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Old 01-04-2005, 02:14 PM
naturescaretaker's Avatar
naturescaretaker naturescaretaker is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Puyallup, WA
Posts: 1,227
New Construction & Nails

What is the best method you have found to remove nails from a yard where new siding/construction has been done over an existing yard? I have one of my customers who just had new siding put on and there are nail and screws everywhere in the Rye Grass. I told her I could not cut within 15 feet of her house. She told me to do whatever I need to get the nails up and she would pay for it. Now I am not going to pick these things up one at a time. There are hundreds of them. These guys were the sloppiest workers....


Oh yea.... one more thing. Some of the nails are ALUMINUM!
Been around the block.

If there is time to do it over there was time to do it right!

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Old 01-04-2005, 02:39 PM
FERT-TEK's Avatar
FERT-TEK FERT-TEK is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Bartlett, Illinois
Posts: 1,035
frizbee incident

You can rent or buy one of those big magnets designed for just this problem. But as you have already stated, some of the nails are aluminum and will not be picked up by the magnet. Just curious are you or will you charge the homeowner or roofing contractor for flat tire repairs? One more thing, be careful when working in that area until you are confident ALL of the nails have been picked up. All you need is to pick one nail up and hit someone with it.
A couple years ago, I had a similar problem with a nice property that had a large shed re-roofed. All the shingles were placed in several garbage cans near the site to be thrown out the following week. Anyway, children living in the house found out that the shingles made nice frizbees and threw them all over the yard. Two flat tires later I dropped the customer. They attempted to pick up the debris and did pay for the repairs but I couldn't deal with the down time on my mower. They have since gone through at least two more services and now take care of their own lawn. This property had other housekeeping issues also, each week I had to pick up 10 to 15 toys of various sizes that were left in the lawn. Each week I would pick up the same toys and place them neatly on their deck only to find them thrown back in the yard or pushed off into the lawn again. Naturally I started charging them a clean-up fee which was eventually doubled as the problem became worse until I dropped them because of the "frizbee incident".

Word to the wise!!!!!! Be carefull when working there.
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Old 01-04-2005, 04:38 PM
sildoc's Avatar
sildoc sildoc is offline
LawnSite Silver Member
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Eagle Point, Oregon
Posts: 2,921
Run large magnet over area and pick up all steel. Then get or rent a metal dectector and find the alluminum nails. This is the best way I have found when alluminum materials are used.
Also go buy some slime and put in your tires this will help with not getting flats. So far I have pulled 6 nails out of my tires and the slime keeps me from so much down time. I have the little plugs that you stick in the tires of atv's when I find a nail, pull it and plug it, check air pressure and off you go.
What ever I do I must do it right!
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Old 01-04-2005, 04:55 PM
lpwhandyman's Avatar
lpwhandyman lpwhandyman is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Mill Hall, Pa
Posts: 197
Can't get much better then that advice. Either that or take a kid or two along and give him so much per nail that they find. I did that before and the kids were very competitive and FAST. Just remember your wallet.
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Old 01-04-2005, 05:09 PM
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twins_lawn_care twins_lawn_care is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Northern Illinois
Posts: 956
With that good advice, if you are going further, rent a high power vacuum, and run it over the lawn.

although, you already know the only way to truly find that last nail....
put brand new tires on your mower, they'll find it!
TWINS Lawn Care
Give your lawn that first impression people will look twice at!
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Old 01-04-2005, 05:40 PM
impactlandscaping's Avatar
impactlandscaping impactlandscaping is offline
LawnSite Silver Member
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Morgantown, WV
Posts: 2,334
I like Twins' idea...don't use your own, but rent and charge accordingly, and get a Parker or BillyGoat parking lot vac and suck everything up. I think it's bad business for a roofing company to leave a property in that condition. Where would their liability be if one of the homeowner's kids ran a 1 1/4" roofing nail through his/her foot ? Or the family pet? Let alone a $ 100.00 tire on a Z....
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Old 01-04-2005, 10:09 PM
cantoo cantoo is offline
LawnSite Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,923
I have an 6' and an 8' wide magnet that I use for this. The 6' foot hangs off the front of my Steiner and the 8' is wheel mounted and tows behind. I also use these for large parking lots. After I do the yard with the magnet I use my 1 1/4 ton roller and make the aluminum ones disappear.
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