For many homeowners, with the coming of winter begins a battle against ice and snow buildup. In most cases, the goal is to prevent the buildup from posing a safety hazard as well as keep it from blocking exits and other areas that need to be reached. The following tips can help you better manage the white stuff once it starts falling this year:
Tip #1: Install some snow fencing
Certain areas of your property can be kept clear most simply by blocking the snow. This works well in areas where drifts tend to blow in and cause problems. For example, drifts around garbage cans or up against a doorway can be a pain to deal with. Installing a short fence on the windward side of the door, path, or another area will stop the snow. While some light snow will still likely get in, you will no longer have to fight to shovel major drifts since those will be out of the way on the other side of the snow fence.
Tip #2: Shovel properly
One thing that can be frustrating is to shovel the snow and then be greeted with a layer of ice the next day. There is a trick to shoveling so this doesn't happen. Make sure your shovel has a smooth, sharp blade along the edge. Then, shovel so that a paper-thin layer of snow remains. If you shovel down to the concrete you may reveal a thin layer of moisture that will quickly freeze in the cold air. By leaving a thin layer of snow, you have some traction until evaporation melts it off on a warmer day.
Tip #3: Use an ice fighter
There are two options in the fight against ice – a commercial ice melt product or sand. Do not use salt, as it may melt ice but it will also damage your paving. Commercial ice melt works well and tends to eventually dissolve completely, but it may damage plants if used to heavily. Sand doesn't cause damage and provides plenty of traction, but make sure you sweep it up as soon as the ice is gone so you don't end up slipping on loose sand.
Tip #4: Consider a removal service
Shoveling driveways or pathways can be hard work. If you are worried about hurting yourself or someone else in the house hurting themselves, it may be a better idea to contract with a removal service. They will come out automatically each time it snows and remove snow where you specify. You can even specify when they come out. For example, if you are willing to shovel on weekends, but need to make sure your drive is clear at the crack of dawn on workdays, contract with the service so that they only come out for overnight snows on your working days.
Contact local snow removal services for more information and assistance.