Winter in the northern parts of the United States means that the temperatures drop, the days shorten, and the snow (in most areas) falls relentlessly. As beautiful as the falling snow might be, a heavy amount will require some heavy lifting.
Of course, no matter how much snow we may get, our daily commitments must somehow continue. Students still need to go to school and employees need to get to work. And, obviously, if your parking lot is not accessible, well, as a business owner, you already know the negative effects that could have on your operations and income.
Fortunately, snow removal companies help ensure people can get where they need to be, safely. As a snow removal company, we clean snow off of:
- Commercial Public Roadways
- Private Commercial Roadways
- Public Highways
- Parking Lots
- Parking Garages
- Sidewalks & Other Pathways
As you know, all types of snow removal services come with a price. So, if you’re price shopping for a contractor with a fleet of snow plows, the first question that comes to mind is always:
So, how much does snow removal cost?
Each company has a set of rates based on several factors. This includes:
- The amount of snow (measured in inches)
- The size of the roadway (measured in sq. ft.)
- The urgency (need it in the next hour?, within the next day?, etc.)
- If you’re on a snow maintenance plan or not
Some companies will offer additional helpful services such as salting the roadways and yearly maintenance plans that will also affect the price of snow removal.
If you want to save money, sure, you can certainly remove your own snow. But, when you consider the potential hazards and time of DIY snow removal vs. hiring a snow removal contractor, it will always make sense to steer-clear of the DIY route.
The amount you’re quoted will always depend on the size of your parking lot or pavement and the snow removal tools you need.
Let’s dive into everything you need to know about what cost factors go into snow removal pricing.
How Much Do Snow Removal Services Cost?
To determine the cost, you have to decide if you want a professional company to remove the snow for you or if you prefer to remove the snow yourself (as we spoke about above).
Most companies with both small and large parking lots prefer to work with a reliable snow removal company, typically on a 2 or 4 year maintenance plan so that they’re covered all year-round.
When it snows, a snow plow truck (or two or more, depending on the areas size) will come to your business and remove the snow for you in a quick, efficient manner. You should never have to dig out a shovel and work up a sweat, then potentially injure yourself or your employees if you try to get them to help.
The average cost of commercial snow removal varies based on the size of the project. Maybe you have a massive parking lot that caters to over a thousand vehicles.
No matter the size of the project, our professionals are ready to tackle the snow and ice. Call us in the event of an emergency, or be prepared all year long with managed snow removal services.
A competent snow removal professional will come out to the job site and give you a free estimate.
This way you can relax and know that your employees and customers will be safe when parking their cars in your lot.
Snow Removal Services
If you live in an area that gets snow every winter, you probably know more places need snow removed than just your roadway. Another common removal service is roof removal.
Some buildings can’t support the weight of a heavy snowfall. To prevent the roof from caving in, building owners need to remove the snow from their roofs.
Then there’s the type of snow removal service to consider. The size of your roadway, parking lot, or walkway will determine the best type of service.
For example, you wouldn’t use a full-size plow to clear off a walkway. On the flip side, you wouldn’t want to manually shovel a mile-long road.
Snow removal by shovel is a good choice for sidewalks and narrow walkways. This can cost anywhere from $25 to $75 per hour.
If you decide to go the shoveling route, you don’t have to hire a professional snow removal company. There are many less-experienced and local providers worth checking out.
You can ask your neighbor or a neighbor’s kid. however, there is the chance they might scratch your car or damage your lawn. If this is a concern, it might be best to stick with a professional who promises quality snow removal services.
Snow Blowers & Throwers
Snow blowers also offer the option of hiring your neighbor to remove snow from your driveway. It’s a cost-effective option compared to hiring a professional company.
But a professional company may be more reliable and offer better services than your neighbor.
Plows are good options for long or spacious roadways and large parking lots. The 2 popular plows are pickup trucks with a plow and full-size snow plows. These range from $30-$95 per visit.
Pickup trucks with an attached plow are a good option for people with long or large driveways. They’re a cost-effective option as they quickly and efficiently remove a reasonable amount of snow.
Full-size snow plows like the ones you see clearing your streets and highways are a good option for large business parking lots. They can clear a large amount of snow quickly and efficiently, but they will cost more than other plows.
Removing snow from the roof requires a person to climb onto your roof and remove the snow using a shovel or a large broom. Due to the dangers, roof removal will cost anywhere from $250-$500 per visit.
Of course, these prices vary on the amount of snow and the size of the area.
Factors that Affect Snow Removal Cost
As mentioned above, how much does snow removal cost depends on many factors. It’s important to consider these factors into your snow removal budget.
Here’s a breakdown of what affects the cost of snow removal.
