Winter Maintenance

How to Control Ice on Your Commercial Property

18 Dec 2020
How to control ice on your commercial property

When the temperatures fall in Canada, many property owners anticipate the coming winter and what it brings with it: snow. This can cause a certain amount of angst for commercial property owners who are expected to keep walkways and parking lots clear of snow and ice. Many people’s safety depends on the owners’ actions when it comes to winter weather.

One of the toughest tasks that commercial property owners face is ice removal. Ice can be one of the worst aspects of winter in Canada, but it doesn’t have to be. With a plan and strategy in place and some pre-winter prep work, any commercial property owner can breathe easily this winter.

Hazards of Ice

There are a number of good reasons to keep a commercial property clear of ice and snow during the winter months. They include:

  • Property damage. Ice on the ground can inevitably lead to property damage if it’s not removed. When ice builds up and snow piles on top of it, there can be a lot of pressure on the cement in a parking lot or walkway. This can lead to cracking and potholes on the property.
  • Guest safety. Customers and clients who visit the property not only expect a safe environment, they also deserve it.
  • Employees. It is not just visitors to the property that are at risk when there is ice on the ground, but employees who come into work each day and are therefore at a higher risk of slipping or being injured.

Tips to Control Ice

When it comes to ice removal on commercial properties, it is essential to have a plan in place before the snow starts to fall. Determining the best tools to help keep a commercial property clear of ice takes time. Consider the options available, including hiring a professional ice removal company. Here are some of the best ways to keep your commercial property clear this winter:

  1. Have a winter plan.

    While ice removal is a vital part of a safety plan, other steps can be taken to ensure a safe and ice-free space. This includes having an injury prevention plan and using proper warning signs and weather-proofing floor mats.

  2. Stock up.

    Even before the snow arrives, commercial property owners can stock on up the supplies needed, such as shovels, ice melts, and salt. Check any larger equipment such as snow blowers to make sure they are in good working order.

  3. Ice melt treatments.

    Using chemical ice melts to reduce the risk is one of the most popular ways commercial property owners handle ice removal in the winter. When applied appropriately, the treatments should eliminate the ice, creating a safer space for visitors and employees. The key is to find the right ice melt that can reduce the amount of ice and the strength of the bond between the ice and pavement. This makes removing any remaining ice easier. One thing to look for in an ice melt chemical is that it has a little colour to it. This helps ensure a thorough distribution over the ice. Remember that ice melts can be applied to target areas before a storm. That means it can start working as the water lands on the concrete.

  4. Examine drainage.

    It is a good idea to examine downspouts and roofs to ensure they are not in need of repair. Improper drainage can cause ice to build up around the property, making it unsafe for visitors and employees. More importantly, remove any drainage or spouts that cross over walkways and sidewalks to reduce the risk of ice forming or building up around the commercial property.

  5. Hire a professional.

    Tackling snow removal of a commercial space can be a huge undertaking. However, managers don’t need to do it alone. Finding a professional snow removal company can help take the burden (and the ice) off your hands. Be sure to look for a reputable company that provides comprehensive ice removal services. It is also important to be clear about what the company needs before they begin. For example, most snow removal companies expect that all vehicles will be removed from a parking lot before they come to remove ice and snow. Similarly, any items that block access to the commercial property will likely need to be removed to allow for ice and snow removal.

Extra Property Safety Tips

Ice removal is one of the key safety steps that commercial property owners can take, but there are also other ways to keep such spaces safe during the cold weather, such as:

  • Lighting. Winter in Canada means less sunlight and more darkness. To help keep visitors safe, ensure that adequate exterior lights are installed and working around high traffic areas.
  • Emergency. Commercial property managers should have a plan in place in case of an emergency. That can include installing generators and having flashlights, batteries, radios, and contact lists of emergency personnel.

Many commercial property owners may dread the extra work involved during Canadian winters. Keeping parking lots and sidewalks clear of snow and ice can take a lot of time and effort. It is essential, though, to keep a commercial space safe for visitors and workers. However, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Having a plan in place for ice removal is a great way to prepare for the inevitable.

If you are interested in learning more about the advantages of ice removal for your landscape, call Peel Exterior Maintenance at 1-888-290-1216 or contact us here.