Snow Clearing Contracts

February 2024

Snow plowing and de-icing are essential services during the winter.

When it comes to snow clearing and de-icing, condominium corporations can choose between two approaches.  Some prefer to handle snow clearing and de-icing internally.  Others will employ outside contractors to provide these services.

When snow- and ice-related measures are handled by condo employees, other concerns may take precedence.  Employing a contractor to handle these services may provide better service and protection against liability should someone slip and fall.  Snow clearing and de-icing handled by a contractor can result in fewer disruptions for residents or of regular maintenance duties during times of heavy snow or ice.

When reviewing a contract for snow clearing and   de-icing:

  • Be clear on if contract fees are per visit or fixed price for the season.
  • Additional costs, including for de-icing materials, should be stated.
  • Contracts may specify a minimum level of snowfall before visiting your property or frequency of visits.
  • Confirm if there is liability insurance.
  • If there is liability insurance, understand liability limits. Some services impose contractual limitations necessary to obtain insurance or reduce its cost.
  • Request copies of insurance certificates to ensure coverage is consistent with the contract

Some de-icing materials can damage concrete including sodium chloride, potassium chloride and calcium chloride.  Sand is messy, hard to clean up and damaging to building interiors.  Green Ice Melter is one of numerous ice melt products that are safer for the environment and less corrosive than traditional road salt.

Larger companies have more trucks on the road.  They can respond more quickly to emergency situations or last-minute calls.  Smaller companies with fewer vehicles can be more economical.