Landscaping Blog

5 Tips for Hiring Commercial Snow Removal Services

commercial snow removal

As a business owner or property manager, keeping your employees and customers safe is a crucial part of your job. Developing a snow removal plan should be essential to preparing your business for winter. In fact, approximately 25% of businesses don’t reopen after a significant injury or disaster during the winter months, especially when there isn’t a plan in place. 

The good news is you can prevent injuries and damage from heavy snow by hiring a commercial snow removal company. However, if you’ve never been through the process before, choosing the best company for your needs can be challenging.

You’ll need to keep reading this guide to learn five helpful tips for hiring the right commercial snow removal services for your business!

1. Get References and Check Reviews

Most of the time, large companies tend to be reputable, but you should still always check for references and reviews. Your first step should be to check with fellow business owners to see which company they use for their snow removal needs. You’ll also need to check Google for snow removal companies in your area and make a list of the top 3 to 5 companies.

Next, take the time to read through Google reviews for each snow removal company, focusing on the overall customer experience. It’s also a good idea to check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website for reviews, ratings, and complaints.

Take the time to look at the company websites to learn more about their services. They should have trained and licensed employees that will remove your snow. Companies that offer snow removal services should also have the proper insurance coverage. Insurance helps cover the cost of accidents, equipment, and property damage. In most cases, you should look for general liability insurance or a business owner’s policy.

Don’t be afraid to ask detailed questions about a company’s licenses and insurance. Taking the time to do your research from the beginning will ensure that you find a reliable company you can work with long-term.

2. Get Multiple Price Quotes

Once you decide on your top three choices, you should get price quotes from each company. It’s essential to ensure that you understand the pricing while you’re getting these quotes. Many different factors can affect pricing, like shoveling, snow blowing, and clearing sidewalks. For example, if there is a large snow accumulation, your business may need both snow-blowing and shoveling services.

It’s also wise to ask each company what types of materials they use and how long it typically takes them to complete the snow removal. Some companies offer guarantees and free snow removal quotes, so be sure to ask these questions while getting price quotes.

Overall, you need to understand what you’re paying for before you agree to any snow removal services.

3. Ask About Snow Removal Processes

Your next step is to ask about the snow removal process in detail. Keep in mind that each company should have a specific method for clearing snow from your business. This process should include your parking lots, sidewalks, and other areas of your property.

Reputable snow removal companies will also offer a commercial property evaluation as part of their process. During this evaluation, the company will come to your property to conduct an assessment first. The evaluation involves identifying hazards and obstacles to be aware of when it comes to snow and ice removal time. Obstacles companies look for include things such as:

  • Curves
  • Ramps
  • Fire hydrants
  • Elevated sidewalks
  • Electricity poles

The company will then note these obstacles and make a plan to ensure an efficient snow removal process. You should also check for weather tracking and updating. Reputable commercial snow removal companies will track weather data and inform you of significant weather changes that could impact your business.

Finally, too much salt can harm asphalt, leading to costly damages that will come out of your pocket. So, look for a company that uses hi-tech equipment that measures temperatures and dew points, eliminating oversalting problems. 

4. Check for Other Services

If you’re taking the time to choose a reliable snow removal company, then why not find one that offers other services you can use year-round? It’s best to use a landscaping company offering commercial snow removal and other commercial landscaping services

You can use the same company for basic grounds maintenance in the warmer months, including services like:

  • Edging
  • Mowing
  • Weeding
  • Mulching
  • Pruning and trimming

You can also use them for other services like planting, leaf removal, and weed control, making your business more appealing to customers. You’ll also be able to get a free quote for these services so that you can plan your budget for the warmer months. 

All in all, if you can find one dependable company that can service all of your landscaping needs each year, you’ll save money and time searching for other companies.

5. Sign a Contract

Once you narrow down your choices and reach a decision, you should sign a snow removal contract that clearly outlines the services you agree to. Contracts ensure both parties are aware of the services and payment terms. In addition, the agreement can’t be changed once you both sign the contract, eliminating you from worry.

Take the time to read through the snow removal contract and ask questions before you sign. Check that the agreement outlines extensive service details, such as the time frame for clearing walkways and parking lots. You’ll also need to check if the company will provide the salt for ice management. 

Finally, check for additional charges or price variations for situations like heavy snowfall. Remember, a reliable company will have no problem sitting down with you and reviewing contract details.

Hire a Commercial Snow Removal Service Today

Now that you know these helpful tips, hiring a commercial snow removal company will be an easy process. If you’re still looking for commercial snow removal in Maryland, you can turn to BAM’s Landscaping for all your commercial snow removal and landscaping needs.

BAM’s landscaping has officially offered landscaping and snow removal services since 2010 but began offering services in 2004. We’re the go-to landscaping provider in the Montgomery County region and provide commercial snow removal, lawn maintenance, weed control, gutter cleaning, and more.

We look forward to being your business’s number-one Maryland snow removal company, so contact us today to receive a free commercial snow removal quote!

Winter Lawns: How to Avoid Soil Compaction and Maintain Quality

Believe it or not, your soil can become claustrophobic.

Nope, we’re not pulling your leg. As the space between particles in your soil decreases, the grasses and plants that grow in it can grow weary… if they grow at all.

This process is called soil compaction, and it can make lawn care in winter difficult. Luckily, there are several things you can do to maintain healthy soil throughout the year.

What Is Soil Compaction?

Soil compaction occurs when particles in your soil press together too tightly, leaving little space between them. These spaces in the soil, called “pores,” are where water and gasses flow to nourish roots. In compacted soil, these pores are much smaller, which results in less water, airflow, and drainage, which isn’t good news for greenery.

