Before blowing out the edges

After a quick 4 minute clean up










Talk to your tenants about winter maintenance, you will find this story is not rare.  As a property owner/ manager you can eliminate a lot of this tenants problems by properly defining the winter contract.

I do not really question the workers intelligence though it did make me thankful for a tenant who did worry about this. (A dollar here, a dollar there) There are very few places where people take the time to sweep the front walk.  The snow contractor did not do it and the Starbucks manager did not order it done.  It is unlikely that anyone even thought about just how much time is spent cleaning up because of excessive salt use.  It is just there.  Blah.   Consider too that it was a sunny day, one of the few in the winter of 2014, and that this salt was put down to deal with a very light snowfall in the morning. The snow in fact melted of its own accord making the entire application a waste.

As a person in charge of this mall I would not have interfered with the judgement of the contractor to put down salt.  This likely happened on our properties that day too.  It would NEVER have been this severe due to strict training of HOW to apply salt but the condition would have been similiar.  It happens.

I did that morning do the math of how many hours it took to clean not only this store but all the other stores in the complex.  In this equation I allowed for 25 hours put in for the snow contractor; this was very generous and was just a random figure.  I multiplied out the individual tenants time to sweep, mop and clean up and I came up with a conservative figure of 90 hours (about 20 tenants, some with multiple entrances).  So, just because of salt being applied there were 90 hours of labour put into clean up.  There would of course had to have been hours put in regardless of the use of salt but I did think that morning that there was at least 30 hours spent just dealing with cleaning up salt.  At least.  It would have taken about an hour for the mall management to blow off the excess salt from walks.  Even if this job was scheduled for the next morning it would have helped.

Now, if that did not catch the interest of people maintaining malls, managers and tenants perhaps the added cost of damage because of excessive salt use will.  Blowing down the walk preserves the owners investment.  If this salt which is costing so much in cleaning costs is sitting there for days it means that the speed with which your concrete breaks down will be faster.  Undealt with salt damages floors, carpets, shoes, tenants cars and the buildings.  If it were blown down to the asphalt it would have saved time in cleaning AND in building maintenance.

Ask your contractor the right questions.  Is it included to blow off excess salt the day after a snow event?  How much would it cost extra to blow this salt off?  How much time do you take in training the employees how to spread salt?  Do you use a spreader to apply salt to walks?  

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