Snow Storms: When to Start Clearing & Planning for Accumulations

Posted: Nov 29, 2021

While we’ve had an unusually dry winter so far this year in Denver, it’s only a matter of time before the snow finally shows up. As a business or commercial property owner, it’s vital that you’re able to clear your property as soon as possible after it snows. But when heavy winter storms pass through, what’s the best way to keep your property free of liability risks?

Here is a plan of action that will keep snow accumulations at bay and ensure your property is safe:

How to Stay On Top of Winter Weather and Snow Accumulations

  1. Winter Planning & Property Management

    For businesses and commercial properties, the most important aspect of handling snow storms is planning & risk management. Clearing snow and ice in a timely manner is key to mitigating risk and keeping business running smoothly. Staying on top of the weather forecast is another great way to ensure you’re not caught by surprise and have time to prepare for inclement weather or icy morning conditions.

    However, you do need to have a plan in place so that the property will be effectively tended to if the weather does take a turn.

    It’s best to perform a walk around of the property in order to come up with a strategy for clearing the property quickly and effectively. Drawing up a map will help immensely; make sure to note and potential problem areas including:

    • Curbs and bumper blocks
    • Accessibility ramps and parking spaces
    • Low spots on the property where runoff can create ice hazards
    • Any appropriate areas for storing snow piles (if possible)

    Knowing the layout of the property will help the snow removal company know exactly what equipment they need to use and help prevent them from damaging the property or their equipment.

  2. Winter Storm Prep Is Key

    Ensuring you’re ready for whatever winter throws at you will keep liability risks and business downtimes at bay. Always have the snow removal essentials handy (shovels, ice melt products, warm clothes, etc.) so that you can react quickly when it starts snowing or things get slick.

    Keep the property’s potential problem areas in mind and address them BEFORE they create accident or injury risks. One of the best ways to keep ice off of walkways and parking lots is to lay down ice melt products before-hand. This will help prevent snow from accumulating and compacting before turning into ice.

  3. Clear Snow and Re-Apply Ice Melt While It’s Still Snowing

    Even after pre-applying ice melt, snow can start accumulating if it’s coming down hard enough. Once snow starts to accumulate and the bottom layer compacts, that’s when ice will start to form underneath. Don’t wait for it to stop snowing before clearing your sidewalks – be proactive!

    In the case of winter storms (anything more than 4 inches of snow within a 12-hour period), clearing snow while it’s still falling is the best way to prevent it from accumulating on surfaces. It’s also easier to remove snow before it has accumulated and compacted since there will be minimal ice buildup. Also be sure to apply more ice melt products after clearing snow off of surfaces to prevent ice from forming any further.

  4. After the Snow Has Stopped

    Once the snow has passed, it’s time to clean up the rest of the snow. Businesses in Denver have to clear their sidewalks as soon as possible after it snows; if not cleared in a timely manner, you run the risk of incurring fines. When possible, the best time of day to clear snow is in the morning – this gives the sun as much time as possible to do its thing and dry off walkways, parking lots, and other surfaces. This reduces the amount of runoff that will refreeze overnight and create ice hazards.

    After plowing the property, it’s important to consider where to leave all the plowed snow on your property. Snow piles can create hazards of their own, and can take considerable amounts of time to fully melt. If you don’t have a suitable place to safely store your snow piles, consider snow hauling services to keep your property safe.

Stay Prepared for Snow No Matter The Time of Year

Winter planning and preparation will make sure your business or commercial property runs smoothly regardless of the weather. At Snow Management Services, our winter planning & risk management will ensure that your property is prepared for even the worst winters – way before the snow starts. We also offer the full range of snow removal and de-icing services, including sidewalk management and off-site snow hauling. To see how SMS can keep your Denver commercial property prepared for whatever winters throw at you, give us a call today at (303) 750-8867 or get in touch with us online to get started.