Falling snow is a beautiful sight (OK, maybe not for everyone), but it also poses some good reminders for fellow homeowners and neighborhood associations. Whether you are responsible for shoveling snow or if you live in a community where the homeowners' association handles snow removal services, there are some steps you can take to be prepared when a winter storm is in the forecast.
Start Preparing in the Fall
Long before the snow starts falling, stock up on supplies like deicer and snow removal tools. If you own a snow blower, make sure it's working and schedule any necessary maintenance service. Don't forget the extra fuel! If you didn’t prepare beforehand, now is the best time!
Know Your Neighborhood Policies
Brush up on your community's covenants and regulations regarding snow removal so you aren't surprised after the first snowfall. Will the HOA clear your driveway and sidewalks or is it up to individual homeowners? If snow removal is your responsibility, check your city's snow ordinance and policies about removing snow and ice from your property as well as street parking during inclement weather.
If your homeowners' association takes care of the snow, read up on their policies and triggers. Many HOAs require a minimum amount of snow to accumulate before they send someone to clear driveways. For example, in most communities, HRC Association Management’s trigger level is 2" of snow. In other communities, it can be even less! It's also best practice to move any cars from your driveway or the street in front of your home as snow may not be removed close to vehicles and other property for liability reasons.
Clear Your Walkways
Once the snow has stopped, get rid of any icy patches on your driveway, sidewalks, and other walkways. Use salt, sand, or some other type of commercial solution to deplete the ice and provide some traction. If you have four-legged friends, make sure any ice-melting product you use is safe for pets. If you know a winter storm is headed your way, you can put a layer of salt down before the snow even starts falling to help the melting process begin.
While you might be a master of clearing snow from your property, other houses or businesses may not receive the same level of care and attention. Walk slowly and wear proper winter footwear (and headwear and bodywear) and contact your HOA if you believe snow removal crews may have missed something on your property after a storm has ended. We want to make sure all our communities are cleaned and well taken care of post-snow so please, if you see something that we missed, say something!
Similarly, be cautious driving and allow extra time to travel if you must during or after a storm. Stick to major roads that are more likely to be plowed and salted and drive slowly on roads or side streets that may take longer to be cleared. In the event of a particularly large storm, it may take longer for HOA snow removal vendors to make it to your community, so please have patience as our vendors and team members are practicing caution too. If you can avoid going out or opt for working from home or spending the night in, that’s another surefire way to stay safe. Patience is key through the dicey winter months!