Homeowners liable for snow and ice control

Homeowners liable for snow and ice control

(BPT) – Whenever it snows, it is common to see shopping center employees and business owners out and about clearing pathways, parking spaces and entrances of snow and ice. But this isn’t just good business to help customers get in the door, it is also a liability issue should someone slip, fall and injure themselves. Homeowners, too, face similar, albeit more limited, liability if they fail to take adequate steps to remove such slippery hazards from their property.

Generally speaking, homeowners are responsible for limiting dangers on their property, but in some cases this can also extend to public sidewalks abutting the home. In some localities, Homeowners Associations (HOAs), and governments also require that homeowners clear snow and ice or face fines. A regional survey of county and municipal ordinances conducted by the Salt Institute found that 83 percent have written policies directing property owners to remove accumulated snow and ice “within 24 hours of the end of the snowstorm.” Penalties for property owners not complying can range from nominal tickets to misdemeanors punishable by up to 90 days in jail and fines of up to $ 500.

Shoveling snow is simple enough, but ice is another matter, and nothing works better to remove ice or prevent ice from forming than salt. Salt lowers water’s freezing point, the temperature at which it changes from a liquid to a solid and vice versa. Melting water that is already frozen is called deicing and is applied once ice appears. Preventing water from freezing in the first place is called anti-icing and is applied when a freeze is expected.

Commercially available anti-icing materials include salt (sodium chloride), calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, potassium acetate and calcium magnesium acetate. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but salt brine remains the best choice for anti-icing in temperatures above 15 degrees F (minus 9.4 degrees C) and continues to work in temperatures as low as minus 6 degrees F. For extremely low temperatures, look for a mixture using calcium or magnesium chloride instead.

Health & Fitness

Laws regarding snow and ice clearing vary by state and locality, but most mandate that some action be taken within a reasonable time period after it stops snowing. For example, the Illinois Snow and Ice Removal Act states that any owner who “removes or attempts to remove snow or ice from sidewalks abutting the property shall not be liable for any personal injuries allegedly caused by the snowy or icy condition of the sidewalk resulting from his or her acts or omissions unless the alleged misconduct was willful or wanton.”

The dangers from slips and falls should not be taken lightly, especially for the elderly. Each year thousands are rushed to emergency rooms as a result of icy falls with injuries that could have easily been prevented. One enterprising hospital, St. Vincent’s in Indianapolis, Indiana, even decided to give away road salt to local residents one winter to try and prevent such injuries and the resulting emergency room visits. In the end, the person who is most likely to slip and fall is the homeowner themselves.


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* How to fix a leaky roof on a house by removing all shingles and felt and replacing it all with an ice and storm shield membrane and new shingles. Watch Tool Dude Tony in this instructional episode of How to Fix Sh#t 101 in HD and don’t miss the outtakes at the end.

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Due to factors beyond the control of ToolDudeTony, it cannot guarantee against unauthorized modifications of this information, or improper use of this information. ToolDudeTony assumes no liability for property damage or injury incurred as a result of any of the information contained in this video. ToolDudeTony recommends safe practices when working with power tools, automotive lifts, lifting tools, jack stands, electrical equipment, blunt instruments, chemicals, lubricants, or any other tools or equipment seen or implied in this video. Due to factors beyond the control of ToolDudeTony, no information contained in this video shall create any express or implied warranty or guarantee of any particular result. Any injury, damage or loss that may result from improper use of these tools, equipment, or the information contained in this video is the sole responsibility of the user and not ToolDudeTony.

How to Fix a Leaky Roof How to Fix a Leaky Roof

15 Responses to “Homeowners liable for snow and ice control”

  1. TrueDesire Elements Reply

    Great Video guy, thanks so much for sharing…

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  2. Ralph Malf Reply

    @tool_dude_tony My question is, I live in AZ with a roof mounted AC unit on a 'stand' to support it. If the plywood needs to be replaced below the 'stand' how is this done with out having to lift the AC unit off the house?

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  3. Mikey Rosario Reply

    i could of did the job in 3 to 4 hours

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  4. The baconized Reply

    Haha I love the sloppy editing. Funny, but good work Tone Dawg.

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  5. Henry John's Awesome YT Channel Reply

    Way to go "Dude"…nice job on the cap Tony..thanks.

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  6. SinistrariKHS Reply

    Dude, you worry too much. It's not "touching" lead that will get you. I have handled it all my life (ammunition) and I'm still going. Worse, I have chunks of it IN me, from where I've been shot. If the doctors in "hospitals" won't bother with removing it, I doubt touching it with bare hands will kill you. Just wash well before you EAT anything since ingesting it isn't good. I grew up at a time when lead wasn't worried about. Lead paint, lead in gas, lead projectiles, home casting of bullets, and so on. You stand a much higher risk of falling from your roof. Of course, lawyers would probably eat you alive.

    The "read between the lines" joke comes from holding your index, middle, and ring fingers up. I doubt the lawyers are smart enough to figure that one out, but…

    Thanks for the help. They charge an arm and a leg for this today and half of them still don't do the job any better than they did in the 70s and 80s.

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  7. John Tuisl Reply

    what type of calking shit in gun ?

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  8. ROOFREPAIR4U.COM Reply

    There are much easier methods to fix leaky roofs these days!

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  9. Shrek PA Reply

    nice job TOny!!!

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  10. Kolleen Ruffino Reply

    I am looking to put a bandage on an old problem- I know I know bad move- if you only knew, going forward… I would like to know the best material to repair an inter roof that leaks. Can you suggest anything that really works??

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  11. Brandon Smith Reply

    Go Nebraska! ;D

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  12. Executive Reply

    Tore the roof off like he was Busta Ryhmes.

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  13. Texas Roofing Repair Reply

    Silly AND informative, thank you for sharing this!

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  14. Queen Day Reply

    My outside vent is up is that the reason I see a brown stain on the inside of my kitchen vent do i need to chalk or repair shingles

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  15. corie turingan Reply

    you are funny, but your video is female friendly. thank you.

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