in your yard is the sign of a failed system or a bigger landscaping problem. Extended moisture kills your lawn, plants and trees and damages your building’s foundation. This is not the last storm your property will endure, and by addressing any drainage issues on your property, you prevent future issues and damage.