Commercial Fall Newsletter 2017
“And all at once summer collapsed into fall” – Oscar Wilde
With all the beautiful September weather we received, we weren’t sure fall was ever going to arrive! Sure enough here it is, so enjoy it because winter will be upon us before we know it! In this issue of the MPS newsletter we have included articles on:
- The Dos and Don’ts of Commercial Snow Contracts
- How MPS is Setting the Standard in the Snow Industry
- Fall Clean-Ups for your Commercial Property
- How to Best Prepare for Severe Winter Weather Events
The Dos and Don’ts of Commercial Snow Contracts
Choosing the right Snow & Ice Management company to provide winter service for your property is often a difficult choice to make. After all, no two companies are created equally!
When deciding on which company to select for your winter grounds maintenance needs, you are essentially selecting which “contract” is best for you to accept, and therefore, you should feel comfortable with what that contract contains.
But what are the components of a “good” contract, and what should you look for before committing to your chosen winter service provider?
View the Full Article Here >>
Snow & Ice Management: Setting the New Standard
In order to remain a top snow & ice management provider in what has become a very competitive service industry, MPS Property Services continually strives to improve our clients’ experience through education, innovation and dedication all year round. Click here to find out what we’ve been up to this summer!
Fall Clean-Ups: Getting your Commercial Property Prepared & Ready for Winter
Despite our recent run of (finally!) “summer-like” temperatures and sunshine, the reality is that winter is just around the corner. This means that cold, snowy, blustery weather will be here before we know it. While the cooler winter weather can be a good excuse to wrap up warm and stay indoors, as a commercial property owner or facility manager, you must be aware of how it can take a toll on your property’s condition and potentially create long term maintenance headaches.
There’s a lot to do to get ready! To make sure your building & property are ready for winter, there are definitely some maintenance tasks that you should carry out, before the weather turns cold for good.
View the Full Article Here >>
How to Best Prepare for Severe Winter Weather Events
When severe winter weather is in the forecast, both snow & ice management contractors and property owners/managers need to be on the same page in order to reduce potential risk and liability.
Prolonged freezing rain events, or two-day “blizzards” with crippling wind and snowfall amounts, can prove costly in both human terms and financial costs. In either case, the damage can be as severe as the weather itself.
Awareness and the cooperative exchange of planning information are two of the most crucial steps required for snow contractors and property owners/managers to literally “weather the storm” successfully.
When these types of severe weather events are expected, MPS Property Services will provide our customers with an e-mail communication detailing both an assessment of the incoming weather and our operational plan to effectively manage the storm. Information such as the expected timing of the “event” and our operational response(s) are vital for minimizing any potential property damage, slip & fall or productivity risks. By providing our clients with this advance information, we hope to improve their knowledge of “snow fighting” strategies and help manage their expectations over the course of the storm.
We also hope to assist property owners & managers in communicating some best practices for dealing with severe weather, with their “people” on-site, ahead of the storm event.
This can include:
- Posting information, or using other means to notify employees, customers, visitors and any other workplace parties of the impending severe weather system, its probable timing, and how the property will be affected during the storm
- Providing information about what proper clothing to wear throughout the storm, such as treaded footwear, to reduce slip & fall risk
- Blocking off snow depot areas, or adjusting parking allocation so that plow vehicles have room to move & place snow during daytime plowing operations
- Having any appropriate staff work from home if possible to reduce the amount of traffic impeding snow response teams both on-site and on the public roadways
- Coordinating with MPS in advance to schedule the removal of any expected excess snow to recover lost parking or shipping areas as fast as possible
- Coordinating with MPS to ensure that any on-site salt bins, etc. are fully stocked and ready for use by building personnel as needed
- Understanding that site conditions may be hazardous at times throughout the severe weather event but will be cleaned up and made safe quickly after the system has moved on
- Severe winter weather can be extremely frustrating, dangerous and difficult to manage.
