Winter Maintenance

The Unexpected Danger of Snow Banks and Piles

16 Jan 2023
The unexpected danger of snow banks and piles

After a long and massive snowstorm, it is common to have piles and piles of snow accumulate all across your neighbourhood as well as the streets. Snow banks and ridges can be risky to be around. These large mounds of snow have formed an obstructive heap and could lead to the potential dangers of children or pets getting trapped under them. They could also collapse and cause injuries, broken bones, bruises and hypothermia.

One of the leading causes of snow piles lasting longer is the continuous refreezing of the banks with the changing temperatures. When it comes to these, there are a lot of hidden dangers that people should be aware of and precautions to keep children and others safe during these extreme weather conditions. 

The gathered ice begins to melt during the day, and at sundown, when the temperatures begin to lower and cool, the snow refreezes and hardens. As the weather warms up, the melting occurs, and the water trickles from these piles to make its way to the nearest drain. At this point, it is vital to salt the driveways so that the collected water does not refreeze and form ice that can make the area prone to slipping. Let’s look at how snow piles can be super dangerous and how to be careful around them.

Collapsing Snow Piles

Snow piles seem harmless and are often great fun for the neighbourhood kids to play around in them. Still, snow piles can be hazardous if the children are not monitored around them. 

Children love to play and build forts on piles of collected snow. It is important to note that snow piles contain air pockets or soft areas that can implode, and if a child happens to be on it, they can get sucked into a large mass of snow bigger than their height. Collapsed snow piles can trap and suffocate kids and cause hypothermia if they cannot climb out by themselves.

Another problem with snow piles near streets and roadways is that they block the vision. If there are kids around it, their view of oncoming traffic gets obstructed while playing around it. Also, snow clearing services and snowplows cannot see the kids playing inside a snow fort and can mistakenly injure them while trying to clear up the snow.

Snow piles are usually over a few feet in height. Some of them can be too high and have the potential to easily injure someone walking by if the snow is melting and it falls on them. Snow piles collapse randomly at any time of the day, and the weight of the snow causes serious injuries.

Snow Piles at Dangerous Places

Accumulated snow happens due to plowed snow that is pushed to the sidewalk and piled up. These mountains of snow are hazardous as well. Snow piles should ideally be far away from stop signs, fire hydrants, walkway entrances, and handicap-accessible spots. Plow all snow piles away from all entry and exit points of buildings and homes, as this could hinder emergency vehicles from accessing the building or the house. 

Refreezing Snow Piles

Snow piles keep melting and refreezing during the day and evenings. This continuous hardening of the snow into hard ice formations creates dangerously icy conditions that can be risky to be around. Snow piles should go near a drain where the excess water can drain out in a designated area away from people or vehicles.

When possible, piles should always go as close to the raised side of the road near a drain to capture the water and let it drain effectively. As a precautionary measure, the area around the piles should be salted to remove slippery conditions. We offer exclusive snow removal services for people who require large piles of snow to be removed safely and effectively from in and around their properties. 

We begin by developing an effective plan and strategy based on the conditions for quick, prompt, and safe snow removal and de-icing for our residential and commercial areas. Once you contact us, we provide regular site visits to ensure the overall safety of roadways, parking areas, and neighbourhoods. 

Our experienced snow removal team always makes sure to pile the snow in safe places where it will not pose or present itself as a safety risk, allowing you and your family to face the cold and harsh winter with confidence.

Properties like condominiums, apartment complexes, townhomes, retail spaces, and industrial sites that operate 24/7 can immensely benefit from our snow removal and hauling services.

For more information on the kinds of snow removal services most suitable for your home and lifestyle, contact Peel Exterior Maintenance. You can request a consultation where our experts can guide you with your budget and snow removal needs. You can also book an appointment or call us at (888) 290-1216 to understand our offerings.