In Colorado, snow storms are almost inevitable. As a property manager or owner, being prepared for when snow falls is important for safety and keeping visitors and tenants happy.
This checklist will help make sure you have all the bases covered when it comes to being prepared for a snow storm and the hazards that come with it.
Walk the Commercial Property
It is important to identify any potential hazards before a storm can hit. The best way to do this is to walk the property to create your snow storm plan. Every commercial property has different needs so creating a winter plan and managing those the risks are paramount. Our teams walk each property to create a snowfall strategy for unique features and prioritizing areas of concern.
Check Your Snow Removal & De-icing Supplies
Whenever any amount of snow is forecast, you should always check the ensure you have at least the basics for snow and ice removal on your property. You should always have at least one snow shovel and some form of salt or de-icing material. More equipment may be required for complete snow plowing and de-icing.
The most common types are rock salt (sodium chloride) and magnesium chloride. Magnesium chloride works until the temperature reaches -13 F to keep ice from forming. It also releases 40% less chloride into the environment than rock salt and other types of salts, which helps prevent harmful runoff. If your property is frequented by people with pets, there are even pet-friendly alternatives! Sand and cat litter can work in a pinch, although they do not melt snow. They should only be used as a last resort.
Prepare Sidewalks and Outdoor Walkways
The best way to keep walkways, especially steps, clear and safe is to treat them before the snow starts or starts sticking. Otherwise, you may have some sidewalk clearing of snow to do before being able to de-cie. Laying out salt or another de-icing material before snow can accumulate will help to keep snow from compacting and forming ice, which is much more difficult to remove (and a bigger safety hazard). Remember to keep applying salt or de-icer as often as needed to keep the snow from accumulating on sidewalks and steps, and shovel away any snow or slush that starts to build up.
Snow Plowing and Snow Hauling
If you are responsible for your property’s parking lot, you will need to ensure that the lot is cleared of snow as well as having a place for the snow to be pushed to. Sometimes just pushing it all to one end of the parking lot can cause driving hazards or block valuable parking spaces. Also, if you have certain areas such as handicapped parking spaces, fire lanes, or delivery docks, these areas need to be cleared and safe for use. Having designated areas for the snow to be pushed to, or even having it snow hauled from the site entirely, will help ensure people can access and use your parking lot safely.
Trim Trees to Remove Weak Branches and Avoid Property Damage
If there are any trees on your property, you need to make sure there aren’t any overhanging branches, or even entire trees, that are weak enough to break off under heavy snow or strong winds. If any are, be sure to remove them before the next storm. A falling branch or tree could cause serious personal injury or property damage.
Inspecting Building Drainage – Inspecting Roof and Gutters
Inspect your roof for any leaks before a storm occurs. This can prevent water from getting in and damaging property. You may not have time to do this if you learn a storm is scheduled in the next few days, but it is very important to ensure the roof is strong enough to handle the weight of a heavy snow storm. You should also make sure the gutters and drains are clear of debris to prevent flooding from improper draining. With heavy snow and ice, you want it to melt and drain off the roof as quickly as possible.
Want Some Help? Give us a Call.
With these basics taken care of, you should be ready for anything winter can throw at the exterior of your property. If any of these things seem overwhelming to you, give Snow Management Services a call at 303-750-8867. We have been in the Denver area for over 25 years and can help you keep your property safe and clear of snow, ice, and worry.
The image is from Flickr, thanks to Tony Webster