By having the snow & ice management contractor and the property owner/manager communicate effectively ahead of the storm, throughout its duration, and immediately after it has moved on, the destructive impacts on personal well-being, property damage and business continuity can be minimized. Informational awareness and planning truly are the first important step in successfully managing severe winter weather events.
Summer is the time of year that almost all Canadians look forward to most. Unfortunately, we’ve had a wet start to it this year but on a positive note – the plants love it.
As some of you may know, we’ve taken on an exciting project to improve our customer service and the overall experience that you, as property managers, have with us. We recognize that most property managers are extremely busy, and are looking for feedback in regards to the properties they manage.
So, we’ve undertaken a project this season where we’ll be visiting your site(s) and looking for areas that can be improved aesthetically, or more importantly, from a safety standpoint. Then you’ll receive an enhancement evaluation report with all of our suggestions. Are you ready to schedule a site meeting or request a quote?
In this issue of the MPS 2017 Summer newsletter we’ve included articles on:
- The Astonishing Rain statistics for 2017
- Specific Summer Lawn Care for 2017
- Seasonal Irrigation Services
- New Backyard Technology for Bird Lovers
- The continued Devastation of the Emerald Ash Borer
If you’ve felt that this spring and summer has been unusually rainy, you’re not wrong! We’ve put together these graphs to compare the amount of rain we’ve received this year in the GTA compared to 2016. As you can see, we received 2x the amount of rain in May and June, and 3x the amount of rain in April compared to the previous year. Here’s hoping for a dry August!
Lawn care in the spring is all about getting your lawn healthy and green, and this year, it has been great to actually have experienced the first “real” spring we’ve had in quite a few years. The prolonged wet weather and cooler temperatures have done their bit in creating healthy turf, and now that the weather has warmed and dried out (hopefully), summer lawn care is all about keeping it that way!
Summer weather can often bring about quite a lot of stress to your grass. Hot temperatures and drought conditions can damage your lawn, as can the slower natural growth of the grass and even lots of activity on high traffic areas. That is why it is important to take the following steps to best care for your lawn during the summer months.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE 7 BEST TIPS FOR LAWN MAINTENANCE
The summer is also a great time to make adjustments to your irrigation system settings if an automatic system is being used. The ability to “fine tune” the amount of water being used, at the optimal time of day is of utmost importance to increase the health of your turf.
MPS Property Services can offer additional services for clients with automatic irrigation systems in place to best maximize their effectiveness, and also minimize the costs of watering your turf.
Throughout the year, MPS offers the following irrigation system maintenance services…
Learn More >>
The emerald ash borer (EAB) is a highly destructive insect (originally from Asia) that feeds on ash trees, usually killing them within 2-3 years.
The EAB was first discovered in the GTA around 2005 and has continued to devastate the ash tree population ever since. It is estimated that the City of Toronto will eventually lose almost all of its 860,000 ash trees and the outlook for York region is not much brighter…
Read more on our Blog>>
SPRING is finally right around the corner but before we can all begin to enjoy the warmer weather and all the great things that go along with the season’s change, it is always prudent to spend some time and take care of a little “Spring Cleaning” on your commercial property.
While statistically this past winter was average when measured for snowfall amounts and number of service events, it was most unusual in other ways that may have affected your property in a negative way.
The constant swing from cold to unseasonably warm temperatures throughout the winter and the high volume of freezing rain that fell, both stood out in what was otherwise an unexceptional snow season. Unfortunately, each of these circumstances may have produced hazardous conditions that can cause problems at your site.
1. Trip Hazards
Heaved or sunken sections of interlock paving, caused by our seasonal freeze-thaw cycle, can create a significant trip and fall hazard on your walkways and patio areas. A quick “lift & relay” repair of the affected section or area will not only improve the aesthetics of your property, but also make it much safer for pedestrian traffic.
2. Tree Damage
Damage to trees caused by excessive ice build-up during freezing rain storms should be examined, with dangerous or broken branches removed as a precaution. In addition, maintaining optimal tree health by regular pruning, dead-cutting and deep root fertilization will maximize tree health and lifespan, and minimize potential health & safety hazards.
