As the season shifts toward darker days and colder weather, December will inevitably bring some of the first snowfalls of the winter. That said, you are incredibly fortunate if snow is your only concern. Major storms, sleet, hail, freezing rain and black ice also usually accompany the colder months and impede your commercial property’s safety and functionality. Is your business prepared to handle unforeseen weather events effectively?
If snow and ice block your parking lots and walkways, not only will it deter your customers, but it will put your employees in danger as well. Thankfully, your local snow removal contractor will be able to give you peace of mind. Most contractors use some variation of the same three types of snow removal contracts: per push, per event, and seasonal. Each contract type has unique advantages and disadvantages.
Per push contracts are the classic pay-as-you-go plan. You will only pay for the services you use each time your snow removal contractor visits your property. Billing may be a fixed price for each type of service, which gives you some idea of what your budget should be for the season. More commonly, you will be charged based on hourly rates or per inch of snow. For this reason, per push contracts are only for those who can tolerate some degree of uncertainty in their winter budget. Your total price for the season may be considerable if there happens to be a higher than average combined snowfall this particular year. On the other hand, you may end up paying less during years with fewer snowfalls. Therefore, this option is ideal for businesses requiring infrequent service, managing a smaller property area, or located in warmer regions with more periodic snowfalls.
The downside of per push contracts is that you may need to pay for multiple pushes when one storm continues to accumulate snow for several hours or days. In this regard, the per event contract is superior. Whereas accountability may prove impractical in a per push contract, the per event contract does not use hourly rates. Instead, you pay a fixed cost for each projected weather event, depending on the individual storm’s size and severity. Your snow removal company will start plowing once the snow reaches a certain height, generally around 2 to 4 inches. Per event contracts are perfect for businesses located in both northern and southern regions, both cold and warm climates.
The per push and per event contracts may be best suited to businesses who don’t expect much snow or many weather events and don’t want to pay extra for unused services. Yet neither of them affords the guaranteed security of a seasonal contract. Usually, this contract is billed at a fixed price for the entire winter season, often across multiple years. If there are only three weather events in one year, the seasonal contract will have you overpaying for snow removal services. On the other hand, there may be much more snowfall next year, in which case your price per event averages out. The upside is that even if there are five hundred weather events in one year, you will pay the same fixed price. The seasonal contract is best suited to businesses who expect to see higher and more consistent amounts of snowfall across several years. It’s also the contract of choice for those who prefer the security of full coverage or the certainty of total snow removal costs.
It’s never too early to start thinking about how you will create a safe and enjoyable experience for your customers this winter. Interview several snow removal contractors about their contract types and practices to find the most communicative, responsible and qualified experts. When you have professional snow removers ready at a moment’s notice, your business can operate as smoothly as ever without devastating your budget.