A)Using salt De-icing and pre-treating roads and walks
By: Pete Haran Thesing Property Services, LLC
To make winter roads and walkways passable and safe, snow & Ice professionals usually apply chemical de-icers to melt ice & snow and provide traction. During the clearing process to achieve bare pavement usually requires de-icing chemicals. In the Northeast, the most common chemical is salt (Sodium Chloride). De-icing chemicals work by lowering the freezing point of water.
Not all winter storms are the same; in most cases we don’t start plowing snow until 2” of snow has accumulated. During that time period, ice could build up, rain could freeze and light snow could persist for hours, in addition high traffic areas can cause a hard pack of snow and ice. Anti-icing or Pre-treatment with salt before a storm begins is a pro-active approach that will help keep the bond from forming between snow & ice and the pavement. The pre-treatment also usually keeps the 1st 1 inch of snow that falls during a storm slushy and passable until the actual clearing and plowing begin. When used effectively, pre-treating can create some of the safest conditions in winter.
At Thesing we constantly monitor the weather for approaching storms keeping a close watch on starting & stopping times, accumulation amounts and temperatures before and after a storm. The majority of liability issues are caused by ice, so when your account representative asks you if would like to pre-treat your site, your answer should be yes! It will provide a higher level of service to your customers, residents and the public.
But don’t stop there, during clean up and plowing of snow & ice, most equipment will not achieve full bare pavement. Usually an icy haze is left on the surface. The only way to get to bare pavement is to apply another application of salt as a de-icer. Even after the storm if your site experiences melt-down and then re-freeze, it is highly suggested to authorize Thesing to apply salt to these areas. Melt-down re-freeze is the #1 cause of slip and fall incidents and lawsuits during the winter months. We refer to this treatment as post-treatment.
On a typical storm if you have had 3 applications of salt to your pavement and walkways, your surfaces are probably the safest around. Think of it as the old saying goes; an ounce of prevention can help save thousands of pounds of problems!
B)Putting your property snow removal on thin ice
By: Pete Haran Thesing Property Services, LLC
Surviving in the Snow and Ice management industry isn’t easy, especially when forced to fend off the low-balling contractors determined to win the job at any cost to remove your snow.
A good Property Manager should be more concerned about people being able to get to the site promptly when needed than they are the low bidder. In addition the ideal Property Managers are more in-tune with safety and liability concerns for the sites they are responsible for. Those property management shoppers, who want the lowest bid, technically do it at their own risk.
To your clients, whether they are tenants, employees, shoppers or residents, snow is a nuisance. They want it gone and they don’t care how you do it; but property managers and owners usually don’t want to pay much for the service. That’s especially true when they fall into the comfort zone of a low-balling contractor, only to be left stranded if they are a no-show and your site has six inches of unplowed snow on it! The best and some say the only way to overcome this mindset is to educate the property manager about what you do, why you do it, and why you charge what you do. It is essential that property managers understand the importance of hiring a company that specializes in Snow and Ice management, not someone who’s in it to make a little extra cash on the side or to keep employees busy to handle their winter needs.
The snow industry is a very difficult business and Snow & Ice Management professionals have invested a lot of time learning how to service their clients and properties with the proper equipment and products. With all the De-icing chemicals on the market, there exists a responsibility to know what is being applied and that the right amount is being applied. Having that expertise is not only good practice for property managers, but it’s good for the environment.
SIMA, the Snow & Ice Management Association, the only nationwide trade association dedicated to snow & ice contractors, agrees that education is an integral weapon to help Snow professionals and offers marketing brochures and other resources to help its members educate the customers. The association is also reaching out to property managers and owners to help them better understand the need to hire reputable snow and ice professionals.
Those making the decision about which contractor to hire need to understand why they should be looking beyond price alone. They need to ask the right questions, and find out whether the contractor is properly insured, what equipment will be utilized and are they qualified to handle the job. If they don’t, they may find themselves looking for a new contractor in the middle of a storm. Even in today’s economy cheaper is not always better, and when property owners or managers base their decisions to hire a contractor solely on cost, they threat being put on thin ice.
“Pete Haran is currently Vice President of Operations and Business Development for Thesing Property Services, LLC. whose headquarters’ are located in Sewell, New Jersey. Thesing services sites in 3 states with over 30 years experience in Snow & Ice Management.”
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Executive Women in Business
Jennifer R. Thesing-Sauder, CPA, The Thesing Companies
Always remain honest to yourself, your
family, and your employees