Snow Removal

Does Elements Mtn Co shovel walkways, roofs, decks and propane tanks?

Elements Mtn Co concentrates its efforts exclusively on driveway snow removal. We would be glad to provide you with the names of reliable businesses who provide these services.

What happens if I sell my house during the winter season?

If you sell your house mid-winter, we ask that you prorate the snow removal fee within escrow (as you do with homeowner’s dues, taxes, etc.). Simply mention to your escrow agent or realtor that you have pre-paid for snow removal and they will arrange to have the unused portion of the season returned to you in escrow. If this is not possible, we will gladly prorate your fee and return the unused portion.

How soon should I sign up for snow removal?

Truthfully, your early commitment is greatly appreciated. Your early commitment allows us to begin estimating equipment, supplies and personnel for the upcoming winter season. It ensures that your driveway will be properly staked in October and then cleared completely throughout the season. It also allows our snow removal operators to view your driveway when it is free of snow during their pre-seaon route familiarization training.

How many driveway clearings do I get for my seasonal fee?

Homeowners receive unlimited driveway clearings from October 15th until April 30th when snowfall reaches a depth of 4″ or more.

Do I need to call Elements Mtn Co before I come up to Tahoe Donner?

It is not necessary to call ahead of time. Elements Mtn Co clears all of its driveways each time it snows, whether the home is occupied or not.

What if I have a doctor's appointment or a plane to catch?

In emergency situations we will do all we can to help you meet your commitments. But please remember that we are providing snow removal for approximately 90 additional homeowners on your route. Please give us a call the day before you need to be out and we will do all we can to accommodate your needs.

If your driveway has been cleared and you are restricted from exiting by a Town of Truckee berm, we ask that you use a shovel or snowblower to clear a path for your exit. We will return to clear the balance of the berm.

Should I wait for my driveway to be cleared before trying to get out?

Waiting is not necessary. Please feel free to drive over the snow in your driveway and don’t let us hold you up. We’ll be there shortly. Most homeowners have vehicles that are capable of navigating pretty deep snow. But please know the capabilities of your vehicle and don’t attempt to exit your driveway if you think there is a strong chance that you may get stuck.

Can I expect my driveway to be free of snow all the time?

Elements Mtn Co guarantees one driveway clearing per 24-hour period when we receive 4″ of snow or more. If it snows after we have cleared your driveway we will clear this snow from your driveway the following day. We suggest that you consider purchasing a snowblower in addition to contracting with a snow removal service if you want the security of knowing that you can get into and out of your house at any given time.

What if I have difficulty due to my driveway's steep upslope or downslope?

Unfortunately, some homes have been built without seriously considering winter access. Though Elements Mtn Co will do all it can to maintain access to and from your home, it cannot be responsible for the lack of accessibility due to steep up sloping or down sloping driveways, or accessibility problems caused by vehicles not well suited for winter conditions or unfamiliarity with winter driving. Elements Mtn Co suggests that homeowners with difficult driveways or driveways that have poor sun exposure or are susceptible to icing maintain a supply of ice melt or sand.

What if it's snowing continuously, I've got 1-2 feet of snow in my driveway, the town of Truckee snowplow hasn't come by yet, and I want to get out and head home?

It is up to you to determine if it is safe to proceed on the roadways or better to stay at home until weather and road conditions improve. Please be aware of your vehicle’s capabilities and limitations. We encourage homeowners to proceed through any amount of snow that their vehicle can safely handle. However, under some conditions it may be wise to remain inside your home until Elements Mtn Co clears your driveway and Town of Truckee clears the roadway.

What if Elements Mtn Co damages my house or driveway?

Home damage is an infrequent but unfortunate byproduct of working in confined areas and in foul weather. We take responsibility for our mistakes and will repair damage to your property caused by our negligence. Elements Mtn Co is not responsible for chain marks, scratches or gouges resulting from normal snow removal operations, nor will be responsible for driveway damage resulting from poor construction, driveways that sink due to a saturated base or poor compaction. Elements Mtn Co is also not responsible for damage to property left in, constructed or placed adjacent to the driveway that is not clearly visible to the operator and properly marked by the homeowner.

What if someone else's car is parked in my driveway when you are removing snow?

If we are able to identify who is parking in your driveway, we will politely ask them to move their vehicle. We will also inform them that you have paid for a seasonal snow removal contract and that they are obstructing your driveway’s snow removal. If we cannot identify the owner of the car, our operator can only clear that portion of the driveway that he or she can access.

