September snow catches some commercial business owners by surprise.
Yikes. This last huge dump of snow in Calgary had businesses scrambling to find snow clearing services for their sidewalks, entrances, and parking lots.
Keeping commercial entrances clear of snow can be a positive draw for clients doing business in the winter. Clients are not happy if they get stuck in snow-filled parking spaces, have to jump over snowbanks to get to your front door and worry about slipping on icy sidewalks. Businesses are legally expected to keep their premises relatively safe for their clients. Do not neglect clearing walkways or parking lots as it could lead to an accident; you may be on the hook for legal consequences.
Commercial property owners are also expected to keep the public sidewalks bordering their property clear of snow, too. The City of Calgary requires public sidewalks must be shovelled down to the pavement within 24 hours of a snowfall ending or face a $150 fine. There is a complaint line in the city that people can call to report snow-filled or icy walks, so it is in your best interest to retain a good snow removal company.
How To Find A Commercial Snow Removal Company Near You
A quick search on the internet gives a long list of local snow removal contractors in your area. You will notice that some listings link back to landscape and building contractors, like AM Stucco. These contractors often put their machinery to good use in the winter by offering snow removal services.
You don’t want to hire just anyone for your snow removal. A considered approach will ensure you aren’t left hanging without services. Furthermore, a little research and a few questions to contractors will help you find the best one for your business. It’s important to hire a company that will be on time, efficient and takes care of your property and concerns.
Things To Consider When Looking For A Snow Removal Contractor
Break down what services you need. Is it just the business and public sidewalk snow removal? Do you want snow clearing of the parking lot and vehicle entrances? What about the alleyways for access to loading areas? Are ice checks important to you?
Some contractors will only do parking areas. Some smaller companies will take on sidewalks and entryways, but not larger areas. You need to find the best fit for your property.
Do you want a one-time clearing, or will you negotiate a snow removal contract that spans the winter season?
Sometimes you can negotiate a better fee if you retain a company over the long-term. However, read the fine print; if this winter is mild and relatively snowless, a seasonal snow removal contract may require you to pay, even if there isn’t snow to remove.
What Equipment Do They Have?
As winter progresses, snow can build up in areas. Operators may do sidewalks by hand shovel, but others use a snowblower that can sometimes leave a thin snow layer that forms into ice if not removed. Will the larger contractor be using a bobcat, front-mounted blade snow pusher, or a snowplow? This is important because some jobs require maneuverability that larger machines can’t provide. If you have a larger area, then the larger equipment can deal with the space more efficiently.
How Do You Want To Dispose Of The Snow?
As the winter progresses, snow piles will get larger. It may mean you want to consider locations for snow piles that will not interrupt business as usual. Perhaps on a grassy area that is part of the business complex, or in an extra unused parking area. Just remember that sometimes snow carries de-icing products and gravel that could kill grass, and a heavy load around trees and shrubs may cause dieback in the spring. Perhaps a good solution is having the company haul the snow offsite. Check with the prospective snow removal contractors as to the availability and cost of an offsite option.
Are The Equipment Operators Experienced?
You wouldn’t think snow removal would require specialized knowledge, but it can. If your parking lot has cracked or heaved pavement, speed bumps and curbing, then special care needs to be taken to minimize possible damage.
When Will They Remove The Snow?
Most snow clearing occurs after each snowfall, but if the snow removal contractor has a lot of clients, it can affect that timeline. Sometimes you can negotiate to have the snow clearing operators come after business hours. Most prefer that as lots are empty and foot traffic is reduced. If they are working during business hours, they may want some of your parking areas roped off so they can work. If small snow removal operators are working in the day, ask how they would interact with your clientele. You want someone who can be friendly and helpful, stopping work as the client enters your business.
You will want to contact a few snow removal companies for quotes to compare clearing services given for money rendered. Don’t be afraid to ask questions that are important to you. Good communication is the key to good working relationships.
If you are looking for a professional, experienced snow removal company, reach out to AM Stucco. You can discuss your needs and property, and we will provide you with a quote for your property.