Snow Preparation and Removal in Vancouver WA

In this blog, we will address snow removal and ice mitigation in the northwest and how to best prepare for our illusive storms.

Winter Maintenance

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It’s already shaping up to be a cold winter. What felt like an endless summer in October turned on a dime into an early winter. We have already had a handful of frosty mornings here in Vancouver WA and it seems likely that we’ll see some snow days in our short future. In this blog, we will address snow removal and ice mitigation in the northwest and how to best prepare for our illusive storms.

Firstly, stock up! Due to the infrequency of snow storms in the northwest, our cities and citizens do not have (nor truly need) the infrastructure and equipment necessary to remove snow on a massive scale. This leaves us vulnerable to getting snowed in once every few years when we get an abnormally large snowstorm. For this reason (and for general crisis preparedness) we recommend stocking up on enough food and supplies to last at least a week at home. This could be as simple as beans and rice or as thorough as an emergency food supply kit. The main point is your local grocery store may be closed or inaccessible to you for multiple days. 


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Secondly, we recommend sourcing the necessary tools to combat snow and ice. Car ice scrapers are awesome even when there is no snow. Credit cards can work in a pinch but we do not recommend it! Next is the famous shovel. Be sure to use a plastic shovel (preferably for shoveling snow) as metal shovels will damage pavement, pavers, and asphalt. Shovels are great for clearing snow, on or near your property, that will not be cleared by the city or service provider. Next up is another ice combatant, ice melt (deicing agent). Ice melts are perfect on freshly shoveled surfaces and will help ensure your shoveling was not in vain. We recently published an article talking through ice melt options and which ones are best for your pavement, pavers, plants, and pets. To read it, click hereLastly, the almighty snow blower! Snow blowers are commonplace in areas like the midwest but few and far between in the urban northwest. We don’t recommend purchasing one if you live here but if you want to be your neighborhood’s hero, look no further. 

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Thirdly, designate a proper place to pile snow. This may seem trivial but snow can be detrimental to northwestern plants if amassed in large quantities, especially your lawn’s turf. We recommend piling snow on inanimate surfaces. Also, many cities have ordinances stating maximum snow pile heights, among other guidelines. In Vancouver, WA we don’t get enough snow to necessitate such guidelines but we do have an ordinance requiring property owners to remove snow from their abutting sidewalks (click here for the City of Vancouver’s guidelines).


Lastly, confirming your insurance covers winter, snow, and ice related incidents. This is especially pertinent to commercial property owners, who have more liability to visitors than residential property owners. Confirming your service covers winter related damages will provide you with peace of mind as you head into the winter season.


With these practices you will be all set to enjoy the beauty of snow without stressing about the logistical implications.