Northeast Ohio winters bring freezing temperatures, shorter days, and lots of the slippery, white stuff -- snow and ice.

Despite the excessive amounts of precipitation, people still need to get to where they are going. Employees must make it to work. Health care professionals and patients need to get to the hospital. Teachers and students need to arrive at school on time. Workers and shoppers need to open up retail centers and purchase items they need.

Parking lots at all of these spaces need to be accessible at most hours of the day and night, depending on the facility. Snow and ice can certainly limit access or increase risk of injury or accidents – and no business needs those headaches.

The answer to your access troubles once Old Man winter starts calling is snow and ice management.

Commercial property snow removal, like other landscape services, costs money. But sticking to your budget during wild winters in Ohio can be a challenge.

Let’s talk about some key ways to save money on commercial snow removal so you can make a smart decision as a facility manager and ensure easy access to your property when you need it most.

How to Save on Commercial Snow Removal Services

Choosing the right commercial property snow removal company can be challenging. No two companies are the same. What’s more, no two Northeast Ohio winters are the same, so how do you know what type of service can work best for you and fit within your budget at the same time?

truck with plow and salt spreader in bed pushing snow

Avoiding business delays is a major focus, so you have to plan early and prepare accordingly to ensure success. You want a snow and ice management plan that meets your needs and aligns within your cost structure.

These strategies can help you save some money and keep snow and ice worries off of your mind.

1. Have a Strong Understanding of Your Property’s Needs

You should consider the specific property manager snow removal services you need on your property during Northeast Ohio’s coldest months. Having a great understanding of what your site needs can help dictate your costs, and then you can work from there to figure out how to trim your price, if necessary.

To keep costs in line, you must have a plan and be specific about your property’s needs and priorities. Does the whole property need to be serviced every single snow and ice event? Are there areas of the property that do not see much traffic on certain days that do not need to be serviced every single snow event?

Many commercial companies offer snow and ice management services in more than one way. Two major options are: per-occurrence or seasonal.

large front loader pushes snow in parking lot

A per-occurrence contract means that you pay each time your professional commercial service company plows or salts your property. You can also specify how deep that snow should get before a company plows. Typically, this is around 2 inches of accumulation, but if you are particularly worried about the safety hazards that snow and ice can cause on your property, you can discuss 1-inch snow depths with your service provider.

A seasonal service agreement, which you will sometimes hear referred to as all-inclusive, is one where you pay a fixed, monthly rate for four months. In this service agreement, no matter how many snow and ice events occur, your property is covered by your commercial snow removal services provider.

Some companies, such as Turfscape, can even provide combinations of the two service types to fit your specific property’s needs and meet your budget. For instance, maybe you need an all-inclusive contract for snow removal but would prefer to add salt only to remove ice after each plowing versus during other moments. To fit your pricing needs, you can always ask about this option.

2. Build a Good Relationship With Your Commercial Property Snow Removal Company

Since there is always a guess when it comes to weather predictions for the winter season in Northeast Ohio, forming a relationship with your professional service provider is essential in figuring out your commercial snow removal services requirements.

To do this, be open with your provider about your service expectations and needs.

commercial-snow-removal-salt-pile

Then, your service provider should be asking you questions to learn your facility’s traffic flow patterns and get an understanding of your busier areas to understand what snow and ice service package would best meet your needs. The right contractor will make sure they are always adding value for you.

This quality, communicative relationship creates a partnership where there is a lot more room for discussion on how to budget more creatively.

3. Opt to Store Equipment and Materials on Site

Snow and ice is heavy and thick, so the right equipment is necessary to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

And getting this equipment to your site takes a sturdy trailer and some time.

snow removal equipment piles snow in commercial parking lot

If you have a large commercial site, a way to save money on commercial snow removal is to allow your service professional to store some snow and ice removal essentials on your property. A large loader or bin of salt can make service more efficient and lower your price tag a bit.

4. Sign a Multi-Year Contract

Commercial property snow removal equipment and material prices vary from year to year. This can have a huge impact on the cost of a snow removal contract.

snow removal contractor shoveling snow off sidewalk

This is especially true if you’re only signing a one-year contract, as prices can increase a lot from one year to the next.

But if you sign a multi-year contract, the only increase you have to encounter will be specified in the contract details and is typically never more than 2 percent. Unless there is huge fluctuations in salt or material cost.

5. Manage Your Above-and-Beyond Needs

Some winters can be especially snowy or bring excess ice. This is when snow piles get too high to handle with no melting in sight or when ice is so thick, it seems like it will never melt.

If your snow piles get too high, you may actually need the snow removed from your property for safety purposes or to keep your facility traffic moving.

snow removal team piles snow in commercial parking lot

Your service provider can include an hourly rate for above-and-beyond commercial snow removal services. These services cost extra because your contractor will need to bring in extra equipment, such as a skid-steer loader or a front-end loader, as well as a dump truck, to actually remove that heavy snow off of your property. For ice, they’d need to hand-chip thick buildup to get it off your property. Hand shoveling sidewalks can also be an above-and-beyond need that you can opt out of if you know it's unnecessary.

While these types of extras are rare, knowing your costs up front in case a bad winter storm hits, is a way to stay updated on costs and not get a surprise bill.

Get the Best Pricing for Snow Removal Services in Northeast Ohio

Understanding commercial property snow removal costs before the season starts is great homework for any property manager to put on their to-do list.

As you do your research, remember to ask your snow and ice management service provider a lot of questions so you can get a thorough understanding of their services, contracts, and pricing.

Communication and partnership is also very important with winter weather services. You want to be able to count on your contractor when the snow and ice are piling up in the middle of the night.

Figuring out your budget can be complicated and time-consuming. We completely understand. We have 30 years of experience providing snow and ice removal services in Northeast Ohio, so we know this region’s winters can be unpredictable and surprising. We’d be happy to help you navigate this unpredictable season on your commercial facility so you can reduce your stress and improve access to your site for everyone.

Turfscape would love to learn more about your commercial site and provide you with some specific insight into how you can keep your snow and ice removal costs in check while improving safety and security on your property. Request a proposal today. We’ll review your options together so you can make the best choice.

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