What are recommended strategies for dealing with inclement weather and safe snow removal?

4 years ago by in Operations, Asset Management

A proactive approach to maintenance in inclement weather is always recommended.   We recommend a written policy that is communicated to all staff, and reiterated in the event of an weather event.   This plan should include both mandatory and recommended strategies, which may include the following:

  • Communicate with patrons as appropriate to convey potential impacts as well as recommendations for when and how to safely park.
  • Do not pile snow on top of the garage. If snow is piled, it can exceed the live load capacity of the structure. This will create potential structural failure, or even collapse. Contact us to verify the acceptable depth of snow within your facility.
  • Use a portable snow melt, or haul the snow out of the garage. Dumping the snow over the side of the garage is acceptable when done safely. However, be sure to make provisions to prevent snow from falling into the garage. Additionally, it is important to fence the dumping zone, as well as provide signage to notify pedestrians of potential falling snow.
  • If using a snowplow, with a heavy rubber cutting edge attached to the bottom, or with shoes designed to keep the steel blade from contacting the concrete floor surface. Keep the steel blade one-half inch above the floor surface to avoid damage to concrete, expansion joint systems, joint sealants and traffic topping systems. Plowing should be done away from joints, not across them.
  • The snow removal contractor must be aware of the locations of expansion joints and curbs. This can be achieved by adding signage and flexible bollards that will notify the snow plow driver of the locations of expansion joints and curbs. The plow should be raised at the expansion joints to prevent damage.
  • Off-peak snow removal operation may be required to deal with heavy snowfalls effectively and safely.
  • Prohibit vehicles with studded snow tires and tire chains, as these can cause damage to concrete, expansion joint systems, and traffic looping systems.
  • Continually evaluate entry/exit lanes and the top level, as they are vulnerable to icing when water drains from sun-warmed surfaces into shaded areas. Standing water in these areas can create slip-and-fall hazards, as well as contribute to deterioration of concrete.