FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

About Precision Snow Removal

1. How long have you been in business?

Precision began as a landscaping company in 1992 and started clearing snow in Sandy Hill, Centretown and The Glebe in 1995.

2. What areas do you service?

We exclusively clear snow in older urban neighbourhoods in Ottawa, Ontario. Our coverage area stretches from Vanier to Westboro. Please see our Service Areas for details. We do offer some specialized services such as salting, cartage and 1-time snow plowing in other areas of Ottawa. Please see About Us for more information.

3. Does Precision Landscape Group have insurance?

Yes we do! Unlike many other companies, we carry a comprehensive insurance plan specifically including snow removal operations. Others will claim to have this insurance, but not be fully covered. Ask to see their Certificate of Insurance!

4. What methods of payment do you accept, and do I have to pay upfront?

We accept cheques, Visa and MasterCard credit cards (coming soon), and cash payments.

Our customers may pay for their contract up front, or make two payments: one upon signing and one in January. We would require the second payment be made by post-dated cheque or a credit card for those opting to use our multiple payment option. No extra charges are incurred for multiple payment options, as this is done as a convenience for our customers. Please call if you have a specific request.

5. When is your office staffed?

Our office hours are Monday-Friday from 9:00am-5:30pm, although there is often someone available to answer calls outside of these hours.

During a snow event, we expand our office capacity and hours to better handle our call volume.

During a severe storm, we might switch our system to allow outgoing messages only. This allows our clients to hear an outgoing voice message, which will detail Precision's snow event strategy and approximate timing. At this time it may not be possible to leave to speak with someone directly or to leave a voice message, but such occasions are rare, indeed.

6. What is the best way to contact Precision?

Generally speaking, calling the office at 613-721-6337 is the best way to contact us regarding immediate issues.

Email and fax messages are great ways to ask us general questions that we can review and respond to at a later time.

7. How does Precision Snow Removal communicate with their clients?

Precision Snow Removal has adopted several strategies to communicate with our customers and those relying on our service. Keeping our customers informed is second only to clearing their snow!

Precision has invested in technology that will often allow us to send you voice and email messages regarding our snowstorm action plan, and our schedule. This also means that our customers or their tenants may have an opportunity to move their cars prior to our arrival.

We leave an updated message on our voice mail system during snowfalls. If you are curious about our progress or about other issues, feel free to call the office and listen to the updates and if you require more information, please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as we possibly can. Please note that during a storm it can be very difficult to return calls in short order because of the frantic nature of our business.

You might also want to follow us on Twitter! Snow updates and other information about our snow business are only a click away at http://twitter.com/precisionsnow.

8. Can I check your references?

Of course! We have nothing to hide! All of our properties are marked with driveway markers, so feel free to speak with your neighbours who use our service. Please also look at the Testimonials section of Precision's website.

9. Do you have emergency back up?

This is something that many companies mention, but Precision actually has! Our 'team leaders' have smaller routes that they do at the beginning of the storm; this frees them up throughout the balance of the event in case we run into a problem. We also have several back up drivers that are generally available if we need extra help.

Precision Snow Removal also rents an extra 'Bobcat' skid-steer to have on hand in the event of another one breaking down. We go to great expense so you won't have to hear that a 'break down' has resulted in you being stuck in snow!

10. What training do your provide your staff?

We begin the training process in early October and work with each new staff member weekly even until early December. We continue their training every two weeks until the end of March - it never stops!

We use custom designed training videos, safety programs, and models in our 'classroom'. We then move into the field where all staff receive comprehensive hands-on training.

In early November our staff assist in installing driveway markers for our clients, review their maps and route notes, and begin a few practice runs! If you see our 'Bobcats' driving around town before the first snow fall, you will now know why!

11. Do 'Bobcats' cause damage to driveways?

Bobcat-type loaders shouldn't cause damage to your property or driveway. However, here are some general guidelines:
  • Rust stains can occur on uneven drives, although this is quite rare.
  • You should carefully mark any hazards or obstacles prior to the first snowfall.
  • Paving stones that have lifted above the others should be lowered so they are even.
  • Water shut-off valve caps and other objects should be flush with your drive, and if not should be lowered so they are even with the surrounding surface. The city can lower your water shut off valve for a fee.
  • Gravel drives are tricky for our operators if the ground is not frozen. Some of the stones might be displaced and this is normal. If we cause severe damage to gravel drives we will repair the damage, but generally speaking some gravel will be re-located.

12. What is your policy on repairing damage that you have caused?

Firstly, we train our drivers extensively before the first snowfall to minimize the risk of damage. During the snow season, any damage that is caused is to be recorded by the employee at the time of the incident.

A supervisor will look at the damage and write a report so the damage can be fixed in the spring after the ground has thawed. If the damage is of an urgent nature we will work with you to fix it as quickly as possible.

However, as most damage that is caused is preventable there are certain exclusions which are specified in our contract. It is up to the homeowner or property manager to help identify hazards prior to the commencement of our work, and also throughout the winter season.

In short, a few minutes of prevention goes a long way to reducing the risk of damage. We are not clearing 'simple' drives in suburbia, but rather narrow drives and awkward lots in central Ottawa, and these pose additional hazards. We will certainly do our part in reviewing your property before the first storms descend upon Ottawa, but we need your help, too!

Examples of exclusions and suggested ways to help prevent damage are:
  1. Damage to obstacles left on the driveway including such items as extension cords, hoses, and downspouts.
    • Please remove children's toys, sports equipment and any other item that may get damaged.
  2. Damage to composters, air conditioners, bicycles, canoes, etc. unless these items have a stake or other marking system in place so we will know where they are as snow accumulates around them.
    • It is amazing how even larger objects can become completely hidden by snow accumulation and snow stacking. Please mark these items before winter, or during the season if you notice that they are being buried.
    • If the operator is running out of space to stack snow, they might resort to an alternate stacking location and might then cause damage to obstacles that are in the way. Please call us if your primary stacking location is getting full.
  3. Damage to clotheslines and low-hanging utility wires. Remember, our drivers are looking down at your driveway as they are clearing snow, not up at wires above them. This is especially true when they dump snow out of their bucket as the bucket reaches about 10 feet in the air.
    • Please remove these wires and lines prior to the first snow fall, or tie ribbons or other 'flags' from them so our 'Bobcat' drivers will be able to see them.
  4. Damage to items attached to the home and protrude into the driveway such as vent pipes, utilities, steps and window wells.
    • These items should be marked with bright tape or reflectors so our drivers can see them, even after multiple snow falls.
  5. Damage caused because of ice forming on a driveway or parking lot.
    • If an operator begins working at your property and the drive or parking area has ice under the freshly fallen snow, we are much more likely to cause damage. An application of salt and grit will reduce this risk and potentially save you from unnecessary repair expenses. Please remember, that Precision offers a salt and grit application service.

More Precision Snow FAQS

About Precision Snow Removal

Tips on Hiring a Snow Removal Contractor

Emergency, Vacation, and One-Time Service

Salt/Grit Applications, Snow Cartage & Ice Removal

 

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