If you live in a part of the world where winters are long, cold and snowy, you know that shovelling isn’t all that fun!
Shovelling driveways, decks or pathways around your home is one of the necessary evils of winter – it’s almost never enjoyable to do but it makes winter living a whole lot easier for you, your family and your neighbours. While it’s largely unavoidable for many of us in colder climates, there are a few ways you can make shovelling snow a bit easier this winter. Here’s how.
Don’t Wait Till It’s Too Late
If you can, get out to shovel your driveway, deck and pathways while the snow is still falling, or as soon as the final snowflake drops, because that’s when the snow will be easiest to clear. The longer you wait, the harder it’s going to be to remove that snow from the surface – the snow will either become more heavy and wet or it will turn to ice when the temperature drops. Either way, a job that may have been irritating but relatively easy becomes irritating and exhausting if you don’t get to it right away. If you start shovelling while snow is still falling, it’s possible you’ll have to go back out later and give the driveway another pass. That may seem counterproductive but quickly clearing the driveway again will be much easier than clearing the entire area after you’ve waited too long and snow conditions have worsened.
Push, Don’t Lift
Shovelling the driveway after a significant snowstorm can be strenuous work, especially if you’re dealing with large amounts of snow or snow that’s wet and heavy. If you’re not properly prepared or using the right techniques, you could risk hurting yourself.
Most injuries that happen because of shovelling snow are back injuries – more specifically, the lower-back area as a result of lifting snow and ice without using proper techniques like lifting with your legs, bending your knees instead of your back and keeping the shovel close to your body.
The safest technique, however, is to simply push the snow to the sides of your driveway rather than lifting it all the time. It may not be possible to push all the snow but doing so for a significant portion of it could save your back from a lot of pain.
Devise The Perfect Plan
As you’re getting prepared to head out into the cold to clear out your driveway, devise a plan that will help you get the job done as safely and efficiently as possible. While starting your shovelling at the top of the driveway may seem like the logical place to start, working from the centre of the driveway will result in you moving less snow with each pass. That will save you energy and your back but remember to clear a pathway to the centre so you don’t have to scrape stepped-on snow off the driveway. In addition to starting in the centre, make sure to clean off any vehicles in the driveway before shovelling and do your best to avoid shovelling the same areas twice. This will also help you avoid scratching a car that is buried in snow.
Ditch The Shovel
If you’re reading this article, you’re looking for ways to make one of winter’s most tiresome chores that much easier. It’s also likely that you’re sick and tired of shovelling. If that’s the case, maybe it’s time you consider buying a snow blower. If you’re constantly shovelling a lot of snowfall from a good-sized driveway throughout the winter and you’re searching for a better option, a snow blower is the way to go.
Yes, a snow blower is more expensive than a shovel and it requires regular maintenance but there’s no denying the time and energy it saves. No matter the amount of snowfall you get in your area or the type of surface you’re clearing it from, there’s a snow blower out there that will make your winters significantly easier.