If you know that a neighbor is continually parking in your driveway during snow storms, please ask them to park in their driveway and explain that it obstructs the service you have paid for.

Do I need to protect landscaping from your equipment?

It is always a good idea to stake and tie all bushes, shrubs and trees before the first snowfall. For information on winter landscape preparation, please contact the Villager Nursery in Truckee’s Old Gateway Center at (530) 587-0771.

Why is there snow in front of my garage door?

Wet, heavy snow and/or warm ground temperature turns the base layer of snow into a slushy mess. This wet base layer tends to push out in front of the snowblower as the tractor proceeds in towards your garage door. When conditions are right (or wrong) snow rides on top of the slushy base layer and is not processed readily into the snowblower. Our operators are familiar with these conditions and do their best to minimize the snow deposited in front of your garage door.

What should I do if one of my snowstakes has been knocked over?

First, please try to reinstall the snowstake yourself. If it is not possible to reinstall it, please notify us and we will send someone out to fix it. Please allow about one week from the time of notification to the time we fix the snowstake.

Does Elements Mtn Co stake my driveway?

Yes. Staking your driveway is included in your annual snow removal fee. We provide and install the snow stakes at the beginning of the season and removal them at the end of the season. We start installing snow stakes in early October and begin removing them in mid to late April.

How do you determine my snow removal price?

Your price is determined by the size, slope and location of your driveway. Large driveways, driveways with steep upslopes or downslopes, driveways in high snow areas and/or driveways that are prone to snow drifts may be priced higher than other Tahoe Donner driveways.

How close can you get to my garage door?

In most cases, our small tractors can safely maneuver within 12 ” to 18 ” inches of your garage door, car, stairs and/or entry. Our operators will remove snow from around these areas to the best of their ability. However, they may decide that the potential for damage to your property does not warrant the risk of removing a few more inches of snow. Metal garage doors are particularly susceptible to damage, therefore we tend to approach metal garage doors with caution and sometimes stay farther away when the snow is wet and heavy.

Is the town of Truckee responsible for clearing away my berm?

The Town of Truckee does not remove the berms that they create when clearing the roads. The task of clearing the berm is the responsibility of your snow removal service or homeowner.

What if the town of Truckee snowblow berms me in after Elements Mtn Co has cleared my driveway?

Elements Mtn Co guarantees homeowners one driveway clearing per 24-hour period. If the Town of Truckee berms appear to be unusually large, Elements Mtn Co will make every effort to return and clear them. However, we may not return until the following day and you may have to remove the berm yourself.

What is your policy on berm removal?

For a number of reasons it is difficult to coordinate our residential snow removal routes with the Town of Truckee’s road snow plowing crews. During snow clearing shift our staff monitors the Town of Truckee’s road plowing and evaluates the size of berms and their potential difficulty to homeowners. Based on our observations Elements Mtn Co decides whether or not the berms are a significant hindrance to homeowners and whether they should be cleared immediately or during the next snowclearing shift. However, there are times when we are not able to return the same day because of operator fatigue, heavy snowfall or slow road clearing response from the Town.

Why do you often clear driveways in the middle of the night?

We clear driveways in the middle of the night whenever possible is because there is very little traffic on the roadways at this time. The lack of cars on the roads significantly reduces our chances of vehicular accidents. Our tractors are constantly backing out of driveways onto the roadway. Operating during the middle of the night allows us to work quickly and without the risk or delays of vehicular traffic.

What time will you begin snow removal?

Elements Mtn Co will begin snow removal operations when snowfall reaches a depth of approximately 4″ in Tahoe Donner. Therefore, the timing of snow removal may vary from day to day. However, Elements Mtn Co tries to begin its snow removal operations between 1:00a.m. – 3:00a.m., with our routes taking about six to eight hours to complete. Because of the unpredictability and severity of the weather, we cannot guarantee that we will arrive at your house at a set time every day.

Rather than use a seasonal contract, can we have our driveway cleared as needed?

Sure. ‘Will-Calls’ are part of Elements Mtn Co’s business also. ‘Will-Calls’ cost a minimum of $150 per clearing. However, just like a seasonal snow removal quote, the fee is based on driveway size and slope. In addition, the price of a ‘Will-Call’ is based on the amount of snow in the driveway.

Most people prefer the seasonal contract as the break-even point is only four to five clearings. A homeowner or their guests could easily use a couple of those clearings on a snowy weekend. Additionally, homeowners that use the “Will-Call” method routinely find that a layer of sheet ice has formed under their driveway’s unplowed snow.

