While a fresh and thick blanket of snow is a breath-taking sight to many, the inescapable task of removing it is always a pain. Snow removal is not only an exhaustive task but also bring the risk of back injuries, damage to driveways, sidewalks and landscape.
If the upcoming winter season is already giving you fits because of the daunting task of snow removal, here are some tips to make it easy-going and keep you safe.
1. Use tall stakes around driveway, sidewalk and walkway:
While it may be obvious for you to locate your driveway, it isn’t an easy task for the company servicemen that might be employed for the task. Putting up tall stakes help them find your driveway and hence reduces the chance of harm to the landscape around your house. Keep this in mind if you don’t want to face a ruined yard in spring.
2. Invest in proper equipment:
In case you’re planning to do it all by yourself (Read: Snow Removal: DIY Vs Hire), we recommend that you buy a good quality equipment. While this advice may sound counter-productive for snow removal equipment isn’t required all the time of the year, but good quality equipment not only makes the work easier but also makes it safe. Go for a medium sized shovel with plastic or aluminium blade. For removing heavy snowfall, use an S-shaped shovel and for pushing and lifting fluffy snow, use a C-shaped shovel. A snow blower is the best investment you can make for this task.
3. Shovel often:
Shovelling is one of the most boring tasks ever. We agree. But if you wait for the snow to get a few inches thick before you start, you’re going to make the task much harder than it already is. Also, as the temperature would drop further, the snow would start sticking and form ice that is something you don’t want to happen.
4. Salt everything:
Even if you’re very regular and active in the snow removal task, ice has the keen ability to make its way, and it won’t come off until you use a de-icing product. Make sure to pick up the right one.
5. Select the right de-icing product:
Several de-icing products are available in the market to eliminate the slippery surfaces, but it is very profound to choose the right one as some de-icing products may damage the landscape or infrastructure. Sodium chloride is the least expensive choice but doesn’t work well below 25 degrees. Calcium chloride works well at below zero temperature and is less harmful to vegetation but at the same time, it leaves a slippery residue that is harmful to carpets, shoes, tiles and pets. Calcium magnesium acetate costs a fortune (not literally) but is environment-friendly and safe for pets, landscape and infrastructure. Urea is quite dangerous for the landscape. So, choose wisely.
6. Be gentle and don’t overdo it:
Instead of vigorously shaking the branches to get the snow off them, slightly brush off the snow. Wait for ice to melt naturally instead of scraping it. In case, you’re doing it all by yourself, take frequent breaks and keep yourself hydrated.
7. Save the foundation:
Be very careful about where you pile up the removed snow. Make sure to keep it away from the foundation of your house else you would have to face frozen pipes and foundation cracks. Getting these repaired can burn a hole in your pocket. So, it is better to avoid this.
Snow removal hasn’t been a thing you might want to do ever in your life, but it has to be done. It is better to do it the right way then repenting on your carelessness. Keep these tips in mind this winter.