Facility Dude

Leaf your troubles behind with these autumn maintenance tips

By Kate Donnelly
Oct 02, 2015

Facilities Management

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Leaf your troubles behind with these autumn maintenance tips Autumn leaves are an often-cited part of the season's natural beauty for nature-lovers all over the country. But while road-trippers and leaf-gazers may make a point to take in as much of the changing foliage as possible this season, facility managers tend to have a decidedly different relationship with the autumn's signature feature.

True, autumn leaves can be pretty when viewed in passing or from afar, but when you're managing a facility that is constantly fending off tiny maintenance issues at the leafy hands of these autumnal antagonists, the only thing on your mind is how to get rid of the accumulating piles of leaves.

Especially if your facility is located in a heavily wooded area, it can seem like there's a never-ending amount of dead leaves and other arboreal detritus plaguing your grounds and causing you no end of maintenance headaches. Here are a few tips for containing the leafy load.

Keep your head up

Ask any facility manager what the most-maligned part of dealing with autumn leaves is and chances are you'll hear a lament about dealing with clogged gutters and downspouts. Dead leaves positively love to collect in your rooftop gutters, which can create problems ranging from minor inconvenience to major damage, depending on how long you let the situation go untreated.

Clogged gutters are more than an aesthetic annoyance. If the water that accumulates on your rough and eaves can't escape, there's a much greater chance that it will seep through your building envelope and cause water damage to your interior, which is both unsightly and costly to fix.

Disposal options

If you're familiar at all with basic physics, you know that energy can never be destroyed. In the midst of the fall, it can often seem like the same applies to leaves. Even if you rake regularly, what are you supposed to do with all of them? Luckily, there are a few options that you may wish to consider depending on your specific circumstances.

Curbside pick-up

If you don't want to ever see those pesky leaves again once you rake them up, that's totally understandable. Like garbage, recycling and other solid waste, you can hire a contractor to cart away your yard waste on a regular basis. Just ensure you familiarize yourself with the specific guidelines and best practices of your disposal service, such as whether they require you to use a special kind of bag or have a size limit on how much they can cart away at once.

Mow it

Lawncare is an important part of maintaining your grounds throughout the cooler seasons of the year, so why not kill two birds with one stone? Mowing your grass after you rake your leaves may seem silly, but it can do wonders for your lawn. The nutrients released by the leaves into the grass can help preserve it throughout the fall and winter, according to Hennepin.

Composting

Sustainability is a huge guiding principle in facility management and building construction these days, and you may already be familiar with the idea of composting for your facility. It's a great way to reduce overall waste by giving your food waste something productive to do, and you end up with a healthy compost that can benefit the rest of your lawn. On top of that, composting can help save costs by reducing the amount you need to spend on synthetic fertilizers. All you need to get started is a compost bin and you can start reaping the organic benefits of your dead leaves, putting them to good use rather than just lamenting their existence.

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