Tips for Clearing Winter Snow
Tips for Clearing Winter Snow<< Back
Winter is coming, and the white roads soon coming your way can cause trouble if you live in areas prone to cold weather. Preparing yourself to battle the snowy conditions doesn’t have to be an indomitable undertaking – with the right tools and know-how, you can turn a fight against the frost into just another task on the to-do list. Read below for a few tips in how to clear snow from driveways and walkways this winter.
A Word of Caution
Inclement weather can be more than just inconvenient. Snow and ice on the roads can lead to dangerous driving, and even If you’re used to operating vehicles in hazardous conditions there’s a chance other people on the road may not be as experienced. When you have the option, avoid driving under dangerous conditions. Stay at home until roads are cleared, and try to be back before dark.
When you’re clearing ice and snow from areas around your living environment, have the appropriate gear with you for the intended duties. A warm coat, gloves, a hat, a scarf, and perhaps even goggles are all recommended to stave off the cold. Watch out for black ice, which forms just around the freezing temperature of water. Certain circumstances can give you clues to beware, such as warm tires melting ice & snow that re-freezes on the road. Do not use warm water to melt ice on your walkways for this reason, as you can create a nearly invisible slippery patch that you or a family member might unwittingly discover.
Calm in the Storm
Preparation is the better part of valor, and preparing yourself to deal with cold conditions in advance means you don’t have to sweat it when the frost rolls in. If you live in a region prone to frequent bouts with ice and snow, you probably already know that preparation is better (and easier) than the cure. Gritting your walkways and driveway with de-icing salt or sand is one step you can take ahead of time – although there are some considerations to know before choosing to use rock salt. BackyardBoss has a good article on How to Properly Salt or Sand Your Driveway with more information.
Having the right tools on hand is also important. Not all snow shovels are made equal, and if you’re buying a new one this winter there’s a fine line to walk between cost and quality. To help decide between options such as square or round, metal or plastic…here’s a Handy Guide to Buying a Snow Shovel. You’ll want to have a sturdy windshield scraper in every car, and it’s not a bad idea to load your vehicles with extra blankets, hats, gloves, and maybe even portable hand-warmers in case you get stuck on the road.
Home Snow Removal
Although it may seem like an abominable chore, shoveling snow isn’t as bad as it sounds. With proper form, it can be good exercise – and for a bit of hard work you get to be the hero of the day. To appear extra brave, head out to shovel snow while it’s still falling. It’s much harder to remove once a thick layer has had a chance to settle, and you’ll have the chance to work in intervals rather than one giant and grueling effort. You’ll take down the falling snow by inches rather than feet, and the sight of you battling it out in the blustery cold will warm the hearts of loving family members.
For most households, the snow shovel will generally be the weapon of choice. Other tools do exist to make your life a little easier, however, and you might want to explore snowblower options if you know you’re in for a rough winter. A quick tip for snowblowers is to start in the middle of a pathway or drive way and make a U-turn at the end. This way, you can avoid unnecessary passes and won’t have to adjust the chute as often. Another winter hack for lighter snow is to use a leaf blower to scatter the falling flakes before they can settle into heavier-packed ground cover. One last suggestion: if you’re going out into the storm with shovel in hand, grab one of these ergonomic handle attachments. It will save your back and keep you in the swing of things.
Pro Tip: To prevent snow and ice from adhering to your snow shovel, spray the blade of the tool beforehand with WD-40® Big Blast. Our multi-use formula helps the snow slide easily off the surface of the blade and makes your task a bit less daunting.