Snow Removal Basics
Snow removal is the process of clearing snow from a sidewalk, driveway, or other outdoor area after a snowfall. This can be done by an individual or by a professional snow removal company. Regardless of whether you choose to hire a company or do it yourself, it is important to understand the process and know when to clear your sidewalks and driveways.
The first step is to determine how much snow will fall. The more snow there is, the more expensive it will be to remove. For example, snow that is six inches deep is going to cost you $30 to $50, whereas snow that is two inches will cost you around $10.
If you do decide to clear your own snow, be sure to consult your insurance carrier to learn if your policy covers any particular method of snow removal. You may also need to purchase a shovel, broom, or other light instrument for brushing off snow from surfaces. It is a good idea to rake the snow into a pile before it freezes.
Most cities have an extensive fleet of snow clearing vehicles. These include large snow trucks, narrow body plows, and graders. Some cities will even have a small, narrow body plow that can clear sidewalks. In addition to plowing, they also salt roads to help them melt. Salt also helps cars and trucks get more traction when driving on ice and snow.
In some areas, snow emergencies can be declared. If a snow emergency is declared, the owner of the property will be required to clear their property and vehicles from the street. Towing trucks may be called to haul away vehicles in the event of an emergency.
Aside from plowing, some cities will use gritters to remove snow from the road. Gritters also salt roads to help them melt. They are usually the first to arrive to clear snow. Gritters are also equipped with a GPS system. Using this technology, they can see where to plow.
When it comes to snow removal costs, a full season contract is typically quoted at the beginning of the year. This is paid in advance. Depending on the company you choose, your contract may include unlimited trips, or it may be limited to a certain number of trips. However, some companies provide this service without requiring a contract.
Snow removal can take days or weeks to complete. During this time, you should expect to pay $30 to $50 for each push by a plow. While snow can be cleared by an individual, it is generally more effective to call a professional. Keeping your driveway and sidewalks clear of snow will ensure safer travel and prevent dangerous slippery conditions.
If you do decide to clear your sidewalks and driveway, be aware of the safety hazards. Leaving a vehicle on the street can lead to a collision. Leaving slush or ice on the roof of a driven vehicle can cause crashes. Failing to clear snow from a vehicle can also impair your visibility.