Since the snow season for 2016 has likely come to an end, now is the time to evaluate your property to make the changes needed this summer before snow flies again this fall. It’s also the perfect time to assess your commercial snow removal services, while it’s fresh in your mind. So here are five key property maintenance areas to evaluate:
- Assess your area for storage of plowed snow. Keeping in mind that it was an average winter, was the snow pile storage area large enough? Was there adequate space for both parking, clear visibility and snow storage? Is the snow storage location safe and out-of-the-way of business traffic? Do you have a plan for additional snow storage during a large snow event? Does the location of the snow pile obstruct the view of drivers creating a safety hazard in any way? Are you able to recover the solids that settled out after the snow melt?
- Assess the ability of the melt water to percolate into the soil below the site or run off into a drainage system. Was the water able to evacuate the area without causing large standing water puddles? Was the melt water uncontaminated? If melt water runs off, do you know where it goes? Are you taking precautions to reduce the amount of pollutants that may run off with the melt water?
- Examine your walkways and parking areas that are plowed. Are they in good repair, free from heaves and cracks, that could make plowing difficult or dangerous? Are they properly sloped to prevent pooling water?
- Inspect your landscaping, curbing, signage and any other items in the plow area to identify areas of damage from snow plowing. Make note of these, and take photos if possible, to discuss with your snow removal service.
- Assess your contract with your snow removal company. Do you need to make changes or additions to your service? Do you need snow relocation and hauling services to maximize your parking space? This is the ideal time to update your services with your snow removal company.
Formulate your maintenance plan for next year while the issues that plagued you this year are fresh in your mind. Develop project plans to make needed repairs and install new drainage or snow storage areas during the off season so you will be well prepared for next winter.
If you require any assistance and your business is located in the Lansing or Grand Rapids, Michigan area, please contact us. At Sneller Snow Systems, our focus is on snow, 12 months a year.
Nobody knows about driving in Grand Rapids snow better than us – a Grand Rapids snow plowing company! Driving in winter can be scary, especially when you get the kind of snow and ice we get here in Grand Rapids and Lansing, MI. However, here are some things you can do, to keep yourself safe while you drive. Some of these tips may be well-known, but others are not. Check it out!
Winter Driving Tips
- Be cautious while driving in adverse weather and be aware of your surroundings. Why? You never know how the road will be in bad weather. Black ice, for example, is almost always invisible to the naked eye and can make anyone crash if they are not careful.
- Avoid driving if you feel fatigued. This is a tip that should be applied to driving in any weather condition, but especially during the winter. When you get enough rest, you can react faster to any potential surprise in the road. Typically when people experience fatigue, they have slower reaction times, they may hallucinate or feel dizzy. It is better to play it safe and drive while fully alert.
- Do not warm up a vehicle within an enclosed space like a garage. Exhaust fumes could be hazardous to your health as they accumulate while the car runs.
- Always have properly inflated tires. It is a myth people should have under-inflated tires. In fact, having under-inflated tires could increase your chances of experiencing a blowout.
- Never use cruise control if you’re driving on any kind of slippery surface (ice, sand, wet). You need to pay full attention in case your car gets out of control, which can easily happen on slick or coarse roads.
- In order to avoid gas line freeze-up, keep your gas tank at minimum, half-full.
- If you can, avoid using the parking brake in cold, snowy and rainy weather.
- Never mix radial tires with any other tire types. This could lead to another potential accident.
- If you become snow-bound, do not leave your vehicle. Stay inside as the vehicle will act as a temporary shelter as well as make it easier for rescue personnel to find you.
- Make sure to pack any essentials you’ll need like medicine, a first aid kit, food, a cell phone with your local AAA’s telephone number, blankets, hats, gloves, and water in case of an emergency.
At Sneller Snow Systems, we care about more than commercial snow removal. We want to help with the bigger picture of keeping people safe and helping you battle the storm. If you want more great tips and other informative articles, be sure to read more on our Sneller Snow Systems blog. If you need landscaping or snow removal services in the Grand Rapids or Lansing areas, contact us.
Some tips were provided by the AAA website.
Last weekend we received our first real snowfall in 2015 in the Grand Rapids and Lansing MI areas. It’s not clear if the snow will stick around this week, but either way – before long, Lansing and Grand Rapids snow will hold us in a cold embrace; and the sooner we prepare ourselves, the better off we’ll be. Forewarned is forearmed. So here are three important winter safety tips to help you prepare for Michigan snow in 2015-2016:
Winter Safety Tip 1: Don’t strain yourself.
We’re all aware that we need to walk carefully on icy sidewalks, because every year people injure themselves when they slip and fall; however, there’s a greater risk that you will die while shoveling snow than by slipping on ice! According to the National Safety Council, shoveling hundreds of pounds of snow can be quite a strain on the heart–especially for older people and sedentary individuals. Just as you would for any workout, prepare yourself for shoveling by being well-rested and well-hydrated. Start by stretching, and then warm up slowly as you work. If you feel tired or strained, take a break. Last, always remember to lift with your legs instead of your back.
Winter Safety Tip 2: Don’t minimize the small storms.
