Let It Snow! Tips for Selecting a Snow Removal Company
By Hans G. Huessy, Esq.
[Published in Condo Media magazine – February 2020 Issue]
Hiring a qualified and professional snow removal company can be a very important decision for many associations, especially those with significant amounts of private roads and large parking areas, and those associations located at higher elevations near ski resorts.
Here are common tips to assist you:
• A condominium association should put its snow removal work out to bid at least once every five years in order to ensure the association is paying market rates.
• One consideration in a snow removal contract is ensuring that the company you hire returns to the property once the town has completed its plowing. This avoids the circumstance in which your snow plow company clears all of your driveways and roads, and then the town comes along and plows snow back into them, sometimes blocking access and requiring members to remove snow by hand to exit to their properties.
• You should require your snow removal company to provide proof of adequate insurance coverage.
• It is also never a bad idea to do a quick background check on the companies under consideration. A Google search, Better Business inquiry, search of local court records, etc., can all provide you with useful information about any problem other parties have had with a particular snow removal company.
• While the lowest price option is always an attractive option, the corresponding level of service is also important. A snow plow company that visits your property once at the end of a storm may be less expensive than another company that visits three times during the course of a storm, but your members may be happy to pay the difference.
• You should also know whether the snow removal company offers sanding or salting services. The same is true for maintenance contracts for the clearing of sidewalks and other areas for the association, if this is not done by association employees.
• A further consideration for associations with higher-than-average snowfall and limited space, like many ski resort projects, is the ability of the snow removal company to not only plow the snow that falls, but in some circumstances to load it into trucks as necessary for off-site disposal. Your snow removal company should, whenever possible, avoid banking snow against building walls, as that can have long-term negative impacts on your building.
By hiring a reputable, professional snow removal service, you may spend a little more, but the extra cost will be worth it in the long run.