With the winter season upon us, it is more important than ever to properly prepare for all that comes with winter weather. Snow removal is something your likely to encounter. Icy and snowy conditions are often responsible for damage to properties, trailers and in some cases people. While snow may be beautiful to look at and even play in, it can also be a huge weather-related liability for both homeowners and business owners.

For this reason, it is important that people take the necessary precautions during the winter season to prevent injuries due to snow and ice. Something as simple as properly shoveling a sidewalk or salting a pathway can greatly reduce weather-related liabilities this winter season.

Whether you hire a company for snow removal services or do it yourself, consider these tips:

  • Winter weather and snowfall totals can be unpredictable. Be prepared with food, gas, shovels, de-icing materials and a generator so you can relax no matter what comes your way.
  • Mark your driveway with reflective posts so your driveway gets plowed and not your lawn and landscape. Figure out where the snow will go and where it will cause problems.
  • Relax and stay at home until the winter storm is over. Your four wheel drive or all wheel drive vehicle is not as safe as you think. Take a break and stay home until the roads are cleaned. Have an enjoyable snow day off like you did as a kid.
  • Dress warm and stay alert if you are going out in the storm.
  • Keep up with the storm. Remove a few inches of snow at a time instead of a large amount. Typically snow removal should be done every 4 to 6” so it’s manageable and so you can get out or people can get in if there is an emergency.
  • Snow shoveling is like working out, so don’t overexert yourself and stay in the right mindset. Consider using a snowblower, then there will be little to no snow shoveling. Better yet hire a local snow plowing service.
  • Prevent salt damage by switching from salt to safer ice melting products. Salt destroys everything from grass and plants to walkways and driveways. Spending a few extra bucks for better ice melting products will help prevent more costly repairs from happening in the future.
  • Apply de-icing material carefully! Stay away from lawn and landscape areas and the edges of driveways and walkways.
  • Dogs and cats hate the salt as well, it hurts their paws! There are many pet safe products that can be used to make pet safe areas for your furry friends.
  • Avoid making walking paths on your lawn since over time walking on snow and ice will damage or kill the dormant lawn.

Plowing Snow

Plowing snow properly takes skill and technique. There is more than can be covered here, so read the manual carefully and do some research based on the amount of snow and size of the area you are plowing. There are also different types of plows to accomplish various jobs. When removing snow from a wall, lift the plow, drive up to the wall, lower the plow, and back up, pulling the snow with you. If driving a long, straight route, angle the plow to the right (curb) to lessen the possibility of catching damage.

Know Your Equipment

The single most important thing to do when you’ve bought a plow is to read the owner’s manual. Plowing snow is not the kind of activity to try out blindly. And because models differ in features and operation, you really need to know what you’re working with. Aside from that, be prepared, have an established plan, and always, always remain vigilant of your surroundings. You’re driving in adverse, difficult conditions and your situation can change without warning. Drive slowly and carefully.

When it comes to injuries related to ice and snow, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Taking the necessary steps to prevent a weather-related liability is the responsibility of the property owner. This winter season, take the necessary precautions by obtaining the snow and ice removal products and services that will ensure the exterior of your property is safe for everyone.