Archive for November, 2014

The Art of Ottawa Snow Removal

You may think that a bit of Ottawa snow is no match for a large and powerful snow plow. However, snow often changes as it’s falling, making the conditions of the roads change as well. Zoryk’s drivers maneuver heavy machinery, in the dark, in low visibility, on slippery roads, surrounded by stationary and moving objects. This can be a real challenge of balance and timing…an art, if you will. So, we at Zoryk’s ask you to please, be patient with us as we work to clear your roads and driveways and get you where you need to be on time.

Along these lines, even with driveway markers, it’s a trick to get the plow’s blade to lay just right and clear things as requested. So if you have special requirements, please tell Zoryk’s up front. Choose carefully where you want the excess snow piled, and where you don’t want it placed, keeping in mind that snow piles up over the course of the winter. Once it’s frozen, it’s staying there.

It’s much harder to plow a large accumulation of snow than just an inch or two. So remember, on Ottawa blizzard days, each job takes longer and is more complex to do well, Factor this into your planning for leaving your property and coming home.

We mark your plow boundaries so this should not be an issue – but if our plowing is off and we damage something on your property, please contact us right away so that we can address it immediately. Take pictures of the damage, so that we can determine responsibility and cost.

Ottawa winter roads and driveways can be unnerving, but Zoryk’s wants to work with you. Keep us informed of your snow removal needs and challenges, so that your snow removal will go much more smoothly. Pun intended!

How to Use Snowblower Safely

Zoryk’s Property Maintenance offers Ottawa snow removal from your driveways and large areas near your home. Also keep in mind that removing snow from sidewalks and patios is important for both visitors coming and pets going… outside instead of on your carpet. Zoryk’s has some some useful tips for operating your personal snowblower this winter in Ottawa.

Inspect the snowblower before the first flakes fall. Make sure it starts now, so you’ll be prepared when the snow hits. Change the oil. Install a new spark plug and inspect the belts to be sure they are in good working order. If you forgot to drain the fuel last winter before storing your snow blower, drain the tank now.

Use the right fuel. It’s important to have the proper fuel on hand, as gas stations may be closed if there is a power outage after a snowstorm. Store fuel properly and buy the type of fuel recommended by your equipment’s manufacturer. It is illegal to use any fuel with more than 10 percent ethanol content in outdoor power equipment.

Handle fuel carefully. Use non-spill containers with spouts. Fill up the fuel tank outside before you start the engine and while the engine is cold. Never add fuel to a running or hot engine. Store fuel in a clean, dry, ventilated area, and never near a pilot light, stove or heat source.

Clear the pathways you intend to use. Snow can sometimes hide objects that might clog the chute of a snow blower, or cause damage to the machine. Remove doormats and other debris from the pathways you intend to clear.

Dress properly for the job. Wear adequate winter garments and footwear that can handle slippery surfaces. Tie back long hair, wear safety glasses, and avoid loose fitting clothing that could get caught in moving parts. Operate your snow blower in visible conditions. Never operate the snow blower without good visibility or light.

Aim carefully. Avoid people, pets and cars. Don’t allow anyone to stand in front of the snow blower or aim at cars or other objects, which might obscure them. Use extreme caution on slopes and hills and don’t clear snow across the face of slopes. It may be tempting to try, but the risk of losing control of the machine due to it’s weight or imbalance, may cause serious damage to you or the blower itself.

Turn off your snow blower if you need to clear a clog or repair it. If you have to repair your machine, remove debris or unclog built up snow, always turn off your snow blower. Wait for all moving parts to come to a complete stop. Disconnect the spark plug wire or power cord. Never put your hands inside the auger or chute. Use a clean out tool (or stick) to unclog wet snow or debris from your snow blower. Your hands should never go inside the auger or chute.

Zoryk’s wants to keep you safe this Winter in Ottawa, and we hope these tips for snowblower safety will come in handy when you clear the snow from the smaller areas near your home.

Decorating Your Ottawa Yard for the Holidays

Make the outside of your Ottawa home as ready for the holiday season as the inside with these outdoor decorating ideas from Zoryk’s.

