It was a white Christmas in Boise this year and the snow fell steadily throughout December. If you play in the snow, as many Idahoans do, you’re experiencing a winter wonderland. If you own or manage a business that might be where your love affair with the deep, powdery white snow ends.
Getting to work in these conditions can be challenging but if it gets worse when you arrive at work, it might be time to hire a professional. What do you need to consider when hiring a snow removal company for your business? Here are a few considerations that will help you find the right fit.
Do I have employees who can help with the sidewalks?
If your employees include strong, capable individuals who enjoy showing up early to clear away the snow, this might be somewhere you can save some money. Treating your own sidewalks can be done by purchasing minimal equipment such as snow shovels and a garden spreader and keeping granular de-icer on hand.
If your employees are primarily office workers who will not be dressed for the weather and are arriving in dress attire such as dress shoes or high heels, this is probably not a great fit.
How often do I need to address the snowfall in my parking lot?
When temperatures are warm enough (lows in the 30’s & highs in the 40’s) many of the small storms that drop 1” of snow or less will melt away during the day. However when temperatures drop below 30˚ and stay there, you should expect that any new snowfall will simply compact and form ice. This problem can be compounded over multiple storms creating a hazard for your employees & customers to get in & out of your business.
We recommend treating snow by plowing and de-icing every 1” and treating ice such as freezing rain (when it happens) overnight before employees are scheduled to arrive the next day.
What do I look for in a snow removal company?
In Idaho there are not many licensing requirements for contractors. So you’ll want practice due diligence and ask your snow contractor some questions. Are they insured? Are their employees properly trained? Do the have references? What are their rates? What is their percentage of customer retention?
The equipment they use matters as well. Some plows move more snow than others so if you’re paying by the hour a cheaper rate might not be cheeper if they’re using sub-par equipment.
Also, using a contractor with the appropriate insurance protects you as an owner if any damage should occur.
At the end of the day snow & ice can create problems if left untreated ranging from small slips to hard falls resulting in workers comp claims and lost time. Find the right contractor for your business and you’ll be happy you did.