The contractors who helped dig out the region’s condo properties last winter agree on one thing—the associations that were ‘rescued’ first were the ones that had solid relationships with their snow and ice removal contractors.
They also planned ahead. “I would start looking in September, at the latest October, because it takes about a month to get ready for a site and have the everyone know what they’re doing once there,” says Mike Smith of Snow Pros of New York.
“You should do a walk through and have a detailed plan in place before the snow starts. We have weekly safety meetings with employees since safety is a big issue with the snow. We go over what went wrong and what went right and how to fix what went wrong next time because everything is a learning experience at each site,” Smith adds.
“People don’t like to have the expense. Snow removal isn’t something like construction or landscaping where there’s something concrete after you’ve paid, but it’s still important because it helps you avoid slip and falls or an accident. Every year there are fatalities due to winter weather and to have that snow and ice managed with a professional company goes a long way toward justifying the expense,” says Martin Tirado of the Snow & Ice Management Association, a non-profit trade group that represents the snow and ice removal industry.
Tirado contends that a lot of people underestimate winter weather and that it can be just as dangerous as any other kind of major storm. “Winter weather is unpredictable and it’s an emergency service,” he says. “When people are stuck in places or they can’t get to school or work or out of their houses and that’s when emergency situations can arise and our members take that very seriously and try to perform professional services and get the slow and ice cleared. We need to be aware, though, that having bare pavement at all times is impossible and that we all need to be careful when walking or biking.”