Even though summer is just around the corner, some people believe it’s never too early to think about a snow removal service. In fact, now might be the right time to make sure your home or commercial property is ready for the winter.
Snow and ice can wreak havoc if not cleaned properly, and can cause severe injuries. Therefore, if you are looking for a snow removal service, we have a couple of tips to help you choose the best company.
As we already explained, it’s never too early to start asking about the snow removal service. Begin with your search as soon as possible. For instance, if your lawn offers a snow removal service, it’s worth taking the bargain. However, if you wait until there is snow in the forecast, you might be too late.
Assess your needs
The next thing on your list would be to know precisely what you need. For instance, do you know the difference between snow plowing and snow removal? The plowing only focuses on removing the snow out of your way, while removal includes an additional step of hauling the snow away.
Of course, the cost of snow removal will be higher than snow plowing, considering it requires more equipment and manpower. But, with this one, you get to skip the ugly piles of snow in your front yard.
You should also identify the areas that need to be cleaned. Many homeowners prefer a clean driveway, while in many towns is necessary to remove the snow from public sidewalks. Additional areas you want to consider are parking lots, walkways, outdoor stairs, and perhaps the roof of your home.
Get a couple of quotes
Check with more than one snow plowing contractor and compare their prices and services. Make sure to ask the right questions to understand exactly what services the estimate covers. For example, will they treat the ice, or will they only remove the snow? Will they clear the sidewalk, including the public ones?
Every company is different, and it doesn’t include the same service; therefore, you need to ask questions to get a clear picture.
Ask for recommendations
Don’t hesitate to ask for references or call a couple of reference names to learn more about snow removal companies. You could check with your neighbors to see who they hired, how reliable the contractor is, and did they face any potential issues.
While recommendations are an important part of this process, it doesn’t mean you have to blindly trust someone. If you feel that something isn’t right, don’t hire a particular company; trust your instinct instead.
Check the price
The majority of snow removal companies price their service according to length and how difficult it is to remove the snow from a particular surface. On the other hand, some companies have a set price, regardless of how many times they have to shovel the snow. Some of them will charge you an extra fee for cleaning sidewalks and treating ice.
Therefore, don’t be shy to ask about the price and payment options.
Ask about personnel
Some companies may be prone to use subcontractors. While we don’t have anything against subcontractors, owner-operators who actually remove the snow are more interested in keeping the customers happy.
More often than not, subcontractors will focus on speed and how quickly they can finish the job because their paycheck depends on it. Also, this isn’t a long-term business for them.
Check their equipment
Once you find a suitable company willing to deal with your snow, don’t forget to ask about their equipment and whether they use the best snow removal tools. Check if their equipment looks well-maintained and suitable for the job.
This is important if you pay the company by the hour and workers only show up with shovels. They should have the right kind of trucks to navigate unplowed streets to reach your property.
Define the process
You should revisit the process of your collaboration and define what is expected from both parties. For instance, do you need to contact the company first and tell them when to come? During a heavy storm, will they clean your driveway more than once? Where will they take the snow?
Work an agreement with them and make sure they don’t push the snow into city streets and block your neighbor’s driveway.
Focus on insurance
The company you hire should have liability insurance in case they cause any damage to your property. Be aware that snow plowing insurance is costly, and not many part-timers can afford it.
Sign a contract
The last step in this process would be to sign a contract, and any reputable service will offer you this option. Take some time to go through a contract and ask questions until you make sure everything is clear.