The Do’s and Dont’s of Snow Removal

Out of all your year-round landscaping chores, staying on top of your snow removal during winter months is arguably one of the most important things you can do for your property. Neglect and improper technique can significantly shorten the lifespan of your concrete and asphalt surfaces. Additionally, it could create a hazardous situation for you and your guests; even a day of inattention could lead to a buildup of invisible patches of ice on your walkways and create a season-long hazard.

But don’t make the mistake of assuming you’re immune to trouble, either. Since us property owners are forced to deal with basic removal every year, we might assume we have enough experience under our belts for flawless snow removal, all the while making basic yet critical mistakes. These mistakes can cost quite a bit over time in both money and needless energy (and can rack up some serious medical expenses, as well). Review these simple tips and consider them your “shortcut” to a manageable front yard this winter.

As soon as the forecast promises snow, do thoroughly clear your driveway and sidewalks of dead leaves, loose gravel, and any other debris. This will “clear the slate” and save you a considerable amount of time once the ice comes into play. Once the snow begins to fall, do begin shoveling right away. Even if the storm is not expected to pass for another couple hours (or even for another couple days), anything you can do to remove that first layer of ice will make all the difference for the next pass you make. And do make sure you wear proper shoes with good traction – you definitely don’t want to bench yourself early on in the season. (You can also lay down sand or kitty litter on those especially stubborn patches of ice while you work.)

Speaking of stubborn ice patches, don’t be too rough chipping at ice with your shovel. It’s easier than you’d think to do serious damage to both asphalt and concrete surfaces, especially if your shovel blade is made of metal. You can choose instead to use a sturdy plastic shovel if you’re worried about any weak spots or cracks in your driveway. When selecting a salt or ice melt product, don’t choose one that will damage concrete or negatively affect the environment. Keep an eye out for products that use “calcium chloride” as the main ingredient, as these are the most gentle and eco friendly. Perhaps most importantly, don’t forget to take breaks while you work and stay hydrated despite the cold weather. This can be an easy tip to forget; the colder the weather, the more water you should drink and the more often you should rest. Your body will thank you over the long run.
The most important thing to remember this winter is to keep your driveway and sidewalks clear of ice and snow efficiently, consistently, and safely. For more information, head over to our services page to see how we can aid your winter snow removal efforts this year.

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