Snow piles can cause you as much grief as the initial snow fall does, if they are not placed properly.  Snow removal is not as simple as just pushing snow off of a parking lot and making snow piles.  For most reputable companies, there is actually a lot of thought and planning involved with staging snow piles even before the snow event.  A good way to organize your parking lot is through the use of snow flags.  You can mark the boundaries of the property with one colored flag and mark areas where not to put snow with another.  When you are in the middle of a snow storm, the flags will help refresh your memory and direct you where to put snow piles.  Snow piles that are not put in the appropriate place should be moved with a skid loader or hauled away.  Sometimes with large snows, you just run out of room to pile snow.  This is where snow hauling comes into play.  Your contractor should be able to remove snow piles from your property to open up parking spots or to free up visibility.

Snow PilesWhere not to pile snow.

You would think that a lot of these suggestions would be common sense, but a lot of novice plow drivers make the wrong call when it comes to snow piles.  Below are a few things to avoid.

  • Visibility area is probably one of the most important areas to stay away from.   Snow should not be piled near entrances to the property or near corners where there is cross traffic.  Pedestrians and vehicles can be involved in an accident if there is not visibility.
  • Do not pile snow on side-walk areas.  Most people gravitate to the side-walk when they get out of their car, so do not block their way with snow piles.  Handicap people rely on clean sidewalks to be able to move around, it is important to be conscientious when plowing around these areas.
  • Avoid piling snow by fire hydrants or utility boxes.  Fire hydrants that are buried can be a major hazard.  If there is a fire, the fire department may not be able to locate the hydrant to put out the blaze.  It is also important to also keep utility boxes free of snow piles.  Firstly, they can be damaged by piled snow, secondly the utility company may need access to the box during the winter.
  • Do not block drains.  This is one of the easiest ways to create a disaster on your customers property.  When the snow melts and refreezes at night, your parking lot will be a skating rink.  A blocked drain will not allow melted snow to escape the property and it will cause it to back up.
  • Do not pile snow by the building.  If you push snow up by the building, you may run into water issues when the snow melts.  The snow piles can redirect water and cause it to come in the building.