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Follow our 7 keys to success before finalizing your snow plan this year.

Snow removal costs can be difficult to control without

appropriate planning. This expensive, but necessary, service

costs your association thousands of dollars per year, so even

a 10% expense overage could cost your association a few

thousand dollars. Here is everything you need to know in

order to save your association as much as 25% on snow

removal cost.

The biggest problem that results in an association losing

money in snow removal services is the lack of planning. The

concept is simple, but most associations don’t go into detail

about the plan. You need to do more than setting your snow

threshold (ex. 2 inches before plowing) and determining what

areas to clear (ex. streets, steps, patios, etc.). Here are the

things you need to include in your snow removal plan to save

you the most money.

1. The first thing you should do is create a map of your

association that includes the following...

a. Places to put plowed snow: Mark the map with the

places most suitable for piling plowed snow. Once you

locate those areas, divide the roads into sections evenly

matched for how much snow your designated pile

location can handle.

Special Tip: Take this time to think about intersections

where piles of snow block visibility or interfere with

pedestrian traffic. Mark these locations as “Do Not Pile”

so the snow company keeps those areas clear.

b. The route the snow plow truck should take: Think of the

natural flow of traffic in your association and create a

route that maximizes the time the truck is moving with

the plow down. Having the truck make consecutive

loops around the streets throwing snow to the side is

much faster than letting them focus on one area at a

time where they are constantly backing up to restage.

2.Consider applying brine to the streets prior to snowfall.

Brine will melt the first 1 inch of snow and prevents

subsequent snow from sticking to the road when packed by

vehicular traffic or icy conditions, each of which cannot be

easily plowed from the road. This saves them time, you

money, and the final product looks much better.

3.Plow through the storm, not after it. Have you done the

research to determine how long it takes your current

company to plow different accumulations of snow. We do

this research with all of our communities and many times it

costs LESS money for a company to come out every 2”

throughout a stormthan it does to wait until 8” accumulates.

How so? Because it takes much longer for a truck to clear

8” of snow in tight areas, especially if they have to pile all

the snow, than it does to clear half as much snow. A snow

plow can generally get in and out of a community much

faster with a lower threshold which gives you better service

and costs your association less.

4.Consider the equipment. Though a skid steer may be more

expensive to operate per hour, it will take much less time

to clear tight areas with lots to pile than a less expensive

per hour plow truck.

5.Consider the timing. If you have a lot of parking spaces to

clear, you may want to have the roads cleared through the

storm then have the trucks come back during the day when

most vehicles are gone. This is a much quicker way to clear

the parking areas, reduces the chance of damage to a

vehicle, and the quality of work is much more thorough.

6.Set reasonable expectations. Do you want the sidewalks

cleared from edge to edge or is a clear path the width of

the equipment acceptable for your association? The cost

difference could be double for the larger area.


The Board leadership newsletter is provided to condo and

HOA board members by Capital Property Solutions, the

area’s premier association management company. We

believe that educated board members are great board

members who are able to lead their communities and hold

their management companies accountable for properly

managing their association. Guiding you toward helping your

association maintaining and increase property values.

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