The Dangers of Snow Piles

Dawn KruegerSnow Removal, Winter Tips

shopping cart stuck in a snow pile

During this winter season, it’s common to have to deal with problems created by snow piles – especially where we are located in the Mid-Atlantic region. There is simply too much snow and naturally snow piles develop. Whether snow is piling up on a residential property or a retail or commercial business, there are some obvious and not-so-obvious dangers associated with them. You should never underestimate the hidden dangers of snow piles. Let’s take a look!

How Are Snow Piles Created?

When the wind drives snow into a building’s corners or up against another impediment, snow piles may naturally form. Snow plows, however, are the most frequent culprits for creating snow heaps since they force snow from driveways or roads into a pile. Sounds reasonable and innocent, no? Nope! Learn more about the perils of snowdrifts by reading on.

What Makes Snow Piles Risky?

The majority of people don’t consider snowdrifts to be harmful. Heck, a lot of youngsters spend their childhoods playing in and among those snowdrifts, which is exciting from a child’s perspective. But it is only one of the risks associated with snowdrifts. Rogue snow heaps which are left with no consideration for the ramifications of their being there might provide a number of additional hidden threats.

Potential dangers of snow piles

Let’s take a look at some of the most prominent hidden dangers associated with snow piles. You need to understand the risks and then take appropriate measures to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

  • Refreezing

At dusk, when temperatures start to decrease and the ice starts to melt, snow may refreeze and provide treacherous conditions. The water produced by these heaps as they melt will inevitably attempt to find a low area or a drain.

The surfaces near the pile will heat up during the day as a result of the sun, melting them. Parking lots, sidewalks, driveways, and roads may all become very slippery and hazardous when dusk falls. To catch the water so that melts, piles should be positioned as closely as possible to a drain on the high side. The area next to the piles may have to be salted as a precaution to get rid of the slick spots.

  • Dangers associated with snow pile placement

Additionally, plowed snow which has been placed incorrectly might be dangerous. Snow mounds have to be situated far from street corners, fire hydrants, driveway aprons, stop signs, and areas that are accessible for people with disabilities. Additionally, snow mounds should never be positioned near any building’s entrance or departure points since this might provide a challenge for EMS providers and emergency vehicles, should the need arise.

Plow drivers should be mindful of where snow is deposited during a snowstorm to avoid creating any possible problems. Avoid placing piles close to street corners, fire hydrants, stop signs, driveway aprons, and places that are accessible to people with disabilities.

In the event of an emergency, they must also be kept far as away from the building’s entrances and exits as possible. When reacting to emergency calls, these mounds may make it highly dangerous and impossible for EMS personnel to access and depart a building.

  • Snow piles are unsteady

An individual strolling by might easily be hurt by snowdrifts that are excessively high. The weight of a snow pile may result in catastrophic harm when snow heaps collapse, which happens regularly.

  • Dangers for kids who play on snow piles

For children, snow heaps are a lot of fun, but they may also be deadly. This is because youngsters like using snow mounds to construct forts and other entertaining structures. Snow heaps often include fragile spots or air pockets, which may cause a snow pile to collapse. Collapsed snow heaps may capture and suffocate youngsters and can induce frostbite if they survive.

Another concern with snow heaps is that they are located near highways. Children often ignore cars when playing in or near a snowdrift. Additionally, children playing within a snow fort or mound are often invisible to snowplows. As a result, when kids plow the snow, it may collapse or cover children who are playing in it or hurt them when the snow plow tries to move a mound.

What can seem to be simple wintertime fun might instead be a deadly trap for kids. Snow heaps may include soft areas or air pockets while seeming to be solid and firm, which may result in sinkholes. The mound might collapse if a child falls in, trapping them and perhaps suffocating them. Hypothermia may set in if they are lucky enough to live.

Children often don’t pay attention to approaching cars or snow plows as they construct snow forts and make snow angels in those mounds that are frequently visible at the edge of your driveway. When kids are playing, it is particularly difficult for vehicles to see above heaps, and they sometimes have to plow into the pile to clear snow away from the roadway. If you go near enough, you might badly hurt them.

How to safely manage snow piles

Hire an experienced snow removal service provider who has been trained to prevent the formation of harmful circumstances to assist reduce snow piling liability. The best approach to prevent any liabilities and make your customers and staff feel safer is to choose a professional snow-clearing service that provides snow hauling as well as relocation services.

Skid steers, wheel loaders, and tractors are some of the equipment that a snow removal company employs specifically for snow operations. Instead of using pickup trucks, our operators can have a greater field of vision and notice whether kids are playing around heaps when they use the equipment. Additionally, they have the power to transfer snow to certain areas of your land. The loader may also transfer snow with containers to less-trafficked sections of your property and stack snow higher. Customers may save costs on haulage thanks to this.

If you want to completely eliminate the risk of danger associated with snow piles, why not just relocate the snow off the property? Professional snow and ice management companies can haul snow away so it isn’t taking up space in a parking lot, causing visual obstructions, or sitting on your lawn and causing you to have to re-seed it in spring. They also can haul away snow so it isn’t a temptation for kids to climb on and get hurt. There are many reasons to completely relocate snow so it doesn’t form dangerous piles.

If you have questions or need a quote for snow relocation on your Mid-Atlantic property, contact Rasevic today!