Preparing Your Commercial Property for a Winter Storm

Posted: Mar 24, 2022

Winter storms can wreak havoc on the unprepared property owner or manager. Commercial properties need to be prepared for the worst when it comes to bad weather in order to protect customers, employees, and anyone else who is on the property. Being proactive makes it much easier to handle heavy snow, ice, and freezing temperatures – and can prevent any headaches that can come from simply waiting for a winter storm to pass.

Here is a list of what you can do to prepare your commercial property when a winter storm is on the way:

Winter Storm Prep List for Commercial Properties

  1. Inspect Roofs, Gutters, and Other Drainage Systems

    When the weather forecast is calling for heavy snow, it’s important to ensure that any runoff will divert away from the building, walkways, and other areas where it may lead to accidents. Gutters need to be cleared so that water drains off the roof and to prevent ice dams from forming, which can lead to roof leaks and other damage. Channel drains, storm drains, and other drainage systems also need to be working properly to prevent water from collecting in areas that will lead to injury risks. Knowing where water flows and collects on the property will help you keep ice from forming in these areas. They may need extra ice melt products to keep them from freezing over, and additional shoveling to remove excess water from these areas. You may also need to post signage in these areas to prevent injuries, or cordon them off altogether if the problem is too severe.

  2. Prepping Sidewalks, Parking Lots, and Exterior Doorways

    A sure-fire way to prevent snow and ice from accumulating on walkways and other hardscapes is to get them prepped before the snow starts. Pro-actively applying ice melt products will keep snow from piling up and compacting to create ice. The best way to apply ice melt products before-hand is to pre-wet the areas before it snows.

    Regular salts don’t work to prevent ice until they’re already dissolved – getting the area wet before it snows will help activate the salts so that they’re already working when the first flake falls. Liquid de-icers don’t need pre-wetting to work, and they can also be mixed with salts to create a brine that’s incredibly effective at preventing ice.

    In addition to prepping sidewalks, parking lots, and other walkways, take extra care when prepping accessibility ramps, outdoor stairs, and exterior doorways. Ramps and stairs may need extra ice melt materials to keep them from becoming slippery, and door mats – both interior and exterior – should be clean so that entryways are clear and dry.

  3. Prepping Your Landscape

    Your landscape could also use some winter storm prep. Shrubs and other plants can easily be damaged by heavy snow, ice, or sudden freezes. Burlap covers can help keep them protected from the elements, and burlap can also be used (along with snow fences) to keep salts/liquid de-icers and plowed snow from spraying on your grass and plants.

    Outdoor furniture and other exterior features can also be damaged by winter storms. Snow and ice can lead to wood rot, cracked plastic, and rust that can make your outdoor furniture look 10 years older – or destroy it altogether. Consider bringing them indoors or storing them until the end of snow season, or at least make sure they’re covered when the weather gets bad.

  4. Stock Up on the Snow Removal Essentials

    Although preparing your property before a winter storm is the best way to keep snow and ice from accumulating, keeping your property clear during the storm (if it’s safe to do so!) is also incredibly helpful. Clearing snow and spreading ice melt products while it’s still snowing will help prevent snow and ice from accumulating, and it’s way easier to clear this way, rather than waiting for the snow to end before clearing everything.

    Even though you may not have snow blowers or ice slicers available to keep your property clear, make sure that you’re always ready for snow and ice removal by having the bare essentials handy. A couple snow shovels, ice melt products (whether they’re salts or liquid de-icers), and warm winter clothing – coats, gloves, and hats – will give your employees or tenants the ability to take care of themselves. Ensure that employees are also wearing the proper footwear when going outside to prevent accidents.

Be Prepared for Winter Storms Year-Round With Snow Management Services

Staying ahead of winter weather makes it easier – and safer – to handle snow and ice on your commercial property. For over 25 years, Snow Management Services has protected Denver-area commercial properties from the worst winter weather, and our winter planning and risk management ensure that your property is safe for everyone on your property. Our snow removal and de-icing services will keep your property clear – sidewalks and all – and we can also haul snow off-site to keep your property safe and presentable. To see how SMS can help your Denver commercial property, give us a call today at (303) 750-8867 or get in touch with us online to get started.