 And, while some soil compaction can create sturdy soil that resists blowing away, too much can make it hard for roots to penetrate. Plus, soil that is too dense and wet (which can occur in winter months due to heavy, melting snow) can also increase the likelihood of root diseases and rot.

Finally, soil compaction can reduce your soil quality over time by removing essential nutrients like nitrogen and potassium.

These factors can lead to no grass growth on your lawn, plus difficulty planting and maintaining gardens, flowers, and other greenery and shrubs.

How to Avoid Soil Compaction

While prevention is considered the best way to keep soil compaction at bay, you can use many strategies to bring life back into compacted soil. Below we cover both prevention tips and tips to manage compact soil.

Over-Tilling Soil

At first glance, it may seem like tilling your soil will add more air and space. Unfortunately, too much tilling can have the opposite effect.

While it’s true that tilling breaks up soil particles, the problem is that it breaks them up too much. Soil naturally aggregates into pea-sized clumps with gaps, or pores, between them, which allows air and water to pass through. When you over-till, these clumps are broken up into single particles. When water hits these single particles, they congeal together and become compact since there are no longer any aggregates to create small gaps to let water drain through.

Also, if you are tilling with a motorized tiller, avoid repeatedly going over areas, as this can overly break up soil particles.

Tilling or Working Wet Soil

Working or tilling soil that is too wet can also damage its clump-like structure that allows for airflow. To determine whether your soil is too wet to till, pick up a piece and squeeze it into a ball in your hand. Gently poke this ball: if it falls apart, you can work it. If it doesn’t crumble, the soil is too wet.

Adding Sand to Clay Soil

Another common practice is adding sand to clay-rich soil to loosen it. Unfortunately, sand and clay can stick together even more, creating concrete-like soil.

To loosen clay-rich soil, focus on adding organic matter like compost, rather than sand. You can also add in peat moss or leaves to create some aeration.

Vehicles, Mowers, or Heavy Foot Traffic

If you’ve ever built a sand castle or made a snowball, you’re aware that pressure hardens sand and snow into compact shapes. This same effect occurs in your soil when too much heavy machinery, or even foot traffic, moves across the surface.
To prevent soil compaction, limit frequent mowers, heavy equipment, and foot traffic. Creating a designated road or even a stone pathway can help keep vehicles and shoes from pressing down on your soil.

Soil Tests and Cover Crops

Testing your soil every three years for pH levels, nutrients, and organic matter percentage can also go a long way in compaction prevention. These markers can help you determine how your soil quality is faring before compaction occurs so you can take early measures to prevent it.

One way to help maintain soil quality, especially in vegetable gardens, is to grow a cover crop. This would be grown at the end of the season, mowed, and turned in the following Spring before planting. This is beneficial because the roots penetrate compacted soil and loosen it for the next season. Mowing and turning in this cover crop then provides additional loosening.

Some excellent cover crops include winter wheat, buckwheat, winter rye, annual ryegrass, and hairy vetch.

In addition, you can also cover your unused beds with a layer of mulch, followed by an old cloth, blanket, or landscape fabric. This will help reduce compaction by only allowing small amounts of snowfall and water into the soil.

Allow Cool-Weather Weeds to Grow

While letting weeds reign in your garden or yard may seem counterintuitive, it can be beneficial. Weeds work similarly to cover crops: their roots break up soil during winter months to help prevent compaction.

Try to let weeds grow until late winter, then cut them and add them to your compost pile.

Lawn Maintenance and Commercial Snow Removal Services

BAM´s Landscaping is your premier lawn care and landscaping provider in the Montgomery County region. Our commercial snow plowing and ice management services help keep your property pristine during the winter months, while also keeping your commercial lawn healthy with little soil compaction.

With tailored intervention strategies and a 24/7 on-call team, our goal is to help you avoid winter surprises that can put your business at risk.

Call us for a free consultation here.

A Guide to the Different Types of Ice Melt

ice melt

The winter season has arrived, and you know what that means—ice and snow, and a lot of it. 

Shoveling can only do so much, but the only real way to tackle all those icy pavements, sidewalks, and driveways is to have some quality ice melt on hand. Whether you’re a homeowner or a business proprietor, you’ll want to take the appropriate steps to prepare for winter weather. The absolute last thing you want is a nasty slip and fall, and consequent injuries, due to black ice. 

Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. In the following article, we’ll go over the various types of ice melt, how they work, and some things to consider when choosing between the various ice melt options.

The Low-Down on Ice Melt

So what do you need to know about melting ice? 

Well, in simple terms, ice melt is something that you apply before an impending snowstorm or other weather event that is likely to produce snow and ice; conversely, it can also be scattered on the new snow or ice. 

The way it works is by raising the freezing point of water. This helps to prevent ice from accumulating, or helps to turn the existing ice into a melted slush. The idea is to keep ice from getting a strong foothold on pavement and other surfaces, so it won’t continue to grow with further precipitation.

Why Are There Different Types of Ice Melt?

So we know that ice melt, which is also known as a deicing agent, functions by obviating the formation of ice through reducing the freezing point of water. 

Deicing agents are remarkably useful for cleaning ice, since it prevents the heavy concentration and buildup of snow and ice. This is why it’s best to cast some ice melt on pavements, driveways, and other surfaces before the anticipated snowfall—after all, this will make your life much easier. 

Fortunately, ice melt comes in many different forms for different uses. There’s the standard rock salt ice melts, like the kind used by city and highway services. You can also find liquid ice melts, which often come as a brine so you can use them in sub-freezing temperatures. 

Brittle ice is weakened by applying the liquid ice melt to the ice and snow. In extreme freezing conditions, these liquid deicers are probably a good choice. Brine may be applied in a hand spray or by tanker trucks, depending on the scale of your deicing operation.

The Most Common Types of Ice Melt

Each of the different types of ice melt have their particular  strengths and weaknesses, which are suited to specific situations. 

