Lots of people love winter snowstorms, but few enjoy dealing with the aftermath. Shoveling snow can be tiresome, time-consuming, and even dangerous for those who have underlying health conditions. Instead of using brute force to shovel out after every snowstorm, read on to find eight helpful tips for dealing with snow removal more efficiently.
1. Have the Driveway Plowed
While most people can tackle walkways, entryways, and shoveling out cars by themselves, few have the time and energy to shovel entire driveways. Professional snow plowing services offer the perfect solution, so don’t be afraid to take advantage of them.
2. Place Tall Stakes Around Walkways and Driveways
Whether residents plan to shovel out themselves or enlist professional help from a plow service, it can be hard to tell where walkways and driveways start and lawns end. Avoid damaging the landscaping by placing tall stakes around these areas to make them easier to locate even under multiple feet of snow.
3. Invest in a Good Shovel
People who are new to living in snowy places often assume that all snow shovels are equal, but they’re wrong. It’s worth spending the extra money on one or two high-quality shovels. S-blade shovels are best for heavy snow, while C-blade shovels are perfect for light snowfall.
4. Shovel Often
During serious snowstorms, it’s better to bundle up and head outside to shovel every few hours than it is to let all that snow accumulate until the next day. Large piles of snow can get quite heavy and if the temperatures change, the bottom layers can thaw out then freeze to the ground.
5. Stay Safe
Shoveling snow isn’t just an annoyance. For older Americans and those with underlying health problems, it can also be a dangerous activity. Think about hiring a comprehensive snow removal service that can shovel walkways in addition to plowing driveways, or barring that better option, follow these essential safety tips:
- Bend with the knees and lift with the legs
- Keep the blade close when lifting the shovel
- Switch between hands frequently
- Change between overhanded and underhanded grips
- Take breaks as needed to avoid overexertion
6. Think About Investing in a Snow Blower
Homeowners who are sick of shoveling out after every storm may want to invest in snowblowers. They’re more efficient for removing light snow from large areas such as patios, though it’s still best to have driveways plowed and to use a shovel for decks.
7. Remove Snow From Roofs
Leaving snow on the roof can lead to the formation of ice dams, which can do substantial damage to both gutters and roofing materials. Shovel flat roofs that are easily accessible and use a roof rake for sloped roofs.
8. Choose the Right Ice Melt
When the sun comes out after a snowstorm, it can melt the snow and ice and make driveways and walkways into a slippery mess, especially once all that water re-freezes. There are plenty of options for dealing with ice, including salt, calcium magnesium acetate, calcium chloride, and urea. Read through the warning labels carefully. Some of these ice melt products can harm pets and damage plants, so it’s important to choose the right one.
Enjoy the Winter Wonderland
One of the best things about implementing the tips above is that it gives homeowners and their families more time to enjoy the best things that winter has to offer. Instead of wasting hours every day shoveling out driveways and dealing with ice dams, they can relax by the fire, plan ski trips, and find other ways to enjoy the snow.