We’re all on guard for the big ones, but smaller storms can cause quite a bit of damage as well. As the experts at NOAA remind us, a few inches of snow or ice is all it takes sometimes to shut a city down and create hazardous conditions on the roads. Exercise just as much caution during small storms as you would during the large ones. The life you save may be your own.
Winter Safety Tip 3: Don’t overlook your disaster communications plan.
Although many of us prepare our houses, cars, and businesses for winter storms, we overlook preparing our families and employees for how we will contact one another if communication systems fail. For more information on family communication plans (which can easily be adapted for commercial use), check out resources through FEMA.
It’s our hope that you take these winter safety tips seriously. Given that during the winter of 2014, a single storm was responsible for the death of six Michigan residents, we know that there’s some room to grow in the area of education and preparedness. Here at Sneller Snow Systems, we’re interested in much more than just snow removal and ice management. We’re here to help educate and prepare our customers for whatever the coming months may bring to the Grand Rapids and Lansing MI areas.
If you have further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us or comment below.
The average snowfall in Grand Rapids is about 75″ annually – and Lansing MI gets about 51″ of average annual snowfall. That’s a lot of snow! You never know when we may see another record-breaking year. With winter right around the corner, it’s a good idea to have a plan and weather apps in place to monitor Michigan snow and winter weather.
In your attempt to keep current with Michigan snow storm and winter-related current events during the upcoming snow season, be sure to take advantage of the following services.
Stay Connected During Severe Winter Weather
In addition to the free NOAA Weather Alert app, which really is a must-have for anybody living in parts of the country prone to extreme weather conditions, you may want to consider signing up for Storm Shield Weather Alerts. This second service offers the option of receiving either a call or a text for alerts, and you can log in up to three locations, considerably widening your safety radius for your Michigan business.
Staying connected to the latest predictions is the first and most important step in being prepared for severe weather. It is, of course, not the only step.
Be Prepared for Michigan Snow and Ice
Being alerted early in the event of a storm will do little to help you if you haven’t taken steps for safety during the storm. Consult the Winter Preparedness Guide for the State of Michigan to ensure that you, your home, and/or your business have taken the proper precautions for the safest possible outcome. We’ve also written some helpful posts on preparing for winter you might want to check out!
Safety during the storm is not your only concern. You must also deal with the aftermath. That’s why in addition to articles detailing how to prepare your home and your car, the Winter Preparedness Guide also offers the following advice for staying safe outside after a storm:
- Avoid overexertion when shoveling heavy snow, pushing a car, or walking in deep snow. Sweating can lead to chill, hypothermia, and abnormally low body temperatures. Cold weather puts extra strain on the heart, so elderly with heart conditions should be especially cautious when out in the cold. This is a good reason for businesses to consider professional snow removal services, rather than asking employees to shovel after snowstorms.
- Be careful when walking on snowy or icy sidewalks and take actions to be sure walkways and parking lots are safe for customers and employees.
- If you are in the weather, do your best to keep clothes dry. Change wet socks and clothing quickly to prevent loss of body heat. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight warm clothing in layers, with a waterproof outer layer. Wear a wool hat and mittens. Understand the hazards of wind chill. As wind speed increases, heat is carried away from a person’s body and can lead to severe hypothermia.
With so much danger inherent in storm clean-up, it’s good to let professionals do the heavy lifting for you. Remember that we here at Sneller Snow Systems stand ready to meet all commercial, West Michigan snow-removal and ice management needs. If you own a business located in the Grand Rapids or Lansing MI areas, please contact us to discuss your needs and get a free quote.
Just because it isn’t cold in Michigan yet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be thinking of fall landscape changes to help with winter snow and ice management. An often-overlooked landscaping idea that can save you a great deal of risk is a snow fence. A snow fence prevents drifting in certain areas by reducing wind speed, allowing snow to drift downwind from it. Here are some advantages of a snow fence that makes it worth considering even when hiring the best commercial snow removal company in Grand Rapids or Lansing, Michigan.
Snow Fences Keep Michigan Sidewalks and Parking Lots Free of Snow
If your business sits back off the road a bit or you are in a high winds area, keeping paths and parking lots clear in the winter takes a great deal of time and effort. Even after your professional snow removal company clears snow and ice, you’re subject to drifting. Installing a snow fence can help protect shoveled and plowed areas after clean up. When used along parking lots, a snow fence can make it significantly safer for customers and employees to drive and walk on in winter. They are especially essential for businesses and churches with elderly visitors.
Snow Fences Help Facilitate Deliveries to Grand Rapids & Lansing Businesses
One area that could become problematic if covered with snow is your delivery dock. Fortunately, snow fences can be placed in a way that prevents snow from building up on or near your loading dock, yet won’t prevent delivery trucks from coming and going.
Snow Fences are Portable and Versatile
One of the best things about snow fences is that they are easily portable, and can therefore be moved as needed. This is good news, because it means you can also use them for other things during the summer months, such as maintaining a safety barrier or creating an outdoor break area for your employees.
Please contact our team at Sneller Snow Systems if your business is located in Michigan and you’d like to discuss more ideas or our snow removal services.