Who coined the phrase “Winter Wonderland”? Obviously, someone who isn’t a property manager! Has that person seen the mess that snow and ice make on roads, driveways, sidewalks and roofs, not to mention how treacherous it can be? Snow and ice may look pretty (at least until a hundred cars drive over it) but to you and other community managers, it’s a nuisance and a lot of work. Winter wonderland indeed! Bah humbug.
Not only is the cold icy stuff a pain, it’s also a liability and expensive. Here are some things you DON’T want to happen in the wake of bad weather:
As you can see, it’s not just about snow plowing or sidewalk shoveling. Hiring a service provider to deal with ice and snow in your community is one of the most important safety, legal and financial decisions you’ll make all year. Snow plowing contractors have the experience and equipment to do the job. You won’t lose employees to time spent on snow shoveling nor will you lose them to snow related injuries. Also, the Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA) reports that slip and fall lawsuits are on the rise. iHiring a professional contractor lowers your risk. Ultimately, using a reputable commercial snow plowing service ensures your residents and employees are safe and happy, maybe even enjoying the winter wonderland!
Planning Ahead for Stress Free Snow
The key to a stress free winter season is planning. There is much that can be done before the snow flies. A good property manager uses the warm months to review their existing contract with their snow plowing contractor, negotiate a new contract and/or look for a new service provider. SIMA recommends starting no later than early September to be ready for the white stuff.
Choose the contract that best fits your needs and budget. It’s always best to contract for as many services as you need and for the whole season in order to maximize consistency and budget. You don’t want to have unshoveled walks but plowed parking places or vice versa. Nor do you want to run out of budget if this winter is especially snowy.
Make sure to consider snow removal and roof shoveling. In really bad winters, you may need snow piling up in your parking lot removed from your property. Roof shoveling is also an important service to avoid cave-ins and ice dams. There are also services available to de-ice pavement after a storm and pretreating pavement before a storm.
A forward-thinking property manager will work with a contractor to develop a comprehensive response plan during the warm months. Expectations should be set for each service and for each type of weather event so that all parties are on the same page. This would include expected response times, locations for each service, equipment and products used and services provided in each situation, expected and unexpected. A reputable service provider will be happy to work with you to develop a solid plan that maximizes your budget and minimizes time spent under snow and ice. It’s a best practice to walk the property with a contractor to identify locations to avoid when blanketed by snow. Also identify sidewalks, curbs, trash receptacles and mailboxes that need clearing as well as locations where it is OK to pile snow and where it is not OK to pile snow. A good contractor will also ask to what depth the snow can be piled before you’d like it to be removed.
Finding Expert Help
Before you seek out help, be sure to determine a scope of work that outlines what you are expecting in terms of services and timeline. Be as specific as possible when creating your plan. Include your budget and any requirements your organization may have for outside service providers.
You want to find a snow plowing/removal contractor who will be your winter weather partner, not your winter weather enemy.
Don’t be a Scrooge this winter.
With a little bit of planning and foresight, your property will be blanketed in a winter wonderland of snow and no one will be inconvenienced or hurt. Call Team Cam today for fast reliable service and reasonable prices. Let it snow, let in snow, let it snow!