In the dog days of summer, the harsh reality of a cold winter is usually the last thing on our minds. Who wants to think about snow while tanning on the beach? So what if the there’ll be blasts of icy wind in a few months when there’s a gentle breeze to enjoy? Why bother thinking about cozying up with a mug of hot chocolate, coffee or tea when what you really need is something cool and refreshing to drink? These are all valid questions. However, the savvy property manager will be thinking about winter long before it arrives.
While at first glance it might appear that snow and ice management is a one-size-fits-all task, it isn’t. There are all sorts of variables and techniques that must be applied throughout the winter season. If it’s not managed properly, snow and ice is a liability. It can get in the way of business, cause accidents, and make for disgruntled residents.
I’ve created a list of some of the most important snow and ice management techniques that we put into practice on every property we work for.
- Weather monitoring: How, when and why snow is falling can drastically affect how its managed! At Landscape America, we’ve partnered with WeatherWorks, a meteorology consulting firm that gives us certified reporting on snowfall totals and weather conditions. With real-time updates on the status of each and every storm that rolls through, we know exactly when to start plowing, and how often we need to plow.
- Salting and de-icing: If it’s an average, minor snowfall, then we apply salt and deicers to minimize accumulation. These handy materials also reduce slipping hazards by preventing ice from latching onto surfaces. If a snowfall is under an inch, it typically doesn’t require any clearing or plowing — salt and de-icers will do the hard work of melting the snow before it can cause issues. If it’s especially cold out (14 degrees fahrenheit and below), salt and de-icers won’t have an effect, so we need to manually remove snow and ice. At Landscape America, we’ve developed a standardized application rate for our brines, salt and sand, so that just the right amount gets applied.
- Timing: Timing is everything! When snow starts to pile up, we’ll make sure our plows and shovels are at your property. For high-traffic properties, such as malls and storefronts, we always try to get out as early as we possibly can with heavy machinery — and avoid peak times, before stores open — so that the area is clear for shoppers. Starting too late, or not clearing snow often enough, can create slipping hazards and make removal much more difficult than it has to be — which is why we’re so proactive!
- Prioritization: Every property that we work with has a customized strategy in place before winter begins. Because of this, we’re able to prioritize the areas that need to be cleared and cleaned up first upon arrival on site — like entrances and higher-traffic areas.
These techniques and best practices are supplemented with official certifications and training. At Landscape America, we have Certified Snow Professionals (CSPs) on staff who are certified by the Snow & Ice Management Association. This program is designed to educate participants on all aspects of snow and ice management, and it requires continuing education for good standing. Our dedicated snow and ice crew never take a season off!
With knowledge of variables in how snow and ice should be managed, and by putting best practices into practice, we strive to do snow and ice management as best we can. Want to talk about bringing our outstanding care to your property? Reach out and we would be happy to chat!