What is the purpose of having a snow removal service?

Upon arriving for a weekend getaway, homeowners rarely want to tackle a three foot berm and two feet of snow in their driveway. Similarly, full-time residents enjoy not having to clear their driveways before going to work or after returning home. Snow removal companies take on the burden of clearing your driveway and provide you access into and out of your home.

Do you use lightweight snowblowers?

Our fleet is 100% lightweight, snowblower-based tractors. Our tractors are driveway friendly and are optimized for the unique microclimates within Tahoe Donner. We have the best maintained, most appropriate fleet of snow removal equipment in the Truckee/Tahoe area.

Why should we choose Elements Mtn Co?

Elements Mtn Co is Tahoe Donner’s most innovative and progressive snow removal service, offering homeowners better snow removal and more value for their dollar. Our staff has the operational, mechanical and administrative experience necessary to offer Tahoe Donner homeowners a prompt, reliable and superior snow removal service.

Paint & Stain

Do You Perform Repairs And Light Construction?

Yes. We are a licensed General Contractor and have many talented woodworkers on our crew. We are capable of replacing deck boards, pickets and siding, rebuilding exterior staircases, fixing woodpecker damage, building fences or gates and other small construction projects.

Will You Cause Damage To My Vegetation?

The products that we use when pressure washing and cleaning your home are safe for vegetation. We always rinse vegetation before and after the cleaning process. Finally, we always wrap or cover any vegetation that is close to the house so that we do not get stain/paint on this vegetation.

Do You Give Advice On Color Selection?

Yes. We can provide you with advice on what color to choose. If you prefer we can also direct you to a professional color consultant who can assist you. You also have the option to have us apply test samples on your house to determine what colors will look like on your exterior wood.

Will You Replace Items That You Removed?

What Do I Need To Do To Prepare My House?

Not much. Please make sure that we have access to power and water. We will remove items (deck furniture, BBQs, signage, decorations) from the exterior of your home and temporarily store them in an area where they will not get damaged. If needed, we will remove firewood from your deck or walkway for an additional fee.

Do I Have To Be At My House When You Perform Work?

No. In fact, you will probably prefer to be away while we work on your house. It can be noisy and a bit smelly at times. We also cover the windows with plastic to protect the glass and window frame during the paint/stain process. This can lead to a claustrophobic, muggy environment inside the home that you may prefer to avoid.

Do You Need Access Into My Home?

Yes. We need access to water and electricity. We also check inside your home after we pressure wash the exterior to make sure that no water leaks into the home. That way, we can quickly clean up any water before it causes any damage.

How Long Do You Require To Stain/Paint My Home?

We usually require a full week. It takes us about one complete day to pressure wash and clean your home. It is necessary for the home to dry for one full day before we apply product to it. The staining/painting process takes about 2 full days. We usually return to the home on another day to touch up areas that require additional work, to paint the foundation, piers, footings and to clean up the job site.

What Kind Of Product Do You Use?

We use the highest quality products that are compatible with the products currently on your home. You may save money by using a less expensive product but you will actually pay more in the long run by using a product that doesn’t provide the longevity of tested, premium products.

Can You Treat Only The Weathered Sides Of My Home?

Yes, but a lot of the cost to stain/paint your house is in the preparation and set up. It doesn’t take much longer for us to prepare, pressure wash and treat the entire house versus just a part of your home. In fact, it takes a lot of time and energy to avoid getting product on certain sides of the home. Often there isn’t a dramatic price difference between a partial and a full home treatment.

How Often Do I Need To Paint/Stain My House?

A good stain job will last from 3 to 5 years. A good paint job may last 4 to 7 years. There are many factors that will determine the longevity of your exterior wood treatment, including quality of the product, preparation and application technique, sun, wind and UV exposure, mold and mildew growth to name a few.

Are You A Licensed & Insured Painting Contractor?

Yes, we are licensed by the California State License Board (CSLB #825998) as a General Building Contractor with a Painting & Decorating endorsement. The CSLB and California Employment Development Department require businesses who have employees to maintain worker’s compensation insurance. We maintain both liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance in order to protect our business, our workers and our clients from unfortunate accidents.

What Sets You Apart From Other Painting Contractors?

We take great care to hire conscientious, productive employees. We set high standards and hold them to the highest level of craftsmanship and attention to detail. We also know that value comes from treating you as a longtime, repeat customer, not just a one time paint/stain job. We pride ourselves on providing you with the highest levels of customer service and professionalism before, during and after your paint/stain project.

