When it snows, everyone is clambering to be sure that they’re the first property to be serviced. Snow management is absolutely crucial for risk aversion and the safety of guests, residents and customers. Regardless of the season, your property should have a snow and ice management plan in place, because when the bad weather arrives, your parking lots, roadways and sidewalks need to be clear and hazard-free.
Slip-and-fall accidents are some of the most common injuries and liability issues on commercial properties. Rather than becoming a costly statistic, look for a landscaping company that can meet all of your winter needs. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most important questions to ask when looking for a snow management provider.
- Will there be a site plan in place? Every property is different and unique. A site-specific snow and ice plan allows for the firm you partner with to know exactly where to plow and where to put the snow — or whether it needs to be transported off site.
- How soon will they show up? Professional snow and ice management firms provide crews that are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In order to mitigate any risks, it’s important for you to be able to reach your snow and ice management partner when you need it. It’s also good to know how extreme conditions or storms might affect service. Has your contractor defined a certain amount of inches that need to fall before service kicks in? Have a frank conversation with your provider before signing anything — this way, both of you know what to expect when the weather gets rough.
- What services do they offer? Your contract should outline the full extent of services received over a season. In another blog post, we discuss some of the most common types of winter contracts. Be sure to cover what’s included in the contract!
- Are they trained or certified? Third-party approval of a snow and ice contractor means properly trained staff — and better service for you. At Landscape America, we’re members of the Snow & Ice Management Association (SIMA) and have Certified Snow Professionals (CSP) on staff to prevent risks and hazards. We also use a weather monitoring service called WeatherWorks that provides us with certified reports on snowfall totals, past and present weather, and future winter weather risks.
- Are they insured? Insurance is always a good idea. Hiring a company without insurance may be cheaper, but if anything happens (from the shovel dinging a car to an injury or death), you may be on the hook. At Landscape America, we are insured well above the minimum to protect property managers, residents or tenants and our staff.
All of these questions are typically answered in the contract you sign with a snow and ice management provider. Being unable to answer any or all these questions is a potential red flag. At Landscape America, we go out of our way to make sure that we’re as clear as possible about what we can — and what we will — be doing for you. To be sure you’re getting the right contract for your property, check out our post on some of the most common winter contracts!