Snow Melting, Removal Begins at Development

ETI APS® 4C Control Panel

ETI APS® 4C Control Panel for snow melting management

Property management goes hand-in-hand with property development. For properties that will weather regularly occurring snow events, introduce snow melting management at the development phase. Important for a property’s buildings, infrastructure and landscaping, snow melting and removal:

  • make a facility’s environs friendlier, more inviting and safe;
  • minimize tracked-in snow or slush and, therefore, indoor floor maintenance costs;
  • meet state or municipal mandates to reduce the likelihood of personal injury or property damage resulting from pedestrian falls or vehicular collisions.

Developers understand that a property manager or business owner acts on the situations created by snow or ice accumulations through either reactive or proactive responses.

Snow Melting Management: Reactive Responses

Reactive technologies are so traditional that snow melting management might be an afterthought in the property development process. However, many of these technologies increase the chances of collateral property damage, which incur repair or replacement costs. Among the reactive responses to snow melting and removal impinging upon trafficked surfaces, landscaping or even the environment are:

  • ice-melting agents of various melt points, which include costs for application labor, dispersion equipment, storage, corrosion and waste management efforts
    • salt or other solid agents in rock or pellet form
    • brine, the liquid agent made with salt, beet or even pickle juice
    • chemicals with names like urea and calcium magnesium acetate
  • shoveling, by staff with added costs (equipment; workman’s comp) or by contracted labor with alternate priorities (where is your property on their to-do lists?)
  • plowing, an option with its own priority, contract and/or equipment management costs.

There are the other hassles, too: constantly monitoring weather forecasts for snow; surprise accumulations, after a significant amount was already on the ground; after-hour removal coordination and execution. Let alone snow piles located wherever, perhaps preventing visitors from exiting their vehicles parked among the heaps.

And, no matter how quickly reactive technologies are applied, are they ever applied quickly enough?

There is technology which reduces a firm’s snow event response rate to “immediate” while automating away the extraneous costs associated with reactive tech. It needs consideration at the drawing board.

Proactive Responses: snow disposal as fast as it falls?

In a word: Yes. How does “Operating always when needed, only when needed” sound? Immediate response at any time of day, and the weather monitoring is on-site, specific and continuous. With modern sensors and controls, such as the Snow Switch® APS-4C made by Environmental Technology Inc., snow melting management systems can be turned on automatically as soon as snow is present and shut off when the snow is cleared and—most importantly—surfaces are dry.

Automated radiant heat offers the kind of control, response and safety that property managers and business owners can appreciate. While there are various radiant heat methods, consider that anywhere electricity is available, proactive snow melting management technology can be applied to a property.

Advantages of Automation

Besides the continuous weather-monitoring of a property manager’s first concern—the property—an automated snow melting management system offers other advantages. It:

  • eliminates storage space and costs of inventorying ice-melting agents, particularly off season;
  • integrates with other automated building systems;
  • mitigates the reliance upon the reactive responses of contracted services; and
  • promulgates energy efficiency and environmental vigilance

Actually snow-evaporation systems, melting systems cause the snow to disappear. No more snow piles along a curb!

Depending on the heat capacity of the system, the designer selects the capacity based on

  • the probable peak snowfall rate;
  • the importance of minimizing any snowfall accumulation; and
  • the capital cost of the desired installation

Operation of the system at the earliest time of need creates the best response to the presence of snow – reducing exposure to liability from falls, minimizing snow and dirt being tracked into the premises, enhancing the property grounds—even assuring best tire traction when used for loading docks and parking garages.

Remember: manual—reactive—snow removal has to wait until accumulation is present before it can begin, and snowfall often continues after the manual operation is completed. If significant snowfall occurs after the first application, manual operations are repeated. Automated snow melting management systems work “always and only” when needed.

Expert Advice from an Industry Leader

Use this post as the starting point for a conversation between your property development team and Environmental Technology, Inc. Contact ETI for advice specific to your next project.