Merger

What are the benefits of this merger?

All snow removal operators who adopted snowblower-based tractors 15-20 years ago currently face looming equipment replacement costs. Separately, we could not envision a solution that did not include passing this upgrade cost along to our customers in the form of increased snow removal rates. However, by coming together as Elements, we will be able to realize efficiencies and increased negotiating power that helps us afford new equipment with minimal burden to our customers.

In addition, the benefits for our customers will be an improved service that is better aligned with our customer’s specific needs. For example, for a second homeowner, next year they might be able to login to our site to let us know they are coming up for the weekend so we can ensure there is no berm in front of their driveway before they arrive. This is a more customized service.

What can I expect from my snow removal service now that you are merged?

We are dedicated to providing the same prompt and professional service you have received in the past. Our coming together is allowing us to look at our processes to find opportunities to further improve both our winter and summer services to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction.

Why should I believe you will offer better service now that there is less competition?

In the past a lot of time and energy was put into competing against each other. Instead of using these resources against competition, we want to put this valuable time and energy into providing a service that exceeds our customer’s expectations. This will be accomplished by offering customer specific services such as berm clearing, house occupancy notifications, and many other new offerings.

How do you intend on bettering my snow removal service?

There have been many offerings that both businesses have realized might be of value to our customers. In short order, we are looking to create more efficient routes for faster and more responsive snow removal, adding upgraded equipment to the fleet and significantly improving the berm removal service. Next season we are looking to provide real-time technology advances for a more customized, transparent service, a pricing structure better based upon driveway size and location, and an expanded customer support team. Good things are coming your way.

I am concerned that now my snow removal service will go up in price, will it?

We will be working over the summer season to develop a new pricing structure that is directly related to driveway size and location. This will be a more equitable pricing structure that will reflect your personal driveway.

I don't want my service to change. Can you guarantee it will remain the same?

Although there are no guarantees, it is our objective to ensure your service remains the same, if not is notably improved for next season. We will be working hard to create routes, buy equipment and leverage technology for next season that substantially improves your snow removal experience. However, that being said, we do recognize that there are many different expectations for snow removal, so we will work to ensure your satisfaction as personally as possible.

General

What are Elements Mtn Co's office hours?

Elements Mtn Co’s administrative office is open from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday. Our administrative hours are not related to the operation of our equipment. Our equipment operations are dictated by the weather and will vary from storm to storm. We are available by appointment on weekends. Please call us at (800) 452-3060 or (530) 582-0300 to schedule an appointment on Saturday or Sunday.

Do you accept credit cards?

Yes. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.

Do you have a payment plan?

Yes. If you chose, you may pay your annual fee in three installments. Please refer to the ‘Payment Plan’ section of your snow removal agreement or the detachable coupons on your snow removal agreement for details on our payment schedule.

Do you have your contractor's license?

Yes, Elements Mtn Co has its General Building Contractor License # 825998

Driveway Sealing

Is It Normal For The Crack Filling Material To Settle?

The cracks are filled with a heated rubber product. It is the same product that Cal Trans and the Town of Truckee use to fill cracks in the roadway. As the material cools it works its way into the crack and can settle below the surface of the driveway. More settling will occur in larger cracks.

Can You Still Seal My Driveway If Really Broken Or If There Are A Lot Of Cracks In It?

We’ll provide you with an accurate, honest assessment regarding the condition of your driveway. We will suggest that you seal your driveway if we feel that this will benefit your driveway and improve its longevity. We may advise you against sealing your driveway and suggest that you contact a paving contractor if we feel that you won’t receive a performance or longevity benefit from sealing your driveway.

Do I Have To Turn Off My Sprinklers While You Seal My Driveway?

Please turn off all sprinkler zones that are adjacent to the driveway during the week that your driveway is sealed and for a short period after the driveway has been sealed. Sprinklers can inadvertally wash away the driveway sealant. Regular exposure to water, especially after the driveway was sealed, can affect the performance of the sealant and cause it to fail or flake off.

Do you fill in all of the cracks and is that a permanent repair?

We fill cracks that are equal to or larger than 1/4 inch in width. If the width of the crack is less that 1/4 inch the viscous crack filling material won’t penetrate into the crack and properly fill it up. Filling cracks does not eliminate the cause of the problem, but rather slows down the deterioration process.

When Can I Seal My New Asphalt Driveway?

