Expected Costs: How Much for Snow Removal Services

April 28, 2021

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How much does snow removal cost? For homeowners and commercial property owners, the answer might surprise you! Investing in professional snow removal is not only more affordable than you might realize, but professional services also mean keeping your property clean and safe while eliminating the risk of injury because of DIY snow removal.

Residential snow removal costs might average between $50 and $125 per visit; for larger homes with long driveways and walkways, and for added roof cleaning, you might pay some $200 to $400 or more per visit. Commercial snow removal for large parking lot cleaning and heavy salt application is often slightly higher.

Since proper, thorough snow removal is so vital for both residential and commercial properties, you might consider some added details about your expected costs and how to find the best contractor for your area. It’s also good to note why this job is best left to the pros!

professional snow removal

Be sure to review this information with a snow removal contractor near you, as he or she can offer added information and an exact quote for your property in particular. This will ensure your home or business is safe for visitors and staff, while also keeping you safe from potential injury and your property safe from damage.

How Much Does Snow Removal Cost?

While the only way to secure an exact estimate for your snow removal needs is to call a snow removal contractor near you, consider some national averages for snow removal and a few tips on calculating those expected costs.

  • Snow shoveling is typically charged at $25-$75 per hour. Shoveling is often the best choice for porches and stairs or materials that might get damaged by a snowblower or plow, such as patio pavers.
  • Blowers and throwers might also run $25-$75 per hour. Blowers and throwers are used for smaller areas that cannot accommodate a plow, such as residential driveways and walkways.
  •  Plowing is typically charged per visit and might average between $30 and $100. A snow removal contractor will note the area to be cleared each visit and if there is an additional charge for especially deep snow, salt application, and the like.
  • Roof snow removal is also typically charged per visit and might average $250-$500. Your snow removal contractor will also note the area to be cleared if this doesn’t include the structure’s entire roof and if there is an added charge for, especially deep snow.
  • Some snow removal contractors might charge per season, with a minimum and a maximum number of visits and set areas to be cleared. Seasonal charges often range between $350-$450.
  • A snow removal contractor might offer “per event” pricing, usually between $35 and $75, for a one-time visit. This is an excellent choice if you manage most snow clearing yourself but need professional services after particularly strong storms, to prepare for winter parties, etc.
  • Per push charges refer to every time a property is cleared, usually between $30 and $50. A property might be charged per push if it needs repeated clearing within a short time, such as during a heavy snowfall.
  • Some snow removal contractors might charge per inch, usually $60 to $95 for up to the first six inches of snowfall and then an additional $30 on average for each additional six inches.

cost of removing snow

When using this guide to calculate your expected snow removal costs, note that hourly costs are typically charged per crew member. If your snow removal contractor charges $25 per hour but uses a crew of 3, expect to pay $75 per hour for snow removal.

These costs also might not include salt application, which usually runs between $20 and $40 per visit for medium-size residential properties. Your snow removal contractor might also charge extra for especially steep or curved driveways, as these are more difficult to navigate with plows and blowers.

Average Cost of Plowing Snow From Driveway

Most professionals charge between $25 and $75 per hour per person to shovel or blow driveways, walkways, and other smaller residential areas. The time it will take to clear your property obviously depends on the size of the driveway and sidewalks, and if you request your contractor to include the porch, porch steps, and other such areas.

residential snow removal

When calculating the time it might take to have your property cleared, err on the side of caution and round up! A professional snow removal contractor might take more time than a homeowner, simply because they want to ensure a thorough job without property damage. They might also need added time to switch between tools, such as a plow and then a brush, or shovel and then blower, and so on.

Do Snow Plows Damage Driveways?

If you are going to pay someone to clear snow from your property, you might wonder if snow plows damage driveways. The short answer is yes, a snowplow can damage concrete and asphalt, but proper clearing methods and the right equipment can mean a clean and pristine property without damage!

To avoid damage during snow plowing, it’s vital that an operator choose a plow without a bare metal edge. A sharp edge can gouge concrete and dig up asphalt aggregate, damaging those materials. Rubber edges will glide along paving material more easily, ensuring a thorough clean without damage.

Setting the blade to an appropriate height is also vital for protecting paving materials and surfaces. A professional snowplow operator will usually leave a light dusting of snow on the pavement when plowing, and then go over the area with a brush or add salt for a complete clean.

snow removal

It’s also helpful to schedule snow removal as quickly as possible, before snow hardens or ice forms. The lighter and less compact the snow, the easier the removal overall. A property owner should also seal pavement as often as needed, for an added layer of protection against snow plow blades and other damaging materials.

