Winter’s coming, and for those of us in places like Minnesota, that means it’s time to start thinking about dealing with all that snow and ice headed our way. The key is knowing when to plow the white stuff away versus battling slick ice. Though beautiful, Minnesota winters can also be tough. Making sure walkways and parking lots are clear and safe takes understanding which approach works best and when. In this article, we’ll look at the difference between clearing snow and managing ice. We’ll also discuss when professionals like snow removal services and snow plowing Duluth MN can lend a mitten. And we’ll touch on times when ice management companies may need to swoop in.
When will it snow in Minnesota? That’s the question on everyone’s mind once those cold winter months roll around. Everyone is dreaming of a white Christmas, but we all know that fluffy snow can quickly turn into a real hassle if it starts piling up too high. All it takes is one big dumping of snow before driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, and roads get totally blocked. Shoveling all that heavy wet snow is no fun at all! That’s when we have to break out the big guns – snowplows, snow blowers, salt trucks, you name it. Snow removal has become a serious business for folks in Minnesota. Clearing paths and making things safe again after a big winter storm is what it’s all about. Bundling up and embracing the wintery weather is part of life here, but so is digging out once the snow sets in.
Snow may look pretty, but it’s that sneaky ice hiding underneath that’s the real troublemaker. Ice management is all about stopping ice from building up and making surfaces dangerously slippery. The goal is to keep walkways, roads, and other areas safe to walk on, even when it’s freezing cold outside.
To keep ice at bay, ice removal companies have a few tricks up their sleeve. Throwing down salt, sand, special melting chemicals, or plowing with special attachments are some ways to keep surfaces ice-free. The main focus is preventing slippery ice patches from forming in the first place. Clearing snow is one thing, but ice management zeroes in on the unique problem of ice hazards.
- Freezing rain – surfaces can glaze over with ice surprisingly fast when this hits. Ice management helps keep things from getting out of hand.
- After snow removal – even if the snow’s gone, leftover water can still freeze and cause patches of ice. Ice management is needed to stay on top of this issue.
- Cold snap following snow – when a cold front moves in after snowfall, any snow or slush left behind can freeze over, creating a slippery situation. Ice management helps maintain safety in these cases.
Now that we’ve nailed down what snow removal and ice management mean, let’s unpack the key ways they differ.
The main goal of snow removal is to clear away piled-up snow so areas are usable and accessible again. Ice management, on the other hand, focuses on safety by trying to prevent or get rid of icy patches that could lead to slips and falls.
Snow removal relies on equipment like snowplows, shovels, and blowers to physically push the snow off of surfaces. Ice management uses stuff like salt, sand, de-icers, and specialty plow attachments to deal with iciness.
Snow removal happens after big snowfalls, to ensure the snow is cleared away. Ice management is an ongoing process, happening during freezing rain, after snow removal, or whenever icy spots pop up.
There are times when snow removal and ice management work hand-in-hand. Here are a few examples of when you need both:
- After plowing snow, melting snow and ice can still freeze on surfaces overnight, leaving sidewalks slippery the next morning. De-icing takes care of that problem.
- Freezing rain before a snowstorm means you’ve got ice under all that snow. Clearing the snow is just the first step – you still need to break up the ice layer underneath.
- Icy sidewalks and walkways are an ongoing issue in winter. You’ve got to stay on top of ice removal all season long, even after the snow has been plowed.
Effective snow removal takes careful planning and execution. Here are some top tips to make sure your snow removal goes smoothly:
- Be proactive. Don’t wait for snow to pile up before taking action. Stay on top of the weather and start clearing early.
- Use the right tools. Invest in quality equipment designed for the surfaces you need to clear. And keep it in good working order.
- Don’t miss a spot. Clear driveways, walkways, parking lots – everywhere people need to go. Leaving patches untouched only causes problems.
- Consider the environment. Look into eco-friendly products and methods if you can. Every little bit helps.
Managing ice comes with its own challenges. Here are some strategies to handle slick conditions:
- Choose products wisely. Pick melting agents that work with your climate and surfaces. And consider environmental impact.
- Apply early and often. Pretreat high-traffic zones so ice can’t form in the first place. Reapply as needed.
- Stay vigilant. Keep a close eye out for developing ice so you can take action right away. Consistency is key.
When it comes to handling snow and ice at commercial properties or big operations, it pays to bring in the pros. Companies that specialize in commercial-grade snow removal and plowing have a lot going for them. For starters, they know what they’re doing – they’ve got the skills and experience to take care of tricky, large-scale jobs and keep things safe and accessible. They’ve also got all the heavy-duty equipment required to plow through and clear away snow efficiently even when there’s tons of it. And because many provide contracted services, you can count on them to reliably show up and get the job done on time, every time the weather calls for it. So if you’re responsible for keeping a commercial building or operation up and running through the winter, professional snow and ice management services are a smart choice.
The weather in different parts of the country makes a big difference when it comes to winter maintenance. For example, in a place like Duluth, Minnesota that sees extremely cold and snowy winters, you have to be ready to deal with lots of snow and ice on a regular basis. Property owners and managers in areas like Duluth need to keep up with local weather reports and adjust their winter maintenance plans to match whatever Mother Nature throws at them. Places with milder winters can take a different approach, but for cities in the upper Midwest, winter weather preparedness is crucial.
When it comes to keeping properties safe in winter, it’s important to know the difference between snow removal and ice management. Snow removal is about clearing away the snow to reopen walkways and parking lots. Ice management focuses on stopping ice from forming or getting rid of it to prevent slips and falls. Both play a key role in winter safety and often work hand-in-hand. By following best practices for clearing snow and dealing with ice, property owners can keep their spaces accessible and hazard-free all winter long. In cold weather states like Minnesota, services like commercial snow removal St Paul and snow plowing companies in Duluth can provide critical help. The bottom line is safety, and being ready for whatever winter throws your way is the key to a smooth season.