While snow is pretty when viewed from a distance, keeping roads and sidewalks clear of snow is a major commercial property maintenance project in many locations during the winter. Snow and ice are a hazard to foot traffic and cars, and keeping the area around your business free of snow and ice is beneficial for many reasons. One of these reasons is that your business could be held liable if someone is injured on your property. The safest and most effective way to remove these hazards is to hire professional snow removal services. Here are a few reasons why you should keep your commercial property free of snow.
1. Children Can Get Injured Playing
Children can get injured or even killed playing on large snowbanks and ice patches on commercial property. This activity is especially dangerous if the property includes a parking lot with cars trying to navigate the wintery conditions. It is difficult for drivers to see if children are playing on the other side of a snowbank, increasing the likelihood of a child being struck by a passing vehicle. Because snowplow drivers face the same dilemma, a snowplow might come along and cover a child playing on a snow pile with even more snow.
Another reason why snowbanks are hazardous locations to play is their potential for sinkholes or pockets of air that can cause the snowbank to collapse and a child to fall in. Children can become trapped due to sinkholes, which can lead to hypothermia or suffocation. We know that you do not want to see anybody get hurt on your property, so we take care to relocate snow to a safer location when possible.
2. Snowbanks May Be in Hazardous Locations
We now know that snow piles in parking lots can be dangerous due to the potential for vehicles to strike playing children, but there are several other factors to consider when it comes to snowbanks and their location. The priority of most commercial property owners is to remove snow from the roads, parking lots, and sidewalks, but while doing so, you need to ensure that snow is not being pushed up against locations such as:
- Driveways and entrances to other businesses
- Stop signs and other vital road signage
- Handicap accessible entrances
- Fire lanes and fire hydrants
- Postal boxes
Blocking these locations creates more hazards and may even be against the city code or outright illegal. To help you avoid fines and other trouble, snow removal professionals will know which locations to look for and take care not to block with snow.
3. The Potential for Refreezing
As snow from a snowbank begins to melt, water appears on the surfaces nearby, which can refreeze at night and create a dangerous condition known as black ice. This type of ice is difficult to see, raising the potential for children and adults to slip and fall, which can easily cause an injury.
Substances such as salt can be used to melt ice and lessen its slipperiness, but the first line of defence is to make sure there is no snow pile to cause this perilous ice. If it is not possible to completely remove snow from your commercial property, snow piles should be placed upslope from drains so that melted snow has a chance to divert before freezing over again. Salt may also be placed around a snow pile to make any potential ice buildup more manageable.
The trained commercial property maintenance professionals at Snow Tech Property Maintenance can help you clear snow from your commercial property’s sidewalks and parking lots and transport snow piles to a safer location. Let us help you keep your business free from hazardous conditions and out of trouble.