Prevent Backflow Theft

Winter is quickly approaching and we are scheduling your irrigation system shutdown. Over the last few years we have seen a tremendous increase in the theft of backflows

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Due to this increased theft we recommend removal of you backflow(s) and storing in a secure off-site location. We are offering services to prevent a possible urgent expense of up to $6,000 later in the season.

Why wait to protect your investments until it is too late? Theft comes when you least expect and then you can’t provide enough protection fast enough. The good news is that we can help prevent these thefts from reoccurring at a fraction of the costs involved for total replacements.

Replacing these backflows can cost as much as $6,000!

While the scrap metal value for the brass and copper contained within these fittings is only about $250, brazen thieves are making short work of stealing as many as they can, sometimes twice from the same properties!

products-shg-headerThe thieves drive up, sometimes dressed in orange vests to look like city employees, take a saw and cut the valve off at the pipes. The whole process can take less than two minutes.

These thefts have occurred in broad daylight and also have happened at prominent and visible locations.

Their removal by thieves will also interrupt water service for your property and tenants as well as the possible water damage created from the water running uncontrolled through the open connection.

CLIPPING FROM THE RGJ.COM

The city of Reno in Nevada lost more than $100,000 last year from scrap-metal thefts - and it wasn't alone. Cities across Nevada detailed similar problems on Wednesday to lawmakers considering a bill to increase penalties for such crimes. Officials from Henderson, North Las Vegas, Las Vegas and Reno all testified in support of SB37 before the Assembly Judiciary Committee. "These problems are an indication of our times," said Cadence Matijevich, assistant city manager of Reno. "People are desperate and looking for materials they can turn and sell for a quick profit." Current law classifies scrap-metal theft based on the monetary value of the stolen material, with possible penalties including fines, prison time and community service. In general, the thefts are considered misdemeanours if the value is less than $650. If it exceeds $650 but is less than $3,500 it's a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. A thief who takes more than $3,500 could land behind bars for 10 years. The bill under consideration by the assembly mandates 100 hours of community service for a first offence, 200 hours for a second offence, and 300 hours for third and subsequent violations. Previous legislation that increased penalties for stealing copper - one of the more valuable scrap metals - has done little to curtail the problem, Matijevich said. Of Reno's $103,000 in losses last year, $27,000 came from a single incident when thieves took copper wiring from a downtown railroad trench, Matijevich said.

 

 

Reducing landfill waste

Celestial Seasonings tea is packaged without a string, tag, staple or individual wrapper for its teabags. A few years ago they realized that eliminating these elements from their product would save more than 3.5 million pounds of waste from entering landfills each year.

Scott Tube-Free Tissue

This year, the Scott paper company introduced its no-tube toilet paper product. The full-page ads that launched this product announce that each year 17 billion TP tubes are thrown away. Scott’s innovation may change how things roll in the bathroom – and to the landfill.

Many industries are on board with reducing the waste they generate and that includes the landscape industry.  One of the landscape industry’s major commitments is to reduce the high volume waste produced by mowing lawns and pruning trees and shrubs

 

Grass clippings
During the last 20 years, most lawn maintenance companies have converted to mulching mowers which finely cut grass clippings and deposit them back on top of the lawn. This practice alone has removed tons of green waste that would have headed to the landfill each year.

In addition, this process of grasscycled mulch reduces the amount of fertilizer needed on the lawn because as clippings decompose, they create nutrients for the lawn. These clippings also help hold moisture in the soil which reduces water needs.

Pruning debris
Every year, tree service companies and landscape maintenance companies cut down dead trees and prune live trees to remove dead branches and keep trees properly shaped and healthy. This activity produces tons and tons of debris that is recycled for compost or chipped and ground to create wood mulch. Many recycling and composting centers throughout the state accept pruning debris from landscape companies and homeowners.

Mulch derived from pruning debris can be put right back into the landscape as a healthy amendment. Because this mulch is derived from organic material, it settles onto the soil and does not blow away like mulch that has been recycled from treated or dried wood products such as pallets. It must first be watered in so that it settles. Over time, the mulch breaks down and completes the cycle of returning back to the earth from which it came.

Mulching tip: when using wood mulch, do not use landscape fabric under the mulch as its slick surface will cause mulch to blow away in the wind.

