In light of the u
pcoming 1" to 60" possible inches this weekend I'm thinking maybe it's a good time to throw something out there for those who are seeking a plowing service. What are the pros and cons of hiring a service and do I really need it? I can answer the former but the latter my friends is yours alone!
The upside is that you won't have to get out there in the freezing cold doing that back-breaking chore...now if you have some able-body children you've got it covered. Let's say you don't mind the chore itself, sometimes life happens and you simply can't be there. Being able to rely on your contractor is one less headache (considering your contractor isn't a headache himself!) to deal with when you come home from a grueling day of gainful employment. After that the pros are eliminating frozen wetfoot, salt-destroyed footware, frozen snot-nose, and frost-bitten ears.
The cons are usually limited with a good contractor. Let's talk about contracts...just say no to seasonal contracts folks! You don't need them, it's nothing more than a racket for the contractor. I don't even offer it. 90% of the time or better it doesn't snow enough throughout the season for you to get your dollars worth, basically it boils down to you winning for 1 year out of 10. The money is better off in your own pocket so I'd encourage you to use a service that helps you do just that. Don't pay someone to scrape an inch of snow off the driveway that will probably melt in the sunlight of the next day. Other cons are traditional salt (sodium chloride) corrodes concrete/mortar based masonry but is okay on blacktop. You can use alternatives such as calcium chloride and others so don't be afraid to mention to your contractor that you need a salt alternative. FYI...traditional salt will destroy your flagstone!
Doesn't the metal plow blade hurt my blacktop? That's always a concern but the truth is that if you re-coat your blacktop as recommended (every 2 years...but of course your blacktop contractor insists that you do it anually! LOL) then the seasonal scraping will never catch up to the regular maintenance, you are okay. If that still doesn't sit well with you then you can locate a contractor who uses plastic blades, I myself do not use them because they don't do that great of a job.
What if my plow guy rips my grass up? You should have your plow contractors General Liability Insurance information and if he doesn't take responsibility for his mistake then it is as simple as submitting it to the insurance company. Any self-respection snow removal contractor will take care of it when the season is over though because let's face it...stuff happens and nobody is perfect.
Why does my plow guy plow such a narrow spot, why not the entire blacktop? Good question, he's making sure that he doesn't damage that nice landscape...hopefully he's being reasonable about it though. I've seen guys do one blade width and I disagree with that. I stay a little bit inside the line but the homeowner's need should always be satisfied.
What is a reasonable price for the service? There is no set cost, every driveway is different. It all depends on how tough it is to navigate through your drive. Keep in mind a truck is at least 16 feet long on the short side, 22 on the long side with a plow that is an additional 3 feet. It's not that easy! $40 is about what you're looking at 0n the small side with a small sidewalk to upwards of $80-$100.
Hopefully that'll get ya through the winter and if you have a question that I didn't cover you can message me a thousand different ways through any of my profiles. Good luck!