Effective Snow Removal in Toronto: Choosing the Right Deicing Service

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Effective Snow Removal in Toronto: Choosing the Right Deicing Service
Learn how to choose the right deicing service for your commercial property in Toronto to effectively manage freezing conditions and avoid liabilities. Tips on contracts, timing, and deicing products.

The Importance of Deicing Services During the Winter Season

When winter arrives in Toronto, snow removal becomes a top priority for commercial property owners and managers. However, in addition to snow, freezing conditions caused by ice accumulation can pose serious hazards to properties. Therefore, it's important to choose the right deicing service to effectively manage these dangerous conditions and minimize liabilities. In this article, we will discuss various aspects of deicing services in Toronto, including contracts, timing, and deicing products, to help you make an informed decision for your property.

Choosing the Right Deicing Service

One of the first considerations when selecting a deicing service is the type of contract offered by the contractor. Many contractors offer a service confirmation approach where the property owner is responsible for accepting or rejecting a service call for deicing. However, this method can be flawed as it puts the decision-making responsibility on the property owner, who may be liable for any damages or accidents resulting from their decision. Therefore, it's recommended to choose a contractor that offers a flat-rate contract, which includes service for various freezing conditions such as sleet, slush, freezing rain, flash freezing, and snowfalls falling short of the plowable accumulation limit. This ensures that the deicing service is not dependent on the property owner's availability or decision-making, and there are no unexpected or exorbitant charges incurred for automatic service runs during freezing conditions.

Tip: Ensure that your deicing contract is a flat-rate one, including service for various freezing conditions, to avoid unexpected charges and liabilities.

Another important consideration is the timing of deicing application. A contractor with an active, 24-hour per day weather watch and a thorough understanding of when to apply deicing products is essential for deicing success. Timing is critical in managing freezing conditions effectively, and discussing the contractor's policy regarding deicing application and timing is crucial to ensure that the service is provided when needed the most.

Choosing the Right Deicing Product

In Toronto, there are two common deicing products used for commercial properties: rock salt and salt alternatives. It's important to understand the benefits and drawbacks of each product to make an informed decision.

There are two common deicing products used for properties in Toronto: One is rock salt, and the other is a more environmentally-friendly salt alternative. It is important to understand the benefits and drawbacks of both products.

Road Salt:

Common Usages of Rock Salt:
- Asphalt or concrete parking lots
- City Sidewalks
- Paved or concrete walkways

The most cost-efficient and sustainable deicing product available on the market today- Melts ice and snow quickly, even at very cold temperatures, and leaves a dry surface- Is the most commercially available product which experiences the least shortages in supply

Heightened environmental impact (due to its corrosive nature), especially to plant life that grows adjacent to surface areas applied with rock salt- Interlocking brick, slate, or decorative stone walkways are more susceptible to damage by rock salt- Hurts some pet's paws if it gets stuck in between their toes or in their fur

Salt Alternative:

(Monster Plowing Company uses a Green Ice Melter)

- Far less damaging environmental impact than salt
- Much smaller risk of damaging the adjacent landscaping
- Safe to use on specialty surfaces (interlock, flagstone, etc)
- One of its unique properties is that the product does not bounce or roll when applied, thereby sticking to its intended surface. It is less prone to 'overspray' (material landing or bouncing to where it was not intended to go)

- There is a heightened cost to this product when compared to salt. Generally the cost prohibits the use of such a product on wide-open areas such as parking lots, however using this product on walkways and steps will ultimately help the landscaping and the environment at the same time

Tip: Ensure that your contractor has sufficient inventory and supply of all deicing products to last through the entire winter, as it can become unavailable locally during periods of heightened demand.

An ideal deicing program will include the following:
- The contractor can act at any time that he believes the environmental conditions dictate the deicing
- Applications are made automatically, with absolutely no charges per application in order to avoid excessive over-charges
- The person who manages the property keeps open lines of communication with the contractor in order to let him know about localized icy conditions on their property as they may arise

Tip: If your winter maintenance includes snow plowing but lacks deicing services, you may only be covered for less than 50% of a snow season's dangerous weather events. You should interview your contractor thoroughly on their policies and procedures regarding deicing. Their attitude towards this topic will be very foretelling.
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