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Don’t Forget the Ottawa Hardscaping

Ottawa hardscaping is growing in popularity as more and more families are staying put for longer periods of time. Ottawa hardscaping is a great and affordable way to increase the value of your home and add curb appeal.  Zoryk’s would love the opportunity to sit down and review your Ottawa hardscaping options that are right for your property and fit your budget to create a customized hardscaping plan that will increase both the value of your home and your own enjoyment of your property.

Zoryk’s Ottawa hardscaping plan will incorporate the beauty and elements that make your property unique to add aesthetics and convenience. What exactly is Ottawa hardscaping?  It is anything that can’t be grown… including walkways, retaining walls, parking areas, decks, custom fireplaces, etc. Most commonly Ottawa hardscaping involves using natural stone and/or concrete.

For your home, Zoryk’s Ottawa hardscaping services include custom outdoor fireplaces, patios, retaining walls, driveways and walkways. Ottawa hardscaping incorporates nature into your design.

We can also provide Ottawa hardscaping to businesses that need walkways, parking areas, driveways and custom decks designed and built.

Whether you start thinking about Ottawa hardscaping now or later this year, it is a great New Years’ resolution to get your property in better shape.


January General Ottawa Garden Care

Now’s the time to start planning your garden for the new year! Zoryk’s manages your property in the growing months, but you want input on the types of plants you see flourishing in the yard. To help you choose the best plants for your garden you can order seed, bulb, and nursery catalogs. Take advantage of the Canadian seed and plant mail-order list of sources from the Old Farmers Almanac.

You’ve taken down the Christmas tree, but it can still be put to some good use! Recycle those boughs of evergreen by cutting them into 2- to 3-foot sections and place in garden and perennial beds as mulch. Lightweight, open evergreens permit moisture to reach the soil but also insulate the roots and crowns of plants from the freeze-thaw-freeze cycle of Ottawa winters. An alternative use for a holiday tree is to set it in the backyard and decorate it with bird seed and suet ornaments for winter birds.

When shoveling walks, distribute snow loads equitably on shrubs and garden beds. Continue to use potassium- or calcium-based deicing products on walkways rather than sodium-based ones. If possible, broadcast sand on slippery surfaces and always shovel snow before using any de-icing product.

Keep ponds free of ice by installing small pumps or pouring warm water over ice as it begins to form. Don’t bang ice with a heavy object if you have fish in the pond.

Continue to keep the garden tidy by removing any broken or fallen branches from the yard. If small plants have heaved out of the ground, gently press them back with your hands; avoid compressing thawed ground with heavy boots. Retie any vines that might have been torn from their supports.

Those are just a few of the tasks that you can perform now to keep your garden in good shape for the Spring thaw. Zoryk’s is will be back managing of your Ottawa property before you know it.


Picking the Right Commercial Provider of Ottawa Snow Removal

Picking an Ottawa snow removal company for your commercial space is a bit different than basic residential needs. Your business needs to be open for customers and employees – often 24 hours a day.  And to make matters more complicated, the liability concerns you have require reliable, frequent, and professional Ottawa snow removal.

When you keep your commercial property clear, you may even find that the cost savings from your insurance company for having Ottawa snow removal in place covers the contract price.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting a commercial provider of Ottawa snow removal:

Pay Monthly
Don’t pay a contract up front for the season as – like it or not – money up front is a de-motivator to providing good customer service for Ottawa snow removal.  This also gives you flexibility to cancel if service levels for Ottawa snow removal are not sufficient.

Customized Contracts
As long as we are talking about terms, let’s look at Ottawa snow removal contracts. A professional, flexible, and reliable Ottawa snow removal company should be able to tailor their services to your needs and put it in writing. Put WHEN the company conducts Ottawa snow removal at your commercial space as it differs for every business.  If you have a grocery store, you don’t want Ottawa snow removal to be taking place at 5:30 pm.

24/7 Ottawa Snow Removal 
As a business owner, chances are you are always on call.  That is reality.  And the same reality goes for commercial Ottawa snow removal companies. Ask the company – are you plowing, no matter the time, no matter the day? And get that in writing. You are also going to want to be able to reach your Ottawa snow removal company at all hours of the day – make sure you can.

Be Age Discriminant
As your Ottawa snow removal how old and how they maintain their equipment.  This reveals not only how strong their business is, but will show you how reliable they will be.  No one wants to hear they can’t get their Ottawa snow removal services because the truck is broken down.

Ottawa Snow Removal: More Than the Plow 
Make sure Ottawa snow removal contractor you hire has the ability to clear all your lots no matter the amount of snow. And even more important, make sure the company you hire for Ottawa snow removal also offers both snow and ice removal services, shoveling walks, sanding, deicing, salting, snow hauling and stacking. Shoveling keeps walkways, handicapped ramps, stairs, docks, exits and entrances, clear.

