With summer in full swing, chances are slim that anyone is thinking about the winter. But, if you’re a building owner or property manager, you should be. Now is the time to lock in your contract with a snow and ice management company. It can take up to two months to get a site prepared, and you want to be ready when that first winter storm strikes, which could come as early as the end of October.
You may be wondering how it could take as long as two months to prepare a site for snow removal, de-icing and anti-icing, but doing it right takes time.
These are some of the steps taken to prepare a site:
- Getting client contract and all other administrative paperwork signed and finalized, so when that first snow storm hits there aren’t problems with your contractor getting to work right away.
- Pre-site inspection, which includes things like identifying locations of drains and handicap parking spots, high and low sides of the building as well as any pre-existing property damage.
- Meeting with the contractor assigned to each property on site to review the property, agree to terms and finalize administrative paperwork.
While this may seem simple enough, getting everything coordinated when multiple parties are involved can be time consuming, and two months is the average amount of time needed for everything to be agreed to, signed off on and ready to go.
You Want Trained and Certified
If you’ve never worked with a snow and ice management company before, keep in mind that they aren’t all created equal. You want to work with a top-rated company that has the best contractors, equipment, and is up-to-date on the latest industry guidelines and laws to ensure that you and your business are protected. Some other things to look for when hiring a snow and ice management company include:
- Accredited Snow Contractors Association (ASCA) trained and certified. ASCA certification is an annual process developed for individuals who work in the professional snow and ice management industry. An ASCA Certified (ASCA-C) snow contractor has obtained an education-based certification developed for the individual. The education is risk management-based and was developed to support the American National Standards Institute for the snow and ice management industry.
- Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA) trained and certified. This certification is received after an individual takes a written exam that’s designed to measure his or her knowledge in all areas of the snow and ice management business.
- ISO/SN 9001 certified by the Accredited Snow Contractors Association. Contractors earn ISO9001/SN9001 certification through an independent, third-party audit that focuses on processes and procedures that adhere to service quality, as well as the implementation of the Industry Standards for the professional snow and ice management industry.
If you prepare for winter now, you’ll be grateful in a few months when that first snowfall hits. And those who haven’t found a snow and ice management company and locked their contracts in place by then might have a tough time finding the help they need to protect them, their workers and their customers this winter.
Brad Caton is the founder of Invictus Professional Snowfighters, Ltd., a leading snow and ice management company that keeps its customers’ shopping centers and commercial properties safe through winter’s worst storms all year and 24/7. Invictus is ISO/SN 9001 certified, and every member of the Invictus team has deep industry knowledge and is ASCA and SIMA trained and certified.
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