The Importance of Snow Removal, and How It’s Improved Over the Years

It’s that time a year again when the leaves have fallen, fall has come and gone, and temperatures are dropping lower with each passing day.  With dropping temperatures comes warmer clothes, frosted windows, cozy fires, hot chocolate and of course, snow. As children we waited for the first snow fall because it was a sign that winter had officially come and of course with it the possibility of school closures.  However, as adults we begin to take on a different view of winter and snow. Though a perfect snowfall is still a beautiful site, we now recognize that life doesn’t stop because of a snow storm. Work is rarely canceled, stores don’t close, we still must take care of our families and run errands, we must contend with snowy, slick roads and of course we must manage snow removal.  With the hustle and bustle of day to day life it can be easy to forget just how far we’ve come regarding snow removal.

The History of Snow Removal

Can you imagine a time when people didn’t want to get rid of snow and instead actually wanted it around?  A time when snow was such an asset that it was placed on the pathways of covered bridges and other areas that didn’t get covered in snow?  Well, in the 18th and 19th centuries, in the time of horses and carts, snow was exactly what people wanted.  Ski-like runners were added to buggies, carts and even coaches and allowed them to move around easily in the snow.  Communities would employee someone called a “snow warden” whose job was to pack, flatten and install snow where needed.  Today, this would be associated more with keeping up an ice rink or ski hill then maintaining roadways.

As time went on and areas grew the need for snow removal increased.  While main streets required snow for travel, residential streets and alleys weren’t frequented by carriages as much as pedestrians.  The need to accommodate foot traffic lead to the first horse-drawn plows which were an instant hit. However, when the Blizzard of 1888 struck it dropped up to 50 inches of snow and winds caused drifts of 40 feet to form.  These conditions were no match for horse-drawn plows and most people were left waiting for the snow to melt.

While the East focused on horse-drawn plows and using them more effectively, the railroad men of the west were focusing on keeping tracks clear and to do so the rotary snow plow, or snow blower in modern terms, was created.  The original snow blower was designed to work on a train and cleared snow covered tracks with ease, launching snow 200 feet out of the way. The railroad managers were so impressed they purchased eight plows and began using them right away.  As years have gone by the snow blower has gotten smaller, cheaper and more accessible, and at one point even began making an appearance on the home market.

As horse and carriages began disappearing from roads and automobiles began turning up the asset of snow disappeared and was replaced with the need for clear, dry main streets.  Salt spreaders were introduced but they weren’t effective enough and horse-drawn plows couldn’t keep up with the ever-expanding cities. Then, in the 1920’s the invention of the car-mounted snow plow became the perfect solution to the new snow problem.  Even today, a snow plow mounted to the front of a truck is a common site in any winter town.

The Importance of Snow Removal

It is common knowledge that snow removal on roads is a necessity today.  Snowy roads can lead to slick roads which is why many towns, cities, counties or even states oversee the snow removal of public streets, highways and interstates.  Clear roads lead to fewer accidents and less dangerous situations. However, many people don’t know that in a lot of areas snow removal on private and commercial property is the responsibility of the property owner.  In addition, many people do not see why it is important to keep up with snow removal at their residence or commercial location. So, why is snow removal important?

  1. There is a lower chance of injury to visitors, customers or employees from slipping or falling.
  2. A decreased chance of personal injury litigation from those on your property.
  3. Customers are more likely to visit a store that has had its snow removed.
  4. Reduced risk of property damage due to the weight of snow or ice.

The Convenience of Hiring a Snow Removal Company

At the beginning of every winter everyone seems to have the best intentions.  At the first snowfall people are out shoveling, snow blowing or snow plowing to make sure their property is clear.  But, let’s be honest, winter is long and at times it seems like there is a new winter storm advisory each week. Soon, the best intentions can slide away, and the chaos and demands of life return and before you know it you haven’t removed snow from the last three snow storms.  It has now reached a daunting level that leaves you completely overwhelmed, if only you could go back to the beginning of the season and employ a professional to maintain your property’s snow removal for you. Well, it’s never too late. Professional snow removal companies can take the time, effort and pain out of maintaining your residential or commercial properties.

By offering snow removal services for areas including:

  • Commercial and residential driveways
  • Parking areas
  • Walkways
  • Sidewalks
  • Decks
  • And even roofs

Your local snow removal professional can help you take the stress out of winter.  Most professionals offer “as needed” or “running” services, meaning you can contact them only when you need them or employ them to handle an entire season of snow removal.  With their professional equipment and trained staff, they are there to serve you and your needs.

Another benefit of hiring a professional is their expertise in ice removal.  Ice is just as serious and dangerous as snow. It can accumulate on the ground and can be easily hidden under snow which can lead to injuries from slipping, falling, or traffic accidents.  Many times, ice can also collect on roofs of residential and commercial properties which can put a lot of strain on a structure causing damage to roofs which can lead to leaks.

Snow and ice removal can be extremely time consuming and labor intensive when you try and tackle it on your own.  So, take yourself out of the equation and hire a snow removal professional who can handle all your snow removal needs quickly and efficiently.

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