If you live in an area where snow accumulation is a strong possibility each winter, it is best to be prepared to deal with it beforehand rather than waiting until the last second. After all, if you do wait, you may not even be able to get out of your driveway to go get supplies in the first place, let alone anything else you may need. Plus, it is just safer in general to remove snow from your property’s walkways and driveway. This can prevent dangerous slips and falls from both you and any guests.
While some may prefer to hire out their snow removal when the time comes, it is not always a guarantee that someone will be able to service your property in a timely manner. If you are physically able to remove the snow yourself, it does not hurt to be prepared to deal with it yourself.
Here are some helpful tips to get you prepared to handle whatever snow befalls your property.
Get the Right Tools
Having the right tools on hand is much better than the alternative. If you have ever tried to shovel a sidewalk using a garden shovel, you know this very well. Make sure you have the following on hand:
Snow Shovel – This one is rather obvious, but you would be surprised at how many people try to get by using something else. Snow shovels are preferred because they are wide, and have a larger surface area for scooping snow. They also tend to be lighter on the scoop end, saving you some energy and effort as well.
Try to find a snow shovel that is durable, and has a large scoop area to hold as much snow as possible. This will cut down on your shoveling time, and make you more efficient.
Snow Broom – Wide snow brooms have special bristles that are designed to catch more snow as you sweep. These are generally used after you have finished your shoveling, and need to finish clearly the last bit of snow off the walkways and driveway. They can also be used to sweep areas of your roof, windows, and car windshield.
Snow Blower – If you are willing to spend the money, a snow blower can make short work of your snow clearing operation. You cannot blow away significant snowfall, but the blower can be a big help clearing away an inch or two, or as cleanup once you have finished shoveling.
Windshield Scraper Tool – This is always quite helpful when clearing your car of any snow and ice. If your scraper has a brush on one end, use it to get off as much snow as you can from your vehicle’s windshield and windows. One you have done that, use the scraper to carefully remove any frozen snow or ice, and then let your car warm up and take care of the rest with its heater blowers on the windows and windshield.
Get the Right Chemicals
This is just as crucial as having the right tools. Deicer chemicals can be a big help in preventing the snow or ice from forming on your driveway and walkways in the first place.Salt and sodium chloride are two of the more popular choices, along with calcium chloride.
If snow or ice is in the forecast, spread your deicer onto your driveway, porch, patios, and other cement areas the night before the storm is supposed to come through. This will prevent ice from forming, and will help melt snow accumulations if they are around one or two inches.
If you do not have enough for your driveway, spread the deicer out where your tires will be traveling. This can create a lane of sorts for your vehicles, without wasting your deicer. Always make sure your front porch and any outside steps are covered in deicer first.
Be sure that your chemicals are not left to where they are in reach of your pets. Be mindful of your plants as well.
Mark Your Walkways and Driveway
If snow accumulation is expected to be high, you can benefit from marking the boundaries of your driveway and walkway. Metal poles, plastic spikes, and wooden spikes are all suitable options. Make sure that you have them lined up correctly, and at a depth that can withstand snow and wind without tipping over.
These markers can help guide you along while shoveling, while also preventing you from accidentally damaging your yard or plants with your shovel. Even if snow accumulation is not high, drifts from high winds can make it difficult to know where to shovel.
A little common sense goes a long way. When shoveling the snow, be sure to not dump it off where it might be in the way, such as the street. Always wear gloves to protect your hands, and never walk with your hands in your pockets, as you might not be able to break your fall if you slip.
If your snow removal task is too much to handle, do not try to deal with it yourself — consult a professional service instead.