WANT TO SAVE MONEY ON COSTLYSNOW REMOVAL SERVICES THISYEAR?
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
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.