Removing Hard-packed Snow and Ice

Kristian Zoppa Snow Removal

Removing Hard-packed Snow and Ice

The phrase winter is coming is one which Winnipeggers know all too well. Snow falls around the month of September and that is when the once concrete pavements and tarmac-ed roads are covered in white, hard-packed snow. Treetops and rooftops are not spared either.

Snow is known to harden and it is fun to skate on it, however, motorists and bikers have it rough in this season. Pavements and roads that were once hard and solid turn slippery. Motorists have to switch to snow tires to enhance their stability on the roads and avoid skidding. Snow falls do indeed spell trouble to motorist and even pedestrians. The biting cold combined with the snowfall makes the winter feel like a non-ending nightmare to many.

Oh Snow!

When snow falls to the ground and trodden on by traffic, hard-packed snow is formed. Trampling feet, and vehicles riding on freshly fallen snow push their weight down to and make tightly packed snow.

This is a type of snow that households with drives on their property know too well of its stubbornness to remove. Layers of compacted snow require much more effort and force to remove than the freshly fallen snow. Now that we know how the packed snow is formed, it is advisable to remove the snow ahead of traffic. Shoveling the snow from the garage is advised before using the drive.

Clearing Ice and Snow

Clearing hard ice and snow off driveways and sidewalks can be done using heavy duty snow clearing machines that give you the necessary force required to remove this toughened snow.

Heavy duty machines are to be used carefully because they degrade the concrete and the tarmac on the drive. They are effective in removing the snow but end up damaging what lies under the snow. It is argued that it is better to leave the hard-packed snow to melt on its own instead of having to incur costs to repair a damaged drive caused by the use of the machines.

However leaving the snow to melt on its own means that the driveways and pavement will be slippery, and that may cause safety issues to traffic and users of the sidewalks.

Thawing Ice

There are thawing products such as calcium chloride that melts the ice by giving off heat. Even in low temperatures it will melt the ice. These products have a disadvantage of being corrosive. They therefore damage vegetation and tiled surfaces. Environmentally, these chemicals damage the soil by changing its acidity. Another option is the use of sand and gravel which reduces the slippery nature of ice. Cleaning it up when the ice is melted is crucial since it would clog drains if left unattended to.

Snowfall is a nearly inevitable occurrence, since we cannot stop it , we have to find ways to prepare for it as well as manage it when it occurs. Cleanr Snow can guarantee that using these methods, as per our clients’ desires, we can clear the snow and put the driveways and sidewalks in the desired shape that will be safe for use. Satisfying the needs of our clients is what we aim to achieve.

Man Pushing Snowblower

5 Tips For Choosing a Winnipeg Snow Removal Company This Winter

Kristian Zoppa Snow Removal Tips

5 Tips For Choosing a Winnipeg Snow Removal Company This Winter

When choosing a residential snow removal service in Winnipeg, there are many options to choose from. However, it is imperative that you choose the right company, or else you may be left stranded in a blizzard. Here are 5 tips that will assist you in choosing a Winnipeg snow removal company this winter.

Begin Your Search Early

Companies that provide a high quality of service generally book up much, much earlier than fly-by-night companies that just take your money and run. For example, here at Cleanr Snow we book up by mid-October at the latest. After that point, we will only take on new clients if you are within 2-3 houses of our nearest client. It is very important that you begin thinking about snow removal by mid-Septemeber or early October at the latest. We have even had people sign up for snow removal as early as June and it is not uncommon for us to get a rush of bookings in August!

Productivity, Not Just Price

Does the company you are looking to hire have the right equipment for the job? Here in Winnipeg, the best way to clear residential properties is with a single-stage snowblower. This does a better job of getting down to the pavement than a shovel or a two-stage snowblower, but most companies do not use them. It is not uncommon for companies to employ a ‘shovel only’ strategy. Then they’ll provide their employees with nothing other than plastic shovels! This can result in a cheaper price for you, but will make your wait time 3-5x longer as it takes 3-5x longer to shovel a driveway versus using a single stage snowblower. At Cleanr Snow, we own all of the right equipment for every level of snow fall!

Proper Insurance

When your fly-by-night snow removal company shoots an ice chunk through your front window, you will be annoyed that you didn’t check into this before hand. A legitimate and proper snow removal company in Winnipeg will have a minimum of $1 million liability insurance for situations just like this and will be able to help you out immediately. A fly-by-night company will leave you stranded and paying for it out of pocket. Always make sure that the company you are planning to hire has proper insurance! At Cleanr Snow, we are fully insured with a $1 million liability policy should any issues arise.

