Removing snow and ice on your sidewalk, driveway or landscaping is not as easy as it sounds. Although a blanket of white snow is a breathtaking sight, the unavoidable task of removing it can be damaging if not done properly.
It’s easy to commit mistakes. But the mistake you make with snow and ice removal can cost you a huge deal of money and, not to mention, cause potential harm to you and your family.
To avoid expensive pavement repairs and the need for replanting, take note of these big mistakes when removing snow, and avoid them.
1. Using Ice Melt Products at the Wrong Time
Ignoring the buildup of ice can create a perilous slippery layer that is difficult to see. It becomes more and more unsafe as it gets thicker because of constant cold temperatures.
A professional snow removal service only uses deicing materials when necessary. They do it at the right time and in sufficient amounts to manage the ice before it transforms into a major liability.
Some deicing methods can end up killing your landscape and harming pets. Here are the common deicing options and how they can affect you.
● Sodium chloride
It’s the least expensive deicing product but it doesn’t work well in temperatures of 25 degrees Fahrenheit and below. It can also seep into the soil which changes the chemical balance to poisonous levels.
This is primarily used as a fertilizer and has less potential to damage vegetation compared to potassium chloride. But it still can burn your lawn and plants. It can also pollute runoff water with nitrates.
● Calcium Chloride
This works well with temperatures below zero and is less harmful to vegetation. However, it leaves behind a slick residue which can harm your tile, shoes and pet feet. This is three times more costly than rock salt, but there’s no need to use much.
2. Choosing the Wrong Supplies and Equipment
When removing snow, the right supplies make all the difference. You shouldn’t bring a shovel to a chore that needs feet of snow removal. Just like dealing with hot water repairs during winter, you shouldn’t wait to bathe in cold water before calling a plumber.
Don’t even attempt to try fixing your frozen pipes with an open flame if you don’t want serious damage. Keep a sane mind and remember to manage these winter problems smoothly with the correct supplies and equipment.
For large properties with multiple parking lots, efficient snow removal will require a truck and a snowplow. Purchasing your own snow removal equipment can be expensive which is why you should realize that not all levels of snow can be handled on your own. It takes a whole fleet of the right supplies and properly maintained equipment to efficiently remove snow.
3. Not Using a Snow Removal Service
When Mother Nature is your rival, you may have a hard time surviving the harsh winter. If you’re having more than 80 inches of snow, know you aren’t Superman – the only practical solution is to use a winter snow removal service.
But before you sign a contract and place your property in the hands of a professional, make sure to ask these questions first.
- How long have you been in the business?
- What preparations do you make for the winter season?
- Do you have certification?
- Do you have insurance coverage? Are your operators insured?
- Are your staff trained in safety?
- What documentation do you provide with the billing invoices and contract?
- In case of emergencies, do you have a back-up?
- How do you manage quality control?
Your chosen snow removal service makes the judgment call on when to shovel and salt during winter. Asking the right questions on operations and equipment will help you determine the best service provider.
If you’re about to go to the driveway with your shovel, do yourself a favor and let a snow professional handle the job. After all, as the temperature starts to drop, nothing beats holing up inside your home with hot cocoa and fleece on the couch.
Remember, comfort and safety come at a price. As the homeowner, it’s your responsibility to ensure the proper maintenance of your property during winter. Makes sure not to repeat the big mistakes above the next time you remove snow and be sure to engage expert help when you know it to be absolutely necessary.
Ron Shattuck Jr. built Shattuck Paving into a trusted, reputable family business. Ron Jr. learned a lot about the industry and the hard work ethic that Ronald Sr. lived by, and has now followed in his father’s shoes to operate the company and help it grow. Today, Shattuck Paving is more determined than ever to serve their customers’ needs with integrity. No compromises!