Snow removal is a necessary and potentially hazardous aspect of homeownership, requiring homeowners to clear driveways for mail carriers or prevents ice formation on sidewalks – but knowing how to approach this winter task safely is paramount for homeownership success.
Choosing the Right Residential Snow Removal Services
Snow may look beautiful, but clearing it away can be an endlessly laborious task. Hiring professional services to remove it might seem like an unnecessary luxury; in reality it may be one of the best investments you make for your home or business.
Removal services typically range in cost from $30 to $75, depending on how much snow needs to be removed and whether or not it’s charged by hour or storm. Many companies provide seasonal packages which make sense if your area sees frequent snowstorms throughout winter.
Professional removal companies possess all of the equipment needed for safe and quick removal without damaging lawns, driveways, walkways or interlock or stonework underneath it. Simply using a shovel can damage surfaces underneath it; but hiring professionals will get it done faster so your property looks its best in no time at all!
Hiring a removal service is also a cost-cutting measure for businesses, particularly when shoveling snow is labor intensive and takes 30 to 2 hours, depending on its size. By outsourcing this task to professionals, your employees can avoid injuries or lost productivity due to this task being removed from their to-do lists – saving both money and labor resources in the process.
As a homeowner, you understand the importance of keeping your yard and surrounding sidewalks free from snow is helpful for the safety of your family and those that may need to access your home. Without easy access, your family may injure themselves due to ice or unseen items beneath the snow – which means securing snow removal services is key for keeping your home safe all through the winter. Hiring them can be an affordable and convenient option so make sure to consider this this winter!
Before hiring any removal service, ensure to ask these qualifying questions.
1. What Equipment Will They Be Utilizing?
It is crucial that before hiring a removal service, it is clear which equipment they will use. Make sure they have what is needed for your snow needs whether that is plowing for larger driveways or snow blowing for small ones. Also ensure they are licensed and insured so if something does go wrong on your property they are covered!
2. How Are You Charging?
Removal services often offer different contract terms. For instance, you could hire them for the entire season or as-needed basis (per hour). Before making your choice it is essential to understand their billing practices so you’re not left surprised about unexpected costs later.
3. Do You Have Liability Insurance?
In case your property is damaged due to removal services, liability insurance should cover this cost. Unfortunately, most part-time companies don’t carry such coverage due to being expensive; however if working with a full-time provider they likely carry this coverage.
As always, it’s wise to obtain multiple quotes before hiring a removal company. This will give you an idea of the prices to expect as well as compare services. References may provide valuable insights into previous client experiences with that particular removal firm. If these references don’t provide satisfactory answers then perhaps moving onto another company would be best.
Keeping Your Driveway Clear
Removal is an inevitable part of winter, but it doesn’t need to be laborious. By following some simple steps you can streamline the process and keep your driveway free of snow all winter long.
Before the first snowfall hits, be sure to prepare your property. Remove items that could obstruct shoveling efforts such as rocks, toys or lawn equipment; additionally take this time to rake up leaves or any debris that has collected in your yard – giving your driveway an in-depth clean before winter weather sets in!
When the snow arrives, consider spreading a layer of deicer like salt (like this) to help melt away snow as it accumulates on your driveway and keep it safe for both you and your vehicle. Make sure to consult the weather forecast prior to spreading any deicers; and only spread on days where temperatures are expected to be above freezing.
As soon as it starts to snow, try clearing your driveway as soon as possible to prevent the accumulation of thick layers of ice that are difficult to break up. Also be mindful when shoveling as injuries could easily arise by lifting heavy snow incorrectly.
One last tip for removal is to avoid leaving any piles of snow behind, known as snow windrows that could endanger driving through them and block drainage systems, leading to potential erosion problems on your driveway and foundation issues with your home. If possible, move any snow piles away from the sides of your house where they won’t block drainage systems and store them somewhere safe that won’t restrict drainage either.
For those who’d prefer not to do any shoveling at all, an alternative would be investing in a driveway heating system (https://www.bobvila.com/articles/heated-driveway/). Though more costly than traditional removal methods, they’ll save both time and effort while making it much simpler to access your driveway during winter and will also be certain to do it in a safe manner – something most average citizens don’t pay any attention to, unfortunately.
When clearing walkways, pay particular attention to steps and stoops. These areas can become particularly treacherous due to heat being lost more rapidly, leading to faster accumulation of snowfall and cold temperatures settling more quickly on them. They often become congested with cars parked alongside them making them harder for pedestrians to navigate safely.
Rock salt, calcium chloride, sand, ash and urea are among the many tools and materials that can be used to remove ice from walkways, but their overuse could damage surfaces such as walkways or driveways. Also make sure you choose an ice melt that suits your needs; rock salt may be toxic for plants and animals when overused while sand and ashes may provide safer options.