[winter] Tips for taking care of snow

Every winter, at least those with a lot of snow, we pull out our shovels and get to it. But there are things you can do to make the snow go away faster, and make the job easier…

It goes without saying that removing snow from sidewalks is imperative to keep people safe from falls and make life easier for those pushing strollers, or for old people to get around.  One winter while shoveling my own sidewalk I looked across a street and saw an elderly woman literally stuck at a crosswalk.  There was no way for her to cross as the snow was just too deep. Upon approaching her with my shovel she quickly apologized saying she had to get to the pharmacy.  So I shoveled a path for her to get to the other sidewalk.  It’s just too bad those who lived on those corner lots didn’t take care of this themselves.

So lets get to the tips:

1) Keep snow out of the street gutter.  You know it’s all going to melt, better to shovel the soft snow out of the way now so that melting snow can flow to the drains and not freeze into a small pond in front of your house.

2) Shovel everything you need to shovel while the snow is soft and fluffy.  This usually means right after it’s fallen.  Of course there’s the danger that more snow might fall, but better this than leaving it overnight and waking up to a frozen driveway or sidewalk.

3) Remove snow from vehicles right when the snow stops falling.  It’s so easy to remove it now, usually can just be brushed off, rather than waiting until morning and having to scrape the ice off.  I can’t tell you how much this has saved me time, and also having all windows cleared off without too much effort is a bonus for everyone’s safety.

4) Shovel snow to low areas of sidewalk or driveway, or into grass/plant areas.  This will help prevent melted snow from running across your clean surfaces and turning into ice.

5) Shovel snow against the foundation wall of your building.  As long as you don’t block any vents, this is fine to do. It will both insulate your house a bit, and also melt the snow faster leaving you with areas you can add snow later if more falls (this assumes the foundation wall is within a toss distance).  Do not cover siding or brick materials with snow.

6) Before it snows, move potted plants to an area you do not want to shovel.  This will make removing snow so much easier as the area will be clear of obstructions.  Remember that shovel is pretty clumsy around objects.

7) Do not shovel snow into areas that do not get sun.  This will just prolong the melting of the snow and could build up over an entire winter season.

How to get rid of ice?  I think the best way is first hitting it with some salt or melting pellets, and then breaking up the chunks and sweeping them away.  Of course with our tips you hopefully will not have to deal with ice.

What else can I do?  

1) Remove snow from the street intersection.  This obviously will help you and everyone else cross the street, especially if you do it as soon as the snow stops falling which will make removal easy.

2) Remove snow from around fire-hydrants.  Remember that the hydrant might save your own house or stop a tragedy from happening, if the fire department can find it and get to it.  Try to shovel at least 3 feet around it on all sides.

As the season continues and more snow falls, you’ll appreciate how employing these tips while shoveling will save you time and effort.  Let us know if you have other suggestions.

Please share especially with family and friends, it might save them some time and headache.

The above tips, ideas and concepts were written by SimpleTwig™, All rights reserved.

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