Winters in Northeast Ohio can be mild some years, delivering dustings of snow and some occasional ice with the random bigger snowfalls.
Other years, Old Man Winter can deliver a mess of a time with continuous multiple feet of snow, thick sheets of ice, bitter winds, and non-stop storms that keep piling on each other.
Whichever one your commercial property experiences, if you’re not ready for it, it’s more likely for mistakes to happen with snow and ice removal. Mistakes can certainly cost a commercial property manager a great deal of money and time managing liability issues resulting from lack of safety and security on your site – not to mention work delays and business closures.
Whether you take care of a college or university, industrial site, health care facility, retail center, office park, or homeowners’ association, you want to keep your property looking good and – most of all – you want to keep everyone who travels on your property feeling like they can traverse your walkways, driveways, and parking lots safely.
Unfortunately, mistakes can certainly happen more if you plan commercial snow plowing at the last minute.
Let’s review some ways you can avoid snow plowing mistakes and choose a snow removal company for your business that can help save you from experiencing these unnecessary headaches.
8 Most Common Snow Plowing Mistakes
Commercial snow plowing is a critical service for Northeast Ohio facilities.
Left unattended, winter weather can block your property entrance, cause slip-and-fall injuries, or accumulate on tree branches and lead to branch breakage and even property damage.
Turfscape has worked with commercial property managers across Northeast Ohio, so we’ve seen our fair share of winters.
Here are some of the mistakes we’ve noticed that can derail commercial facility managers during winter weather management.
Snow Plowing Mistake #1: Not Having a Plan
Life gets busy. We can certainly understand that.
So it can be natural that you get to winter in Northeast Ohio before you know it.
But if you haven’t come up with a plan to handle snow and ice management on your commercial site, that could be a huge snow plowing mistake.
First of all, you know winters here can be unpredictable. What if a massive snowstorm arrives before the official start of winter?
Also, if you haven’t talked to a snow and ice removal professional yet, what if you can’t get the provider you want?
And making a hasty, quick decision could cost you more or not include the services you need.
One of the worst feelings as a property manager is to be surprised by an unexpected snow storm that will leave you stressed out and scrambling to keep your business operational.
Snow Plowing Mistake #2: Assigning Interior Employees to Snow & Ice Removal
As a property manager, you need to keep your facility operating smoothly all the time – winter included. And in Northeast Ohio, that means clearing snow and ice, too.
Using your current inside maintenance crew to handle snow and ice removal may be a solution you’re considering.
This means they must shift their focus from their regular duties to snow and ice management any time the weather shifts. This can negatively impact your entire facility because it can mean both the inside and the outside of your business don’t get enough attention to get the job done.
This is also risky for your employees since snow and ice clearing is considered an emergency service. Those performing the work must be on top of their game and familiar with how to dress when exposed to long periods of cold temperatures to do the job right.
And when things pile up, you notice things aren’t getting done when they should, and everything falls apart.
This is why commercial snow plowing is usually best performed by professionals focused on the task.
Snow Plowing Mistake #3: Neglecting Customer & Visitor Comfort Trying to Reduce Costs
How many employees would complain if you kept your office heat turned low during the winter month? Probably quite a few.
How many customers would show up to your shopping center if you didn’t plow the snow or melt the ice in the parking lots or on the walkways quickly?
This elevates not only safety for people on your property but also comfort. This focus on the details can have a huge impact on how people feel when they are on your site, and it can also keep them coming back.
Many times, you may do this in order to save budget dollars. But when you have to manage your own snow and ice removal – not to mention equipment and supply costs and maintenance – you can end up paying more than necessary. Hiring a commercial snow plowing expert can help you manage all these associated costs and keep prices in line.
Snow Plowing Mistake #4: Bad Timing
When snow storms come through, timing is incredibly important.
Everything from when to apply salt, when to arrive for snow removal, and how to manage both forms of precipitation before and after they arrive is crucial.
You have to understand snowfall and at what temperatures ice forms and how salt works to truly perfect this timing.
Snow Plowing Mistake #5: Ignoring Weather Forecasts
You must pay attention to multiple, trustworthy weather forecasts to know what kind of precipitation and which forms are coming.
And if you hire a commercial snow plowing company to tend to these services on your site, you need to be able to know they are ahead of the weather.
Snow Plowing Mistake #6: Poor Communication or Lack of Communication
When you’re a facility manager juggling multiple areas of your commercial property, you want to know you can count on your snow removal company for service and feel confident important work will get done when it must.
That’s where poor communication can ruin everything.
Because your property has many moving pieces and parts, as well as many people who care about access and movement on the site, you want to hire a commercial snow removal professional who will let you know what’s coming, share feedback, and offer any suggested next steps and budget impacts.
You don't want to guess about what was done or not be able to reach someone when a snowstorm hits.
Snow Plowing Mistake #7: Underestimating Equipment Needs
If you manage a large commercial site in Northeast Ohio, you may need larger equipment to handle massive amounts of snow and ice, such as skid-steers, loaders, and sidewalk snow removal machines. You also need bigger volumes of salt, calcium, and deicing agents.
You must also have the experience and knowledge using that type of equipment.
Additionally, if a piece of equipment shuts down, you have to have enough backup machines or mechanics on hand to maintain and replace that equipment.
If a big snow storm hits, and you don’t have the machines you need, you won’t be able to clear that snow efficiently.
Snow Plowing Mistake #8: Not Hiring a Snow & Ice Removal Pro
Yes, anyone can hop into a truck with a snow plow and clear snow around your commercial facility, but this doesn’t ensure the job is done right.
But only a snow removal company knows how to do the work efficiently and effectively, taking into consideration your specific needs.
Every snow and ice storm is different, and your professional will use various techniques and tactics to clear the precipitation.
For example, Turfscape keeps quality control and customer service levels high by maintaining regular employee training initiatives. This means every morning we conduct huddles, discussing best practices, weather updates and predictions, and safety reminders. Our account managers and field supervisors are also out in the field all day checking on crews, and teaching snow and ice service techniques.
We also use consistent and regular communication because we know this is a priority for you. We guarantee same-day communication with our customers. We will text, email, or call you back, depending on your preference, to give you updates. Internally, we won’t mark a job or issue as complete until it’s communicated to you.
Don’t Make These Common Snow Removal Mistakes; Hire a Snow Removal Company to Help
When you’re not used to doing snow and ice removal on your property, mistakes can happen.
Choosing the right snow removal company is not always an easy decision for a facilities manager. You just want to make sure your needs and budget align, and you don’t want to be caught off guard in the middle of a snow storm.
If you find yourself making mistakes or having a hard time choosing a snow and ice management company that will fit your property’s needs, give Turfscape a call. We know trying to find a service professional you trust can be challenging. We’ve offered snow and ice removal services for over 30 years in Northeast Ohio, so we can help you navigate this unpredictable season, ensuring your commercial business remains open and safe throughout winter.
Turfscape would be happy to discuss some specific ideas that can ensure safety on your Northeast Ohio commercial property this winter. Request a proposal today. We’ll review your options together so you can make the best commercial snow removal service choice.