When managing commercial properties, working to reduce hazardous conditions on the property is a year-round job. This is especially true during winter when many regions add snow and ice to the mix that can greatly increase the potential for costly liability. Thankfully, there are some simple steps that you can take to mitigate risk and improve safety on your property when winter weather hits.
Here are 5 tips to keep your commercial property safe during winter:
5 Winter Tips for Commercial Properties
Keep Your Drainage Clear
Snow and ice removal services are essential to keep properties clear after winter storms, but once snow has been cleared off of the parking lot, walkways, and other hardscapes, the sun inevitably takes care of any snow that’s left on the property in areas that the plows don’t go, such as the lawn and roofs. In order to help the sun work as effectively as possible, ensure that your gutters, downspouts, and any drainage systems on the property are clear at all times.
Clogged gutters and downspouts can cause ice dams to form, leading to leaky roofs and expensive repairs. It’s also important to point downspouts away from the building entrance and walkways when possible to prevent icy hazards. Surface drains like french drains, catch basins, and storm drains also need to stay clear to ensure that water is properly removed from the property. Clogged surface drainage can create pools of water that freeze overnight, leading to increased injury risks or even damaged hardscapes via frost action.
Stay on Top of Grounds Management
Proper groundskeeping and maintenance work can also greatly reduce the risk of injuries or accidents in winter. Things such as uneven sidewalks, broken pavers, cracked or crumbling curbs, and loose handrails should all be handled quickly – preferably in fall before icy conditions pop up.
Likewise, any dead or damaged trees or limbs should be removed to prevent them from falling and causing injuries, damage to the building or vehicles, or interruption of utilities like electricity or phone lines. They can also cause damage to your lawn or other trees – it’s not uncommon for falling tree limbs to rip smaller trees out of the ground entirely by falling on them.
Winterize All of Your Water Features
One of the mostly costly types of landscape repairs is irrigation system repairs. It’s incredibly important to winterize your sprinklers to prevent damage to system components, which can lead to leaks that can damage your lawn, hardscapes, and possibly the building itself. Just like sprinklers, any landscaping water features that use a pump – fountains, waterfalls, bird baths, etc. – should also be winterized to prevent damaged components and leaks. Tracking down leaks in improperly winterized systems can be a huge headache and expensive to repair.
Protect Your Property from Salt Damage
Although de-icers are incredibly useful in keeping your property ice-free, they tend to be harsh on your lawn, plants, and trees. Salt damage can lead to several issues for your landscape, including:
- Browning or discoloration
- Wilting or dieback (usually on the side of the plant facing where the salt was used)
- Needle tip burn on pine trees
- Reduced soil quality
- Nutrient deficiencies
Thankfully, there are several ways that you can reduce the risk of salt damage to your landscape. Using less salt by treating surfaces before it snows (known as anti-icing) is an incredibly efficient way to use less salt while remaining just as (or even more) effective at preventing ice formation. Using physical barriers – burlap, snow fences, or even simple barriers made from landscape fabric or plastic – can also help to reduce the risk of salt damage to your plants.
Review Your Snow Removal Contract
As a commercial property manager, keeping your property clear of snow and ice in the winter is a top priority. It’s vital to ensure that your snow removal contract is up to snuff and will keep you covered during winter weather.
It may be time to change to a different type of snow removal contract (seasonal, pay per push, full service, etc.), the scope of services offered (snow plowing, sidewalk clearing, snow hauling, etc.), how much snow is needed before the contractor will go service your property, or payment details.
Having the right snow removal contract that fits your needs and budget will help give you peace of mind that your property is covered no matter how bad the weather may get.
Denver Commercial Properties Can Manage Winter Risks With Snow Management Services
For over 25 years, SMS has been the preferred snow removal contractor for hundreds of commercial properties in the Denver area. Our team has the equipment and expertise needed to keep your property safe, even in the roughest of winter weather.
Our process starts with developing a winter risk management plan. Taking the time to identify the most efficient way to keep your property clear, and highlighting any possible trouble areas, is the best way to ensure quick and effective service.
Quickly clearing snow and removing ice is critical so that parking lots and sidewalks stay clear, reducing the risk of winter accidents or injuries. We can even remove snow off the property altogether if need be. Our team is committed to rapid response times to keep your property safe.