Snow Removal: Essential FAQs

Each winter, we get lots of questions about snow and ice removal from our customers. We’ve put the most commonly asked questions here to help you learn more about snow removal and the services we offer.

What is the correct way of removing snow?

The best way to get rid of snow depends on the type of snow you’re dealing with, how much snowfall you’ve received, and how long after the snow has stopped falling that you’re removing it. 
If you’re planning to shovel the snow, it’s good to shovel after every few inches that falls. Removing the snow in layers is easier than trying to move it all at once. Also, try pushing the snow off to the side at first, rather than lifting and shoveling.
A person flings snow from an orange shovel
You can also use a snow blower to clear away snow, but only if you exercise extreme caution and refrain from using it when other people are around.

The most effective way to get rid of snow is by hiring a professional snow and ice removal service. These trained experts have the equipment and materials to remove snow quickly — so no backbreaking shoveling for you. 

Snow removal companies can also provide you with tips on how to prevent as much snow and ice from forming the next time there’s a winter storm. They can help you also set in place an essential snow removal plan.

When should you clear the snow?

Try to remove snow from your driveway, sidewalks, or parking lot as soon as possible after it stops falling. Fresh snow is lighter and not yet densely packed, making it easier to shovel.

In the city of Naperville, snow and ice must be cleared from your property within 48 hours of a weather event. This time frame may vary slightly in other municipalities, but it’s usually a good idea to clear snow and ice as soon as weather conditions permit.

Why is snow removal important?

Removing snow promptly is important because just leaving it can lead to injuries or property damage, or it can even trap you at your home or business if there’s enough of it, so some winter snow tips are most welcome for everyone. 

If it stays cold enough, snow and ice can stick around for days. The longer it sits, the higher the risk that you or someone else on your property gets injured.

If you are a business owner, you know how important it is to keep your customers safe and happy. A snow-covered parking lot or icy walkway can turn customers away or cause them to get hurt. Throughout the Chicago area, businesses and homeowners have a legal responsibility to remove snow and ice as well.

How do you prepare for snow removal?

There are actions you can take before a winter storm hits to make snow and ice removal easier. You can put a de-icing compound on your driveway and sidewalks to minimize the formation of ice and snow.

You can also take steps during the offseason to prevent damage to your driveway, such as sealing up any hairline cracks or checking for puddles of standing water to see if you have drainage issues.

If you’ve hired a service for snow removal, you can prepare by contacting them to ensure they’re monitoring the weather and, if you’ve agreed to store some of their material at your facility, ensuring it’s readily available for when they arrive to clear away the snow.

Why is snow sticking to my shovel?

When your shovel blade is warmer than the snow you’re shoveling, the snow sticks to your shovel. You can prevent this by storing your shovel in a shed or garage so it doesn’t get too warm.

You can also cover the shovel in cooking spray, shortening, vegetable oil, petroleum jelly, floor wax, or other similar substances that make the shovel a nonstick surface. Be sure to coat the shovel front and back, and you may have to reapply a few times.

If you don’t want to bother with a slippery shovel, you can also call a professional snow removal service to take care of the snow and ice for you.

Snow sticks to an orange shovel lying on a brick patio

Who’s responsible for clearing snow off roads and sidewalks?

It differs depending on where you live, but generally your city or municipality is in charge of clearing major roads of snow and ice. Cities usually prioritize main highways and emergency routes, then move on to neighborhoods. Homeowners and residents may end up waiting hours before their street is clear while the city works elsewhere.

Property owners are responsible for clearing snow off of sidewalks. Businesses must ensure all walkways adjacent to their properties are safe to walk on within 48 hours of a weather event. Clearing snow reduces liability and can help you stop unlucky events. Homeowners are also required to keep their sidewalks clear.

Why should I hire snow removal professionals?

A snow removal company can get rid of snow and ice on your property more efficiently than you can. You don’t have to waste hours doing backbreaking work to get your driveway, parking lot, or sidewalks clear — you can have snow removal experts do it for you.

A snow removal company is more likely to have higher-grade snow and ice removal equipment and materials than you could get access to as well, like plow trucks. With professional gear and years of experience removing snow from properties just like yours, a snow removal team is a smart choice if you need snow gone fast.

