How to Remove Snow and Ice From Your Property
Temperatures are dipping in many areas of the country, and some states have already experienced their first snow of the season! Snow looks beautiful when it falls, and the first snow of the season is special, but as the winter wears on, many of us grow weary of getting rid of the white stuff. Even more troublesome is ice, which can cause nasty falls and property damage if your car slides as you pull into your driveway. Here are some tips for removing ice and snow that might reduce your headaches this winter:
- Buy a good shovel
Shoveling is a chore, to be sure, but it can be less onerous if you have the right tool for the job. Look for a lightweight model that will be sturdy enough to remove snow without breaking. While you might think that a bigger blade makes sense, a too-big shovel will only tempt you to pick up more snow than you can safely handle. Choose a medium-sized shovel with a non-stick finish. Also, a snow pusher, which looks like a shovel but has a blade shaped like the letter “C,” is great for pushing lightweight snow off of the driveway and walkways. If you have a deck or patio, using a plastic shovel will help you avoid damaging the wood or stones.
- Don’t save snow removal for after the storm
You might have heard the adage, “Shoveling the walk while it’s still snowing is like cleaning the house while the kids are still growing.” This does have some merit to it, but just as you wouldn’t let cobwebs build up for years while your children are small, you should not let the snow pile up during a long storm. Go out to shovel a few times. If you can remove a few inches two or three times before retiring to bed on a very snowy night, at least you’ll have that much less snow to contend with when you wake up!
- Invest in a snowblower
If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, then you can save your back by using a snowblower instead of a shovel. If you have a asphalt or concrete driveway, then a single-stage snowblower is probably adequate for your needs. If you have stone or gravel in your driveway, however, you’ll need a two-stage snowblower. Another option is to use your lawn tractor, if you are able to to get a snowblower attachment for your model.
- Be proactive when it comes to ice
It’s best to put down an anti-icing agent before the snow starts, because that will help keep ice from forming. If you can’t or haven’t, however, you can still use a de-icer to break up the ice before you start shoveling. There are many different types of de-icers. The type that you use will depend on the material that your driveway and walkway is made of. Be sure to read the packaging very carefully, because some types of chemicals are very abrasive to concrete or other materials.
- Go high-tech
There are some high-tech options that you might consider for ice and snow control. For example, heat-conducting mats, underground electric or hot-water systems for keeping the ground warm, and infrared lamps are all ways that some homeowners keep their walkways and driveways from accumulating too much snow. If you are having a driveway re-poured, it might be worth looking into these options.
Keeping up with good ice and snow control can save you from injury and make your after-storm cleanup much simpler. Remember that leaving snow to deal with later usually just results in an icy mess that is even more difficult to take care of, so don’t procrastinate when it comes to clearing away your ice and snow.