In this transitional period between fall and winter, slips and falls are more of a hazard than you might think. It is easy to forget the risks that come with cold, wet precipitation. Even a small amount of snow can be hazardous. This blog looks at that topic.
It is that time of year. Now that the clocks have rolled back, and the leaves are dropping off the trees at a quick pace, it will only be a matter of time until winter’s grip is firm. Until then, when we get precipitation in the Denver area, it could be a mix of rain and snow, or maybe just some very wet snow. No big deal, right? Wrong…to an extent. While there may not be any school cancellations or snow plow activity in response to the weather, cold temperatures at night can really make for a hazardous morning. When mixed precipitation (or very wet snow) falls in any amount, it is not difficult for it to turn to ice. Sometimes this is black ice; i.e. that which isn’t readily seen but is as slippery as anything.
So what can your HOA do to prevent slips and falls from unexpectedly slippery surfaces?
- Some may think that breaking out the snow shovel before Thanksgiving, in the absence of any major winter storm, might be overkill. In reality, shoveling even as little as a quarter of an inch is a wise move if the precipitation falls later in the day when cold temperatures prevent it from melting. If you awake to the dusting and the forecast calls for sunny skies or warm(ish) temperatures, you may not need to worry too much about it. (Here is that contrast in weather possibilities we all embrace during this time of the year!)
- Put down “ice-melt” products, such as the salt you can buy at many retailers. This is useful stuff. But don’t use too much! Excess use of these products can damage concrete, causing a costly headache come springtime. It can also wash into sewers come the next big rain or melt, adding unnecessary ingredients to the local streams.
- Put up a notice. Alerting homeowners and their guests to potential hazards can encourage them to use more care – a positive thing for them and for the Board.
It may seem like a pain to have to take care of this “little stuff,” but a broken ankle or a lawsuit might be more of a pain. We hope this reminder was helpful! Thanks for reading.