At last, Colorado Springs has seen its first substantial snowfall. Some of us were more excited than others, but I think we can all agree that it has been an unusually dry winter. Perhaps a quick refresher on snow removal is in store.
A number of Home Owner Associations and landlords require snow removal and, as far as safety goes, ridding your driveway of ice and snow is generally a good practice. Whether you're a snow lover or a snow hater, check out these snow removal tips and tricks!
1. The Shovel
Shoveling: the classic method. A lot of good can come from getting out there and shoveling snow! It's great exercise, builds character, and gets the job done! That being said, take a few precautions before jumping into action:
Warm Up - Don't just go for it. Take a couple of minutes to get your heart pumping and warm up your likely frigid muscles. Do some jumping jacks or some lunges. This will help ensure you don't pull or strain a muscle. Plus, you will look really cool.
Bundle Up - We recommend warming up before bundling up. You can only move so much in 3 coats, a scarf, a beanie, 4 pairs of socks, and boots.
Know Your Limits - Don't fill the shovel entirely and then try to fling it out of the driveway. Snow gets heavy quickly. Try filling the shovel only halfway or buying a lightweight shovel. Ideally, you will push the snow with the shovel rather than lift it.
Don't Procrastinate - The longer you put off shoveling, the more packed, weighted, and difficult it will become. If possible, get out there while it's fresh and fluffy.
2. Salt Alternatives
Spreading salt is a fantastic way to melt snow and prevent slipping. Salt truly works, but what if the store runs out before the big storm or you forgot to pick some up and it's too late? Search your house for the following salt alternatives:
Sand - Inexpensive and effective.
Kitty Litter - Not likely to encourage melting, but will provide traction.
Coffee Grounds - Will offer traction as well as a bit of a mess.
3. Heated Mats
Heated mats and heated stair pads can be purchased at most hardware stores and online. They prove to be an easy and effective way to keep snow and ice buildup off steps and walkways. These mats are a bit pricier than a snow shovel, but are less time consuming and easier on the back.
4. Snow Scoop
Much like the shovel, you can't go wrong with a snow scoop. They're easy to use and work wonders in deep snow. Essentially, you just put it on the ground, walk, dump the snow, and repeat. Easy enough!
If you have access to a snowblower, you should first make sure you understand how to safely operate it. Your next step is to decided where you want to blow the snow before you get started. Ideally, you will blow it all away from the house and driveway. To better clear the area and avoid clogging, take it slowly. Patience is key!
However you choose to remove snow, you will find the most success if you get out there sooner rather than later. Fresh snow is a lot easier to move than packed, frozen snow. Always take the proper safety precautions and remember to have fun! If you need contractor or landscaping recommendations, give us a call! We are always happy to hear from you.