Working With Your Employees

Three Tips to Prepare Commercial Properties for Winter Weather

As the colder weather approaches, the risk of major ice and snow storms means businesses must be prepared to keep their properties safe. When winter weather is on the way, starting your preparation early can prevent common weather-related hazards and keep your business running smoothly.

Schedule Snow Removal

Although you may not know how bad the weather will be until the storm system moves through the area, it is important to schedule a snow removal service in advance. Snow removal companies will be booked solid, and late scheduling could mean delays in having ice and snow cleared. If you are located in an area where snow and ice are uncommon, you may face additional delays due to inefficient clearing of roadways and accidents. You should also have plans for what your business will do if the snow and ice cannot be cleared on schedule, such as allowing employees to stay home or having people on standby to help.

Pre-Treat the Property

Pre-treatment is the best defense against winter weather. When you start pre-treating the property will depend on the weather conditions leading up to the storm. If you are expecting blizzard-like conditions, you will need to wait until the ground is moistened with snow or rain before doing any pre-treatments so the mixture will stick to the ground. For storm systems without significant winds, you might pre-treat the property at any time of the day before closing. Pre-treatments typically consist of a mixture of rock salt and sand. Rock salt lowers the freezing point of water, so it can melt snow and prevent ice from forming depending on how low the temperature becomes. Sand helps with traction, which can be a problem when the walkways become slushy from melted snow and ice or black ice develops.

Maintain Treatments

After the storm has passed and the grounds have been cleared, you will need to continue salting and sanding as long as the temperatures are at or near freezing. In the days following a winter storm, it is common for the temperature to rise slightly above freezing during the day. This slight elevation in temperature combined with direct sunlight can help with melting the snow and ice, but the temperatures frequently fall back near freezing at night. You might find you need to continuously treat the parking lot and walkways for several days after a winter storm until there is no risk of refreezing.