Yes, We Can Still Make Progress on Your Land Survey This Winter

A little snow won’t stop your surveyor!

Given the nature of how boundary surveys work (read more about that here) we often get asked what land surveyors do during the winter. There is a misconception that just because there is snow on the ground it is impossible to do a proper survey, but that is not always the case.  

Surveying land continues during the winter months as clients have needs year-round as baseline mapping is needed to plan and permit developments that want to break ground in the following summer months.  

Recognizing challenges on a case by case basis 

While not impossible, as the accumulation of snow increases, our ability to confidently locate and identify existing boundary markers decreases, making some projects more difficult than others.

For example, we may know what to look for if a certain marker is called for in a deed description, but many boundary markers that have been recognized for years are not mentioned in deed descriptions as these may have been set after the property deed was written. Undescribed boundary evidence may also consist of ancient stone walls, wire or wooden fences, which may not be locatable with a traditional metal detector.

However, if snow depths prevent a good inspection of the ground, a preliminary survey may be given in the interim until a final inspection can be made once the snow has receded and the final corner markers can be installed. This may happen more in urban areas where large snow piles accumulate from snow plowing activities rather than in wooded areas.  

Permitting year-round

Permitting work can and does continue in all months of the year. Some environmental inspections need to be done without snow cover or during nesting seasons for certain species of wildlife. Generally permitting projects can take a period of time, and we account for the windows of opportunity when sequencing our permitting workflows. 

Start now or hold off for warmer weather? 

At Herrick & Salsbury, our surveying fieldwork goes on twelve months of the year. Do not hesitate to call us during the winter months just because there’s some snow on the ground. We will let you know if conditions make it impractical to do your survey or if you can check this task off your winter to-do list. 

The sooner you can inquire about a project the better. Often times we can take a look at the items that need inspection prior to substantial snow cover and then proceed with our normal course of work during the winter season so your project can make progress.