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Storms, regardless if they are rain, snow, or a combination of the two, can really take a number out of your yard. Rain and wind storms, especially like some of those that we had this year, can really harm our yard and trees. Wind can bring down weak branches, cause lawn furniture to hit the trunk of the trees, and snow can weigh down trees until they break. From all of that, debris spreads out all over your yard, powerlines can come down, and you put many different people in danger.

After the storm, the cleanup process starts, and that can take a long time. Storm cleanup is backbreaking work that requires the right tools and the time necessary to do a good job. Trees are cumbersome and can be dangerous, but debris is just as dangerous as it adds up.

After a storm in Pennsylvania, no matter what kind of storm you have, you have to be careful about cleaning up trees and debris. Here are a few tips:

4. Check Entire Yard First

  • Make sure to watch where you step
  • Take pictures of everything that looks wrong
  • Walk in complete daylight in protective clothing

The first thing you really need to do when the storm has passed is just surveying the damage done to your yard. After a severe storm, there is a chance that danger lurks in your yard in places where you might not see it. Downed branches can hide powerlines that won’t impact your power, animals get a little overwhelmed and start coming out, and structural damage abounds.

Make note of everything you see, including broken windows, power lines, fallen trees, water pooling, and damage to hardscapes. Do not touch anything right away. You want to see the full extent of the damage so that you can understand where you want to start.

Even more importantly, Troy Built reminds all homeowners that taking pictures of the damage that you see will help when contacting your home insurance company. They will want those pictures and you want to reach out before you move or change anything, or it may not be covered anymore.

3. Clear Anything Dangerous For Others

  • Make sure to remove anything that is dangerous to your family or others
  • Keep everyone safe during removal process
  • Helps with allowing others to help

Next, you want to clean up anything that might cause damage to someone that gets into your yard. Windows, doors, bird feeders, and other lawn ornaments that have glass might have broken, so you want to pick up the glass. If you can, clear debris from the road and your walkways – as long as you can safely remove it by yourself. Clearing driving space and picking up anything that will cut someone is key.

In fact, going around your yard and cleaning this up will help you to double check for any damage. This Old House suggests that you repair windows and doors once everything is clean and safe, because this keeps the inside of your house safe. Remember to wear protective gear, and immediately take care of any cuts or scrapes.

For your trees, make sure to remove dangling branches immediately, because these will fall quickly.

2. Survey Your Trees

  • Do not touch your tree if it feels unsafe
  • Check to make sure trees in the ground are sturdy
  • Contact a professional as soon as possible

If there are trees down on your property, you also need to jump into action there. The primary thing you need to do is check to ensure that your tree hasn’t pulled down any power lines with it. If it has, you must not touch the tree, as it can be charged. Call your electric company first to see what they suggest you do – it is likely they will send someone to assess the damage.

If your tree has fallen into a neighbor’s property, you may want to hold back on touching that tree as well. House Logic explains why you might want to do that: “But if your tree falls over a neighbor’s property line, do nothing until their insurance company contacts you. You may not be liable unless you knew or should have known the tree was in a dangerous condition.”

Of course, all of this really depends on the size and type of the tree that has fallen. In some cases, you may be able to handle the tree by yourself. However, it is recommended that you do reach out to a professional so that you can ensure everything is as safe as it can be. Remember that you need to be safe, even if that means taking up a little more time to clear your yard.

1. Overhaul Your Hardscaping

  • Tree can take out sidewalks
  • Look for roots that have upturned
  • Secure trees if possible, they may still fall

Another big concern when it comes to your trees and storms is the fact that your hardscaping may have prevented the trees from uprooting or falling, but they are still in danger. Make sure to look for any sidewalks, retaining walls, and patios that seem to be unsteady after a storm. If you see this, you want to contact professionals that can look at your trees to ensure that they are safe.

In some cases, your trees will recover. In others, there need to be slight adjustments to the tree so that it stands sturdy. This is one of the biggest steps that people forget when they clear their lawns after a storm, and according to PA Code, it is required.

Storms can be extremely strong and violent in Pennsylvania, so you have to know how to clean up after them in a way that is safe and effective. If you have trees in your yard, you may need to call a professional team to help you with the cleanup.

Don’t hesitate, give our team at Cutting Edge Tree Professionals a call today, we will work with you to keep your yard extremely safe. Remember that time is of the essence, so do not hesitate. Call us at (814) 240-2172.

Header Photo Courtesy of Oran Viriyincy on Flickr!

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