Wreath with Skates

Hang a wreath on your front door that welcomes visitors with a snowy sporty theme. Take an 18 inch foam wreath and wrap it with the sleeves of an old sweater. From the inside top, hang two ice skates to drape down over the bottom of the wreath. Add a bow and some snowflakes for a little pizazz.

Globes of light

To create natural woodland feel, you can still use those cement planters that dot your front and back porches, even as they fill with Ottawa’s freshly fallen snow! Grapevine spheres wrapped in mini tree lights become shimmering orbs when placed in birdbaths, urns, or on stair steps to cast an ethereal glow on your outdoor landscape for a unique effect that’s visible from the curb.

Lighted Burning Bush

Here’s an idea that will serve dual purposes! Start by gathering up the broken sticks and twigs left over from a windy day.  Place a string of coiled up tree lights on top of the soil in a dormant window planter. Then insert branches and twigs into the soil to create a bushy appearance, which, when lit, mimics a Burning Bush. These twigs will eventually make great tinder for your indoor fireplace.

Trellis Tree

Grab those empty trellis’ left over from your summer Clematis and put them to use. Take your deepest planter and wrap several strands of large bulb white tree lights around the top. Poke in some evergreen clippings to drape over the bottom lights. Then plant a trellis deep in the soil, and “climb” those large bulbs vertically, securing with zip ties, to get the look of large blooms. Mix in some mini lights to create the effect of climbing branches.

You can leave your wooden furniture out in the Ottawa snow for a few more weeks and dress them in boughs of evergreen and pine cones with mini tree lights as highlights for a homey feel.

Zoryk’s hopes you have the happiest of holidays and a worry-free new year knowing we’ve taken care of all your property maintenance needs.

Reliable Ottawa Snow Removal

Sitting by the front window of your home during a snowfall, you procrastinate knowing that the chances you will be able to take your kids to hockey practice grow slimmer by the minute as snow accumulates on your driveway.

Suddenly you hear the snowplow grazing down the street, show flying to each side in sheets of white. The plow turns down your cul de sac and you think about running out to flag him down to clear my drive. But alas, you realize that the plow service has good and loyal customers of their Ottawa snow removal service and you know that your plowing needs will no doubt not be met by simply waving down a plow for help.

Good customer service – no matter what the service and including Ottawa snow removal – is about taking care of your customer’s needs quickly and effectively. Unfortunately you haven’t setup an Ottawa snow removal service.  Avoid this by calling Zoryk’s for residential snow removal services.  Don’t wait for the first snow and find yourself scrambling at the last minute and – perhaps – choosing the wrong Ottawa snow removal service.

Folks, the time is now for an Ottawa snow removal plan – and we have some tips for you when considering a residential snow removal company.

Look for experience: Each home is different and prices vary based on the amount of work. Consider the layout and size of the area requiring clearance and whether you ask for removal of snow from other areas, such as sidewalks or walkways. Ask how the jobs are scheduled and how to contact the plow in case of emergency!

Insurance is important: Who is responsible should your home or grounds suffer damage as a result of a plow? What type of coverage does the company provide in a addition to your homeowners insurance. Does your town require the company to have a permit or license? If, so do they have one? Zoryk’s does!

Get a written contract: Don’t settle for a phone conversation agreement. A company representative should come out to examine your property and make notes about services requested and potential obstacles. Is there a cancellation fee? Read all the terms and conditions of the contract before your sign.

Don’t pay in cash: Most snow plow contracts take two forms: pay per plowing or pay per season. If you choose a pay-per-season contract in a light snow season, the company is not obligated to refund any money. If you’re expected to pay all fees up front — consider it a red flag. Most contractors will split your fee into two or three payments — one at the beginning, middle and end of the season.

Don’t put off your snow removal plan until the first snow fall! Zoryk’s has over 12 years in the snow removal business. Our equipment is thoroughly serviced and repaired or replaced in the offseason to avoid downtime in winter. We are prepared for whatever winter throws at us!