Posted: August 04, 2022

A fortune teller can’t give you insight into the coming winter season with 100% accuracy. Snowfall can vary substantially from year to year, even with seasonal forecasts.

This can make choosing the best snow removal and ice management contract for your commercial property a tough decision. But you want to know how much of your budget you must dedicate to the task, and predicting these expenses can feel like a gamble.

Let’s look at the different contract types so you can better understand which one will work best for you.

Find the Right Snow Removal Contract For Your Commercial Property

When you’re seeking a professional to help you keep your commercial property clear of slippery surfaces like black ice, sleet, or thick snow, you want to find a company that has a few key qualities.

First, you want a business that closely monitors the weather forecasts and historical data, so they can give you accurate and updated predictions of the coming winter weather. This can help you make a more informed decision on your commercial snow removal contract. Also, when the winter weather hits, a company that focuses on reliable weather data can respond faster to storms and get your cleanup underway earlier.

Next, you want a snow removal contractor that can provide you with a contract that suits your needs. So they should offer a variety of options, based on snowfall, equipment requirements, and service frequency.

Here is a look at some of the options you have when it comes to snow removal contracts.


This type of snow removal contract, which many may also be called a time and materials contract, is pretty popular, particularly for areas of the country with unpredictable amounts of snowfall.

A time and materials contract outlines hourly rates for labor, equipment operators, and equipment types. Deicing services are also set at a per-time or per-pound application rate. Total pricing for each snow event is determined after work is finished, adding up the labor, equipment, and materials used during the service. Billing starts the moment the crew leaves the office and ends when they return.

Virginia and Maryland are good examples of states that don’t always receive much snowfall – maybe 2 to 16 inches on average. But then every 5 years, they might get a big storm and receive 30 inches at once. An hourly contract ensures they get the services they need, despite the type of winter Mother Nature delivers. This is because with an hourly contract, you only pay for the services you receive. While this means your budget may change from year to year, you’re prepared to save money when there is little snow and ice accumulation and spend more during those years when you receive a surplus.


A standard commercial removal contract is also commonly referred to as a per event contract. Services are performed when you need them based on weather forecasts and conditions and billed at agreed-upon rates.

This type of agreement details snowfall thresholds, like 1- to 3-inch, 3- to 6-inch, and 6- to 9-inch, and sets a specific hourly rate for each, including necessary equipment and ice treatment materials and services.

Using this type of contract versus an hourly contract, a commercial facility manager knows exactly what it will cost if the property receives 6 inches of snow. The difference between this contract and an hourly one is that you choose the services in the contract rather than settle for more general hourly rates based on what the crews see when they arrive during the storm.

Per Visit

A per visit snow removal contract is one where parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, and entrances are cleared at an agreed-upon rate and then billed after each visit.

In this type of contract, prices will vary when snow reaches over 6 inches, as well as the addition of de-icing treatments.

Standard Seasonal

Seasonal snow removal contracts take into account the entire winter season using an all-inclusive service mindset. You receive a fixed price for the snow season, spending the same amount each month from November through March – no matter how much snow and ice you receive.

This is especially helpful for commercial properties that want to reduce liability concerns and want to ensure they have coverage no matter how many storms the area receives or how bad those storms get.


Since the snow season is long-term, invoicing and costs can spread out over a period of months. The challenge is matching up the invoicing and costs with actual snow and ice events.

The over/under snow removal contract has a similar structure to the standard seasonal plan, but if snowfall exceeds an agreed-upon amount, the service pricing increases. And if snowfall is less than an agreed-upon amount, you get a rebate or credit of 20% of the contract amount. This is applied at the final monthly payment or the next snow season.

Our Contracts Fit Your Snow Removal Needs – And Your Budget

Every commercial property is different.

Industrial facilities may depend on frequent deliveries, while retail sites have regular shopping traffic that spikes during the winter holidays. Hospitals have employee, patient, and visitor traffic 24-7, while office parks have peak traffic during office rush hours and lunches.

Some properties depend on 24-hour or early or late access for people visiting their site. This makes safety and accessibility a high priority – and that includes during winter weather.

You may have a zero-tolerance policy for snow and ice on driving and walking surfaces. Your commercial snow removal contract should reflect this and include clearing parking lots and access roads, as well as shoveling sidewalks, to keep your employees, patrons, and guests safe.

Davey's Commercial Snow Removal Commitment

We know you have a lot of choices when it comes to commercial snow removal, and looking at all of these different contract options might be confusing.

Let Davey help. We are experts at matching the right contract to commercial properties based on their specific needs, and we also become a partner in ensuring your business limits its risks and liability concerns.

How do we do this?

First, we embrace proven historical, forecast, and actual weather data. We use historical snowfall data, service reports and forecasting tools that ensure you save money, paying only for specific snowfall amounts. Not only do we provide you with these reports, but if you need a copy at a later date to confirm snowfall specifics if there is a liability question, we have your back.

During the snow season, we also use our weather tools to meticulously monitor snow and ice forecasts 24-7. We maintain constant communication with our clients on snow predictions and storms so you are never surprised at what is coming or what services are happening on your property.

In some cases, we even can provide on-site snow and ice removal professionals during business hours when weather events are predicted at higher percentage rates to ensure efficient and quick removal so you don’t have to worry. This helps prevent slips and falls and insurance or injury claims, reducing your headaches and costs.

We take pride in our commitment to communication, details, and data because they enable us to do the best job keeping you and anyone who is on your property during or after a winter storm safe.

Don’t Wait For The Snow To Start Falling, Contact Davey & Get A Jump On Winter!

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