Frequently Asked Questions
We service East Ottawa including Orleans, Beacon Hill, and Blackburn.
Our contracts run from November 5th until April 1st.
Our contracts cover all snowfalls of 5cm or more. Generally, one laneway clearing is scheduled for a snowfall of 15cm or less, and multiple visits if the snowfall is over that amount. However, there are many instances throughout the season in which we have gone out for less than 5cm because it is heavy wet snow and the City plows are out. We also return to clear the snow left by the city plows.
Yes, as our operators make their first pass after a snowfall they record where the city plow has or has not been. When they finish their first pass they make as many return trips as necessary to clean up after city plows.
Once the accumulation reaches 5cm on your driveway, we will go out and clear it unless warm weather has caused it to melt to less.
All of our routes are built to be completed within 6-7 hours however there are a couple factors to be taken into account like when the storm actually finishes, how much snow has fallen and what is forecasted, and will the city be clearing residential side streets or not. While the storm itself plays a factor on when we start, the city is the "unknown" and that is what dictates how long it will take us to fully complete a clearing. If the city does clear then we often will follow them as close as possible on our routes so no clients have to wait with a plow ridge at the end which can cause delays to our service. We have developed an infographic to help go through a few different scenarios that we encounter over the course of the winter.
Yes, if you have subscribed for the additional service, we have a separate team of shovellers that clear the walkways by hand, or in the case of a large snowfall, with a snowblower.
Absolutely not, all of our tractors are outfitted with snow BLOWER attachment that are much safer for your driveway. Snow blowing is a much more efficient way to avoid large and potentially hazardous snow banks at the end of your driveway.
250 cm is the cap on annual accumulation. To aid with operating costs a small surcharge of $25 applies to any snowfall after that amount. Ottawa's average accumulation is only 210cm. There is also an option to cancel after 250cm but must be indicated on your contract under "other terms"
Absolutely. During a snowstorm we have a fully staffed call center to answer any questions you might have and handle concerns as quickly as possible. In 2017, we upgraded our phone system to perform similar to a major call center which you can find pre-recorded messages with updates about our start times for both shovel teams and tractor operators. We also regularly post information updates on Facebook and in the yellow notification bar found at the bottom of the screen on this site.
No, in fact snow blowing with a tractor is the safest method of clearing your driveway. Although the tractor is large, the weight is evenly distributed across oversized tires that results in about the same force per square inch as an average car. The snow blower attached to the tractor includes a Teflon cutting knife and is safe for all driveway surfaces (including interlocking brick). The attachments are calibrated to float above the driveway surface to avoid damages. Also, at the beginning of the season we install laneway marking posts at the end of the driveway and around obstacles to help our operators navigate throughout the winter.
No, our operators will remove as much snow as possible around your vehicles. Of course, for best results please ensure that all vehicles are removed prior to a snowstorm. If it is necessary to leave a vehicle parked in your driveway ensure that it is as close to the house and side to allow our tractors to clear as much as possible. In the case of vehicles left in the driveway our operators will give a courtesy honk of the horn to allow you to come out and move them. (except late at night). For the sake of efficiency we do not ask our operators to knock on doors. For the 2018-2019 Season, we now offer a "Call-Back" service that you may ask us to return within 24hrs of the storm once all vehicles have been removed from the driveway.
It is the responsibility of the home owner to make sure that if any water valve caps are protruding the driveway to contact the City of Ottawa at (613) 580-2400. You will need to request that they send a service technician by to lower the pipe and cap to the level of the asphalt. If the cap is not flush with the level of the driveway it may very likely get picked off and blown onto the lawn! So, please make sure that the city takes care of this in advance of the first snow. Otherwise, once snow arrives and covers the surface, this issue is not apparent and the city may charge you for repairs in the Spring.What are my responsibilities as a snow blowing customer? At worry Free we do everything we can to alleviate the stress and strain of snow removal for our customers. There are however several things to do as a customer to help improve service and avoid damage: Lower any water valves that may be on the driveway and protrude above the surface Trim overhanging branches to allow our 10.5 foot high tractors to pass Do not subscribe for service if you have a walkway protruding into driveway Remove all objects from the snow clearing area inc. Downspouts, flower pots, basketball nets, garbage receptacles, extension cords etc. Worry Free assumes no responsibilities for objects left inside the snow removal area. Remove all vehicles prior to snowfall if possible or at least move close to house and side
In the event of accidental damage to property caused by driver or equipment error our operators are required to report it to the office. It is however recommended that our customers call, the following day, in order to verify the report. Worry Free will typically make any non urgent repairs in the spring. More urgent repairs will be resolved immediately. Worry Free Snowblowing has an excellent reputation for fixing any of our mistakes.
No, salt has been proven to be destructive to grass and landscaping. It is also quite costly to provide for a residential contract. No loading or transport of snow, sanding, salting, de-icing or hand-shovelling is included in the contract unless otherwise specified.
We typically install the markers 2 weeks before the start of the season and remove them 2 weeks after. We ask that if our customers remove the markers themselves that they put them on the side of the house or garage so that we may retrieve them. Please do not throw them out or store them inside.
No not at all, we plan our routes in accordance with the cities snow removal service. Ideally we arrive right after the city plow so you are not stuck coming or going. We also have the largest fleet of tractors in the city to reduce the amount of customers per route. You will find that even at the end of our route you will be done faster than being in the middle of many of our competitors routes. New to the 2012 season we started implementing a “Quick Pass” system during large snowfalls, see below for more details.
We operate 24 hours a day. Our start times are based solely on the snow fall. On average we will start a 10cm or less snowfall after it has fallen or a larger snowfall when 10cm is on the ground. With this system we cannot guarantee a particular time day or night. If it snows overnight as a general rule we start at 5am and are usually done the first pass before noon. If the city is plowing all the residential streets over night we will also work over night to try to remove it before you leave for work. For heavy snowfalls averaging more than 10cm, we typically will start a Quick Pass™ approximately halfway through the expected accumulation and follow up with a full pass when the snowfall has subsided. For snowfalls less than 10cm we usually dispatch our operators about 1 hour before the end of the snowfall. In 2010 we implemented the use of social media, namely Twitter, to provide you with up-to-date real time information as to our start times, status updates, and other relevant information. With our new site launched in 2014, you can view the live twitter feed directly on our homepage and have access to all the weather information you need by clicking on the weather page.
In 2012 we saw that during large storms it was difficult to decide the perfect time to dispatch our operators to both serve our customers in the quickest way possible while keeping the shifts for our operators still reasonable. For that reason, we implemented our unique Quick Pass™ system to be able to provide you with access to your driveway in the middle of a heavy storm and then making a second complete pass to give you the full width of your driveway with a nice, clean finish. If you have a single wide driveway we will complete one 8ft wide pass, while a double wide gets 2 passes, usually down the middle of your driveway and return towards the end of the snowfall to do the complete driveway. The benefits of Worry Free utilizing this practice during heavy snow storms are three pronged: quicker clearing times, shorter shifts for our operators, and more happy customers because they can get in and out of their driveways.
In the event of an emergency please call our office at 613-837-4556 and we will dispatch someone to your location. With our large fleet there is always a tractor within 10 min from your house.
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