Snow removal tips
Many companies have a list of customers who’ve already arranged for snow removal ahead of time, so the contractor comes out as soon as the snow falls. Those customers will get their driveways cleared first as opposed to someone who calls at the last minute.
Angie's List, the nation's premiere provider of consumer reviews on local service companies, including snow removal, says even if you’re still snowed in, do yourself a favor and don’t rush to hire the first person you see with a plow attached to a truck. Hiring the wrong person could put you in an even worse situation.
• Companies who offer steep discount or insist on cash payment. A credit card will protect you.
• Blade? Yes. Insurance? No: That Good Samaritan who plows your drive and disappears won’t bear the cost if he destroys your or your neighbor’s car or mailbox: you will.
Angie's List tips before you hire:
- Get an estimate: Have someone come out and take a look at your property. Ask what is included: Only the driveway? What about walkways and sidewalks? Get all details in a written estimate.
- Cost: Is it a flat rate, based on the depth of snow, or by trip? How much is an additional service such as shoveling?
- Coverage: Does the company have insurance against damage? Get a name and number to contact in case of damage.
If you want to dig out yourself, there are many types of equipment you can use. Popular ones include gas and electric snow blowers. Both differ in price and efficiency, so choose which one fits your needs best. And if you enjoy physical labor, there’s the good old fashioned snow shovel.
Still undecided about what option is best for you? Here are some snow removal alternatives to think about:
- Friendly neighbors: Share a snow blower with the folks on your street.
- Hire Help: Help a teenager on your block make a few extra bucks by hiring them to clear your paths.
- Do it yourself: If you own a truck, you could buy your own snow plow and attach it to your truck.
Keep these factors in mind as your prepare for the winter season:
- Frequency of snow: If you live in an area that sees a lot of snow you may want to hire a snow removal company or invest in a piece of equipment that will last through the years.
- Snow Density: Slushier snow is more difficult to remove and may pose problems to your snow blower.
- Your health: One of the most common injuries during the winter months is snow removal, so think safety first before grabbing that shovel!