Sentry Commercial Grounds Maintenance Primer
The transition to summer brings a new set of commercial property grounds maintenance challenges. Property owners will have to anticipate and plan for expected and unexpected challenges with project schedules based on a host of criteria.
That’s because commercial property grounds maintenance has a lot of moving parts. They can range from hard and soft surfaces, trees, plants, and lawns to architectural landscaping elements, like railings, seating, walkways, paths and more.
Grounds maintenance is a mix of creating and maintaining the aesthetic while enabling the practical such as routing, safety, and privacy. This grounds maintenance primer assumes you have (or will have) a great landscaping crew or company in place.
While you can handle the details of getting the job done with the proper tools and expertise, it’s up to you and your property manager to have a plan and oversight to direct them. This primer goes over some of those bigger picture elements that you should be considering.
- It’s imperative to have someone with experience visually inspecting the grounds once a month to take notes about what needs doing and what is being done.
- A good grounds maintenance company can also help to ensure that your business’ exterior is safe and poses no risk to customers.
- Commercial property grounds improvements are always part of the long-term mix, so creating a plan based on priorities, time, and budget allocations will help determine the framework for execution.
- While grounds maintenance priorities always have an aesthetic component, they are also driven by safety/security, usability, privacy and the costs associated with long-term neglect. In other words, don’t put off repairs of cracks, potholes, splintering and other problems for too long. This can result in much bigger and expensive problems when a situation goes from “somewhat unsightly” to hazardous, unusable, and non-compliant.
- Work with your grounds maintenance company to develop the plan for improvements and repairs that includes safety, security, privacy, usability and aesthetics.
- Grounds maintenance recommendations for your grass are dependent upon climate, soils, water restrictions, grass types, amount of foot traffic and landscaping. This can mean the inclusion of berms, different types of grass based on foot traffic and exposure, privacy hedges and shading trees (removal as well as planting).
- Upgrades to your irrigation system can save you a lot of money on water and help you direct water to all the plants around the property.
- It’s a good idea for property owners without a seasoned property manager to get familiar with the benefits and methods of irrigation system upgrades via this EPA WaterSense Management Guide before choosing a reputable irrigation company.
- Things like railings for safety as well as short seat walls and other surfaces of various heights can direct traffic around the property or be used as transitions from one area to another. These all have practical, safety, and aesthetic components that can help improve the bottom line, safety and security in the long term.
Grounds maintenance encompasses much more than choosing the best company to handle it. To be cost effective and responsive, you’ll need a seasoned property management company to interface with them, plan and budget projects, and ensure that inspections are carried out regularly.
The look and functionality of your property and its grounds are the baseline for desirability, occupancy, compliance, safety, and functionality. Remember that “curb appeal” for a commercial property can have bigger ramifications than even a residential property as it can mean the difference between higher rents, happy tenants and full long-term occupancy on the one hand and fines, low income, and tenant turnover on the other.