Commercial managers appreciate the importance of fast, efficient, and professional snow removal from their premises. Snow build-up causes delays, foot and vehicle traffic build-up, property damage, and pedestrian accidents that could lead to costly lawsuits. Slip and fall accidents are among the most common liabilities that commercial properties have to contend with.
That being said, it is not surprising that companies want their parking lots and walkways cleared of snow and ice as quickly as possible. However, in their haste to get the job done, many managers may have overlooked some important aspects when signing their contracts, and are now paying the cost of shoddy snow removal jobs.
Are you wondering whether you chose well when selecting your snow removal company? Take a look here to see if your contract covers these essential areas:
While this may not make a difference to the quality of work being done, proper insurance should be the first thing you check into. This is vital because if any damage is done during the snow removal process (and this is an incredibly common occurrence when removing snow and ice), you want to make sure the service will be covered under adequate insurance to pay for those damages. Large vehicles, hazardous terrains, and sharp equipment can easily cause damage that, without insurance, will quickly accumulate into astronomical bills.
Ask your current snow removal service to show you their insurance policy. Documentation should be easily provided by a legitimate company, along with proof that both workmen’s comp and liability coverage is included. Companies can obtain the proper insurance as well as earn a ranking on the Accredited Snow Contractors Association for safe, timely, quality services provided.
Additionally, tracking services such as GPS will ensure that employees and equipment locations are easily verifiable. Once again, this prevents any questions about liability in case of an accident. Make sure your company tracks both the workers they employ and the vehicles being used throughout the job.
One of the most important aspects of snow removal is timing. A thorough job done two days after a storm is hardly satisfactory service, and it won’t help keep your facilities running smoothly. The average response time will range between one and three hours. If your guys are taking much longer than this, then your employees, customers, and residents are probably already standing around waiting for mounds of snow to be removed, irritated and disappointed.
#3 Scope of Service
Different companies will provide a range of services for your business, and while not all are imperative, your present snow removal service should cover several of these in order to be considered a comprehensive and worthwhile service. For example:
- Full facility clearage: Which areas does your company clear? Do they include sidewalks, pathways, and parking lot snow removal? Are entranceways included in their service?
- Full removal: Where is the snow removed to? Is it a full service, removing the snow from the entire premises? Or do they simply clear the paths and leave large snow banks?
- Location-specific materials: What type of de-icers and preventative measures are being used? This is a particularly relevant question for businesses that may have a need for more sensitive materials. Businesses with plant life, wildlife, or children in the vicinity will want to double check that none of the materials being used are hazardous. In these situations, industrial heated snow melting mats may be a better option.
How well does your snow removal service communicate with you? Is their customer service friendly and responsive? How long does it take to get a representative on the phone?
If you can’t get in touch with your snow removal company before the storm, then they certainly won’t be much good to you when the snow starts falling either. Companies should be easy to contact, available for questions, and responsive to your needs.
If your current snow removal company isn’t providing you with the best service possible, then you should start looking into alternative professional commercial snow removal companies before winter starts. This way, you don’t have to settle for an inferior service that will deliver subpar results. Follow these guidelines, and ensure that your commercial property is clean and clear all winter long.