New Construction & Nails

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by naturescaretaker, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. naturescaretaker

    naturescaretaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 854

    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!

    FERT-TEK LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,035

    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.
  3. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    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.
  4. lpwhandyman

    lpwhandyman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 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.
  5. twins_lawn_care

    twins_lawn_care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 932

    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! :dizzy:
  6. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    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....
  7. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,910

    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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