Each winter, as the temperature drops and snow begins to fall, clients of Landgraf Lawn Care might wonder why it’s so important to promptly clear their driveways after a heavy snowfall. The answer is simple: to avoid property damage and legal repercussions.
If snow is left unchecked for an extended period of time, its weight and moisture content can cause multiple structural dangers to your driveway. Furthermore, leaving snow-covered roads and sidewalks can result in fines or other penalties according to ordinances in many towns, counties, and even some states. If a guest or bystander slips, falls, and is hurt on your property, you may also be held legally liable if you neglect to clear your driveway. Thus, take into account the possible repercussions of leaving your driveway unclear if you’re seeking motivation to keep it clear of snow this winter.
Uncleared Heavy Snow and Property Damage
Whether your driveway is composed of concrete or asphalt, prolonged exposure to heavy snow can compromise its structural integrity. A big snowfall alone might put your driveway at jeopardy. Snow weighs around 20 pounds per cubic foot on average, and this weight rises when wet or compacted by foot or vehicle movement. This heavy load can cause your driveway to buckle and crack over time, creating pathways for water to seep into its structure.
The typical winter cycle of freezing and thawing can also negatively impact your driveway if the snow isn’t cleared. During a thaw, the snow on your driveway will melt, and water will seep into its cracks and crevices. Then, when temperatures drop below freezing again, that water will freeze and expand inside your concrete or asphalt. This can deepen existing cracks and create new ones, leading to more serious problems like crumbling and potholes.
Uncleared Snow and Legal Consequences
The hazards of letting snow on your driveway extend beyond cracks and potholes. By failing to clear the snow from your driveway, you risk civil fines and legal penalties. Calgary enforces citywide snow regulations, and practically every community that receives snow wants residents to shovel their sidewalks. If a walkway spans the end of your driveway and you fail to clear it, you may face a civil offense and a fine.
Beyond the by-laws of Calgary, an uncleared driveway puts you at risk of personal legal liability. If a passerby is injured while trying to cross a sidewalk that intersects with your driveway, or if a visitor slips and falls on your uncleared driveway, you could face a civil lawsuit. Clearing your snowy driveway might seem like a chore, but the potential consequences of leaving it uncleared are far more unpleasant.