Snow Management for Condos and HOAs

A snow removal guide for condominiums and HOAs to take the stress out of winter.

With the liveliness of residents on the line, condominiums and HOAs need fast and safe snow removal.

Unfortunately, too many snow removal companies lack a proven process to deliver throughout the winter. A broken process leads to inconvenience, aggravation and a greater risk to your community.

The Most Common Complaints from HOAs

I can't get to work, when will they plow the roads?

Inexperienced snow removers start plowing at 2 to 3 inches, then move onto another community while the snow continues the fall. But the problem is not accounting for how fast the snow is falling. They’ll miscalculate how long it actually takes to clear the other community, only to return to a foot of fresh snow at yours. You need a proven process in place.

I can't get my car out, I'm completely blocked in!

Average snow removal companies typically plow through the middle of your roads, piling snow behind cars blocking residents in. For communities with parking on both sides of the street, you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. It becomes a hazard to get out in the morning.

I can't get out of my driveway... when are they going to shovel?

After the storm has stopped, many driveways and walkways aren’t shoveled quickly enough. It happens with unorganized crews, slow response times and crews forgetting to factor in the time spent in traffic to get there. It’s aggravating.

I almost broke my neck on my driveway!

Pool snow removal creates a real and present danger. Accidents are more frequent when Ice-melt is not put on walk-ways and driveways immediately after shoveling is finished. Also, you can’t forget about what happens after the storm. Ice melts from your roof and bushes and freezes your driveway. It’s imperative that your snow removal company returns after the storm to apply more ice-melt to avoid dangerous ice on your driveway and walkways.

My husband's ambulance can't get into the community!

Most snow removal companies are not even aware of residents with special needs. When the storm hits, these residents face increased danger. It’s why a Pre-Storm plan is critically important, to identify residents at risk before the storm hits.

I can't get to my mailbox, nothing has been cleared!

As you know, many residents have mailboxes away from their home. The phone will be ringing off the hook if the area isn’t cleared and accessible for the mail carrier to deliver, and the residents to be able to safely access their mail.

The Most Common Problems with HOAs
Snow Removal Companies

Poor management and lack of supervision

No matter how much snow falls, what time it is, or how long the blizzard lasts, your snow removal company must be flexible, fully staffed and always ready to go.

Snow removal companies are constantly late

How many phone calls will you field from complaining residents this winter season? Let’s face it, when people have to get to work, fight traffic and the cold, they don’t need safety issues. It’s why you hired a snow removal service. It needs to be on-time without excuses.

Three inadequate snow removal plowing techniques used by most snow removal companies

Poor snow removal plowing techniques can and will cause dangerous conditions for your residents. The typical snow removal company doesn’t pay attention to details directly responsible for creating unsafe conditions.

Details like…

  • Plowing down the middle of the road.
  • Piling up snow on street corners and the end of driveways.
  • Not plowing snow curb to curb.

SOLUTION: Innovative “Safety-First” Snow Removal Clearing Techniques

Most snow removal companies are spread too thin

No two storms are alike. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach. But many snow removal companies are overwhelmed and constantly fighting the clock. Think of it like a sports team. Without a game plan for every situation, you won’t win. A rush hour flurry is different from a storm ending at 3 am. You need skilled manpower with a plan, or the phone will start to ring.

Most snow removal companies have too many communities and can't deliver on every promise

Too often, snow removal companies try to do too much. They take on more properties than they can handle, only to scramble when it snows. They’re not accounting for breakdowns, bad weather and Long Island traffic. The result is an endless back and forth between properties. The snow continues to fall, as the company falls behind. It’s a dangerous cycle you want to avoid at all costs.

The wrong equiment causes big issues

You can’t attack a 2 foot blizzard with a 6 inch snowblower. It’s like trying to tighten a screw with a wrench. Without the right equipment, it takes exponentially longer and exposes your community to unnecessary risk. You need to make sure your snow removal company has invested in the right equipment for the job.

Inexperienced snow removal companies

Ultimately, your resident’s complaints stem from inexperienced snow removal companies. Snow removal is serious business, where safety and timing is at a premium. Weather and people are unpredictable, so success requires you to be two steps ahead at all times. Where safety, time, money and aggravation can be at a tipping point, you need an experienced team of professionals, laser-focused on your resident’s needs and safety.

Without the right equipment for the job, timing and overall management suffers greatly, which increases risk & safety. You can’t attack a 2 foot blizzard with a 6 inch snow blower. LOL! It’s like trying to tighten a screw with the wrong size wrench. Unknowingly… many people hire snow removal companies who are not equipped to handle their property.

Innovative Solutions for Effective Condominium Snow Removal

Implement pre-storm preparations for effective snow removal

Without pre-storm snow removal preparations, it takes more time and more money to clear snow. It also increases safety hazards and liabilities. The achilles heel of many snow removal companies is not planning how they’ll clear a snow storm from your community/

Here’s A Safe List For You To Insure Proper Pre-Storm Preparations:

  • Multiple Snow Storms: It’s not just about one storm. It’s about the entire season. You need a plan to take care of the snow with the proper place to put it.
  • Resident Priority Lists: It’s important to understand what residents may have medical or high risk situations, so you can establish a proper priority for your community.
  • Mapping and Staking: Before the season, aerial mapping creates a detailed plan for your crew to follow. In addition, it’s critical that stakes are carefully placed to clear the streets curb to curb and avoid property damage.
Five actions snow removers must take to accurately time a storm

Precise timing and anticipation during a massive snow storm is vital to eliminating resident complaints and keeping them safe. Residents expect immediate results. You can often see them peeking out their windows waiting for the plows to come. Imagine before the storm starts, residents already see plow trucks in their community getting ready for the storm. Now, imagine after the storm stops, residents see and hear shoveler’s already clearing their driveways and walk-ways. Not only is all this possible, but a snow removal company focused on precise timing and “ready-to-go” anticipation, is predictable and reliable.

  1. Snow removal plow trucks arrive immediately before the storm starts.
  2. Snow removal plow trucks should stay put for the duration of the storm.
  3. Clear snow from driveways and walkways immediately after the storm stops.
  4. Clear snow quickly and at the same time throughout the community.
  5. Snow removal plow trucks should come with sanders filled and ready before the storm.
Innovative safety-first snow removal clearing techniques

Because no two storms are alike, each storm requires different plans, staff and equipment.

‘Rule Of Thumb’ For Snow Removal Equipment

  1. The right equipment tied and the right plan, leads to faster and safer results.
  2. Snow removal services using rental equipment are too small for condos.
  3. Consumer-grade equipment is not created for extended commercial use.
  4. Bigger is NOT always better.
  5. The right snow removal equipment eliminates resident complaints every time.
What must be done the day after a snowstorm

During a snowstorm, people park anywhere and everywhere. To avoid being blocked in, many people don’t park fully in a spot. After a snowstorm the first thing most residents do is clear off their cars. Of course the snow is left in the street, parking stalls or driveways. The issues pile up. It’s imperative to go back and manipulate the remaining snow to avoid safety issues.

Following Up = Safety For Your Community

If your snow removal company doesn’t return the next day, it creates dangerous icing and difficulty parking your cars in marked stalls. It’ll take away parking spaces. As snow melts, applying ice melt and calcium chloride is imperative to avoid black ice that puts residents in harm’s way.