Here’s a good tip: don’t wait so long to hire snow removal that a family of penguins has moved into your parking lot.
Penguins are so cute, aren’t they?
But still. Don’t wait.
So what should you look for when you need snow removal service in northern Virginia?
We won’t make you roll your eyes by telling you to make sure the company is insured and check their list of services. You know that stuff.
Ask about the important factors that prove they can do the job well, with less worry and stress for you.
Ask these questions:
1. Will They Walk Your Property with You Before the Snow Flies?
A pre-season walkthrough with your snow removal contractor — before the snow falls — is super important.
The walk through helps us prepare overhead site maps of your property to help our crews clear your property efficiently.
They show us exactly where to plow, shovel, and de-ice. They indicate where to pile the snow — and where not to pile it.
And they note any areas of concern, so we can minimize damage on your commercial property.
2. How Will They Keep You Informed?
You want to know your Northern Virginia snow plowing company’s plan of attack before the storm hits — and be updated throughout the bluster.
You’ll always know our plan.
You’ll get email alerts about impending storms five days, 48 hours, and 24 hours ahead of time.
You’ll stay updated throughout the storm. Crews take photos of their progress with their cell phone cameras that account managers can forward to keep you posted.
And because we tell you, you have all the information you need to tell your tenants, customers, delivery people, employees and anyone else who needs communication updates.
3. Ask About Their Use of Brine and Other Products
You want a Northern Virginia snow removal service that uses as little ice melt product as possible, and uses it wisely, to get the job done without harming the environment.
You may have heard about the harmful effects of salt on the environment. It makes its way into area lakes and streams, jeopardizing the creatures who live there.
That’s why we love brine.
Brine is a liquid mixture of water and salt that’s sprayed on roads, parking lots and walkways, usually before a snow or ice storm to prevent snow and ice from sticking.
Brine uses one quarter of the amount of salt as traditional rock salt, so it’s gentler to the environment. One truckload of brine equals four truckloads of salt. So we can treat a larger area with less salt per square foot.
4. Ask About Snow Crew Training
How much safety and skills training do the snow crews receive?
At Level Green, managers and crew members each have snow-specific training, on issues from liability to safe equipment operation to mixing brine.
Our subcontractors meet with us, too, to train and prepare for the season.
Each truck has a snow binder that includes the detailed snow plan for each customer, so crews know exactly how to keep your property safe.
5. Do They Offer Contract Options?
The typical time and materials snow and ice management contract most Northern Virginia snow plow companies offer is pretty stressful on your budget, because you don’t know your exact cost until the end of each snow event.
Does the company offer a better way to pay for snow and ice management services?
Ask if they offer a seasonal snow and ice management contract, where you pay a set amount for snow and ice services for the season — no matter how much snow falls or how many visits to their property are needed.
Prices are set based on snowfall data averages taken over years. The goal is a five-year contract, to ensure those low snow years and high snow years even out over the span of the contract.
The benefit? You always know exactly how much to budget for snow and ice services.
6. How Do They Prevent and Deal with Damage?
Most snow removal damage can be prevented with a few key steps. Look for a snow removal service in Northern Virginia that takes them:
Preventing Broken Curbs with Snow Stakes
Snow plows can break curbs. We install snow stakes to mark driveways and parking lanes, then remove them in the spring.
Plow drivers know exactly where the curbs are for safer plowing.
Wise Use of Salt
Excess salt and ice melt materials can cause snow removal damage to lawns and landscape plants.
Level Green crews measure all sidewalks and lanes and calculate the exact amount needed, then work to keep it on hard surfaces so the chemicals don’t damage your turf and plants.
Protecting Shrubs from Snow Removal Damage
That snow looks light and fluffy coming down, but once it’s piled up, the weight can cause winter damage to shrubs.
Level Green crews pile snow away from bushes that could break from the weight of it.
If They Damage It, Will They Fix It?
Make sure if the Northern Virginia snow removal company damages something, whether it’s a curb or turf or a plant, they take responsibility for it.
Level Green has always been a “do the right thing” company. If we break a curb or damage turf or a plant, we’ll fix it.
7. Make Sure They Track Equipment And Employees
If someone slips on your property or you have questions about when the removal services were performed, you need to be able to prove when the company was there and did what they said they did.
Basically, you need a company that can provide proof the site was serviced after a snow and ice occurrence.
The best way to track that is by using a Northern Virginia commercial snow and ice removal company that has equipment equipped with GPS. That system will track where the equipment is, when it got to your site and when it left.
8. Don’t Wait Until the Snow Flies
You want to have time to figure out a detailed plan with your snow removal company well before the first flake falls. That way, they know which areas are top priorities on your site, where all of your entrances are, and don’t have to guess when it’s all covered in snow.
The Best Tip? Trust Your Northern Virginia Snow Management to Level Green
Whether the forecast calls for less than two inches of snow or more than two feet, we’ve got you covered.
Winter’s on its way. Your goal: to protect everyone who spends time on your commercial property and minimize your organization’s chance of being exposed to snow and ice-related hazards, from slips and falls to traffic accidents and property damage.
Wouldn’t you love to make that happen without stress and worry?
Level Green Landscaping provides customized snow and ice management services to our clients that we already service throughout the year.
If you’re not already a Level Green Landscaping client, we’d love to add you to our growing list of happy customers.
Our focus is on commercial properties like offices, mixed-use sites, HOAs, municipalities and institutions in Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC.
Contact us at 202-544-0968.
You can also request a free consultation online to meet with us one-on-one.
We’d love to hear from you — before the snow piles up.