Need help adding mulch or dealing with spring landscape chores?  We have dozens of pros in your area to help you get your garden, your landscape and your well-being situated for the season.

Call Julie at (775) 827-5296 to learn more.

Are the communities you manage protected from the devastating risk of fire?

KNOW THE LAW
“Persons owning, leasing, controlling, operating or maintaining buildings or structures requiring defensible spaces are responsible for modifying or removing nonfire-resistive vegetation on the property owned, leased or controlled by said person.”
International Wildland-Urban Interface Code, 603.2 Fuel modification


Drought & Defensible Space

Figure 603.2

Figure 603.2 (enlarge)

WHAT IS DEFENSIBLE SPACE?

Defensible Space is the area around a structure where vegetation has been modified to reduce the fire threat. The size of your defensible space will vary, depending upon property size, location, and topography. Sometimes a defensible space is simply a homeowner’s properly maintained backyard. Yet another property owner might need to provide over 200 feet of defensible space around their property.

Start the Spring with Fire Safety

There are a few simple things homeowners can do to help protect their property before a wildfire.


 

SIGNATURE’S DEFENSIBLE SPACE TEAM WILL ALWAYS:

  • Reduce vegetation by pruning, hand crews or mowing
    Space between plants & trees removes the continuous fuel bed that might otherwise exist
  • Remove dead & flammable vegetation from slopes
    Debris, branch piles, & various materials add up to become fuel for even the smallest sparks.
  • Replace flammable vegetation with less hazardous choices
    Shorter plants are better than taller plants & nonwoody plants are better than evergreens or junipers.

defensible-guidelines

Unlicensed Contractors on the Rise in the Area

“The Nevada State Contractors Board recently cited eight alleged unlicensed contractors for violating statutes of contracting without a license and advertising without a license during a February sting operation.”

» CLICK TO READ RGJ ARTICLE

nscblogo

Click to visit the NSCB

Heads up Northern Nevada.With the added growth in the market, we’ll also begin to see unscrupulous service providers popping up all over. Just this week, the RGJ reports the Nevada State Contractors Board cited eight violators in February.

What does this mean to you? Very simply put, always make sure the person offering services has a license to do the work they’re selling you. Ask for a license on paper. And be diligent if they can’t quickly come up with documents of proof. You have time to make sure they have the skills, resources and licensing to do your job right, so exercise your right for validation. This goes for landscapers of course, but all other trades as well. The end result could be catastrophic for your home or business if issues arise – and they typically do.

Search NSCB Database for Company Name

Why should I hire a licensed contractor?

  • Unlicensed contractors do not carry Workman’s Compensation insurance, so if they get injured on your property, you could be held liable.
  • Homeowners who use unlicensed contractors are not eligible for the Residential Recovery Fund, and by law a contract with an unlicensed contractor is null and void.

The NSCB encourages anyone who comes across unlicensed contracting activities to report the information to NSCB’s unlicensed contractor hotline at 702-486-1160 or 775-850-7838. Details to provide include the unlicensed contractor’s name, address (business and/or physical location where work is being performed), phone number, vehicle description, license plate, business card and/or advertisement, contracts signed by the unlicensed individual, etc.

 

Ten Tips for Making Sure Your Contractor Is on the Level

  1. Hire only licensed contractors.
  2. Check the contractor’s license number by utilizing our Online Contractor Search or by contacting the Nevada State Contractors Board:

9670 Gateway Drive, Ste 100
Reno, NV 89521
Phone: (775) 688-1141
Fax: (775) 688-1271
Hours of Operation – Monday – Friday 8:00am – 5:00pm

  1. Get three references and review past work.
  2. Get at least three bids.
  3. Get a written contract and do not sign anything until you
    completely understand the terms.
  4. For pool contracts, pay 10% down or $1,000 – whichever is less, if a deposit
    is required.
  5. Don’t let payments get ahead of the work. Keep a record of all payments.
    Don’t make a final payment until you are satisfied with the job.
  6. Don’t pay cash.
  7. Keep a job file of all papers relating to your project.
  8. Check the contractor’s record with the Better Business Bureau in your area or visit their website at www.bbb.org

Pre-season garden work that pays off

‘Dirt’ ~ ‘Soil’ ~ ‘Mother Earth’ ~ Whatever you call it, some of us like to dig in with our own hands and others would rather have someone else do the digging. Either way, if you want a great garden this year, it’s best to get the soil in order before someone starts digging.