Which is the best choice will depend on how you intend to use the ice melt. So let’s take a look at some of the different ice melt options in greater detail. 

1. Sodium Chloride Liquid Brine

Sodium chloride is a liquid-type ice melt, which is usually formed of one-quarter salt and three-quarters water. Comparing this brine to rock salt, it’s much easier on the environment, since it uses far less salt. 

It’s also considerably less wasteful than solid rock salt since it’s less liable to being dispersed by the wind. Just apply the sodium chloride (salt) brine to the required surface the night before the snowfall to achieve optimum results.

2. Sodium Acetate

Sodium acetate is an environmentally friendly choice for an ice melt—something not all ice melts can boast. 

For one thing, it’s free of damaging biodegradable compounds, and it has no adverse effects, such as metal corrosion. On the other hand, sodium acetate is considered an expensive alternative. 

This type of deicing agent has been successfully used on airport runways, for example, so you know it’s got to pack some serious ice-melting power.

3. Calcium Chloride

Calcium chloride is a popular choice for an ice melt, particularly with those concerned about the quality of their lawn maintenance

Calcium chloride is less expensive than sodium acetate, which is a plus, but it is somewhat more expensive than other ice melts on this list. 

As with sodium chloride, it works by reducing the freezing point of water and then generates heat through an exothermic reaction, causing the ice to melt. Calcium chloride is well suited to concrete surfaces, and will even work in temperatures as low as -25 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Blends

A blend is much what it sounds like—a combination of sodium chloride, as high-quality solar or rock salt, with some other ice melt, such as calcium chloride. The reason behind creating these blends is to combine, in some cases, fast-acting ice melts with longer-lasting forms that will keep ice from reforming or accumulating.

6. Potassium Chloride

Potassium chloride is another choice, but it is not a good choice for areas with severe winters. 

The reason is because this ice melt option won’t reduce the ice to temperatures lower than twenty-five degrees Fahrenheit. So if you know that you’re likely to experience a great deal of dangerous ice might, it’s probably wisest to invest in an extra-strength ice melt product. 

But when it comes to environmental considerations, it’s tough to do better than potassium chloride. It is, without question, a much better choice for the environment than many other ice melter products. Keep in mind, though, that it’s more expensive than other kinds of ice melts, and it doesn’t pack the same punch as more powerful deicers. 

So if you live in an area that only occasionally needs ice melting, doesn’t really experience severe winters, and cost is no object, you might consider giving potassium chloride a try. 

Let Bam’s Landscaping Help You Keep Your Landscaping Snow Free

Winter is upon us, and with it comes the hassle of trying to keep your driveway, sidewalks, and landscaping snow free. This guide can help you find the right ice melt to, if not keep the snow away permanently, then at least alleviate some of your snow and ice worries. 

But you don’t have to handle this problem on your own. At Bam’s Landscaping, we have a team of dedicated personnel who can take care of everything from your landscaping needs in the summer, to snow removal in the winter. 

So go ahead and contact us today to see how we can help with all of your landscaping questions and concerns. 

When to Request Snow Removal Service From Your Local Landscaper

snow removal service

Every year nearly a quarter of car accidents occur during winter weather when the roads are snowy or icy. Snow removal is an important step to take to help prevent these kinds of accidents and keep everyone visiting your property safe. 

Being in charge of all the snow removal can be a time-consuming and difficult job. This is why so many property owners choose to hire a snow removal service instead of taking it on themselves. They get to enjoy a freshly plowed driveway or parking lot without all of the physical effort that goes into that job!

For those who are still unsure whether they could use this kind of help removing snow during the winter months, this guide will help. Read on to find out some of the most common reasons to hire a professional snow removal service. 

Extended Storm Predicted

When you don’t have regular snow plowing scheduled, it’s important to keep track of what weather is predicted. As soon as you see a major winter storm coming in, it’s time to call in the professionals. 

This scheduling is extra important when the storm is expected to last for an extended period of time. As the snow falls and is driven or walked on, it compacts down into a hard layer. Often that layer becomes icier and is difficult to remove, especially as more snow piles on top. 

There will be much more success keeping your driveway, sidewalks, and parking lot clear and safe when it’s cleared throughout the storm. Waiting until it’s completely passed creates much more work. 

Expecting Customers

For those commercial spaces that are expecting customers to come in, snow removal is critical. If your business depends on customers physically visiting your space, you need to clear every obstacle that could prevent them from doing just that. This is even more true if you see a vulnerable population, like the elderly.

The goal of all businesses is to create a positive experience for every customer interaction. Keeping your property clear shows the care and concern you have for your customers. 

Commercial snow removal is often much more involved than it would be for a residential job. It may take a snow plow truck or a larger team to get the job done. It’s helpful to have those teams in place before winter starts and it’s too late! 

Shared Parking Lot 

Many commercial spaces don’t have their own designated parking lot. Instead, they often share with neighboring offices and businesses. 

This makes for great space saving but can also make maintenance and upkeep more difficult.

Bring to come up with a schedule or plan to share responsibilities can be overwhelming. Then you have to keep track of assignments and surely someone will miss theirs. It’s almost impossible to make things equal.

You can skip all that hassle when you hire professionals for all of those needs, including removing snow. They can manage all the work while every business can focus on their own tasks. It’s a win-win all around. 

Missing Necessary Equipment

Sometimes removing snow and ice is a straightforward process that’s fairly easy to keep up with. Most of the time it’s a bit more complicated though, especially when you have a larger area to keep clear. Luckily, there are a lot of ways you can make this job much easier on yourself. 

Unfortunately, those techniques often require their own set of tools and equipment that you may not have on hand. 

