Grand Rapids Snow Removal: Complete Guide to Prepping for Winter

Prepping for Winter - Fix Potholes, Cracked pavement

The days are getting shorter quickly, and we all know what that means in Michigan: Old Man Winter is on the way. But we still have nice weather remaining and now is the perfect time to make property repairs to help prepare for Grand Rapids snow removal services.

Let’s look at how you can evaluate your property for smooth surfaces to make the snow removal easier and less destructive. We’ll also help you look for drainage issues that will be affected by melting snow and ice. Then we will discuss repair options.

Check All Your Paved Surfaces

Parking lot in need of repairsWhether you own or manage a commercial property or industrial park, summer and fall are good times to get out and evaluate all the paved surfaces on your property. This includes evaluating all sidewalks, walkways, patios, driveways and parking lots.

If you have any uneven surfaces now, they could be damaged further by snow removal as crews cannot see the surfaces under a blanket of snow. Uneven or cracked surfaces also present potential hazards as snow and ice may settle in this area. This has dangerous potential for snow removal because it prevents snow crews from getting a clean finish, causing dangerously slippery surfaces. But even aside from snow removal, uneven surfaces cause people to trip making them dangerous year round.

 

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As you take a walk to check your paved surfaces, here are some issues to look for:

  • Sinking: Different types of soil will compact at different rates and amounts, so depending upon the underlying soil, you could have pieces of a parking lot or sidewalk where a portion of the soil has settled more than others. This risk is especially great on areas that were filled before paving as fill soils can come from a variety of places. Also, some areas may have had organic materials, such as tree stumps or roots, that leave a hole as they decompose, allowing for some areas of rapid settling.
  • Heaving: Tree roots can be big culprits when it comes to heaving, especially on sidewalks or patios where trees are close by. As the roots grow, they push the concrete, brick or other material up to make room for themselves. Heaving also can be caused by water under the paved surface, which expands when it freezes in winter, then contracts when it thaws.
  • Cracking: Most paving surfaces will undergo some cracking as they age and suffer from regular use, especially here in Michigan. Repairing cracks regularly can stem their spread and prevent further damage if water gets into the cracks.
  • Crumbling concrete or asphalt: These issues typically show up in the winter when moisture gets into the surface, freezes and thaws, causing potholes or larger areas of concern. They also can be a result of heavy equipment driven on the surface or poor work when the paved surface was installed. These problems should be dealt with right away as the damaged area will grow larger with regular use.

Options for Surface Repairs

Fixing some of these issues does not have to be as expensive and time-consuming as you might think.

If your concrete is in good condition, a sinking slab can be fixed through a process called mudjacking or slab jacking. Even large areas of a sinking slab can be raised to level through the use of mudjacking. When mudjacking, the contractor drills small holes in the concrete, injects a polymer-based fill that will fill the empty space and raise the slab. These polymer fills typically last longer than the old style of injecting either concrete or actual mud and are more stable in the long run. Mudjacking is a quick and economical fix that does not require much disruption to your business.

 

Heaving concrete slabs can be repaired through a process of shaving. Shaving is basically what it sounds like – incremental layers of the concrete are cut off until a smooth surface is restored. Shaving will not affect the structural integrity of the concrete.

Concrete cracks should be cleaned, filled and sealed before winter. Crack repairs are a relatively simple and inexpensive DIY project. It’s important to fix them as they occur to prevent damage by water seeping under your concrete and to keep snow removal equipment from doing further damage.

Crumbling surfaces are best repaired by removing the damaged section and replacing with new concrete or asphalt. A professional team will be able to evaluate the level and cause of the crumbling to determine if only the affected area needs repair or if surrounding areas also will be susceptible to crumbling.

Don’t Forget Drainage Issues

Repairing sinking, heaving, cracks and crumbles will go a long way toward having your surfaces ready for snow removal, but one issue you don’t want to forget about is drainage. Two important drainage issues you can address are:

  1. Drainage toward buildings & walkways: If you can see your rainwater draining toward a building or walkway, you can plan on melting snow and ice doing the same. Water drainage toward buildings and walkways in spring, summer and fall can be annoying, but it can be downright dangerous in winter. Getting water to drain away from your buildings and walkways should be a priority anytime of year.
  2. Water pooling: If water pools on your parking lots or sidewalks in summer, it’s going to do the same in winter and create a dangerous situation for walkers and drivers. Snow that melts during the day and freezes again on the cold nights could create a dangerous and potentially libelous situation.

