A fresh coating of white, fluffy snow can be a beautiful sight but having to clean up and remove the snow can be a burden. If not done properly, snow removal can cause injury as well as damage to your landscaping, driveway, and sidewalk. To avoid causing damage to your property, or yourself, there are some simple tips that can be followed for removing snow and ice safely.
The first step in preparing for bad weather is making sure you have all of your snow removal gear ready to go and in an easy to access place. When a big storm comes, you don’t want to be caught with no shovel or a snow blower with no gas. Prior to bad weather, you should make sure that all snow removal equipment is working properly and is in a spot that can be easily accessed. For equipment such as snow blowers, it is important to make sure that all parts are working properly and that the machine has oil and gas if necessary. You owner’s manual should provide further information on maintenance.
The best techniques for removing snow will depend on where you live, and how much snow you need to clean up or remove. Shoveling snow can be a great workout but it is important to take steps to avoid injuries, especially to your back. It is much easier to shovel small amounts of snow and repeat the process than try to remove a large amount of snow all at once. If it is not possible to remove small amounts of snow and repeat, then large amounts of snow should be removed in layers to avoid back injuries from lifting. You should also try to remove snow before it starts to get packed down by foot traffic or vehicles as once this happens removal can be much more difficult.
When it comes to snow and ice removal for sidewalks and driveways, you should avoid using ice picks as they can damage surfaces. Instead it would be a good idea to invest in a snow blower. It is also a good idea to invest in driveway markers which can be staked into the ground. Markers are especially helpful is you choose to hire a snow removal company that is not familiar with your landscape as they can help avoid damage to your lawn. Another thing that can cause damage to your lawn are deicing products. These products can also be tracked into the house where they can damage flooring and could even harm pets. The most common deicing products include sodium chloride, calcium chloride, calcium magnesium acetate, and urea.
Sodium chloride, or rock salt, is normally the least expensive deicing product that can be purchased. It does not however work well in temperatures that fall below twenty five degrees and it can also leach into soil, causing damage to your landscape. Calcium chloride works well in colder temperatures and is generally considered to cause less harm to vegetation. One downside to calcium chloride is that it can leave behind a slippery residue and it is also quite a bit more expensive than rock salt. Calcium magnesium acetate is an even more expensive option that can cost more than ten times the price of rock salt. The good thing about calcium magnesium acetate is that it is not only salt free, it is biodegradable, making it much safer for the environment. Urea, while normally used a fertilizer, is also a deicer. While it is less likely to damage vegetation, it can still burn your landscape and can also contaminate runoff water. There are also pet safe deicing products available many places.
While snow can be beautiful, having to do clean up and removal after a big storm can be a hassle but when safety precautions are taken, and the proper equipment is used, the clean up is easier. If snow removal is simply to much work or you suffer from health issues that prevent such exertion, there are companies that can be hired to remove snow from your property so that you don’t have to do the work.
Some More Snow Removal Tips
- Don’t Get Snowed In – Snow and Ice Removal
- The Best Shoveling Tips and Tricks
- Snow Cleaning Storage
- In The Bleak Mid Winter – 10 Tips for Safe Snow Shoveling
- How to Snow Blow Your Driveway With Ease
- Prevent Snow Shoveling and Snow Blowing Injuries
- Snow Blower Safety and Injury Prevention
- Keep Your Car Out of the Snow
- Snow Removal Shortcuts to Save Time and Energy
- Caring for Your RV in the Winter
- The Dangers of Rock Salt for Your Pet
- Tips for Sidewalk Snow and Ice Removal