Snow Removal Options for Commercial and Residential Areas

Should You Hire a Snow Plowing Service?

Many people prefer to pay someone else for snow removal services. Others purchase a high-quality snow blower to make the job easier. Here is an overview of the different snow removal equipment available on the market and some tactics you can use to make snow removal less tedious.

Residential Snow Plowing

  • Applying ice melters on paved surfaces prior to a snowfall can greatly reduce snow buildup.
  • Pay a neighbor for snow removal. This may be the easiest and least expensive option, especially if the neighbor has a snow plow or blower.
  • Contract snow removal services from a local landscape company in advance. Requesting bids in the summer can bring good offers from companies that are behind in projected yearly income.
  • Again, contract in advance if you're choosing a dedicated snow removal company. This will cost less than calling after a storm. Charges are generally levied on a per-season, per-snowfall or per-inch basis. A per-snowfall or per-season contract may only cover a base amount of snow, beyond which the company will charge extra for each additional inch.
  • Buy into a "plow share" with neighbors to pool labor and snow removal equipment costs.
  • Call a 24/7 snow removal company during or after a storm. This will cost the most and, because of demand, may mean a long wait for service.
  • Consider a snow-melt system. This recent technological innovation heats the pavement to melt snow. However, snow-melt systems are expensive to install and are not cost-effective in very low temperatures or during heavy snowfalls.

Commercial Snow Removal

For commercial walkways and driveways, the options listed above still apply. For large commercial properties with long driveways and parking lots, snow clearing usually requires a snow plow. Snow can also be moved to another location on the property. This calls for professional snow removal equipment like a scoop-shovel truck which, while cleaning concrete, deposits the snow into a carrier for transport.

Snow Removal Equipment

There are many types of snow pushers (blade-type snow shovels) and rolling shovels (mini snow plows on wheels). Wheel-mounted scoop shovels, when pushed, collect snow in a hopper so it can be moved to another area. Some scoop shovels have a levered handle which will lift and move shoveled snow when the handle is pushed down.

Snow blowers range from inexpensive "electric shovels" to spiffy, high-end riding blowers. Snow blowers blow snow off to one side. Like power mowers, they require storage space and maintenance. They are also not a practical option for removing slush. A plow blade can be attached to a truck or SUV, creating a snow plow. Snow plowing pushes snow to the sides of the road or straight ahead – and it removes slush as well.

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