3. Parking Lot Dirt and Debris
Power sweeping is a quick and efficient way to get rid of the unsightly dirt and debris that is inevitably produced by snow plowing and piling operations.
MPS COMMERCIAL SERVICES
MPS is proud to offer these and other additional services that can be used to improve the look and safety of your property. These services include:
- Power Sweeping / Washing – having your parking lot areas mechanically swept and washed is a greatway to remove unwanted dirt & debris which can be both an eyesore and attract weed growth, especially near snow piling locations.
- Annuals/Flower Planting – bright, colourful flowers can almost instantly beautify any property! Perennial plants, flowers & shrubs of all types can also be quickly installed by MPS crews to bring that “wow” factor to your site.
- Line Painting – having clearly marked parking spots and directional arrows can optimize your property’s traffic flow and organization.
- Top Dress & Seed – this process is a great way to promote a healthy lawn by reducing weed infestation and encouraging vigorous turf growth.
- Irrigation System Service & Repair – you can make your existing irrigation system more efficient and save water by having your timer and spring heads updated regularly and/or having a rain sensor installed.
- Vacant Lot Cutting – if you own or maintain a vacant lot that needs cutting just a few times per season let us know; we can easily take care of it for you!
Check Out This Commercial Project!
The installation of new gardens, retaining walls, interlock pavers, and armour stone steps have completely changed the look of this commercial property. Incorporated into the design of the patio were designated emergency walkways, outlined in darker interlock, leading from the emergency exits on the building. Not only is this design beautiful and updated, it serves a safety purpose! For more pictures of this newly completed commercial projected, click here!
ISO 9001 CERTIFICATION
MPS Property Services is very proud to announce that after a summer of hard work and implementation of many new processes, we have passed our internal and Stage 1 & 2 ISO audits; becoming only the second Canadian company in our industry to achieve ISO 9001 / SN 9001 Certification.
This internationally recognized Business Management credential identifies MPS as an organization that meets the procedures, policies and requirements of ISO Quality Management, with specific written standards related to the Snow & Ice Management industry.
This exciting certification is an important step in allowing MPS Property Services to continue to improve our customer satisfaction and overall quality of our operations.
We look forward to implementing our new systems and procedures this winter!
PURCHASING SNOW & ICE MANAGEMENT SERVICES
Hiring a professional, reliable and experienced Snow & Ice contractor is a very important step in protecting your business throughout the winter season. Your level of risk will increase greatly if you hire a service provider without adequate insurance, reliable equipment, skilled workers, accurate documentation or experience under the worst conditions that winter can throw at us.
A good Snow & Ice contractor will always be able to provide and sign a contract that carefully defines the desired level of service, engineered site maps, work logs, and be easily accessible throughout any winter snow event.
Some of the most important things to look for when selecting a winter service provider include:
- Safety, liability and risk management
- Estimating, planning and cost effectiveness
- Timely execution and responsiveness of services
- Quality and reliability of service
- Detailed documentation, verified service and ease of communication
- 24/7 emergency response
- Expertise and professionalism
- Certifications (Certified Snow Professional, etc.), best practices and standards of education
It is reasonable for you to expect your winter service provider to be able to provide all of the items detailed above with reliability and in a professional manner.
MPS Property Services Ltd. is proud to be a long-time leader in the Snow & Ice Industry; with continual improvement, ongoing education and industry best practices at the forefront of our operations. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have.
FALL CLEANUP CHECKLIST
- Aerate the lawn- as the temperatures start to decrease the grass will slow down, however moist soil encourages strong root development.
- Fertilizer- high phosphorus mix around 12-25-12 will encourage root growth, meaning you’ll have a greener lawn in the early spring.
- Final Mow- on the last cut of the season, trim down to 1 ¼ inches. Shorter grass in the fall prevents debris from getting caught and slows disease growth.
- Collect leaves
- Plant shrubs- planting shrubs in the fall gives them a head start.
- Plant spring bulbs- such as tulips, daffodils…
- Trim dead limbs
- Cut back perennials
- Mulch young plants- Mulch adds insulation and protection from frost damage.
