Adding Ice Removal Services to Your Snow Business

Published on December 27, 2023

For snow removal business looking to grow, one of the quickest ways to do that is by adding more services.

In fact, adding ice removal services can help you increase profits, keep your customers happy, and even grow your business.

In this helpful article, we’ll show you everything you need for adding ice removal services including:

  • How to prepare your business
  • What kind of equipment you’ll need
  • The types of ice that will need to be removed
  • How to market new services
  • And more!

Prepare Your Snow & Ice Business

Adding ice removal services means that you’ll need to take a few extra steps for your ice removal business.

Get Insurance

If you don’t have it already, be sure to get the right business and liability insurance.

A good plan should cover claims of injury, property damage, and even equipment malfunctions.

Ultimately, the right liability insurance (in addition to auto insurance and workers’ compensation) can help protect your ice removal business (and team) in case of property damage or if anyone gets hurt.

Protocols and Training

When dealing with snow and ice, there is always some risk involved.

Be sure you’ve got your team trained on the right steps to take for safety and the best steps for removing ice.

While training is different for each business, it typically includes:

  • How to deal with adverse weather 
  • Staying safe while working 
  • Proper techniques for removing ice
  • Equipment usage and maintenance
  • Client communication 

There can be a learning curve, so be sure to have a plan in advance.

Training can be “on the job” or even be done with videos.

Pro Tip: Even though there might be a temptation to offer ice removal services to everyone right away, it is wise to get everything dialed in with a few clients first. 

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Gear Up For Ice Removal Services

As you might suspect, adding ice removal services is something that is fairly easy to offer to your customers.

But in order to do this, you’ll need to add a few key pieces of equipment to your arsenal.

Salt Spreaders

You can mount them to your truck or even a handheld option, but you’ll need a salt spreader.

Salt spreaders use rock salt or calcium chloride to melt away the ice.

Inside the spreader is a spinning disc that flings the salt outwards on the ground to create a protective barrier against black ice on sidewalks and roadways.

Here are a few recommendations for salt spreaders:

Liquid De-Icers

Got a really tough patch of ice or want to prevent it from forming? 

That’s when you’ll want to use the liquid de-icer.

They typically use concentrated solutions like magnesium chloride which work by lowering the freezing point of water.

Simply put, they prevent ice from forming by breaking down ice crystals.

Here are a few recommendations for liquid de-icers:

Manual Tools

Having a few additional manual tools can also be a great way to remove stubborn ice.

This would include tools like scrapers, plows, and shovels which can help you reach tough-to-reach areas and delicate surfaces.

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Know Your Ice

Part of adding ice removal services is knowing how to identify the main types of ice you’ll face.

The different types of ice are based on location and weather conditions.

Black Ice

One of the most dangerous types of ice, black ice is usually found on pavement.

Black ice can be invisible and usually comes after freezing rain or when the temperature drops overnight.

The best way to remove black ice is with a salt spreader; shoveling will just push the ice around and make it dangerous.

Glaze Ice

Thin and transparent, glaze ice forms on top of existing snow.

Glaze ice can be very slippery and tough to see.

Fortunately, glaze ice can be removed with a shovel or you can use a salt spreader.

Rim Ice

You’ll find rim ice after lots of wind or changes in temperature that cause a rapid freeze.

Rim ice is basically crystalline ice needles that form on top of objects.

Removal of rim can be tricky, but using a simple scraper is your best bet–de-icers and salt aren’t usually as effective on this kind of ice.

Know Your Clients

Now that you’ve got an idea about the types of equipment and ice, you need to decide who you’re going to offer de-icing services to.

Adding ice removal services to residential and commercial clients is a very different experience, and if you’re just getting started, it’s probably best to stick with residential clients.

Commercial clients can come with some big tickets, but usually, you’ll need more employees, more complex contracts, and sometimes more equipment.

All that said, the best place to start is by marketing to your current snow removal or lawn clients–commercial or residential.

Marketing to Your Existing Clients

The truth is, that you’ve likely already built up a customer base for your snow removal or lawn services.

Adding ice removal services is just one more way you can serve them, and you just need to get the word out!

You can always send out an email blast, which is something you can easily do with Service Autopilot, announcing your new de-icing services.

You can also leave behind business cards and flyers specifically about your ice removal services.

And you can use social media posts to share that you’re adding ice removal services to your snow removal business.

Remember, it’s best to let your existing clients know a few months before the snow and ice show up.

Ultimately, by offering even more services, you’re providing more value to your clients which will keep them coming back every season.

Use Special Offers to Jump-Start Your Ice Removal Services

Want to capture the attention of your current clients?

Give them a special offer on your new ice removal services.

This can be a simple discount like “10% off” or it can even be a free property assessment.

Just make sure that you provide a “sense of urgency” by setting a deadline of how long the offer is good.

Once you’ve got a few interested clients, be sure to leverage this new service.

Take before and after pictures or videos and get some testimonials too.

Photos and videos should be used to market your new ice removal services and can easily be shared on social media, an email, or a flyer.

Do Pre-Season Visits if You Can

Pre-season visits are always great because they can help you create a game plan before the snow and ice show up.

This also gives you a chance to identify any problem areas that might be an issue.

For residential clients, you’ll want to offer de-icing of high-traffic areas like porches and steps.

For commercial clients, you’ll need to work out a plan for parking lots, walkways, entryways, etc.

Be sure to take note of any delicate surfaces like bricks, decorations, or even sensitive landscaping.

Adding Ice Removal Services - You’re All Set!

There you have it!

Adding ice removal services can be a great way to increase profits, grow your businesses, and keep your clients loyal.

And when you have the right software, like Service Autopilot, you can easily manage your ice removal jobs and your team.

Now you know:

  • How to prepare your business
  • What kind of equipment you’ll need
  • The types of ice that will need to be removed
  • How to market new services
  • And more! 

Remember to make sure you’ve got the right equipment for the types of jobs you’ll be doing and to get your team ready and trained.

Lastly, remember to get those before and after pictures and testimonials to continue growing your business in the future!

Related: How Much to Charge for Snow Removal

Originally published Dec 27, 2023 10:50 AM


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