Winter only lasts for a short period of time, so gathering all of the best snow removal tools to use a couple of times a year might not make the most sense. Instead, it would be a better use of funds to hire a professional team who has all those things already. 

Physical Limitations

Of all the outdoor maintenance tasks, removing snow is one of the most physically demanding jobs. Depending on how much and what type of snow has fallen, it can take a lot of power and strength to get it removed. 

Many people simply aren’t strong enough to handle taking on such a big, important job. The last thing you want is to get injured trying to keep others safer during these kinds of conditions. Proper snow removal techniques can help you protect yourself to some degree but it’s often better to let the pros take over. 

They’ll send over a team of hard workers who will tackle the job for you, saving you the aches and pains that often follow such a hard job! 

Relieve Stress and Worry

While many people find winter storms cozy and beautiful, they can also cause a lot of stress and anxiety for people. The fear of driving and managing a vehicle in snowy conditions is often too much to handle. Then add on top of that trying to make sure you’re creating a safe environment for others and it’s very overwhelming! 

Having a snow removal team set and ready to go whenever the first winter storm hits will save you a lot of those uncomfortable feelings. 

You’ll be able to move into the season change ready for whatever comes, knowing your property is covered. This help allows you to enjoy the snow while keeping your property fully functioning. 

Request a Snow Removal Service for Your Property

Managing any kind of property is a big task, especially during the winter months when the weather can be so unpredictable and difficult to stay on top of. Hiring a snow removal service allows you to delegate those tasks and focus on other areas that need your attention. 

Not only will you not have to worry about handling these tasks on your own, but they’ll also get done in a much quicker and more efficient way. These professionals have all the right tools and techniques to quickly clear your spaces. 

Our team is experts on all landscaping tasks from snow removal to lawn maintenance. If you’re in need of any help with your exteriors, contact us today for a free quote! 

A Guide on Snow Plowing Techniques

The Kensington, MD area gets around 15 inches of snow each year. It’s essential to keep your property clear of snow and ice. Driving on snow-covered roads can be dangerous for you and those around you. 

Snow plowing is an efficient way to clear your property’s driveway and the road of accumulated snow. It’s important to use the right method and equipment when snow plowing a commercial property. You’ll want to get the job done as quickly as possible so you can go back inside where it’s warm. 

This guide will discuss our favorite plowing techniques you can use instead of spending hours shoveling snow. 

Plan Ahead

Planning for an upcoming snowstorm will help you be ready for when it hits. You should stake your driveway so you have a roadmap for where you need to plow. Staking your driveway helps you avoid plowing other parts of your property that don’t need to get cleared. 

Place a stake on either side of your driveway’s entrance. Put in more stakes along both sides every 10 to 15 feet. You’ll want to include more stakes if your driveway has lots of turns. 

You’ll have no problem seeing where your driveway is, even if the snowstorm produces a lot of snow. You can also add reflectors to your stakes. The reflectors boost your visibility, whether you’re driving or plowing at night. 

Don’t Wait Until the Storm Is Over

You might be tempted to start plowing once it’s stopped snowing. Snowfall will be harder to plow the more it accumulates. Heavy snow cover might harden as well, making it more challenging to plow. 

Decrease your workload by plowing during the storm. It might seem unappealing to head out during a snowstorm to plow, but you’ll be thanking yourself later. 

Account for Other Plows

There’s a high chance that you’ll find a pile of snow waiting for you at the end of your driveway. Another snowplow might’ve gone along your road, creating berms along the side. These berms can get very hard to remove as snow accumulates and hardens on top of them. 

You can prevent that from happening. Plow a large chunk of snow from your driveway’s right side. When a plowing service goes down your road, the snow will go somewhere else besides your driveway. 

Back Drag if You Have a Short Driveway

Back dragging is a great option if you have a short, straight driveway. Follow these steps to back drag:

  • Drive up to your building as far as you can
  • Lower your plow
  • Back up toward the street

As you back to the street, you’ll pull the snow with you. Keep in mind that while your vehicle might come with a backup camera, you’ll want to use your eyes during this method. You need to pay close attention to any people or animals that might get in your path. 

Choose a specific spot where you’ll deposit the snow after each pass. You don’t want the snow to get in the way of other cars on your road or your neighbors. You’ll want to find a big enough spot since you might have to plow a few times during a snowstorm. 

When back dragging, be careful to avoid hitting drains, fire hydrants, electrical boxes, and mailboxes. You’ll also want to back drag the snow to a place where it can easily drain once it melts. 

How to Get Started Plowing

Back dragging might not be an option that works for you. Let’s discuss some basic snowplowing techniques that work for most driveways. 

Plow in Right Angles 

As you start driving forward, lower your plow. Drive slowly and plow in a straight line. Start by clearing the snow at the outer edges of your driveway. 

Slow down your vehicle, lifting the plow to stack the snow better as you get to the end of a push. Move systematically as you drive your plow. Plow cleanly and slowly as you make your way to the other side of your driveway.

Back In

Another technique for those with longer driveways is to back into your driveway. You can plow the snow out onto your road. Once the snow is on the road or at the end of your driveway, you can plow it to another location that’s out of the way. 

Fluffy, light snow might be able to get plowed all at once. Wet and heavier snow might take multiple passes with your snow plow. As you plow, lower your plow each time to reduce wear and tear on your car. 

How to Keep Yourself Safe When Plowing

Some snow plows attach to the front of your truck or SUV. With those options, you can stay warm and cozy inside your vehicle while you plow. In other scenarios, you might be plowing atop a quad or four-wheeler, exposed to the elements. 

Get prepared with the following safety equipment whenever you go plowing:

  • A helmet equipped with a no-fog shield
  • Warm clothes including insulated underwear
  • Water-resistant and insulated boots
  • Sunglasses (if needed)
  • Gloves that enable you to operate plow and vehicle functions 

You mustn’t drive over 10 MPH when plowing snow. You should always have your seatbelt on, even if you’re driving at a slow speed. Try to plow during times when there’s low traffic. 

