Property Owner Obligations for the Removal of Snow and Ice

Obligations for Snow and Ice Removal Include Ground Level and the Roof

Worker Removing Ice From SidewalkMotorists in Toronto and throughout the GTA are probably familiar with the hazardous driving conditions that can result when harsh winter storms descend on the region. They have likely also expressed some displeasure if/when they faced slick or unnavigable road surfaces until maintenance crews could spread salt/sand or remove the slush and snow.

The same scenario can also be applied to pedestrian traffic; whether on public or private properties, pathways that are slippery, ice-covered, or obstructed can be treacherous for people on foot – and could prove to be a liability for the owners or managers of those properties as well.

A common sight across Toronto over the winter involves maintenance staffs or business owners using plows and melting agents to clear away snow and ice from the entrances, sidewalks, and parking lots of their properties. In addition, depending on their building’s design, there may also be activities underway to remove snow and ice accumulation from the roof, gutters, window ledges, awnings, etc.

The purpose of such activities at both ground level and on the roof is two-fold:

  • To provide safe ease-of-access for all staff, tenants, and/or customers
  • To prevent any potential litigation stemming from slip-and-fall injuries

However, these snow and ice removal obligations are not limited to commercial property owners and managers, nor are the potential ramifications of any failure to take the steps necessary to avoid injuries to pedestrians – homeowners in Toronto are also responsible for limiting the risks/dangers to others who may have occasion to enter their properties.

Case in point: a City of Toronto by-law addressing snow and ice removal stipulates that property owners are responsible for clearing snow and ice from these areas within 24 hours of a snowfall to provide safe access and exit for pedestrians and vehicles:

  • Steps
  • Ramps
  • Landings
  • Walkways
  • Driveways
  • Parking Spaces

This By-law also requires property owners to keep roofs and roof structures free from Dangerous Accumulations of snow and ice and any loose objects such as icicles that may be a hazard.

Avenue Road Roofing Offers Snow and Ice Removal for Toronto Properties

Worker Removing SnowIn the aftermaths of winter storms, Toronto’s neighbourhoods and commercial properties are abuzz with the various sights and sounds of snow removal activities. However, upon closer inspection, the vast majority of these clean-ups are occurring at ground level; and this is quite natural because that is where the snow accumulation is most visible and also where it is more easily accessible to property owners and their snow removal equipment.

On the other hand, as stated above, removing snow and ice from a roof holds equal importance in terms of safety and liability issues. Furthermore, an over-accumulation of snow and ice can add undue weight and stress to the roof structure itself, especially the flat roofing systems installed in many commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings; this can also be Troublesome if the Snow Depth reaches/exceeds Six Inches on the Sloped Roofs of most private residences.

In addition to concerns relative to potential liability issues or structural damage, property owners must also be cognizant of their own personal safety with respect to the removal of snow and ice from their roof. Working at heights can be particularly risky in cold, icy, and/or windy conditions; for this reason alone, property owners should strongly consider professional snow and ice removal, such as the services offered by Avenue Road Roofing in Toronto.

Avenue Road Roofing’s snow and ice removal services include:

  • The use of specialized equipment
  • Work performed by trained, qualified crews
  • Application of correct snow removal techniques
  • Adherence to all safety standards and regulations
  • Protection of roofing material from unnecessary damage

In addition, the use of a professional contractor such as Avenue Road Roofing to remove snow and ice from rooftops/heights can also protect the property owner from any liability incurred as a result of personal injury to a visitor, client, occupant, or staff member.

To learn more about the removal of snow and ice from residential and commercial roofs, go to our Roof Snow & Ice Removal page.

Fulfill your obligations for snow and ice removal from your property and avoid potential liability issues by hiring a professional roofing contractor. Call the trained specialists at Avenue Road Roofing in Toronto today at 647-360-7743 or Contact us to request an estimate for our services this winter.