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Tips for Hiring a Snow & Ice Management Contractor

Don't get into a slippery situation

Whether you’re a homeowner with a busy schedule or the manager of a commercial facility, when the snow starts to fall, a clear driveway, parking lot, walkway and steps are essential for safety and schedules.

Working with a professional landscape company that offers a snow and ice management program brings peace of mind all season long. Not only does a snow and ice removal service make your life easier, it also limits your liability.

While it might not be top-of-mind right now, early fall — well before the first flakes begin to fall — is actually the best time to hire a snow removal contractor. Review the following considerations to help select a reliable snow and ice management contractor.

snow shoveling

Is the Company Insured?

While a low cost snow plow option can be tempting, remember that professional companies with adequate insurance usually cost more for good reason: The risks associated with snow and ice control are too great to gamble on a lower cost contractor. Don’t leave yourself open to liability; always ask for proof of current insurance.

What Materials Are Used?

Ask about which ice melt products the company uses. It’s important to balance the cost and effectiveness of de-icer chemicals with their potential damage to sidewalks and streets, as well as the effect on vegetation, soil, animals and water systems. Be sure to ask whether a snow removal company uses sustainable de-icing techniques.

Is There a Well-Managed Supply Chain?

In a winter with heavy snowfall, many suppliers of ice and snow removal products can experience shortages of salt or de-icing materials. To help keep parking lots and driveways clear through a long winter with excessive snow accumulation, make sure your snow removal company will be able to secure the volume of material needed for its clients’ properties.

Is the Company Accessible 24/7?

Since snow falls at all times of the day — not just during business hours — you need a responsive company that promises a 24/7 point of contact. Response times in snow and ice management are important, so you’ll also want to hire a partner that prioritizes your needs and understands winter weather variabilities.

snow sidewalk

Do They Have Adequate Staff & Equipment?

Make sure the company you hire is large enough and adequately staffed with well-trained snow removal crews and equipment to handle your property’s needs in a timely and efficient manner. This is especially important in an unexpected snowstorm or blizzard, which can quickly become an emergency situation.

What Safety Measures Are in Place?

Since snow and ice clearing crews tend to be salting or plowing at all hours, their professional habits are important to note. Do they use adequate lighting so they are visible while working on your site? When working on pathways or sidewalks, snow removal crew members should wear reflective vests so you can easily see them. Additionally, they should respect other people’s movements on the property while they are doing their work.

Share Your Expectations

It’s important to get on the same page, starting with the first time you meet with a snow removal company. Be sure to share your expectations and note any unique needs, such as 24-hours-a-day service or seven-days-a-week clearance.

Rossen Landscape would love to help you improve accessibility and safety at your property. Learn about our snow and ice management programs here or contact us so we can discuss your priorities and budget in order to come up with a solution that fits your specific needs.