1. The Amount of Snow
One of the main factors that will affect the cost of snow removal is the amount of snow. It requires more work to remove deeper amounts of snow even if you’re using a plow.
Plows and snow blowers will take longer to remove 20 inches of snow compared to 2 inches. To put it simply, the more it snows the more you’re likely to pay for someone to clear the snow from your affected area.
2. Roadway & Parking Lot Size
The size of your parking lot or roadway will affect the cost of snow removal. A longer road or larger parking lot takes more time and effort to remove snow. This means you will pay a little more than the average cost.
Most snow removal companies will assess the size of your street or parking lot and add a fee. Steep curves and hills in the road or parking lot will also affect the cost. The more complex your road is to navigate, the higher your snow removal bill will be.
Location plays an important role in determining cost as well.
Areas that receive greater amounts of snowfall each season will have higher snow removal rates than areas with less snow. Cities in the mountains, by the great lakes, and the northernmost regions of the midwest and east coast tend to have more snow.
The location of the street or parking lot will also affect the cost. Roads and lots in urban areas will cost less than those that are in the country. Snow removal professionals who have to travel several miles or more out of town are likely to add additional costs to cover travel expenses.
Some companies may not service areas outside of a certain radius. If this is the case, you may want to consider finding a neighbor with a plow or invest in your own snow removing tools.
Do you need your street or lot cleared after the snow stops? Or do you need it cleared before the snow gets to a specific depth?
Businesses and apartment buildings may need a driveway repeatedly cleared after so many inches of snow. In cases where there’s a lot of snow, this is an efficient way to quickly clear the snow even though they have to clear it more than once.
The company may include this in their fees or add it based on other factors such as snow amount and driveway or parking lot size.
5. Snow Removal Vs. Plowing
Do you need the snow on your parking lot removed or plowed? And yes, there’s a difference.
Actual snow removal involves removing snow from the property. Businesses in any size city areas don’t always have room to store excess snow on their property as it can take up a good amount of parking spaces.
In these cases, snow removal cost estimates tend to be higher to have the snow removed from the property vs. pushed off to the side. It requires multiple crew members and extra equipment to plow and remove the snow from the property, depending on the amount of snow.
Snow plowing, on the other hand, involves removing the snow from the driveway or lot and piling it in another area of the property. This is the most popular option as many snow removal companies don’t always have the means to physically remove the snow from the property.
You may have the option to choose between snow removal or plowing. Again, snow removal will cost more but you won’t have to worry about storing piles of snow on your property.
6. Winter Treatments
Snow is only one part of winter you need to worry about. The other is ice.
After removing snow, you may discover a slick layer of ice covering your driveway. In most cases, ice is more dangerous to drive and walk on than snow. Having the roadways and parking lots salted is typically included in any commercial snow removal cost estimates.
If you find you have ice, you’ll want to invest in treating your driveway with salt, sand, or another de-icer. The type of roadway material you have will determine which is a better option.
Salt is an effective method of removing ice. Salt causes the ice to melt and diminish. The downside of salt is it can damage some driveways and parking lots.
The second popular option is to use sand. Sand doesn’t remove the ice, but it does add a layer of friction that prevents you and your vehicle from slipping and sliding.
Some snow removal companies will offer the option of salting and/or sanding your walkway. If you want to save money, you can salt or sand your walkway on your own.
DIY Snow Removal
Whether you want to save money or don’t have access to a snow removal service based on your location, you can remove snow yourself. It’s an affordable option but requires more time and energy.
The cost to remove snow yourself varies from just a few dollars to over $2,000 based on your needs and wants.
The Cost of Snow Removing Equipment
Shoveling the snow will be your cheapest option. The average snow shovel will cost around $20.
People who have smaller driveways and walkways and who are healthy will have no trouble with shoveling. However, shoveling isn’t the most effective option for people with long roadways or parking lots.
When it comes to snow blowers and throwers, you have the choice of an electric or gas-powered blower. Electric blowers range from around $100 to $900 for a heavy-duty blower. Gas blowers are more durable and range from $250 to over $2,000 plus the price for gas.
Snow blowers and throwers remove more snow faster and easier than shoveling. If you have a larger driveway or lot that needs plowing, investing in a snow blower is a good option.
As for plows, they will be the priciest options. You can use small tractor plows or plows that attach to a truck if you have one. These vary in price from $1,000 to well over $4,000.
If you need plow only a few times a year, the most affordable option will be renting a plow. A truck plow is about $100 per day and $650 per month. A utility vehicle plow is around $20 per day and $129 per month.
Make a Smart Snow Removal Choice
How much does snow removal cost? The cost will depend on your snow removal service and several other factors. Before the snow flies, contact your local snow removal company to find out more.
Give us a call and we’ll make sure your roadways stay snow-free this winter season.