February is an ideal time to apply compost, regardless of the weather. That means you can even toss it on top of the snow!

  • Need help getting compost into your garden? Signature Landscapes’ lawn and garden pros can can help you identify the right mix of compost and soil to help your garden grow.

Why compost?
Compost on its own is low in nutrient value. It’s not valuable for what it is, so much as what it does – and the doing takes time. Even if you are not able to till compost into the soil when you apply it, an early application gives the compost adequate time to do its work.

Why winter composting is good
Compost needs time to mellow or break down and that’s why a winter-time application is beneficial, even if it is not tilled into the soil. Compost creates a homogeneous soil mixture ripe with microbial activity. This process does not add many nutrients to the soil, but improves the soil’s capacity to hold onto both nutrients and water. It improves the root zone. That is why compost is so good for the garden and of course, the plants grown there.

How to shop for compost
Shop for compost that is well-aged and low in salt. Also, look for varieties that have little or no fillers. Compost by nature is all organic, so composts that are labeled “mixes” that contain sand or other inorganic fillers are generally less than optimal.

How much should I buy?
Applying 1 cubic yard of compost per 100 square feet of garden is the rule of thumb. However, if your soil has been well amended in the past, you can use less. The best value is in bulk purchases, so if you have 100 square feet of garden or more, a pick-up load might be the most cost effective. Most pick-ups hold 1 ½ to 2 cubic yards. If you order bulk delivery from a supplier, the minimum order is usually 5 or more cubic yards.

Reminder: Compost is about more than growing good veggies. It’s a key ingredient when establishing a healthy, low-water lawn and for all the other plants in your landscape.

 

Winter drought will take a toll on your landscape

A winter watering program will save your trees & shrubs

According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, if the snow levels continue at this rate, it will be the driest four-year period since 1990-92. Warm winters without snow appeal to people, but cause harmful winter drought. Specifically, the lack of soil moisture and atmospheric humidity can damage tree and plant root systems unless they receive supplemental water on a regular basis. This can trigger a cascade of effects on overall tree and overall landscape health. By reducing a plant’s ability to take up water and nutrients, particularly during spring bud break, winter root damage limits subsequent stem and branch growth in summer. In turn, this can contribute to tree mortality and may even explain pockets of dead trees.

You see, trees may look inactive going into winter but the fact is they continue to regulate their metabolism and only slow down some physiological activities. This decrease in photosynthesis and transpiration begins a tree’s dormant phase. Trees still continue to slowly grow roots, respire and take in water and nutrients.

help-trees-survive-the-drought

A simple & visual guide to watering your trees during the winter drought

Why this matters now

Your tree & plant roots suffer from weeks of zero moisture.

Weaker trees and plants are more susceptible to outside pests and disease.

Plants will put energy into rebuilding the damaged root structures before flourishing in the springtime.

 

Contact Christina, your Customer Service Diva today to set up a winter watering program to ensure the health and vitality of your landscape investment this year.

Call: (775) 857-4333
Email: info@siglands.com

 

Learn more about our winter drought conditions from the media:

  • KTVN Channel 2 News: http://www.ktvn.com/story/24360015/drought-continues-into-new-year
  • KTVN Channel 2 News: http://www.ktvn.com/story/24420480/federal-water-master-says-drought-taking-its-toll-on-rivers-and-streams
  • RGJ.com: http://www.rgj.com/article/20140113/NEWS1801/301130022/Waiting-more-white-stuff-Snow-still-rare-resorts-retailers-challenging-season

 

Signature Landscapes Sweeps Top Awards At Nevada Landscape Association Gala

Local landscaper, Signature Landscapes, was the recipient of the most prestigious award for Northern Nevada landscapers; the President’s Award, for their work at the renowned Schaffer’s Mill Sports Complex in Truckee, California. Receiving the award during the Nevada Landscape Association’s annual award gala, was Tim Laskowski, construction manager for the landscape contractor.

"It’s been an extremely busy year for Signature, and this award really goes out to our guys who put their blood, sweat and tears in this property," said Laskowski. "And to win for such an incredibly beautiful building, it makes it that much more satisfying."