Exercise the following three things while plowing:

  • Common sense
  • Courtesy
  • Safety

Odds are if you’re out plowing, you won’t be the only one. Keep an eye out for other snow plows to avoid unfortunate accidents. 

Contact Bam’s Landscaping for Commercial Snow Plowing

You can quickly become a master at snow plowing when dealing with small driveways and roads. However, it can be challenging to stay on top of large commercial properties. You don’t want to have to shovel snow yourself in those types of situations. 

That’s where Bam’s Landscaping comes in. We’ll keep your parking lot and driveways plowed during Maryland snowstorms. Contact us today to get a free snow removal quote. 

9 Best Practices for Quick and Efficient Snow Removal in DC

snow removal

Do you battle snow-covered driveways, icy roads, and obscured signage in winter? You’re not alone.

Montgomery County, MD, gets an average of 18 inches of snow every winter. That’s substantial, considering the US average is just 10 inches more.

It’s certainly enough to make snow removal a priority chore for most Montgomery homeowners, commercial property managers, and business owners. But getting rid of snow is a chore most of us hate to do.

What if we told you there were ways to make clearing snow faster, more efficient, and just, well, less of a chore? Read on to learn some best practices now, and be ready when the snow weather hits.

1. Don’t Skip the Prep Work

Well before you even need to start plowing snow, prepare your yard and outdoor areas for the incoming blizzard.

This means removing anything that might get in the way of your tools, like doormats, playground equipment, rocks, and fallen branches. Look carefully at your yard and move anything that could be a hazard.

Ensure your safety and warm weather gear (like goggles and gloves) are in an easy-to-find spot in your mudroom or garden shed.

Clean your tools and hang them in order of use.

2. Get a Snow Shovel

You can use a snow shovel if you don’t have too much outdoor space to clear. However, not all snow shovels are made equal. It’s essential to get the right one for your needs.

If possible, always choose a metal shovel over a plastic shovel. While plastic shovels are lighter, they’re also less durable.

Metal shovels are usually more expensive, but they last a long time and, in many cases, can be repaired if they break. Once a plastic shovel breaks, you have to buy a new one.

If you’re tall, choose a shovel with a longer handle. A handle that’s too short will put unnecessary on your back. If possible, test the shovels out in the shop before you buy them to check the handle length.

Round and flat shovels are used for different purposes. Flat shovels cut into deep snow, while round shovels are suitable for clearing paths. If possible, get one of each.

3. Use Your Tools Correctly

You’ll likely have other tools in your winter arsenal than just a shovel or two. You probably have a snowblower, too!

A snowblower is a powerful machine. Since it’s been a while since you last picked up your snowblower, read through the manual again before the snow hits the ground.

This will give you a refresher on safety and operation.

4. Try Cooking Spray

You’ll need to head to your kitchen for this tip! While you’re there, grab a can of cooking spray.

If you’re having difficulty with melting snow sticking to your shovel, spray it with cooking oil. Then, you’ll be able to push the blade through the snow with less effort.

When you’ve finished, wipe the shovel down well with a rag and store it as usual.

5. Keep Warm While You Work

You can get carried away while clearing out snow and stay out in the cold much longer than expected. You may get hot while working, but that doesn’t mean you’re safe from the dangers of freezing weather.

Create a snow removal uniform consisting of:

  • Sweat-wicking clothing
  • A fleece over-layer
  • A waterproof outer layer
  • Thick socks
  • Gloves
  • A warm hat
  • Waterproof boots

Make sure any extremities are covered to protect them from the cold.

6. Clear Snow From Around Your Pipes

One reason pipes get frozen is that snow accumulates around the perimeter of your house. The piled-up snow takes longer to melt and can lead to cracks and leaks that damage your foundations.

When shoveling snow, pay particular attention to the walls of your home. If there are garden beds or shrubbery right up against your walls, consider clearing the beds before the winter begins.

7. Use a Melt Agent or De-Icer

While rock salt is one of the most common deicing agents, it has detrimental effects on everything from your concrete pavers to your plants.

Instead, consider lower salt liquid sodium, environmentally-friendly sodium acetate, or low-cost calcium chloride.

8. Shovel While the Snow Is Falling

Most people wait until the snow has stopped falling to get out the snow blower or shovel. But the drifts are large by this time, and the snow is heavy.

If you have the time, try to clear the snow from your yard stages—if it’s falling lightly or there’s a break in the snowfall. This might mean getting out there two or three times instead of just once.

9. Know When to Get Professional Help

There are legitimate reasons for investing in professional snow removal.

Perhaps you struggle to use a shovel or snow blower by yourself. You may need to get out the door for work or school in the morning. It could be that your shovel or snow blower broke.

In these cases, calling your local residential or commercial snow removal and plowing service is a good idea.

You can count on these contractors to turn up at your property when snow reaches unmanageable levels. Then, when you leave the house, the snow is cleared for you!

Plus, they use high-grade equipment that does the job quickly, quietly, and without damaging your property.

Snow Removal Tips and Tricks to See You Through Winter

If you want to make the chore of snow removal more manageable, you need to get clever.

Prepare your tools in advance of winter and familiarise yourself with the manuals. Make sure you’re wearing appropriate clothing so you stay warm. Check your pipes regularly and use only safe de-icers.

If you don’t have time or can’t clear all that snow yourself, get in touch with the pros.

Bam’s Landscaping has years of experience cleaning the driveway, pathways, and yards of home and business owners in lower Montgomery County, MD. We’ll be more than happy to schedule a visit with our efficient, cost-effective snow plow.

