You’re Pushing It!

snow-plow1-300x199 You're Pushing It!With winter practically here, you should have already developed your snow and ice removal plan for the year, but it’s never too late to create or amend one. Among the things to consider are areas where snow is to be pushed by plows. The lower ends of parking lots are seemingly logical places to push snow, but that’s often where storm drain inlets are located and they should never be obstructed by mounds of snow. Unless they’re mapped or marked ahead of time by your removal team or contractor, the plow operator may not know where they are and block them. It’s especially important to leave fire hydrants uncovered and accessible.

Other items that should be marked are speed bumps and any utility covers that extend even slightly above the pavement surface. Snow plows can gouge integrated asphalt speed bumps and dislodge or break prefabricated devices.

Snow removal on exposed parking garage decks present another set of problems. If the deck is surfaced with a waterproofing or protective coating, conventional steel-bladed snow plows can damage the material. There can be expansion joints, lighting bollards, stand pipes and other items that should be marked and avoided. A blocked/buried fire standpipe could have catastrophic consequences.

Your crew or contractor should also practice judicious use of deicing agents (salt, calcium-chloride, etc.). Improper use will damage concrete and new concrete (less than a year old) is particularly susceptible. If you’ve had sidewalks, stair assemblies, or curb and gutter assemblies replaced in the past year or so, they should be mapped and treated with extra care with respect to ice control. Consider using sand instead of deicers in those areas.