Snow Removal Tips
Winter is here and that means snow! And snow means snow removal. Snow removal can be like going to the grocery store – it needs to be done but you really don’t want to do it! In case you need motivation, here are some reasons snow removal is necessary and good for you!
Shoveling and snow blowing are both excellent sources of cardiovascular and strength work! It’s also something families can do together to get that much-needed outdoor time and, as an added bonus, it keeps your house and yard looking neat and clean.
On a less fun but equally important note, most municipalities have requirements to clear at least the sidewalk and mailbox area so it’s safe for others to use. Cleared sidewalks and driveways will melt and dry faster eliminating the possibility that ice will form.
Not only is snow removal necessary for personal protection, but it’s important to protect your home too! The following areas of the home should be checked after a significant snowfall.
Vents: Clear vent openings so the furnace, water heater, dryer and any other exhaust can exit the home.
Not only does this increase safety but it also helps your appliances to run at maximum efficiency.
Gutters: Have them clear of leaves and debris before it snows so they can drain melting snow properly. This keeps the foundation of the home protected and prevents flooding or erosion around the home.
Roof: Snow and ice adds additional weight. Newer homes are designed to carry the extra weight but be mindful that if you have a flat roof, snow may need to be removed from the roof in rare cases of heavy snowfall.
So we need to remove snow…got it. But what types of tools work best? There are a few options that differ in approach and cost – here they are in no particular order:
Shovels are often used for the manual clearing of porches and small walkways. There are specialty roof shovels that allow for snow removal without climbing on the roof if you have a roof that needs clearing.
Mechanical tools such as plows, rotary brushes, and snow blowers offer an easier way to clear snow. Within this group, there are a variety of options. Snow blowers are the most common and come in two basic categories – single stage and two stage. Single stage snow blowers directly contact the surface and are best used for light to moderate accumulations, but not ideal for gravel driveways. Two stage blowers are ideal for moderate to heavy accumulations and have an adjustable height for a variety of driveway surface types.
Melters alter the freezing point to enable melting. The most common one is salt. Electrical-powered eaves melters prevent ice dams and are best installed prior to snowfall. Radiant heat in driveways or sidewalks can also aid in melting ice and light snow and is often used in commercial applications.
Now that you’re prepared for snow of all types, enjoy the beauty of the winter and be safe and warm!