Environment - Climate Change

December 1, 2022 Published by Grand River Chapter - By Michelle Dyer

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful…

Welcome to winter in the Grand River area where it could be sunny in Waterloo, cloudy in Kitchener, raining in Guelph, light flurries in Cambridge and a full-on snow storm in Brantford.

Welcome to winter in the Grand River area where it could be sunny in Waterloo, cloudy in Kitchener, raining in Guelph, light flurries in Cambridge and a full-on snow storm in Brantford. You could even have sunny skies in the north end of Guelph and flurries in the south end of Guelph and then have the weather flip in moments.

As a snow removal contractor, we know how much winter can throw at us. Here are a few tips on how condo residents can stay safe this winter season.

1. This may seem obvious, but use a licensed contractor to do your snow removal. I know it can be costly but this is where condo owners should be spending their money. The retired gentleman on the second floor or the young student on fifth floor should not be shoveling sidewalks or the front entrance so the owners can save a few dollars. This practice can end up costing you way more in the long run…I’ll let the lawyers explain that in another blog.

2. Residents/tenants should be aware of what winter services they are responsible for.

For example: If you are in a townhouse condominium complex you may be responsible for clearing your walkways and porches. Check your condo documents or ask your property manager to be sure. I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve had to break the news to residents that we don’t service their walkway or porch. Side note: this scenario usually happens during a snow/ice storm and of course, the resident doesn’t own a shovel.

3. Ensure there are salt bins (with salt/ice-melt) placed at high traffic areas. Most contractors provide these. There is a cost to filling them. The bins should be easy and convenient for residents to access. The reality is contractors cannot be on site 24/7 and as we mentioned, since the weather in our area can change quickly, it’s best to have some salt/ice-melt on hand to use until the contractor gets to the site.

4. Condominiums, particularly mid-rise, can have more outdoor parking than indoor. Contractors are not able to get in between vehicles to get that snow/ice. This is why it is so important that when there is a scheduled “lot cleanup” residents move their vehicles so the contractor can clear the parking spaces completely. I’ve even seen residents that have a small shovel in their trunk to use when they go out to their cars to use just in case.

5. Do not let children play in the snow piles. I know those giant snow piles at the dead end in a condo complex are inviting for children but the crew operating machinery can’t see the little humans so it’s best to keep them away.

6. People (in and out of vehicles) should maintain a safe distance from crews operating machinery. It really doesn’t matter what time of day it is; the operators may not be able to see you. Any service concerns should always be directed to the contractor through their head office or through the sites’ property manager.

7. You know snow/ice/salt will track into the main lobby and other entrances. It’s best to place absorbent mats at all entrances and exits to prevent those areas from getting too wet. As well, change out those mats every week. If you find standing water on the floor, have it mopped up right away.

8. Again, this may seem obvious, but wear the right footwear. Wear winter boots. Even if you are just running out to your vehicle to grab something you forgot, do not do it in flip flops in the middle of January. Don’t rush through the parking lot/sidewalks and take smaller steps so you can react to changes in traction with more control.

9. Lastly, manage expectations. Sometimes patience is needed. For example: If there is a snow storm where 2 feet of snow is falling in an hour (yes it can happen), the roads are closed and the city is telling you to stay home — chances are the snow contractor will not be on your site right away to clear you out. It will take time to get there to get you cleared out so kick back, relax and enjoy the Snow Day!!


Michelle Dyer
Operations Manager
Superb Property Maintenance


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