We suggest that you wait at least 6 months and preferably up to one year before you seal new asphalt for the first time. This allows the surface oils of the new asphalt to dry and allows our sealant to adhere to the dry upper asphalt surface better.

How Come I Can See Tire Scuff Marks In My Newly Sealed Driveway?

Tire scuff marks are unavoidable, especially in the summer when the driveway surface is hot and the newly sealed material becomes soft. There is a lot of pressure and friction created on the driveway when you turn your tires. This can create superficial scuff marks. These marks won’t affect the protection provided by the sealant and will fade over time.

What If It Rains After You Seal My Driveway?

The sealant should be dry enough to stand up to rain within a couple of hours after its application. We are careful to work during good weather, but sometimes mother nature may surprise us with unpredicted rain. If this should happen give us a call and we will happily send someone inspect your driveway and reseal any areas that may have been affected by the rain.

How Long Does It Take For The Sealant To Fully Cure?

It takes about 30 days for the sealant to properly cure and harden. During this time we ask that you try to minimize sharp, slow turns with your vehicle while on the driveway as this may result in superficial tire scuff marks.

How Long Do I Stay Off The Driveway After It Has Been Sealed?

We recommend that you keep vehicles off of your driveway for 48 hours after the sealant is applied. For example, if your driveway was sealed at noon on Wednesday we recommend that you do not drive on it until noon on Friday. Driveway sealant dries like paint from the top down. It may feel dry on the surface but may still be wet underneath. You can walk on the driveway as soon as it feels dry to the touch, which is usually just a few hours after it has been sealed.

What Should I Do To Prepare For Driveway Sealing?

Please have your driveway clear of all vehicles, trailers, firewood and other items. Please turn off your sprinkler zones that are adjacent to or spray the driveway. Please also make arrangements to avoid using your driveway for 48 hours after we seal your driveway.

Do I Have To Be Home When My Driveway Is Sealed?

Nope. Our crews bring all necessary materials with them. As long as your vehicles have been moved from your driveway our crews will complete each phase of the job and a place barricade at the street to detour vehicular traffic.

When Is The Best Time Of The Year To Seal My Driveway?

The best time of the year to sealcoat your driveway is during the summer months when the temperatures are regularly above 50 degrees. However, we suggest that you seal your driveway as early in the season as possible to ensure faster drying times and to avoid the cool nights in the fall as the sealing material may take several days to completely dry and the weather is less predictable.

How Often Should I Reseal My Driveway?

We recommend that you reseal your asphalt driveway every 2 to 4 years. Driveways with steep upslopes or steep downslopes that receive more abuse from snow removal equipment may need to be sealed more often. Many people seal their driveway annually as it is an affordable way to increase the longevity of your driveway and beautify a very visible part of your home.

Will Sealing Fix Structural Problems Or Low Spots In My Driveway?

Driveway sealing is a thin, protective coating. It is not a structural repair. Whatever forces are affecting your driveway (tree root growth, frost heave, base settlement) will continue after we seal your driveway. Driveway sealing doesn’t fill in or build up low spots on your asphalt surface. To change the grade of your driveway you will need to have a paving contractor perform this work.

How Long Do You Require To Seal My Driveway?

We require five or six days to complete all driveway sealing steps and allow for proper sealant dry time. Driveway sealing is a multi-day process, it is not completed in a single day. We pressure wash and crack fill on Mondays and Tuesdays and seal driveways on Wednesdays and Thursdays. This schedule may vary due to weather or temperature concerns or unforeseen road construction. We recommend that you not drive on the freshly sealed surface for 48 hours.

Why Should I Seal My Driveway?

Intense ultra-violet light exposure, extreme temperature changes and the inevitable effects of snow removal wear on your driveway. Periodic driveway sealing and crack filling helps protect the oils that bind the asphalt together, seals over the porous asphalt surface, and reduces the chance of sub-surface water damage. Crack filling minimizes the amount of water that can penetrate down to the base material and erode away the driveway foundation. Driveway sealing increases the lifespan of your driveway and reduces the need for costly repairs and replacement.

What Sets You Apart From Other Driveway Sealing Contractors?

We are one of the only contractors in the Truckee/Tahoe area to use a product called SteelGuard 60. SteelGuard 60 is the thickest, most protective sealant of the commercially available seal coating products. We always apply SteelGuard 60 at full strength. We never water down it down. We take great care to hire conscientious, productive employees and hold them to the highest levels of craftsmanship and attention to detail.