You may also have relocated for the winter or travel often, but the snow on your property still needs to be removed. A full-season snow and ice removal company like Ware Landscaping can come to your property and take care of the snow, even if you’re not home.

Is rock salt bad for the environment?

Rock salt applied in bulk can cause pits in concrete and paved surfaces. It’s also corrosive for cars and equipment and can be harmful to animals that walk on surfaces covered with it.

It’s not possible to avoid some use of salt. However, at Ware Landscaping, we do have the option of Safe Paw, a de-icing compound that is 100% safe for pets and children and safe to use on cured concrete. It’s non-corrosive, non-conductive, salt-free, chlorine-free, and acetate-free. We care about the safety of your family and about making a minimal impact on the environment, so when we can we use Safe Paw de-icer to remove ice fast from your property.

How does your snow removal company keep up with a 24/7 facility?

Businesses that are open 24/7 need round-the-clock monitoring and snow removal services during winter. For larger facilities, we may use on-site equipment and store material at the facility for quicker access. For smaller facilities, we use a combination of surveillance and preventive measures to ensure the property remains accessible and functional.

Does your company have a seasonal snow removal package?

We offer full-season snow removal contracts of either one or three years. We know that calling up a snow removal company every time there’s a winter storm can be a hassle — especially considering how much it snows in the Chicago area! When you get busy with work, school, or taking care of your family, calling the snow removal company might slip your mind.

We get it. That’s why we offer full-season contracts for homes and businesses. We monitor the weather for you and spring into action when the snow starts piling up. You can be sure your snow and ice will be removed from your property by a professional team, all winter long. And you only pay for the work we do.

Why don’t you offer 2” trigger contracts?

Contracts that use an accumulation trigger may make sense for some budgets, but we cannot provide premium snow removal under such a contract. 

In the first place, sometimes it takes two or three days for 2” of snow to accumulate. During that time, people are walking on it and cars are driving on it, and it is getting compacted and sometimes freezing into ice. Now we either have to spent two-to-three times the energy and labor power to clear the property or we have to leave a layer of compacted snow behind. 

Second, we keep a permanent staff of professionals on hand. Real snow removal professionals know how to be efficient while also attending to details and protecting your property. Companies offering budget services tend to hire subcontractors who may or may not have the same level of precision and professionalism.

How does your contract work?

We offer zero-tolerance, full-season, set and forget contract services.

Zero Tolerance

Any accumulation can create inconvenience or pose a safety risk. With our zero-tolerance policy, we focus on keeping your property clear of all snow and ice. Sometimes that means coming out before an event or a couple times during a storm, but the result is that you’ll be the only property on the block with no snow 24 hours after the event (unless your neighbors use Ware, too!).

Full Season

Our 1-year standard and 3-year loyalty contracts guarantee you a professional crew when there’s a snow event. Contracts help us estimate how many people we need on hand. There’s no full-year fee you pay upfront, just a one-time registration fee, and then you only pay for the work we do.

Set and Forget

You don’t need to worry about calling us or whether there’s been a certain amount of snowfall. Any time there’s snow or ice, you know we’ll be there to take care of it. You can simply get on with your day.

A snow plow truck clears up snow on a residential street

How long does it take your snow removal service to come to my property?

When we come to your property to clear away snow depends on the time the snow event hits. For snow events that occur in the early hours of the morning, our residential customers can expect their driveways to be cleared by the evening that same day. For snow events in the afternoon, the property will be cleared by the following morning.

Call Ware Landscaping for Snow and Ice Removal

When snow falls and covers your lawn, you want to enjoy how magical it looks, not fret over how long you’ll have to spend shoveling out your driveway. Let Ware take care of it! Our team of snow removal specialists have helped countless homes and businesses across Chicagoland with clearing away ice and snow. We’ll ensure your property is safe for your family or your customers and work with you all winter long to keep hazardous snow at bay. 

Don’t let shoveling snow ruin your winter — let Ware take care of it for you. 

Call (630) 885-6370 to learn more.