Signature’s installation team was responsible for all aspects of hardscape (paver and stonework) around the entire complex including the pool area and the extensive labyrinth of pathways throughout the 7.4-acre clubhouse village. The complex includes a pool, hot springs bathing area, several restaurants, a sports shop, large fitness center and Schaffer’s Square, a community gathering spot.

The company’s work for the sports complex was also recognized for several other outstanding awards. Signature was awarded 1st Place for the Hardscape Installation category;  receiving a perfect 10 on the scoring chart – an achievement rarely seen in the award’s history.

The Schaffer’s Mill work also received the Environmental Award for acute awareness for building water efficient and environmentally balanced landscapes that do not sacrifice the quality of the design nor the quality of life for the project overall.

Finally, the company also took home the Large Commercial Installation for the project.

“We’ve never seen one of our projects sweep the top of the field like the Schaffer’s Mill project,” said Laskowski. “It’s a testament to every facet of our installation team, from our guys in the trenches to the managers running the big picture, they really stepped up and took this landscape to heart!”

Signature Landscapes was the recipient of several other awards at the event such as their first place work for Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center, and a number of residential homes. The company was awarded the President’s Trophy last year for their work on the large Shakespeare Ranch property in Glenbrook, Tahoe.

 

2013 NEVADA LANDSCAPE ASSOCIATION AWARDS for Signature Landscapes

  1. Presidents Award: Schaffer’s Mill Sports Complex
  2. Environmental Award: Schaffer’s Mill Sports Complex
  3. Large Commercial InstallationSchaffer’s Mill Sports Complex
  4. 1st Place Hardscape Installation: (perfect 10) Schaffer’s  Mill Sports Complex
  5. Large Commercial Installation: Lyon County Detention Facility
  6. 1st Place Large Commercial Maintenance: Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center
  7. 1st Place Large Residential Installation: Enloe Residence – ALSO OUTDOOT LIFESTYLE AWARD WINNER for The 2013 BANNer Awards!
  8. 3rd Place Large Commercial Maintenance: Reno Corporate Center
  9. 2nd Place Medium Commercial Maintenance: Sandhill Business Center
  10. 1st Place Small Residential Installation: Lumsden Residence

Signature Landscapes completes Elko Guard facility

Signature Landscapes has just completed the landscape design/build project for the Elko County Guard facility located in Carlin, Nevada. The new 5,400 square foot readiness center building will house offices, storage areas, a vault and a locker room.

Nevada State Assemblyman from district 33, John Ellison, said he was pleased the Guard was taking over portions of the facility. “This location has endless potential and it’s going to be beneficial for Carlin, Elko and the state of Nevada for years to come.”

Link to Elko Daily Free Press article for more information

 

Signature Landscapes Construction on Three Dollar General Stores Completed

dg_storeSignature Landscapes installed new landscapes for Dollar General Stores in Gardnerville, Yerington and Stead. These ground-up landscape and irrigation projects were designed by Lumos and Associates. An emphasis on low-water usage and simplified maintenance over time are key factors to the design of these projects and will drive significant cost savings for the life of the landscape compared to similar locations.

Signature helps wounded hero and family enjoy a new home

Defenders of Freedom Home

A Northern Nevada soldier & family enjoy new home in Somersett

Signature Landscapes Defenders of Freedom work

Signature crews installing landscape

In May of this year, a group of volunteers including Signature Landscapes raised the support walls for a Reno house being built for Sgt. Thomas “Trey” Humphrey and his wife, Lindsey.

Humphrey, 29, a graduate of Foothill High School in Henderson, suffered severe leg, arm, facial and brain injuries when he stepped on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in November 2010. His squad was trying to maneuver on an enemy machine gun position at the time.

The 1,739-square-foot home, valued at $275,000, is being donated to the couple as the first such project sponsored by the Reno chapter of the Texas-based organization Defenders of Freedom.

Some 40 local companies and individuals have donated more than $200,000 in cash, supplies and services for the Reno home to date.

houseduringconsructionDefenders of Freedom ~ Northern Nevada is a local organization that was formed to build fully compliant homes for our American heroes with physical challenges faced as they return home. Defenders of Freedom is a nonprofit (501c3) organization. All donations, grants, and in-kind services are 100% tax-deductible. One Hundred Percent (100%) of all monies contributed support construction of the homes.


 

 

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