Ease of Communication

Did you sign up for snow removal and then never hear from your contractor again? A good Winnipeg snow removal company will communicate with you before and during every storm to make sure that you are always fully up to date with their clearing schedule. If you can’t reach your potential contractor for just an estimate, or if they promise one time but keep rescheduling, how can you expect them to clear your snow on time? Here at Cleanr Snow, we send out email updates before we begin clearing for every snow event to make sure that you are not left wondering if and when we will be coming out to clear.

Check Reviews

Facebook and Google reviews are the best way to see what other people in your community truly think of the company that you are thinking of hiring. Make sure to choose a company with good reviews. Take the time to read the reviews to get a feel for what the company is truly like. At Cleanr Snow, we are happy to say that we have over 20 five-star reviews between Facebook and Google and do not have any unhappy reviews. All of that while serving 200+ clients over the past two seasons.

In conclusion, choosing a reliable and reputable Winnipeg snow removal company can be easy. Just follow the tips above. Make the smart choice and give us a call at (204) 960-0246. We would be happy to offer you an estimate today!

Snow Removal Scams

Watch Out For Snow Removal Scams This Winter

Kristian Zoppa Snow Removal Tips

Watch Out For Snow Removal Scams This Winter

Unfortunately, it is not only large commercial lots that are targeted by snow removal scammers, but residential properties as well. After hearing about some upsetting incidents last season (2016/2017), we would like to take a moment to fill you in and make you an educated consumer. This way you know the red flags of snow removal scams to watch out for this winter.

Low Price Specials

The largest red flag warning is pricing. In most instances, when it comes to Winnipeg snow removal, a lower price is NOT better. A reputable snow clearing company in Winnipeg needs to charge at least $119/month to make a small profit.

Of course, the amount of snow changes each month. Some months the company may make more and some months it may actually lose money. But if the contractor you’re looking to hire is offering you a $60 special, that’s a huge red flag! When a legitimate company prices their services correctly, it allows them to offer you a reliable and consistent service. And without any hidden fees or headaches for the end consumer.

Contractors who are trying to rip you off will most of the time offer a surprisingly low price. It’ll seem a bit too good to be true. Here at Cleanr Snow, we have heard countless stories of people paying $60/month and the contractor only showing up once per month (even if it snowed five times!).

Cheap prices like this can really appeal to the price-conscious customer. However, there is a steep trade off in service level. If the hired contractor does manage to make it through the season and provide a good level of service, you can bet they won’t be around next season as they will be losing money month over month at those low, too-good-to-be-true prices.

Other Snow Removal Scams

Once you sign up for snow removal with one of these fraudulent contractors, a number of things may happen to you, none of them good…

  1. They may ask for the full season payment up front. This can be standard for reputable companies. But when a fraudulent company does it, it’s because they plan to shovel once and then never come back. As long as they perform the service one time, it is tough to take them to small claims court and win and they know this.
  2. The contractor may just be booking up as many clients as possible prior to winter beginning and as soon as the season starts they may cancel the lowest paying clients. This leaves you hanging at a time when most reputable companies are already booked full for the season. At Cleanr Snow, we recommend booking by October 31st and never waiting until the day of a storm to call to book for the season, as we do book up quite early!
  3. The most common rip off in Winnipeg is not financially, but the level of service that is provided. For instance, last season (2016/2017) during the boxing day blizzard, at Cleanr Snow we cleared all properties within 11 hours of the snow stopping. Granted this is higher than our average of 6 hours – we were dealing with 6-8” of very heavy snow and four foot drifts. During that same storm, we received many calls DAYS LATER alerting us that their hired company still had not shown up. This means that people were potentially left stranded (we saw four foot drifts in front of garage doors) and could not leave their homes for over 72 hours!
  4. The contractor does show up to do the work, and perhaps in a timely fashion. But look at the contract. It’s filled with vague loopholes and it allows the contractor to charge you additional fees for every little thing. This racks up your $60/month contract to $150/month in no time at all!

Do Your Research

In conclusion, always do your research before you hire a snow removal company. Beware of any companies offering extremely cheap, too-good-to-be-true specials. In the end, it will be you that will be left stranded if you do go with them. If you are in the market for a snow removal service that will not leave you stranded and will always communicate with you, contact us at Cleanr Snow and we would be happy to book you in for the 2017/2018 season!