Every homeowner should know a few basic snow removal tips to take care of their property during the winter. After all, it’s important to come prepared for different potential problems or circumstances when doing snow removal yourself.
DIY Snow Removal Tips
The first snow usually comes in November or December — the tail-end of autumn or the start of the winter season. However, the first snow can come right after pool season. In some areas, it can even come as early as September. Regardless of when it will snow in your city, it’s important to be prepared to keep the snow off your property.
Many homeowners hire a snow removal company to maintain their driveway or property. But, not everyone can afford to do this as it can be quite expensive. As a result, many homeowners remove the snow themselves to keep costs low.
While this may be more cost-effective, DIY snow removal is tiring and has several potential dangers. How do you safely get rid of snow by yourself? Here are some snow clearing tips to keep in mind.
1. Warm Up
DIY snow removal can be tough, even for those who regularly work out. Doing a quick warm-up is best to avoid injuries or excessive soreness. Before shoveling or removing snow, spend 10 minutes doing a few stretches beforehand. You can also do some squats and arm circles before you start.
In addition, remember to listen to your body along the way while you’re shoveling. If you need to warm up by the bedroom fireplace, take a break and head inside. It’s best to listen to your body’s warning signs and re-evaluate your feelings before you pick things back up.
2. Dress Appropriately
While the winter is cold, a heavy coat may work against you during the snow removal process. Instead, opt for a coat that offers a better range of motion. You can also put on multiple layers to remove or add more clothes.
Avoid wearing cotton, as you may get the chills if you sweat. Moreover, make sure to use warm mittens, scarves, and boots. Wear a hat to cover your ears to protect yourself from frostbite if possible.
3. Get Better Grip
Falls, trips, and slips are no joke during the winter season. They can cause injuries that halt the snow removal process and risk your health. Thus, it’s best to stick ice cleats on the soles of your boots to provide better grip.
Grits like ice melt, rock salt, ash, crushed stone, sawdust, and kitty litter can also help treat walkways or driveways. Apply them early — preferably before the freezing rainfall, sleet, or snow — to prevent build-up. Make sure to apply these to surfaces that are prone to overnight refreezing.
4. Use a Saltwater Solution
If your property has a lot of hardened snow, it’s best to try to melt snow instead of shoveling. A saltwater solution lowers the hardened snow’s freezing point and lets it melt. Mix table salt and water in a spray bottle or bucket. Then, apply it to the snow to speed up the melting process. You can also break down the softened snow to remove some of it early.
5. Use a Tarp
What is the best way to remove snow in the long driveway? They say prevention is the best cure, which may be true here, too. Before it snows, consider covering your driveway, walkway, patio, or car with a car cover or tarp.
Once it snows, you can easily slide the snow off the tarp. It’s a simple and easy solution to getting rid of snow. Moreover, it’s especially useful if you want to save time and clear the snow quickly.
6. Use a Leaf Blower
Do you want to know how to remove snow from the driveway without a shovel? One effective snow removal hack for homeowners is using a leaf blower. Leaf blowers can quickly and easily blow away loose snow off of surfaces. Remember to stock up on charged batteries or stabilized fuel for the winter.
7. Keep the Snow Loose
Even the best snow plow techniques may fall short if the snow is hardened or compressed. As a result, one of the most common tips for snow plowing is to keep the snow loose. Avoid trampling or walking over the snow, especially in front of walkways and driveways.
Keep the snow loose by keeping a shovel or leaf blower near your home’s exit. Remove loose snow each time you head out. This may seem like a lot of work. In fact, it may be tempting to simply walk along the path and shovel it all at once. However, compressing the snow by walking on it will only make it harder to remove later.
8. Shovel While it’s Fresh
What’s the number one tip for how to shovel snow? Most people agree that shoveling snow while it’s freshly fallen is best. That’s because hardened snow, melted snow, or snow moved by a plow is much heavier to shovel. In contrast, freshly fallen snow is much lighter.
9. Walk Like a Penguin
If ice has formed around the area, you’ll need more than expert shoveling techniques. You’ll need safe snow shoveling tips to prevent accidents. One of these tips is to walk like a penguin on icy surfaces. This prevents slipping and potential injuries.
10. Use Cooking Spray
If the snow you’re working with is heavy and wet, shoveling may be more difficult. One of the best snow removal tips is to use cooking spray on your shovel before you start shoveling. This will help you quickly move through the snow. It also prevents sticking.
However, remember to wipe the shovel down before storing it in the closet. This prevents things from getting messy in your garage or storage room.
11. Use an Ergonomic Shovel
Shoveling can be a nightmare for your back. Consider purchasing an ergonomic snow shovel to make things easier. This can help you avoid potential health problems in the future.
12. Use a Snow Blower
While leaf blowers can be effective for small jobs, a dedicated snow blower can quickly work any walkway. If you decide to use one, start blowing in the middle and throw the snow towards the edges. Make a U-turn and come back down the other way. Keep alternating like this to avoid frequently adjusting the chute or doing multiple passes.
The winter season can be difficult for homeowners, especially if they experience heavy snowfall. However, if you keep these snow removal tips in mind, the work will suddenly become more manageable. Just start preparing early and purchase all the tools you need beforehand.
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