Tips for Snow Removal

If you're one of those people who live in a colder climate, hearing the word "snow" can be downright chilling. It wouldn't be so bad if we didn't have to shovel it, but it would seem that we have no choice. To make matters worse, the risk of injury is significantly greater after a good snowfall, so you have to act fast to keep friends and loved ones safe when visiting for the holidays.

As with many things, common sense and a little elbow grease tend to work best when controlling your winter wonderland. Snow removal is a cinch if you follow these simple guidelines:

Driveways and Sidewalks

  • As soon as snow and freezing rain begin to fall, spread a melting agent on the driveway and regularly traveled walkways to help slow the freezing process.
  • Grab a shovel and get outside as soon as you can, and don't wait for the sun to melt the snow naturally - a sudden drop in temperature can solidify snowfall quickly. Clear more than just a single-shovel path on the walkways, which will make walking safer.
  • If you are unable to remove a patch of ice, crack it with an ice chisel or heavy-duty scraping tool to expose the surface to the air. This will help accelerate the melting process.

Essential Tools of the Trade

  • Melting Agents: Also referred to as de-icers, these are specific chemical compounds of salt and heat-generating solids packaged in bags ranging from 10 lbs. to 50, and even 80 lbs. Spread the granules liberally on the driveway and walkway, but be sure to wear gloves, as melting agents can sometimes cause mild skin irritation.
  • Snow Shovels: Today's newer models are made stronger yet lighter to allow you to move snow easier than before. Choose one with an ergonomically correct handle to prevent straining your back.
  • Snow Pushers: Good for moving heavy, wet snow, these tools do what their name implies: They assist you in pushing large volumes of snow from one end of the driveway to the other. As an extra-added bonus, operating the pushers requires you to stand up straight instead of bending over, saving you a trip to the chiropractor this holiday season.
  • Snow Throwers: Although more expensive upfront than purchasing a shovel, investment in a good snow thrower is ten-fold. "A good snow thrower will allow you to clear snow in a fraction of the time," says Manfredini.

Credit: Lou Manfredini's Tips From the Tool Box, Ace Hardware

Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

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