When the snowflake pops up on the weekly weather forecast, I know I’m not the only person who wants to crawl back into bed until summer. I’m a sun and sand kind of person, but even die hard winter weather lovers find a snowy forecast stressful and overwhelming.
Below are 5 simple tips you can follow to take the stress out of snow removal and managing winter weather on your commercial property or institution.
- Be PROACTIVE. Secure your snow contractor early. In the Mid-Atlantic, where we are located, typical snow season is November through March. Many contractors that perform snow removal do so in conjunction with an annual commercial landscape maintenance contract so make every effort to tie the two together on your property’s side as well. Know what your contract covers and what it doesn’t. When does plowing begin? Are sidewalk treatments included? How is deicing handled? Don’t wait until snow is falling to answer these questions.
- PRETREAT, PRETREAT, PRETREAT. When the forecast calls for accumulating snow or ice, nothing saves more money than pretreating. Applying ice melt on paved or hard surfaces prior to precip creates a “soft” layer that is easily removed with a snow shovel or plow. In dustings or flurries, this pretreat can be all you need to keep your residents and tenants safe and prevent refreeze or icy spots if the temps drop after the storm.
- Be PREPARED. Have snow shovels, ice melt, and cones and caution tape on hand for your on-site personnel. It can save money AND liability in the long run. Say a storm comes through and all goes well with plowing but the temperatures plummet overnight? The next morning you may have slick spots in the parking areas and on sidewalks. You could call your contractor and wait for them to arrive to put a bag of salt down or you could treat those isolated areas yourself. You just kept your tenants safe and saved money on that service call. That’s winning! Maybe you have an area that holds water when it rains. Well guess what it holds when it snows? You got it…ice. Cone that area off and put up caution tape so residents and tenants stay away from those areas. Document any in house action with photos and dates and you’re the hero of the storm.
- Have a PLAN. What are the priority areas to be cleared? Where should snow be plowed or piled? How do you want parking spaces handled? Are there areas that require special attention (i.e. parking decks, non-asphalt surfaces, etc.)? Who marks areas like storm drains, fire hydrants, or other “no plow” locations throughout the property? Have a pre-snow meeting with your contractor and share ALL of this information before the snow starts.
- POST the plan for the snow. Each storm is different so plans change. Weekend storms may be different that weekday storms. If you have things you need your residents and tenants to know – post it. Make sure they know where to park and let them know what will and won’t be done during the storm by you and by your contractor.
For more info on putting the 5 P’s in place, call Complete Landscaping Service at 1-800-383-0440 or contact us via email. We can help take the sting out of a winter weather forecast for your commercial property in Maryland, DC and Northern Virginia.