Experts: Read the fine print on your snow removal contract

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — With a significant snowfall possible this weekend, Rhode Islanders might be weighing their options when it comes to snow removal.

Over the past few days, Call 12 For Action has noticed a lot of snow shovelers, plow and landscaping companies advertising on Facebook and other social media sites – offering great deals for when winter weather strikes.

Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure to do a little legwork so you don’t get weighed down by the snow.

At Case Snow Management in North Attleboro, experts say residents should check to see if their removal service is insured.

“If they don’t have that and they accidentally drive through, say, your garage door, then you could be on the hook personally,” said Neal Glatt of Case Snow Management.

According to Glatt, it doesn’t hurt to shop around for the best deal.

“The price is going to change drastically from community to community and based on demand as well,” he said. “So if you’re calling today for a plow person or at the height of a storm, their price is probably higher than it was in November or October.”

Experts say you should lay out your expectations with the company you hire before the storm hits.

“Are you looking for a plow every two inches, every four inches, do you want to have your driveway plowed after six inches only,” Glatt asked. “Is there a specific time where you leave your house every morning – whatever concerns you have, you want to communicate that to your plow driver.”

According to the Better Business Bureau, there are some tips to follow when hiring a snow removal company:

  • Have a removal service come to your house and look at your property before setting a price.
  • Make sure your contract spells out what services you’ll get, not just plowing, but also shoveling and de-icing.
  • Be realistic – big storms mean extra work and longer commute times for your contractor.

Something else to keep in mind: just because a snow removal company is insured to get rid of snow doesn’t mean they are insured to clear your roof. If that’s the service you are looking for, make sure to check with a roofing company.

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