Everything You Need to Know About Mulch

Being outside in your garden can boost immunity, help you sleep, and make you happy. One way to keep your garden looking its best is by using mulch. 

Mulch is beneficial to the plants and aesthetic of any outdoor space. Although mulch is essential to your garden, it can be confusing to know which type to choose. 

If you are in the market or mulch but aren’t sure how to use it, you’ve come to the right place. We cover everything you need to know about mulch so you can use it effectively in your space. 

What Is Mulch

Mulch is a material, usually organic, that people spread over the surface of the soil. People use it to keep the soil moist, to moderate soil temperature, and for decorative purposes. Mulch comes in many forms, each with its own benefits.

Mulch Types 

Organic mulches come in aged or fresh varieties. Older organic mulch, like decomposed wood, breaks down over time. This kind of mulch adds nutrients to the soil. 

Fresh organic mulch, like bark and wood chips, keep weeds away while adding style to your home. You would use this mulch in areas where the soil doesn’t need extra nutrients. 

Inorganic mulches, such as gravel and stones, do not break down and last a long time. Both types of mulch have their advantages and disadvantages. It is vital to choose the right one for your needs.

Bark Mulch 

Bark mulch is a popular choice for gardens and landscaping. It comes in an array of colors which you can use to add visual interest to your garden. 

You’ll find mulch in popular red, black, and brown colors. You can also get mulch custom dyed to match your outdoor style. 

If you choose a brightly colored mulch, it is usually finer in texture than non-colored types. This quality helps it stay shaped longer and on slopes. 

This kind of mulch will keep its color for about a year. After that time, the sun and elements turn it to a gray color. 

Compost Mulch 

You can improve the quality of your soil by using compost mulch. As it breaks down, compost mulch adds organic matter to the ground. As a result, your soil will drain better and your plants will grow larger.  

Rock Mulch 

Rock comes in anything from tiny stones to golf-ball-sized rocks. This mulch usually comes from riverbed rocks. 

Rock mulch is often used in gardening and landscaping. You can use it for decorative purposes, such as creating a border around a garden bed. You can clean your rock mulch using a leaf blower to eliminate pine needles or debris. 

Rubber Mulch 

Rubber mulch is an excellent option if you’re looking for an eco-friendly, durable mulch for your garden. Made from recycled tires, rubber mulch is non-toxic and long-lasting. It also provides great weed control and helps to keep moisture in the soil. 

Rubber mulch can also help to keep the soil warm. This quality makes it ideal to use for growing warm-weather crops.

Where to Use Mulch 

If you are using organic mulch, there are places you won’t want to spread it. Keep organic mulch out of damp areas or areas that are low. These places are moist and will be too wet for plants. 

A very damp area is a recipe for slugs and other creatures. These pests can destroy your plants. 

On the flip side, rock mulch can bake plants with shallow roots. Make sure to use this kind of mulch in areas where plants have deep roots. 

How to Buy Mulch 

Before you buy your mulch, you’ll need to calculate how much you’ll need. To do this, multiply the length and width of the space. Take this number and divide it by three. 

Once you do this, you’ll have the volume of cubic feet you’ll need for mulch. If your space is large, you’ll need more mulch than you can fit in your car. If this is the case, you can have mulch delivered right to your home. 

How to Use Mulch the Right Way 

Mulch is a perfect way to improve the look and health of your garden, but it’s essential to use it correctly. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your mulch:

Step One 

Many types of mulch are available, so make sure you choose one that is appropriate for your needs. For example, if you are trying to conserve water, choose a mulch that will help keep the soil moist.

Step Two 

Apply the mulch at the right time. In general, it’s best to apply mulch in the spring or fall. This will help protect your plants from extreme temperatures and help the soil retain moisture.

Step Three 

Don’t apply too much mulch. Too much mulch can harm your plants by preventing air and water from reaching the roots. A layer that is two to four inches deep is usually enough.

Step Four 

Keep an eye on the mulch. Over time, mulch can break down, and you’ll need to replace it. Every year or two, check the depth of your mulch and add more if necessary.

By following these tips, you can ensure your mulch is working to its full potential. 

Protect Your Garden and Make It Look Great With Mulch 

Mulch can be a great asset to any garden. It protects the soil and keeps plants healthy while defining the space. It’s easy to use and will keep your garden growing beautifully. 

If you want to add mulch to your yard, BAM’s Landscaping can help. We’ve been helping people make their lawns and gardens look great for over twelve years. Contact us today for your free landscaping quote. 

7 Big Benefits of a Lawn Irrigation System

Have you been growing tired of waking up on Saturday mornings only to immediately go outside before it is too hot to water the lawn by hand? Do you feel like you’re wasting water while finding some puddles on the lawn the next day after you water?

If so, you may want to consider installing a lawn irrigation system for your home. You won’t have to wake up on Saturdays to water the lawn. But you will also gain so many other benefits from installing the best lawn irrigation system as well.

Ready to learn more? Keep reading to learn all about the benefits of an in-ground lawn irrigation system!

1. Helps the Environment

While watering your lawn may seem like a waste of water, with a lawn irrigation system, you can actually help the environment by having a sprinkler system that has a timer and a gauge to know when to water your lawn.

This prevents overwatering which has its own issues.

With a lawn that is watered properly with a lawn irrigation system, there is a multitude of benefits. For starters, a healthy lawn can absorb unhealthy greenhouse gases and exchange them with fresh oxygen. Not only that, but a healthy lawn will also prevent erosion and runoff from occurring.

2. Increase Home Value

Whether you plan to be in your home for a while or are thinking about selling it soon, adding in an irrigation system can increase the overall value of your home.

