4 Tips for Cleaning Your Yard of Trees & Debris After a California Storm

Storms can really take a lot out of you – they are stressful, annoying, and can put a damper on your plans. In California, we tend to have beautiful weather, but we pay for that when we have humungous storms that down trees, move around patio furniture, and even pull down power lines.

The storm itself is only a small part of your problems. After a storm, you have to start the cleanup process. This can be backbreaking work, depending on what happened in your yard during the storm. Debris is easy enough to remove, but it can take up a lot of time. Trees, on the other hand, are more cumbersome and can be dangerous for the common person to remove.

After a storm in California, you have to be careful about cleaning up trees and debris. Here are a few tips:

4. Check Entire Yard Next

  • Look for downed power lines
  • Take pictures
  • Check trees

After a storm that is severe, you want to walk around your yard when you know it is safe to be outside. This will allow you to survey the damage. Some people won’t see much damage other than some downed branches or a lot of leaves clogging up the gutters. Some of the things to look for include: broken windows, downed power lines, fallen trees, pooling water, and any damage to your hardscapes.

Troy Built reminds homeowners that taking pictures helps when contacting your home insurance company, if you feel like you need to do that because of the damage to your home or property.

3. Clear Any Glass First

  • Allows for inspection
  • Keeps everyone safe
  • Allows younger children to help later on

The most important thing you can do after a storm is to do a simple walk around the outside of your home and check for glass. You know your home extremely well, so you should be able to look fairly quickly. Windows, doors, and bird feeders are common parts of the yard that have glass. Gazing balls and other lawn ornaments may have glass as well.

Eliminating the glass from your yard makes it safer for everyone in your family to join in the clean-up party. This Old House suggests that you repair these problems first before worrying about the other debris in your yard. Remember to wear gloves when cleaning up any glass so that you don’t cut yourself. If you do get a cut, stop and clean the wound right away.

2. Trees are Tricky

  • You may not be able to touch your tree
  • Check where your tree has fallen
  • Contact a professional

If you have a tree that has fallen on your property, there are a few different things that you will want to do. The first is that you want to check if the tree has brought down any power lines. If it has, do not touch the tree, nor the lines. Call your electric company and wait for them to assess the damage.

If the tree has fallen over your property line, you should not touch it either. According to House Logic, “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.”

Depending on the type and size of the tree that has fallen, you may be able to tackle it by yourself. However, it is recommended that you reach out to a professional so that you can ensure everything is as safe as it can be. Sometimes, danger lurks in your trees, especially once they have fallen.

Even better, sometimes you’ll be able to save your tree from the fall and put it upright again.

1. Hardscaping is Critical

  • Check retaining walls first
  • Contact professional for critical problems
  • Secure anything if possible

One of the biggest concerns after a storm (other than your trees) is your hardscaping, especially retaining walls. These walls and structures are usually made because they serve a purpose: help keep your yard in place and prevent any sliding. Hardscaping is usually hardy (hence the name), but it can’t always stand up against the force of nature.

The City of Glendale reminds residents of that city (and all of California): “Visually inspect all retaining wall drains, surface drains, culverts, ditches, etc. for obstructions or other signs of malfunction, before the storm season, and after every storm event.”

If you do have problems with your hardscaping, you need to call a professional to help you out. In many cases, hardscaping can be saved, it just has to be reassembled and put back together. If you have the chance to do that, it is an extremely cost-effective fix.

Once again, don’t be afraid to reach out to your homeowner’s insurance policy to see how they can help you repair your yard after a big storm – you’ll be surprised about what types of damage it covers.

At Econo Tree Service, our team is here for you after any big storm, earthquake, or event where you need yard clean up. Whether you have a lot of debris that needs to be removed, a fallen tree that you need help eliminating, trees that need some TLC, or a mixture of all of the above, we are here for you.

Our team of professionals works extremely hard to meet your expectations and go above them – we take great care in our work, cleaning up after a storm and then taking the debris with us so that you don’t have to worry about removing the debris from your yard. Storms come extremely quickly, so you don’t always have time to plan in advance, but you can keep us on cal so that your yard can get back to normal as soon as possible.

Still, even the best teams are more effective when they are given the appropriate time – so give us a call today at (650) 200-2495.

Header photo courtesy of Cherrysweetdeal on Flickr!
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