Most of us have a love-hate relationship with snow. While there’s something magical about watching snow fall from the warmth of our homes, cleaning up that snow after the storm has passed is a big hassle most of us dread.
But there are ways to make snow cleanup faster and easier, even when a major snowstorm is heading your way. Here are our 9 best tips to make your snow removal experience much easier this winter.
1. Salt Before It Snows
While most homeowners salt their driveways and walkways after they’ve cleared away their snow, it’s actually much more effective to use salt and de-icing products BEFORE the snow begins to fall. Rock salt and de-icers work by raising the freezing temperature of water to prevent ice. After snow falls, it can become tightly packed and slippery, especially after you walk on it. Adding salt before the snow arrives eliminates ice formation, making walking safer and snow removal easier.
2. Lay Tarps in Key Areas
Make it easy to clean up snow in key areas quickly by putting down drop cloths or plastic tarps before the snow starts to fall. Some key areas might include the walkway from your front door to the car, the driveway near your car, or your porch steps. When you’re ready to leave the house or begin snow cleanup, simply drag the tarp away and deposit the snow elsewhere in your yard.
3. Utilize Your Backpack Blower for Light Snow
Just because all the leaves are gone, it doesn’t mean you should put the leaf blower away for the season. In fact, your backpack leaf blower is the perfect tool to move light, fluffy snow in a jiffy. Use it on your driveway, stairs, or even your car to move snow quickly and get on your way.
4. Don’t Let Snow Build Up Too Much
It’s much easier to remove snow a little at a time than wait until the storm passes to get started. The more snow that falls, the heavier it gets, and the greater the possibility that the snow will stick to the ground, making it much more difficult to remove later. Instead of waiting, make frequent trips around your home’s high traffic areas, such as the front steps, major walkways, and driveway to get a head start on snow removal.
5. Stake Your Driveway and Sidewalk Ahead of Time
Expecting more than a foot of snow in your area? Create an outline around your driveway and sidewalk with tall stakes. This will make it much easier to know where to start your snow removal efforts, whether you’re shoveling, using a snowblower, or even hiring someone to remove your snow. This trick is especially helpful for big storms when conditions make it difficult to remove snow a little at a time.
6. Roof Rakes are a Life Saver
Heavy snow can wreak havoc on your roof. Excess weight can damage the structure of your roof, causing cracks and even eventual collapse. When snow melts and re-freezes, it creates ice dams that harm your gutters and cause even more damage. That’s why it’s so important to remove heavy snow from your roof as soon as you can.
While it can be relatively simple to shovel snow on a flat roof, sloped roofs are much more challenging. A roof rake can be invaluable to remove snow from your sloped roof quickly and easily, while you stay safe on the ground.
7. PAM Your Shovel
Shoveling snow is hard enough, but when wet, heavy snow sticks to the shovel, it can make the job seem ten times harder. One way to prevent snow from sticking to your shovel is to spray your shovel with PAM cooking spray before heading out. The cooking spray creates a slippery barrier between the snow and your shovel, making it much easier to release the snow where you want it.
8. Invest in a Snowblower
Tired of removing snow by hand winter after winter? Investing in a snowblower can save you a lot of back-breaking work, especially when tackling large areas like sidewalks or your driveway. While snowblowers can seem expensive, you’ll appreciate their power when you dig out of your first heavy snowfall with ease.
For example, Husqvarna snowblower models feature a two-stage system that grinds hard-packed snow before discharging it through the impeller for top-level performance in even the heaviest snow. But snowblowers are also a great tool to have around to move even a few inches of snow.
9. Practice Healthy & Safe Habits
Shoveling snow is hard work, especially when you get older. Go easy on your body, and don’t do too much at one time.
• Be sure to bend your knees and lift with your legs, keeping the shovel blade as close to your body as possible.
• Avoid twisting motions that can put a lot of strain on your back. Instead, try to turn your whole body when dumping snow.
• When shoveling more than a few inches of snowfall, don’t try to dig all the way to the ground on your first pass. Shovel a few inches at a time to keep the weight manageable.
• Give each side of your body a rest by alternating from right to left-handed shoveling. You can also change your grip from underhand to overhand to limit fatigue and prevent sore muscles.
While cleaning up from a winter storm will probably never rank on your list of fun activities, we hope these tips will help you dig out faster and make snow removal a lot less dreadful this winter.
And remember, the professionals at PowerPro Equipment are always here to help with your worst backyard chores throughout winter and beyond. We offer a huge selection of power equipment, including snowblowers, leaf blowers, and much more, along with a dedicated service team to keep your equipment running like new.