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The Big Thaw- Tips on protecting your home and landscaping in spring

From news release spring 2018


Record snowfall means a very soggy spring.  
As you are no doubt aware, Calgary has received a huge amount of snow this winter.  In fact, according to Environment Canada,  it is four - five times the seasonal average. This means there will be a large amount of run off in spring when all the snow melts.  We are recommending customers take some steps to help protect their landscaping and their homes.  Here are some things you can do around your property:

Clear any snow away from foundations.
Large amounts of water can cause flooding into windows, window wells and small cracks in your foundation.  In most cases, you will have enough overhang on your roof to keep most of the snow away from your foundation but if you happen to see large amounts of snow in areas close to your foundation you may want to move this snow to an area where you know it will drain away from your house.

Move snow away from trouble or low spots on your property.  
You may be aware of certain areas of your property where water tends to settle more than other areas.  We have seen these trouble spots in both new and old properties but recently there seems to be more issues with new developments.  Developers don't always build properties with the best drainage in mind and often there is barely enough grade to take the water off of your property.  If you have seen these trouble spots in the past you are more than likely going to see it in a more dramatic fashion this spring. Standing water can do harm to your trees, shrubs, retaining walls and paving stone patios or walkways.  If at all possible, move the snow to the perimeter of your property, or areas where you know there is not an issue with drainage.  Moving the snow off of your property altogether may be your best option.

Clear downspouts and direct them away from walkways
Your downspouts may become blocked with ice and snow. Especially if we get a typical freeze and thaw spring.  Clearing the downspouts so they drain freely is important.  If your downspouts are buried and drain underground you may want to disconnect them so they drain over land.  Buried downspouts may take much longer to thaw this spring with the extra insulation the snow provides.  Allowing them to drain freely will help insure quicker draining and minimize back up and overflow from your eavestroughs.  Make sure to direct down spouts away from walkways or areas where drainage is compromised.

Reduce snow mold damage
​Snow mold will likely be prevalant this year because of the large snow accumulations on lawns across the city.  Snow mold shows up as white or grey circular patches and can vary from a few inches to several feet in diameter.  The grass may be matted down and crusty in these areas.  Snow mold can kill healthy grass.  Unfortunately there is no fungicide that works adequately for snow mold.  To help reduce snow mold damage you can  gently rake the affected areas to loosen any matted grass. This will help the lawn dry out and give unaffected grass room to grow.  For areas that are severely damaged or dead you will need to add soil and grass seed to help the lawn recover.  Seeding will have the best chance of survival if it is done in late May after any hard frosts occur.   

On A positive note 
On the bright side, all of this snow will have provided excellent insulation for your trees and shrubs this winter.  The deep snow insulates the rootball and protects plants from winter kill  This should mean your plantings come back strong and healthy if there is not too much standing water around them.   As well, you shouldn't have to worry about watering your trees shrubs or sod in the near future!! 

Thank you,
Chinook Landscaping and Design Inc.


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