Licensed, Insured, and Referred
Make sure the Ottawa snow removal company is insured in the millions… the last thing your business needs is liability associated with an accident that could have been avoided with better Ottawa snow removal. And finally… get references.


Picking the Right Ottawa Snow Removal Company

Ottawa snow removal is a basic purchase, right?  I mean… there are a ton of companies that provide Ottawa snow removal – they must all be the same, right?  Wrong.

As we head into the teeth of winter and Ottawa snow removal season, here are a few tips as hiring a company for Ottawa snow removal is not as simple as it seems.

  1. Hire an established Ottawa snow removal company.  Being in business for a long period of time shows that they know what they are doing and are trusted… plus it would really stink if they disappeared.
  2. Ask your prospective Ottawa snow removal company for references. Do they show up on time, are they reliable, and do they tear up your lawn are all basic questions that should be asked.
  3. Make sure that your Ottawa snow removal has some pride.  If they are driving around in unmarked trucks, with no logo on the door – are they hiding something?
  4. Ask about their equipment.  Older Ottawa snow removal equipment may have served them well for the past ten-plus years, but these trucks are more likely to break down.
  5. Find out how much liability insurance the Ottawa snow removal company has.  This should be a high number (millions) as an accident on your property could come back on you.
  6. Be careful about selecting the low cost provider of Ottawa snow removal.  Sure, no one wants to get taken advantage of, but you may find that your Ottawa snow removal company, if they charge to little, may go belly-up mid-winter if their incoming cash flow doesn’t match with the requirements needed for a heavy winter season.
  7. If you are in the commercial space, ask how big the plows are for Ottawa snow removal.  Why does this matter?  The bigger the plow, the faster you’re clear.
  8. Don’t pay up front.  Pay monthly to keep your Ottawa snow removal service coming and committed to providing quality service.

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!


The Advantages of Fall and Early Winter Fertilization

Fall is in full swing and as you start preparing your Ottawa home for cold weather, you may also want to start preparing your lawn for the winter chill. Zoryk’s offers you some late Fall lawn care tips to consider.

Fertilize in the Fall and again in early winter for better colour! Grass uses the nitrogen in fertilizer to remain green throughout the winter, plus the root growth will begin to occur during a thaw and from up two to six weeks earlier in the spring.

Fertilized grass also has a higher carbohydrate level. Carbs, which are stored energy, enable grass to use this energy for growing and faster photosynthesis. Winter stress can also be reduced by the large amount of carbohydrates in the grass.

Weed problems tend to be lessened, because the grass growth is competing with weeds for space instead of staying dormant. Due to increased root growth, weeds are less able to spread throughout the lawn.

Late Fall fertilizer helps grass remain strong and healthy. Grass, that has received an application of a balanced fertilizer and maintains a reserve of carbohydrates is less likely to contract fungal and lawn diseases.

Contact Zoryk’s anytime you’d like to start your lawn on a regular diet of fertilizer throughout the year.


Avoid the Ottawa Landscaping Damage Snow Can Cause

You take great pride in your Ottawa landscaping and want to make sure your flowers and plants look beautiful year after year. Before winter comes in full force, every homeowner should consider property maintenance a top priority by protecting their lawn and garden from freezing. Here are a few of Zoryk’s tips to ensure that your grass and plants will stay as winter lawn care healthy as possible.

Snow on Your Lawn
Snow, in and of itself, isn’t the lawns enemy. What really damages your lawn is the salt that comes into contact with it when you try to melt the snow. Instead of salt try using sand or clay-based kitty litter on your driveway, which will prevent any salt run-off into your grass. This is also a good and sustainable snow removal practice.

Keep the snowmen to a minimum. While it is a great winter tradition, the grass in your lawn is more easily damaged when there is heavy foot traffic. Stay off the grass and the snow will stay light and melt much faster. Did you know, that if you scatter grass seed on the soil surface at the first sign of thaw, the seed will be firmly in place by the time spring comes around…Even if more snow falls!

Snow in Your Gardens
Snow does not do any severe damage to your garden in the winter.  It can actually provide much needed insulation to dry plants. However, heavier snowfall and ice can cause damage plants if they aren’t protected.

To avoid getting snow on particular plants, you can cover them with netting. If you can, use the netting to tie plants into the shape of a cone, that way heavy snow will not weigh it down. You may want certain plants to stay uncovered due to it’s visual interest. No worries, snowfall can gently be removed by using a broom to sweep upwards on the plant. Though, attempting to remove any ice is a mistake, as branches with ice on them will most likely break off.

Hoses in the snow.
Rehab plants after winter by watering any evergreen plants you have during the first thaw, as the cold will have frozen their roots. This causes dehydration, and without water these plants will die.

These are just a few of the things to consider during Ottawa’s winter months for your property’s maintenance. Zoryk’s will save you time, the expense of costly lawn care products and machinery should your lawn and garden need repairs come spring. Let us know how we can help.


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