Clearing Snow with a Bucket

One reason to leave snow removal to the professionals is that snow plows and blowers are better options than buckets for removing snow. Using a standard front-loader bucket doesn’t allow you to angle that snow in one direction or the other, so that it simply piles up in front of you and might become too compact to push out of the way.

Buckets are also difficult to use on asphalt and other pavement materials with thick aggregate. The bucket might pull that aggregate loose or scrape and gouge concrete, brick, and other paving materials.

Front-load buckets also encourage snow to fall out one side or the other, which can also cause a mess and have the snow get in the way of driving lanes, walkways, and the like. To ensure a safe snow removal process, leave this work to professionals with the best equipment, designed for snow removal in particular.

How Many Inches of Snow Before You Plow?

snow shoveling

A light dusting of snow might not require a plow and might not be deep enough for a plow to catch, but once snow reaches an inch deep, it’s best to rely on a plow or blower rather than a shovel. Snow deeper than an inch is often heavy and can mean added stress on the back when shoveling, and is also taxing on the heart and lungs!

It’s also vital that you remove snow quickly, before it hardens. Once snow becomes compact, it’s more difficult to remove, creating more wear and tear on snow plows and blowers and other such equipment. The longer you wait to remove snow and add salt, the more likely it is that ice will form, which also creates vehicle and foot traffic hazards.

A property owner should also remember that many snow removal contractors charge extra for snow above six inches, as mentioned. Rather than waiting until the snow has fallen to schedule a snow removal service, it can be more affordable to have a contract with them before the season begins, so they can plow as needed during a snowstorm, to keep your property safe and your costs low!

Snow Removal Costs: To Tip or Not to Tip

It’s typically not necessary to tip the owner of a company, as he or she will include their own salary needs in their price quotes. However, everyday workers don’t have the luxury of setting their own price, so tipping is often appreciated!

Most property owners won’t tip those workers after every appointment, but will tip a lump sum at the end of the season or as the holidays approach, or both. If you’re unsure of how many workers have treated your property over the season, you can always send a nice gift basket to the company address, with instructions for it to be shared with all the workers.

snow plow companies

A property owner should also remember that there is nothing wrong with approaching the owner of a snow removal company and telling him or her that you want to show your appreciation to their workers for their excellent service; he or she might be very happy to note how many workers are on their crew and who has serviced your property in particular. If you ask this question in earshot of their workers, this will help ensure all the crew receives whatever tip you send!

Why Not Plow My Own Snow?

A homeowner would do well to invest in some snow removal equipment, to ensure quick and safe snow removal when necessary and to help clear a light dusting of snow. However, this doesn’t mean you should tackle snow clearing on your own, and especially heavy snow, ice, and snow on a home’s roof! Check out a few reasons why this work is best left to professionals.

  • Snow is often heavier than people realize, and shoveling even just an inch or more can mean stress on the back, hips, shoulders, and neck. It’s not unusual for someone to “throw out” their back or suffer other stress-related injuries when shoveling snow.
  • Lifting heavy snow coupled with dry, cold air means more stress on the lungs and heart. The risk of a heart attack is very real for anyone shoveling snow and especially once it gets compacted or wet, making it more difficult to break apart and lift. To keep yourself safe from the risk of heart attack, asthma attack, and other health concerns, leave this work to the pros!
  • A professional snow removal contractor will also know how to remove snow without damaging your property. For example, he or she will use equipment with rubber blades and edges, as said, and heavy-duty brushes that remove snow without scraping concrete or asphalt. Relying on their services will mean less risk of gouging concrete or dislodging asphalt aggregate every time your property needs clearing.

How Do I Find a Snow Removal Company?

When choosing a snow removal contractor near you, first note that you don’t want to make your selection based on price alone! As with all other contractors, paying a bit more for their services can mean quality work and less risk of damage to your property.

To find the right snow removal contractor, first ensure you choose a locally owned and operated company versus a national franchise. Why is this important? A local owner/operator will be familiar with local weather conditions and can then better estimate the snow clearing you’ll need, versus a franchise owner that follows guidelines provided by the company owner.

snow removal contractors

It’s also vital that you work with a company who offers a snow clearing program or solution that works for your property and needs in particular, rather than a “one size fits all” service. For example, if your home has an attached garage and mailbox on the curb, you might need your residential driveway cleared but not the walkway leading from the drive to the home. A snow clearing company should offer the services you need without added charges and clearing for areas of the property you don’t use regularly.

Anchorage Snow Removal Experts is proud to offer this information to our readers and we hope it helped answer the question, how much does snow removal cost? If you need snow removal, shoveling, or salting, in the Anchorage area, give us a call! Our Anchorage snow removal contractors make quick work of all the shoveling and plowing you need to have done. We customize every plan to each property individually, and ensure quality work you can trust. To get started with your FREE snow removal quote, give us a call today.

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