When you install a sprinkler system, this will help keep your lawn healthy. A healthy lawn means you have better curb appeal! This also means that a potential homebuyer (either now or down the line) will take notice that there is a home irrigation system that they will get with the house as well as an already healthy lawn they don’t have to redo.

3. Reduce Diseases

When plants are overwatered or underwatered, there is a chance that they can become diseased. Either through pests, weeds, or the air, these diseases will eventually cause your plants and lawn to die.

To prevent this, a lawn irrigation system is much better than the traditional use of watering the lawn with a hose. Hose water can sit on the top of the lawn or leaves of the plant and develop fungi. A lawn irrigation system can more efficiently deliver the water, so this is not even a concern.

4. Reduce Costs

A lawn irrigation system has plenty of benefits, but one of your favorite potential benefits is the reduction in costs associated with watering your lawn.

This happens for a variety of reasons. For starters, you won’t be wasting any water. With hose watering or watering by hand, you may use too much water or even water the lawn more often than you should.

By using an irrigation system, the system knows when to water and how much to water without overdoing it. This will save you a ton of money when it comes to your water bill.

Not only that, but because it is watering your lawn properly, there is less of a chance that your lawn or plants will develop diseases or fungi that would cause you to have to redo the lawn overall.

5. Less Worry and Stress When Away

If you travel often or find that you are at work or away when you need to water the lawn, a lawn irrigation system is the perfect solution to this!

You don’t have to be at home or even near your home for it to work. Instead, the schedule keeps the water coming when it needs to – whether you are there or not.

This can also save you money – instead of hiring someone to go over and check our lawn or water your plants, your irrigation system will do it all for you.

6. Preserve Plant and Lawn Nutrients

When you overwater plants and the lawn, this creates runoff. As mentioned previously, this has its own issues – one of which is carrying off essential nutrients with it. However, underwatering will also cause damage to the soil, which will create a lack of nutrients.

When this happens, the lawn and plants have nothing to use to grow and be healthy.

Not only can this lead to disease, but it will ultimately cause your lawn and plants to die. If this happens, you are looking at some hefty costs to replant and refurbish the lawn area.

Having an irrigation system can prevent both of these issues. There will be no underwatering or overwatering, and your plants will have all of the necessary nutrients to grow strong, be healthy, and fight off diseases.

7. Beautify Your Lawn 

If you are tired of looking at your lawn with brown grass and leaves falling off of the plants, it may be due to your irregular watering schedule, lack of watering, or overwatering.

With an irrigation system, your lawn will always be beautiful. You can look out the window and appreciate your yard instead of getting frustrated.

Install a Lawn Irrigation System 

There are so many different benefits to installing a lawn irrigation system for your home!

Not only will you save money and save the environment, but you will also make your home look more beautiful while increasing the value of it.

If you’d like to install a lawn sprinkler system, we want to help! Contact us today so you can start reaping the benefits as soon as possible!

Summer Lawn Care Tips: The Best Lawn Watering Schedule for Summer

lawn watering schedule

There are a lot of direct benefits to maintaining a healthy lawn. Doing so can prevent soil erosion, create a cooling effect, help the environment, and much more. However, in order to properly take care of a lawn, it is important to know how to do so. 

A big part of this is your lawn watering schedule. A poor schedule may leave your lawn with too much or too little water and can even cause grass to become unhealthy. 

In this article, we’re looking at the best way to approach your summer lawn watering schedule. Read on to find out more!

Determine How Much Water Your Lawn Needs

The first step in creating your seasonal watering schedule is to determine how much water your lawn needs and how much it already gets. This will let you know how much additional water you should be providing. 

The amount of water your lawn needs will depend on the type of grass it is made from. Research your lawn to find out what kind of grasses are there and how much water those specific grasses need. Keep in mind that certain grasses need even more water during warmer months. 

However, if you can’t figure this out you should know that, on average, most lawns need about an inch to an inch and a half of rain each week. 

Once you know how much water your lawn needs, you can look into how much water it is getting. Check the average rainfall for your area. For example, the area around Washington DC gets around 42 inches of rainfall each year.

You can get even more specific by measuring the rainfall yourself. Put a can or jar outside and measure how full it gets when it rains. Or, monitor a rain gauge. 

In addition, keep in mind that your grass may need more water when the weather is hot and dry. During these periods, you should probably aim for more than an inch of water each week. This is part of what makes summer lawn care tricky. 

How Long Should You Water Your Lawn?

Once you know how much water your lawn needs, you can start to plan out your weekly schedule. 

First, find out how much water your sprinkler system delivers. You can do this by running the system for a half hour and then measuring the water it provides using methods similar to how you measured rainfall. Make a note of this amount. 

Once you have this number, you can determine how much water your sprinkler system needs to output. For example, if, each week, you are aiming for an inch and a half of water but are only getting half an inch from rain, your sprinkler system should be providing an inch of water. Then, you can run your system for as long as you need to provide this amount. 

If you don’t have a sprinkler system, you will need to be more careful with your watering. If you are watering by hand you will need to time how long you spend on each area. If you are using a portable sprinkler and moving it around, you need to make sure you are moving it around in a consistent fashion. 

This is why a fully integrated sprinkler system is so helpful. It provides your lawn with a consistent amount of water spread evenly over the entire area. So, if you don’t have a sprinkler system, you may want to consider installing one

When Should You Water Your Lawn?

The steps above will provide you with the amount of water your lawn needs each week. However, you don’t need to deliver all of this water at once. When to water your lawn depends on a few factors. 

When you water, check to see how moist the soil is getting. If you notice that the water is starting to pool on the ground, the soil may be saturated. However, if you notice that the water is being sucked up instantly, the soil is probably very dry. 

In most cases, you will want to divide your watering between multiple days. Figure out how much water you need to deliver to ensure it will penetrate the soil. This will give you an idea of how much you need to split up your watering schedule. 