- Dry out irrigation drip system- put hose and other garden tools away.
The days are getting shorter and the kids have headed back to school, it can only mean that fall is upon us! The change in seasons always brings an air of excitement, new decor, recipes, and flowers in the garden.
Here in the office we have been busy hiring fall staff to replace the students who have left for school, as well as getting prepared for the winter season. To celebrate the summer employees, we held the first MPS BBQ. It was a great afternoon and allowed our employees to socialize with managers and office staff in a relaxed setting.
Summer is here and so is the heat! In southern Ontario we had the driest June in over 25 years and July has kicked off with week-long heatwaves. If the long range forecasts are correct we are headed for a hot & dry summer. So, in this issue we’ve included some tips on staying cool this summer! Here at MPS we are also embracing the heat and modifying our work to keep our employees working safely.
In other news, MPS has had a very busy and productive spring. Our construction crews have completed their first major projects of the summer and are moving right along. The Grounds Maintenance crews had a busy spring, and are settling into a normal schedule as the grass is slowing down. In the office we have added two new staff members, Matt Raguseo as Sales Associate and Jenna Monk as HR Coordinator and Multi-Media Outreach. In June, MPS staff attended the 19th Annual Snow & Ice Management Symposium in Providence, Rhode Island. MPS received its 9th consecutive Snow Safety Awards and had the opportunity to meet, network and learn from the leading contractors and suppliers in the industry.
SIMA SAFETY AWARD
The Snow & Ice Management Association (SIMA) is a North American trade association for snow & ice industry professionals.
Their Annual Safety Award is given to companies who promote safe and effective snow and ice removal procedures. This award is presented to the professionals who maintained exceptional safety standards to help protect their employees, clients, and the public during the snow season.
MPS Property Services takes great pride in being a leader & innovator in the snow & ice industry, and has always emphasized Health & Safety as of primary importance in our winter season operations.
We are very happy to announce that MPS Property Services was a recipient of the 2015-2016 SIMA Safety Award. This marks the 9th consecutive year that we have been presented this prestigious award.
A commitment to Health & Safety is an essential part of how we provide property services to you; it is a key component of the culture and values that drive us to improve and succeed. We would like to thank each and every one of our winter team members for helping us achieve safety success.
Health & Safety | Training Manager
PROBLEM SOLUTION – TRAFFIC CONTROL
With liability and compliance issues becoming more and more a focal point in today’s business climate, making simple improvements or repairs before potential hazards get out of control is always a prudent strategy. Traffic can be just as dangerous in a parking lot as it is on a busy town or city street. MPS Property Services can help you develop control measures that can be easily implemented to keep lots safe for your staff, visitors and clients. These include the following measures:
- Line Painting – having clearly marked parking spots and directional arrows can optimize your property’s traffic flow and organization
- Parking lot signage – directional indicators, speed limit posting and other cautionary signs can greatly reduce parking lot driving hazards
- Pedestrian crossing markers – whether with signage or line painting, this is an effective way to highlight busy pedestrian crossings and reduce the risk to pedestrians on your property when traversing high traffic areas
Operation Manager | Grounds Maintenance
Joe is the Grounds Maintenance division’s Operations Manager, overseeing the equipping and supervision of his assigned staff. Joe has the important role of rallying all of his workers in the morning and supervising their work throughout the day. The staff enjoys Joe’s humor in the morning, whether they are laughing with him or at him (usually due to a coffee overload). Joe has worked at MPS since 2001 and really appreciates working with the management team at the company. As one of our most senior staff, Joe knows the ins and outs of the industry. Not only does he manage and supervise his staff, he is very knowledgeable about the tools and equipment. In his spare time, Joe likes to relax by going to the movies, hiking or spending time with his dog Sawyer.
Spring Has Sprung!
Hello! We are excited to be sending our first MPS Property Services digital Newsletter. As part of our company’s growth we have recognized that digital outreach is an important way to keep in contact with our customers.