Snow, Ice, and Slippery Surfaces: A Commercial Property Owner’s Guide to Mitigation and Liability


Hey there, commercial property owners! Today, we’re diving into an important topic: snow and ice mitigation. It’s crucial for you to understand the risks and liabilities that come with owning a property in the greater Seattle, Bellevue, and Everett area. Let’s break it down in a way that’s easy to grasp and act upon.

Understanding Your Liability

Imagine this: someone, maybe not even a customer, steps onto your property and – whoops! – they slip on ice or a slippery patch of moss. Guess what? As the property owner, you’re responsible. That’s right, whether it’s a snowy sidewalk or a mossy walkway, your job is to keep these areas safe.

Moisture and Slippery Surfaces

Moisture is sneaky. It can turn your parking lots and sidewalks into a slip-and-slide adventure that nobody wants. So, what’s the plan? Simple: make sure these surfaces are safe to walk on. This means being proactive, especially when moisture is present.

Ice Mitigation: Do It Right

Dealing with commercial property and ice? No problem. You can find ice melt granules at most hardware stores. These are great for preventing ice formation. But here’s a pro tip: follow the instructions carefully. Using too little won’t solve the problem, and using too much could create an even bigger hazard. Hand application works fine, but for larger areas, professionals use motorized spreaders to get the job done quickly and evenly.

Choosing the Right Products

Not all salts are created equal. Regular rock salt on concrete? Big no-no. It can damage the surface over time. Instead, opt for special blends that are concrete-friendly. And remember, only apply products when necessary. We’ve seen too many properties wasting resources by applying products when there’s no moisture.

Moss and Algae: The Slippery Culprits

Moss and algae love to hang out on sidewalks, parking lots, and other walkways. The best practice? Pressure wash to remove them, then use bleach to kill the microspores. Be careful, though. Pressure washing without treating the area can spread the moss and make things worse. And watch out for dishonest companies that might take advantage of this.

Preserving Your Surfaces

Frequent high-pressure washing can wear down your surfaces. A smarter approach is to treat the cleaned areas with bleach. This helps prolong the life of your surfaces. Just make sure the bleach doesn’t end up in the drain. A simple bleach and water solution, sprayed when it’s dry and left to dry out, turns into a harmless salt residue.

Need More Info?

Snow and ice mitigation, snow plowing, moss and algae removal – it’s a lot to handle. But don’t worry, you’re not alone. For more information and professional help, reach out to Chinook Services at 425-290-8635. They’ve got the expertise to keep your property safe and liability-free.  Chinook Services provides snow and ice mitigation services for medium to large commercial properties in the Lynnwood and Everett area.  Chinook Services also provides pressure washing services in King and Snohomish Counties of Washington State.  Fully licensed, bonded, and insured.  Family owned, and operated.


Seattle area Pressure Washing Page

Bellevue area Pressure Washing Page

Road update link: Washington State Department of Transportation

Stay safe and proactive, property owners! Remember, a little effort in mitigation can save you a lot of headaches down the road.


Chinook Services Snow Plowing

Chinook Services (425)290-8635

Presure Washing

Chinook Services worker pressure cleans with mobile steam cleaning unit on large storefront in Seattle, WA. Photo by: Jay B. in Ballard