The holidays are approaching, many of us are decorating for Christmas early, and we’re all figuring out how to manage family get-togethers a little differently this year. In fact, this holiday season will be unlike any we’ve seen in living memory. But if there’s one thing that will remain the same this winter, it’s snow.
Dealing with snow management is one of the biggest responsibilities for commercial property owners in the winter. Read on to discover some important facts about snow management for this winter.
1. Your Sidewalks Have to Be Clear
When you start making your snow management plan, one of the major things you’ll need to plan for is how you’ll keep your sidewalks clear.
Snowy or icy sidewalks can make it difficult and dangerous for your employees and customers to make it into your store. Not only do you want to keep these people safe, but you also want to avoid any potential liability lawsuits that could come as a result of those injuries.
Make sure you use ice melt on your sidewalks and salt them throughout the winter. You may also want to put down additional traction leading into your building, as well as make a plan to regularly clear your sidewalks of any snow. It’s also a good idea to salt parking lots around your building to keep drivers from skidding on icy pavement.
2. Your Roof Is Your First Line of Defense
Before the first real snow sets in, you need to take some time to inspect your roof. Having a good, sturdy roof will be the key to avoiding serious snow damage this winter. Missing shingles, damaged tar paper, and small leaks can turn into a huge problem as snow sits on your roof for months on end.
Make arrangements to inspect your roof or have it inspected early in the fall. This will give you time to make any needed repairs before the first snow sets in, compounding the problems there.
Don’t forget to include your eaves and gutters in this inspection. They’ll be crucial for directing melting snow in the springtime.
3. You Need an Emergency Plan
No matter how well prepared you are for snow management, there’s still a good chance that your property will have to weather a storm this winter. Blizzards can be devastating, and you don’t want to be trying to figure out a plan for your building once the snow starts falling. Instead, you need to make an emergency plan ahead of time and stockpile any supplies you may need.
Make a plan for how you’ll keep essential operations running if you wind up losing power for a few days. If you have a gas heater, set up a backup plan for if the heat fails, too. And gather supplies like water, blankets, flashlights, shelf-stable food, and other essentials in case the worst happens.
4. States Regulate Snow Management
When you start making your snow management plan, it’s important to check your state laws regarding snow removal. For instance, some states have limits about how high snow mounds can legally be. You don’t want to create a snow management plan only to discover that it doesn’t fall within the bounds of the law.
Snow mounds will likely be one of your state’s biggest concerns when it comes to legal regulations. You need to make sure they’re located appropriately (more on that in a moment) and that they don’t pose a danger to anyone. If you have any questions, reach out to your local government for help.
5. Surroundings Matter
Before you start removing snow, it’s important to take a look at where that snow is going to go. It can be easy to pile the snow the first place you can find that isn’t the sidewalk, your roof, or the parking lot. But this can cause trouble for both you and your customers as winter wears on.
Make sure your snow mound isn’t located somewhere where it will block any drivers’ views, especially of pedestrians. They need to be far enough from driving and parking spaces that they don’t pose any threat to drivers. And you should always, always double-check where the snow is going to go before you start running a snowplow.
6. You Need a Snow Mound Area
One of the simpler ways to make sure your snow always goes to an appropriate area is to designate a snow mound area. You can use this spot all winter long, provided your mound doesn’t get large enough to surpass legal limits. It’s a good idea to also designate a backup snow mound area just in case you get more snow than you’re expecting.
Make sure your snow mound area is out of the way of drivers and pedestrians. It should also be far enough away from your building that it won’t risk leaking water into your foundation or basement when the snow starts melting. Designate this area with flags or cones so it’s easy to find again when the next storm comes through.
7. Good Insurance Is Key
Preparing your building for snow is certainly an important part of the snow management process, but you also need to protect your finances. If your building does suffer damage from snow or ice, you don’t want to be left holding that bill. Make sure your insurance policy covers snow and ice damage in addition to the usual coverage.
You may also want to make sure your snow and ice policy covers associated risks and damage. For instance, a particularly cold day or night may cause a pipe to burst, deluging your building with ice. Your insurance policy should help you cover these cold-related damages, too.
Arrange Your Snow Management
If you live somewhere that gets a lot of snow, arranging for snow management is a critical part of keeping your building in good shape. Make sure your property is in good shape before winter sets in, and make a plan for where all that snow is going to go. It’s also important to have an emergency plan in place in case things go badly.
If you’d like help with your snow management this winter, check out the rest of our site at Bam’s Landscaping. We provide residential and commercial landscaping in Montgomery County with a more approachable and community-oriented business. Get a free quote today and set yourself up for an easy winter.