What Time of Day to Water Your Lawn

Now that you know how long and what days you are watering, you need to know what time of day you should water. 

Make sure to water your lawn in the early morning. Aim for a time right before or right around when the sun rises. 

This is important because it allows your lawn to get just the right amount of water. If you water in the middle of the day, the water will evaporate as you are delivering it. If you water at night, the water can sit in a way that may lead to rot or fungus. 

This is why watering at just the right time is important. It gives your lawn time with the water but not too much time. 

Creating Your Lawn Watering Schedule

If you want to know how to care for your lawn, it is important to know how much water you should provide it. Knowing this will help you build a good lawn watering schedule. This, in turn, gives you a healthy and beautiful lawn. 

If you are interested in landscaping services that can help your lawn further, make sure to contact BAM’s Landscaping.

8 Benefits of Hiring a Landscaping Service for Commercial Property

hiring a landscaping service

According to many studies, landscaping can raise commercial property value by anywhere from 5% to 20%.

So, is it time to spruce up your lawn? Perhaps you’d like to expand your commercial property or try a new thing with your hedges. Hiring landscaping services is the right approach to achieve your objectives, whatever the case may be.

You may be skeptical of the idea – after all, why would you conduct a web search for “landscaping services near me”? Why not perform your own yard work?

The reality is that landscaping is a challenging, time-consuming task requiring skill and experience. Even though you have the knowledge, you may not have the necessary tools.

Continue reading to learn about the significant advantages of hiring a landscaping service.

1. No Finger Pointing

When you hire a landscaping company, you can rest assured everything will be handled accordingly. Thus, you will not have to worry about something going wrong or someone messing with your lawn.

The best landscaping services will provide several landscaping services, including regular landscape maintenance, irrigation, shrub pruning, mowing, tree trimming, and debris removal.

In simple terms, a commercial lawn care service provider will meet your needs. They also ensure no liability issues-don’t work on things not hired to do. However, you should hire a licensed and certified landscaping professional.

2. Keep Property Safe

Commercial landscaping services keep your lawn neat and improve safety on your property.

If you are a busy person, you might not have enough time to know where danger lurks on your property. For instance, dead or dying tree branches may suddenly fall on someone walking down the sidewalks or car.

Some of the ways a commercial landscaping service improves safety include:

• Clearing ice and snow on your walkways during winter

• Trimming tree branches to mitigate storm damage

• Clearing weeds that can host destructive pests

Hiring a professional landscaping company will eliminate any hazards.

3. Provide Expert Service

You might be tempted to do some research and do the landscaping yourself. However, landscaping is a labor-intensive task that requires a lot of patience. Since you may lack adequate time, you may skip some changes; later, a backtrack and redo may be needed.

But professional landscapers have the time and experience to care for your property. They also assign a manager to every lawn who keeps a vigil on your yard’s health. Additionally, professionals have ideas that will support your vision and the ability to make your property beautiful.

Other expert services provided by lawn care experts include:

• Determining the appropriate plants and grass for your yards

• Diagnosing and treating grass

Fertilizing lawn and weed control, among others

4. Have an Eye Toward the Future

Since landscapes are in a constant state of growth and change, your landscaping service providers have an eye toward the future. They regularly inspect your landscape and determine what is needed to ensure uniqueness.

Additionally, landscapers will make recommendations or bring in a talented crew who updates and refreshes your yard. Landscapers also assess possible problems and create a solid plan to address them.

In other words, landscapers are planners or artists who shape the yard’s beauty. They will:

• Identify how your yard will be used

• Create the mood and theme you desire

• Recommends landscaping options

5. Affordable Budget

Landscaping is usually considered a costly endeavor in maintaining your yard. However, if you consider the intensity of labor and time needed, the cost is worth it. If you decide to do the job, you will need to do a lot of research, and you might not achieve to get a beautiful yard.

Landscapers will address not only your concerns and vision but also your budget. Some of the options for landscaping services like irrigation, trimming, and pruning cost a few thousand dollars.

You need to talk to landscapers and tell them about your vision and your commercial landscaping budget. They can help you achieve the landscape you desire at an affordable price.

6. Helps in Establishing a Brand and a Clean Image

 The effort to impress clients doesn’t stop with the first visit because the image is what comes after they establish that first impression. It’s always your objective to keep clients coming back.

When consumers see a well-kept landscape on a regular basis, it communicates the message that you’re detail-oriented and concerned about the appearance of your company.

If you look closely, you’ll see that the most image-conscious professionals — lawyers, surgeons, accountants, politicians, and so on — rarely work in a scruffy environment. This is because they understand that people’s perceptions are their reality. They understand that people’s attitude toward your company is based on how they feel about you.

One of the most effective methods to influence their perception of you is to keep your landscaping clean.

7. Peace of Mind

Some landscaping tasks like making a flat lawn are difficult and require special tools.

Though you can rent tools, you may not be able to achieve the desired standards. However, leaving the job to professionals ensure that all the tasks are correctly handled.

8. Guaranteed Long Life for Your Plants

Professional landscaping services take care of all aspects of your garden. That includes soil balancing, irrigation, watering, fertilizing, and pruning.

Such routine care guarantees a long life for your trees and scrubs. Thus, regular landscape maintenance can save you money in the long run since you will not need to replace plants.

Reap the Benefits of Hiring a Landscaping Service

There are a lot of benefits to hiring a landscaping service, from handling everything correctly to ensuring that your plants have a long life. However, when hiring a landscaping company, choose landscapers that stand by their work.

At BAMS Landscaping, we provide premier lawn care and landscaping services in Montgomery County, MD. We offer lawn maintenance, fertilization, weed control, mulching, irrigation, snow removal, and fall clean-ups.

Contact us today to get a free landscaping quote.