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prepared and have a plan before first
snow. This includes:
n Testing snow removal equipment is
n Reaching out to snow removal team
to make sure everyone is prepared
and under the same plan
n Having pavement anti-iced so it's
prepped for winter weather
The cost and time associated with
snow removal are often forgotten, Caton
warns. "Make sure you add snow removal
to your annual budget because it's a big
If contracting out, property and facilities managers should look for snow and
ice management companies that are
certified and trained. Once a company is
chosen, have the contractor come to your
facility to do a site inspection before it
snows to identify hazards and determine
where the snow will go, Caton says.
Prepare in and Around
The high-traffic entryway of lobbies
shouldn't be overlooked in winter prepa-
ration, and floors need special attention.
Things used to keep pavement safe –
like sand, grit and salt – get dragged in
and act like sandpaper on the flooring,
making it difficult to clean, warns Jeff
Cross, consultant, trainer, and instructor
with the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning
and Restoration Certification.
"Many maintenance workers will use
the same cleaning process during winter that they use in warmer months,
and that's a big mistake," he cautions.
"Frequency of vacuuming must increase
in the winter. So should dry soil removal
and thorough cleaning of hard surfaces."
Bob Clarke, senior vice president of
sales and marketing at ABM, suggests
some no- and low-cost ways to prepare
the lobby for winter:
n Utilize safety mats and rugs: "This is
one of the most critical strategies in
a commercial property to prepare for
winter," he notes. "Matting best practic-
es dictate there should be 5 to 10 feet
of coarse matting outside a building,
5 to 10 feet of matting directly inside
the building and another 5 to 10 feet of
matting directly behind it."
n Signage: Direct people to where you
want them to go with signs and indica-
n Day porters/day matrons: Consider
adding or changing their schedule to
be available in the lobby during bad
n Schedule deeper cleans: Schedule
your heavy-duty floor work around the
inclement weather season: just before
to protect and just after to correct.
n Put out hand sanitizer: Strategically,
but adequately placed hand sanitizer
goes a long way in protecting your
occupants and the environment.
n Look beyond the lobby: You need to
focus on and protect all access points
that are exposed to inclement weather.
Weather Event Tools Kit
Anthony Maione, president and CEO of
Core Management Services, recommends
keeping a Weather Event Tools (WET) kit
ready. This includes a broom, mop-bucket-
wringer, "Wet Floor" cone, shovel and
some ice melt for immediate exteriors.
"Even the most effective plan to prevent the outdoors from being carried
indoors will result in some tracking," he
"Prepare and keep handy a WET kit to
address the water, snow, ice, salt or sand
that evades preventative measures."
If it's already too late for this year, be
more prepared next year.
"A winter plan for next year begins
immediately following this year's winter
season," Maione says. "The lobby cleaning team evaluates the previous winter's
plan and its execution – its successes and
shortcomings – and looks for opportunities to improve for next year." B
Valerie Dennis Craven valerie.craven@
buildings.com is editor in chief of BUILDINGS.
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