Winter Property Management Tips: Michigan Snow & Ice Management

snow covered shopping carts and parking lot

As a leading commercial snow removal company in Grand Rapids, we know there are many things that go into effective commercial property management and maintenance for our clients. Meeting the needs and demands of customers and tenants is vital when it comes to keeping facility occupancy consistent. While the needs of various tenants may vary, they all generally revolve around the comfort and safety of those utilizing a given public or commercial space.

Effective Property Management in Winter

Whether you are a facilities maintenance manager or another type of property manager, it is important to cover all your bases when it comes to efficient snow removal and ice management. There are plenty of funny and interesting snow removal stories and videos on the web these days and many stem from the lack of attention that was given in the first place regarding appropriate snow removal planning. In order to avoid being becoming famous this way, become famous through the applause of your tenants and customers by utilizing the professional and comprehensive services of a commercial snow removal company.

Avoid Snow-Related Lawsuits

On the other hand, a more serious reason to be proactive regarding proper snow removal is that of costly litigation. Many public or commercial properties that do not provide thorough snow and ice removal are at an extremely high risk of encountering lawsuits by building visitors and tenants who slip and fall. Recently, slip and fall lawsuits surrounding property liability have become more and more common so it pays to be diligent. When the grounds of a public facility are not managed, a lawsuit can almost always be on the way. Hiring a snow removal company with ISO 9001/SN 9001 certification can provide an enormous shield of protection for you on these types of lawsuits.

Invest in Professional Snow Removal Services

Don’t pretend to be an expert at snow removal. Be proactive and prepared for the winter months, find out more about how the Michigan snow removal experts and Sneller Snow Systems can keep your property and tenants safe if your business is located near Grand Rapids or Lansing.

How to Prepare Your Grand Rapids and Lansing Businesses for Snow Plowing

Parking lot in need of repairs

If you’re struggling with how to prepare your business for winter snow, you’re not alone. Many businesses in Grand Rapids and Lansing, MI realize the importance of preparing parking lots, walkways and sidewalks for snow and ice management during the off season. It may be summer now, but in a few short months the leaves will start to change, and once autumn hits winter is right around the corner and it’s too late to think proactively. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the impending West Michigan winter in 2016.

Hire your snow contractor early.

Michigan businesses who think proactively and are organized will start preparing for next winter as soon as possible. That means contracts for hiring the best Michigan snow and ice management contractor are currently being reviewed and signed, even in July. Booking your contractor early will help make sure they have the resources available to fully service your snow removal needs.  In fact, many contractors actually run out of the salt meant for preventing freezing. Contacting snow plowing companies early will give them time to stock up on cold resistance measures and hire staff as early as possible so that you are locked in with the best service possible.

Smooth out your exterior surfaces.

Harsh Michigan winters can destroy business parking lots after months of freezing temperatures, ice storms, snow plowing and constant thawing and refreezing. Summer is the time to fix up pot holes, cracks and heaving concrete and asphalt so surfaces are smooth and can be safely cleared of snow and ice next winter.

Weather-related accidents are significantly increased when road and walkway surfaces are uneven or cracked. This includes sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots especially. Asphalt parking lots should have cracks routed and sealed to keep water from penetrating under the surface – which causes more cracking and pot holes. Pot holes should be taken down to the stone base, inspected and replaced. Concrete parking lots and sidewalks that have cracked or heaved up from heavy frost should be grinded smooth or mudjacked to make level.

Inspect and fix water drainage or slope problems.

The perfect time to inspect water run off and drainage is during and after summer rains. If you have standing water on hard surfaces this summer, it will obviously create a dangerous ice patch this winter. Be sure your paved surfaces have at least a 1% slope moving water away from walkways to lawns and gutters.

Check and install proper lighting.

Being prepared to salt the ice is the main concern, but ensuring proper lighting in walking and parking areas is also crucial. If people can’t see the ice, they can’t avoid it. If poor visibility causes accidents, you may be found liable. Install additional lamp posts and lighting where needed this summer, to improve visibility in winter. This will not only help employees and customers see their way, but it will help your commercial snow and ice management company as well. The better your snow contractor can see the snow and ice, the better they are at removing it.

Be diligent about maintenance all season long.

Make notes all winter about issues that are easily fixed during the summer. For example, if you see ice formation on a railing, make sure to verify the railing’s structural integrity after the ice has melted. The additional weight could have compromised the railing. When customers track snow and ice inside–and they will–clean it up as soon as possible to prevent puddles and slips. Paying regular attention to these seemingly small issues and taking care of them right away is the key to avoiding accidents.

Train your employees.

Review the above practices with your employees, as well as teaching them the proper way to land if they do slip and fall (try to fall to the side, landing on forearms or shins instead of wrists). The more sets of eyes, the better.

The best way to prevent snow-related accidents this winter is to diligently apply common sense. The more attention you and your employees pay to possible hazards, the safer everyone will be.

We love snow – everything about it. And we’ve been keeping businesses safe for years. Contact us for more information on preparing your business for winter.