Snow Piles: A Hidden Danger

When Southwestern Ontario is slammed by its usual winter blizzards and city plows get to work, the snow piles can be pretty impressive. We may not struggle with 93-centimetre drifts like Newfoundland got last year but we definitely get our share.

While these piles are fun for kids and a nuisance for parents waking up to blocked driveways, they can also be a danger. Snow may not be as hard as ice, but when piled high, there are some inherent hazards that property managers should be aware of. In this blog, we’ll explain what they are and how the winter maintenance team at Green Collar Landscaping can help.

Hazard #1: They’re not as sturdy as they look

Snow piles may look like mini-mountains, but they’re far from durable. Children enjoying a lively game of King of the Castle can suddenly penetrate an air pocket or soft spot and fall through, injuring themselves. If small children are playing alone and snow caves in, they can become trapped and suffer from hypothermia before help can arrive.

Hazard #2: They obstruct vision

Children playing around the snow piles in tenant parking areas aren’t usually paying attention to approaching vehicles and it can be difficult for drivers to spot them, especially in the evening. Even if they do see them, it’s too easy for a child to slide down the slope and into the path of an oncoming vehicle before the drive has a chance to stop, resulting in serious injury or worse.

Hazard #3: They turn into skating rinks when they melt

Snow doesn’t stay piled high for long. When the sun comes out and temperatures warm up, these piles will melt and create wet conditions that become extra-hazardous when the next cold snap hits. Sidewalks, walkways, and parking lots suddenly become dangerously icy, and people stepping on them before salt can be laid out risk serious injury.

Hazard #4: They can hide critical services

When a blizzard hits, the first priority for city snow plows is getting roads, streets, and public parking lots clear as quickly as possible. In their haste, they can pile snow onto fire hydrants, stop signs, and handicap accessible locations. Not only does this make accessibility to nearby buildings difficult, but accidents can occur and emergency personnel won’t be able to safely do their jobs if something happens.

Green Collar Landscaping Snow Removal Services

At Green Collar Landscaping, we help owners and managers of properties such as apartment buildings, townhomes, condominiums, retail establishments, and industrial sites by providing timely and thorough snow removal and hauling services. We will-

  • Give you peace of mind by arriving on site as soon as weather conditions worsen.
  • Pile the snow away from building exit and entry points and gather it near a drain so that water can be captured as it melts. 
  • Salt the area around the piles to avoid slippery conditions.
  • Ensure that fire hydrants, street signs, and other safety assets are not obstructed.

Our experienced snow removal team will also pile the snow in areas where it won’t present a safety risk, allowing you and your tenants to face each winter with confidence. To get a free quote on our property maintenance services, call 289.339.8746 today.