A professional contractor can help you determine the most effective and economical way to address these drainage issues. Remember that in winter you aren’t just dealing with drainage of melting snow as it falls, there is often large snow piles in parking lots and near walkways to be sure is not causing hazards as it melts and re-freezes. We encourage you to review these issues in summer and fall when they can be fixed.

Get a Pros Opinion

At Sneller Snow Systems, we do much more than plow snow. We have ISO 9001 certified snow removal systems, policies and procedures. This means we think and act more like risk managers than just snow plowers to be sure your property is safe year round. If you are located in the Grand Rapids or Lansing Michigan areas, please contact us by calling 616-868-4900 or email us. We can help with an assessment of your property to decide if there are repairs that could help with snow removal.

 


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Tips for Lansing & Grand Rapids Snow Storage Preparation

snow pile - snow storage preparation

One thing that comes up every year, especially with some of our newer Lansing & Grand Rapids snow removal customers, is whether they have an adequate place for snow storage. All that newly plowed snow has to go somewhere! Summer is the ideal time for business owners to start thinking about the next snow season and where to have the commercial snow removal service put the snow upon clearing. So here are some tips for Lansing and Grand Rapids snow storage preparation.

Expect More Snow In 2016-2017

If recent weather predictions are accurate, this coming winter you will really need to be prepared! Following last year’s El Niño, expert’s predict this year’s La Niña to bring heavier than normal snowfall to the areas of Grand Rapids and Lansing.

Here, at Sneller Snow Systems, we can help. We think about snow 12 months a year. Just contact us to get a free quote!

Snow Storage Tips

Some things to remember when considering where to store newly plowed snow include:

  • Snow is heavy – is there adequate ground coverage to hold the weight, and if the area has any walls, will they hold up?
  • Snow will melt – where will the water runoff go and is it safe from pollutants as to not contaminate water traveling into a stream, or river, and/or being soaked up into ground water? And will the water drain without settling and forming dangerous icy spots?
  • More to come – if snow has not melted and another storm hits, is there adequate storage, or a secondary location for more?
  • Location – is the placement area of your snow storage away from traffic within your parking lot? And will it cause any parking lot access issue or block the vision of drivers or pedestrians?

Lansing Michigan Snow Removal

The City of Lansing starts plowing snow when it exceeds two inches on major streets. Business owners and residents are responsible for the walkways in front of their location, and they must be cleared within 24-hours of the snowfall, according to the city code. The city’s website clearly states, “Snow and ice cannot be piled in the public Right of Way – it cannot impair vehicular or pedestrian traffic or obstruct the view of a driver.”

This is true on private property as well, especially when a business is involved. Sneller Snow Systems is aware of these codes and has the experience to remove snow properly in all of the communities surrounding Lansing and Grand Rapids.

Hire a Pro

Planning for this coming winter’s snow events is important to take care of before they come. Let Sneller Snow Systems help show you how this summer. Our team of professionals can help you prepare and provide prompt, expert removal from when the first storm hits throughout the season. July can be a busy month for new customer sign ups. Contact us to setup your free snow removal evaluation and quote today!

Summer Property Fixes for the Best MI Snow Removal Surfaces

Cracked Asphalt needs repair for winter snow removal services

The summer is in full swing which makes it the ideal time to begin updates to surfaces for the best winter snow removal surfaces. Sneller Snow Systems in Grand Rapids works year-round to ensure Michigan businesses are ready to handle the upcoming winter snow. It is important to conduct these inspections during the summer when the ground is clear of snow and a proper assessment can determine what repairs are necessary. So here are vital summer property fixes for the best MI snow removal services this year.

Asphalt/Concrete

The winter weather can have harsh effects on asphalt and concrete as a result of the surface freezing and thawing cycles. It is important to repair erosion and cracks in the surface before snowfall to not only prevent cracks from expanding, but to also allow for effective snow plowing when needed.

Mudjacking is often used to lift sunken surfaces and make them level. During this repair process, cement, water, and dirt are combined to fill voids under sinking concrete. Such repairs are imperative for uneven and cracked surfaces before water from snow and melted ice can get into them causing further damage.

