Snow Removal Tips That Don’t Include Fire
Unless you’re a bonafide Yeti, you’re bound to need to get rid of some snow sometime. This also probably means that you’re going to want to know the best way to do it. So we’re getting into the top questions asked about snow removal, our best snow removal tips, and some truly awesome pyrotechnics that we may or may not think even Mr. Abominable himself would be in awe over.
5 Questions About Snow Removal
Alright, straight from the list of hottest questions our winterizing crew gets asked every cold season, here are the top 5 queries about snow removal on every homeowner’s mind!
What Is The Best Way To Remove Snow?
The best way to remove snow is going to vary depending on how much snow there is, what kind of material is beneath it, and if there is any ice involved in the situation. But for ease of informational digestion, we’ll give you a few scenarios and the best way to remove snow for each of them.
- If you have a large yard or patio, the best way to remove snow is with a snowblower—probably a two- or three-stage gas-powered one.
- If you want to clear snow from your driveway or walkway and it’s smoothly poured, it shouldn’t require too much manpower. We honestly think a great snow shovel is the best way to go here.
If there is ice on your walk, it’s best to use some form of deicer (more snow removal tips on this icy business below!) to force ice to melt and/or break away from the surface.
- If you have children, the best way to remove snow is to get them to do it for you. (Okay, maybe you want to pay for a legitimate snow shoveling service, but either way, the key on this one is you not having to do the work yourself.)
How To Get Rid Of Snow Quickly?
Well if we’re strictly focusing on speed here, one of our best small-scale snow removal tips actually requires a bit of forethought which will make the removal process nearly immediate. If you know snow is in the forecast (not massive dumping, but light to moderate snow) just lay down a canvas drop cloth or tarp on your stairs, walkway, or car. Then, when you’re ready to leave or anticipating a guest’s arrival, simply drag the tarp away and shake it off in a sunny spot of the yard where it can melt quickly.
How Do You Prepare For Snow Removal?
Preparation for snow removal has several aspects. General snow removal prep means having whichever deicer you prefer on hand. An ergonomic snow removal shovel is a must-have in wintry climates. Snag a tarp for your steps, too. Investing in a snowblower or snow removal service if you have a lot of property to cover is also important—preferably before the real snow starts to deepen.
But one of our favorite ways to prepare for snow removal is to need a lot less of it in the first place. How do you ask? By installing snow melting mats with your hardscaping. Think of it as in-floor heating for your outdoor walkways, driveways, etc. Definitely, something to consider if you live in heavy-snow areas.
Should I Use Rock Salt?
Ah, yes—the age-old rock salt vs. ice melt debate. Really, the choice is yours but here are a few facts that’ll help you make your decision:
- Temperature—Rock salt can only work as low as 5°F whereas an ice melt with calcium chloride can work in temps as low as -25°F.
- Speed—Ice melt is typically regarded as the faster of the two options, but rock salt can increase traction faster even if it’s not melting the ice as quickly.
- Damage—Honestly, you’re pretty much looking at sixes here unless it comes to your vehicle. While the two types of ice melting agents do similar damage to asphalt and concrete, rock salt can damage your car quicker.
- Landscaping—If you’re worried about damaging your landscaping, you should probably opt for a higher-end ice melt using magnesium chloride which will wreak less havoc on your yard.
- Price—Typically rock salt is cheaper, while ice melts can run higher.
Can You Use A Flamethrower To Clear Snow?
We get it—you’re at the end of your candy cane-striped rope. Winter never ends and the snow just keeps on coming. We live in Utah, too, remember? But regardless of how long you’ve been feeling trapped under that maddening blanket of frosty white, we simply cannot (legally) recommend using a flamethrower to clear snow. No matter how ridiculously awesome it may look.
11 Snow Removal Tips That Won’t Send Your House Up In Flames
Utilize Your Leaf Blower
For a fairly light snowfall, make use of your leaf blower rather than getting out a larger snowblower for a small job. Just don’t send it over to your neighbors or they won’t come caroling again this year. On second thought…
Suck It Up
No, we don’t mean just deal with it. We mean bust out your trusty wet/dry shop vac and suck up the snow that’s making it impossible to enjoy your outdoor grill and patio, then flip the switch and shoot it out into a sunny spot in the yard.
Arm Yourself With The Right Shovel
Possibly landing itself at the top of the list (don’t worry, we checked it a couple of times) is this basic snow removal tip: get yourself the right shovel. Your back and wallet will thank you for not purchasing multiple models that were meant to break both.
Take A Lesson From The Slopes
You know the wax that skiers and snowboarders use to glide beautifully down the mountain without snagging on wet snow? Consider your snow shovel as another way to carve the white stuff easily. And honestly, anything from a little candle wax to cooking spray should work just fine.
Get In-Floor Heating
Yep, it’s a thing—either built-in from the start or with add-ons like these, in- or on-ground heating can be a lifesaver for slippery areas like steps and front walkways.
Don’t Forget The Roof
Your home’s roof likely has enough slope to keep the snow from becoming a problem, but make sure you’re clearing out any areas in the roof design that may be gathering snow and causing water damage. And don’t forget about any outbuilding roofs that may not have a typical slant—find a safe way to shovel those, too!
Don’t Let It Build Up Near The Foundation
Snow can cause issues for your home even when it’s not getting inside, so another important snow removal tip is to keep snow buildup away from the base of the house in order to help prevent frozen pipes or a damaged foundation.
Try A More Natural Deicer
Things like sand, coffee grounds, and even sugar beet juice have become more popular in recent years in providing a way to melt ice without salt and add a little traction to your hardscape surfaces. Just remember, they each have their own set of ramifications too. Like sand possibly clogging up storm drains if used too abundantly.
Defrost With Alcohol
This one is mostly just for defrosting windows but it can come in handy when you’re in a hurry. Rubbing alcohol or any clear drinking alcohol, like gin or vodka, can be sprayed on your windows and then towel-dried for a streak- and fog-free finish.
Remove Ice From Your Driveway With Water
It may seem a bit backward but spritzing a little water—so long as it’s lukewarm and not cold (say hello to more ice) or hot (say goodbye to crackless concrete)—over your driveway and steps can be a great way to remove ice quickly. It’s a good idea to squeegee excess water away from the area to prevent it from refreezing.
Hire The Pros
Sometimes the best thing you could do to get rid of snow is to have the professionals make it happen for you. Having regularly scheduled landscaping services can be a lifesaver in the winter, and that can start long before the snow flies. Some professional landscaping companies, like Big Rock, offer winterizing packages that can make snow removal less of a hassle during those long winter months.
Follow The Big Rock Blog For Top Landscaping Tips
Yes, it’s true—we have even more to say than please don’t use a flamethrower on your snowdrifts. And we’re sure that some of it’s even going to be helpful to you! Whether you’re looking for snow removal hacks, tips on getting the best grass come spring, how to take care of your inground pool all summer, or what the heck to do with all those obnoxious leaves every fall, the Big Rock Landscaping blog is your expert resource for all things landscaping, hardscaping, and all the eye candy you could ask for associated with either one, year-round.