When should I order snow plowing services for my property?

Snow plowing services

Winter can sometimes be a nightmare if you live in a condominium. The snow tends to pile up fast and getting out of garages and parkades can become difficult. It’s just not practical to do this on your own, and why should you do all the work when someone else could handle the task for you?

Snow plowing services can help you deal with snow and ice on residential or commercial properties, but how much does it cost and how does it work? Let’s review the factors that go into hiring a great snow removal company, when to call them, and what to expect.

In Edmonton, there are no legislated or legal figures around how much snow can fall before you need to plow it. The conditions will depend on factors such as slipperiness, ease of movement, vehicle traction, and general safety for residents/pedestrians/vehicles.

Your city or condominium might require you to plow when you reach a certain amount of snow, or if an inspector comes and issues a warning.

A rule of thumb is to remove the snow before it becomes a safety issue.
This will depend on the property. An industrial site with trucks and heavy equipment may be fine with 6-8 inches of snow, whereas a condominium will need on-trace snow removal (meaning any snowfall). Many businesses don’t want snow to make hazards and call out snow plowing services for any trace of snow. Plowing after any snow fall, even small amounts, is the best way to keep your property safe and reduce your chances of snow or ice-related injuries or issues.

road covered by snow near vehicle traveling at daytime

When did it snow?

If you woke up to snow, did it stick around or did it all disappear by morning? If it was a significant amount after overnight snowfall, chances are you’ll need to call in a plowing service. Generally, all weather conditions require planning and precautions as any amount of snow raises safety concerns for everyone around.

Factors in Snow Removal Rates

Time to Remove Snow

The more time it takes to remove snow from your property, the higher the cost. Snow plowing rates generally increase with the amount of time it takes to remove snow. If it takes an hour to clear your lot before plowing and another hour after, you’ll pay for two hours of work at the same rate. Snow removal rates can vary from $40 per hour for residential and up to $500 per hour with heavy equipment for industrial site snow removal.

Due to various factors like volume or storms that dump fresh snow, most snow plowing services charge hourly rates as well as square foot rates. The larger your lot, the longer it’ll take. Like any other service a snow removal service may offer better rates for a higher volume of work, though that depends on the property and your contract.
Take a look at the different snow removal contracts offered here.

Snowfall Volume

Snowy walkways, slippery staircases, and even parking lots can be dangerous for your residents if left un-cleared. Snowfalls of 5 to 15 cm in a single day are typical in Alberta winters.

There are several sorts of snowfall and snow plowing services contracts to match snowfall volume. It’s far more work to clear a parking zone of 16 inches of snow compared to 6 inches, and costs per sq ft will reflect that. Many snow removal companies address snow volume and how pricing changes in their contracts. For example, a company might charge a higher rate for snow accumulated over 12 inches, and a lower rate below that.

How many inches of snow before you plow depends on your lot, its traffic, and lots of other factors but most businesses plow their lots after 2 to three inches. Snow removal rates vary by contract, environment, and more but you’ll get a free estimate by calling your local snow removal service. Get your quote, sign the proper contract, and therefore the next time snow hits you’ll relax rather than grabbing the salt and shovel.

Property Size and Complexity

Did you wait to hire a snow removal service after the snow on your property has been compacted to several inches of ice? Is your property tricky with several nooks and tight turns? Most lots are large flat surfaces that are easy to plow, but you could possibly be charged more if the work is exceptionally difficult due to unusual layouts or if it requires longer than a normal lot.

person writing on white paper

Getting Quotes

You can use these factors to craft a ballpark estimate on what you’ll expect to pay a snow removal company per square foot. Any reputable snow removal company can discuss your lot or parking lot, what sort of services they provide and which are best for your property, how pricing is formed from various factors, and may offer you a quote or schedule of pricing so you’ll know exactly what you’ll pay.

If you would like to hire a snow plowing services company, take the information above into consideration. It is often cheaper and safer to have a seasonal contract where the snow removal company is obligated to remove any snowfall on-trace, as this prevents ice accumulation and traction safety issues.

Use this checklist to find a great snow removal company:

Local – Hire a local snow removal service that’s as close as possible. Every snow removal service plans their routes differently but you’re more likely to get efficient service from a company that is near your location.

Good Reviews & Word of Mouth – Ask friends for recommendations and look around online for good reviews. Usually, the best snow removal companies are active online and have a loyal following of customers.

Insured – Make sure your snow removal company has the proper insurance and certifications. You don’t want to be held liable in the event of an accident or collision.

Macsson Snow Removal is an Edmonton based company that provides snow and ice management services for Condominiums and Commercial properties in the Greater Edmonton area.

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