Drainage Issues

Drain maintenance is probably one of the last things thought about during the summer. However, the summer is the ideal time to have repairs and maintenance work completed. The work can be completed quickly and without the risk of disruption from the winter weather. Drainage inspections that should take place during the summer include:

  • Damage from winter freezing
  • Blockages in the pipes
  • Debris accumulation
  • Assurance that drain pipework is well maintained

Without these repairs, you leave your business at risk of longer term problems that can cause interruptions and/or damage to your Michigan business.

To save yourself the headache and stress of dealing with surface issues in the winter, let us help you prepare early. If you have questions about preparing for better snow removal surfaces in the Grand Rapids and Lansing, MI area, please contact us online or call 616-868-4900 today! We would even be happy to inspect your property and give you a free quote on Michigan snow removal services!

Preparing for Snow Removal in Grand Rapids MI, Lansing MI

snow written on car snow

We know. Winter 2016 is barely over. You don’t want to think about Winter 2017 in Grand Rapids or Lansing MI, you want to think about summer! But here at Sneller Snow Systems, we think about snow removal 24/7/365 so please don’t judge us too harshly! It’s seriously never too early to start preparing for winter. There is so much to consider, repair, compare and budget for in our region! So here are some tips to get you on the right path:

Look for the Best Snow Removal Service in Michigan

If you don’t already have a snow removal company, you should start researching what’s available in your area now. No two companies are the same and you should completely understand the details surrounding their services and their qualifications and certifications so you can trust that you are in good hands.

You might ask or look into what they do all summer. Are they a landscaping company first and foremost that is simply using their trucks in the winter for plowing? That might work for residential snow removal on a budget, but if you want proper risk management and efficient snow removal for your business, look for a company that focuses on snow systems year round to find the very best and ask some detailed questions like:

  • What are they doing to insure that they’ll be ready to go when the weather is at its worst?
  • Do they have adequate supplies?
  • How are the drivers trained?
  • Are they maintaining a fleet large enough to cover the demand when it’s needed?
  • Are their routes well-thought-out?
  • Do they offer any emergency services?
  • Are they fully licensed? What happens if something is damaged or someone is hurt?
  • Are they certified? What does that mean for me?
  • Why do they think they are the best???

When an unexpected storm hits or the arctic front pushes a little further than predicted, it’s too late to find out the details. You’ll need a snow removal company that’s been spending its off-season wisely. If you need Lansing or Grand Rapids commercial snow removal services, contact us at Sneller Snow Systems today. We’d be glad to share with you what we do routinely to make sure we’re ready to keep you, your staff, and your customers safe when the storm comes.

Focusing on Grand Rapids Snow Removal All Summer Too

business meeting with papers

Now that spring is here (maybe!) you might think that a Grand Rapids snow removal company would be kicking back. Many snow removal companies are really landscaping companies who make use of their labor and equipment to do snow removal in the off-season. Sneller Snow Systems is just the opposite. We provide some landscaping services during the warmer months, but we keep planning and improving our systems for snow removal throughout the year.

How serious are we? Sneller Snow Systems was the 12th snow removal service in the world to earn ISO 9001 and SN 9001 certification, which is a system of quality management that is specific to the snow removal industry.

Why is this important to you, as a business owner?

  • Our record keeping system provides the necessary paper trail to reduce your exposure to litigation in slip and fall accidents. Without the proper documentation that ISO certified processes are required to maintain, tens of thousands of slip and fall cases are lost or settled by property owners each year.
  • We evaluate and improve our processes constantly based on performance in the field.
  • A third party regularly audits our processes and their improvement.
  • It takes snow removal off your hands and puts it in the hands of certified experts who focus on that job.
  • It keeps your employees doing what they need to do for your business and decreases risk of employee injury and workman’s compensation claims.

So what are we doing here at Sneller Snow Systems to plan for winter 2017?

Here are a few of the things we’re looking at:

  • Several of us are traveling the country this summer to various training and networking events. We regularly network with other leaders in the snow industry to learn from each other on how to raise the bar even more.
  • We are always evaluating what goes great, and where we can improve for our clients and our team. Summer is a great time to improve our processes to implement these improvements as we plan and grow for next winter.
  • Planning and improving for growth. As we continue to serve more clients, we need to look down the road to anticipate where growth pains could arise. We identify those concerns before they become problems, and implement structural improvements to avoid them, making life easier for our clients and ourselves.

As a business owner, you don’t want to assume unnecessary levels of risk. There’s plenty of risk inherent in any business venture. Don’t let snow and ice be one of them. Contact us for a customized plan that meets your Lansing or Grand Rapids snow removal and ice management needs.