Winter doesn’t officially begin until December 20th. But certain parts of Ontario have already begun to get a taste of the wrath of winter. Some regions have already been hit with snow squalls and power outages, signifying that this winter could be one of the coldest ones we’ve had in a long time. With that in mind, commercial property owners need to prepare for inclement weather conditions in the coming weeks. If you haven’t already hired a professional snow removal company in Mississauga that services the GTA, then you should consider doing so now!
Before you go ahead and sign on the dotted line, though, you should take the time to carefully peruse your snow removal service contract for the season. Make sure the following points are included to ensure you’re getting top value for your dollar.
1. Insurance and Liability Details
One of the first points you and your commercial snow removal company should agree upon both verbally and on paper are the insurance and liability details of the job. Ask the snow removal contractors what they cover and what they don’t cover. Do they have workers’ compensation in case one of their employees sustains an injury on the job? Will they plow and clear snow from your property during a snowstorm? Do they also offer preventative services such as salting the pavement?
Another factor to consider is who is responsible if a personal injury occurs on your property due to improper snow removal practices? It’s important to define liability on both sides of the spectrum, so that there’s no confusion if an incident does occur. Ironing out these details will help prevent future liability issues.
2. The Scope of the Services Offered
Snow removal services can include a plethora of components, not all of which are covered or performed by every winter maintenance company in Mississauga. For that reason, it’s important to ask just what type of snow removal and property maintenance services are being offered.
Some companies might only clear out ice and snow after a snowstorm is over, while others might be willing to send a crew out in the middle of a weather event if the situation is dire enough. Moreover, some winter property maintenance companies might strictly offer snow removal and not de-icing and pavement salting services. Not all properties are created equally, so be sure to discuss your specific snow removal needs with the company you’re hiring and make your expectations clear.
Scope of service should also clearly state which parts of your property the company is responsible for clearing, where and how they dispose of the snow and ice, and what type of materials they’re using to maintain your property (e.g. equipment, de-icing agents, etc.).
3. How They Define Specific Weather Events
Your winter maintenance contract should very clearly define what the company considers to be a snow or ice event, so that both sides can get on the same page. Winter brings with it numerous types of weather events that can adversely impact the aesthetic appeal and safety of your property. Here are a few that you should ask your winter maintenance company about:
- Snow squalls
- Freezing rain/drizzles
- Ice storms
Ask the company what types of weather conditions they’re comfortable working in and make sure your contract matches whatever they tell you via email, on the phone, or during your initial consultation. The last thing you want to happen is to be stuck in the middle of a hazardous weather event without reassurance that your property will be professionally maintained.
4. Service Completion Timeline
Obviously, winter is peak season for snow removal companies in Ontario. With that said, they’re still legally obligated to perform all services mentioned in your contract within a certain timeframe. Understandably, some snow removal and de-icing projects may run a little later than originally anticipated, especially if there was a particularly bad snowstorm or weather event that needs to be cleared out. However, that doesn’t give the property maintenance company the right to shirk their responsibilities to their customers.
Make sure you agree upon scheduled service completion timelines. Whether you require weekly or biweekly winter maintenance services or on a need-be basis only, these details should be clearly stated in your contract and agreed upon by both parties for future reference. The contract should also include an official start and end date.
5. Clear Communication
Communication is a key factor in all professional and personal relationships. All stipulations within your contract should be clearly outlined using easy to understand language and excluding confusing legal jargon.
Naturally, you should have a lawyer review your contract on your behalf if you see fit. But, for the most part, you should be able to understand the terms and concepts that you’re agreeing to. And if there is any confusion or uncertainty, it’s your right to ask for clarification before you sign on the dotted line. This gives you the chance to test the property maintenance company’s customer service skills. If they’re courteous, knowledgeable, and willing to answer your questions then this is a good sign.
6. A List of the Snow Removal and De-Icing Equipment They Use
Ask the contractor to include a complete list of the snow removal and de-icing equipment they plan on using throughout the season. Make sure they’re using top-of-the-line industry-recognized brands and equipment that’s up to date on all maintenance and safety checks to ensure service quality and reliability.
At FOREVER GREEN LAWN& LANDSCAPE INC., we value and deliver upon complete service transparency with all of our clients across Toronto and the GTA. We’re more than happy to answer any questions you may have about our snow removal services and the equipment that we use. Rest assured that all of our crew members are fully trained and licensed to perform snow removal and de-icing duties and that we’re fully covered in case of unforeseen events. Trust us with your winter property maintenance in Mississauga and the rest of the GTA. Contact us for a free consultation!