It’s getting chilly outside and some of us are already beginning to see the rain turn into snow. Removing snow from around our homes is necessary to ensure our family’s safety. But you also want to remain safe while ensuring your family’s safety.
Dress warm, keep hydrated, and take your time when you’re out shoveling. There’s no need to rush the process and increase the chances of hurting yourself. Take water breaks when needed and don’t shovel too much snow at a time.
You might even want to stretch before going out to shovel, as you will be working and straining your muscles getting the job done. This can certainly help prevent injury.
Shoveling early and often in a storm might mean more work, but it will make things easier for you physically.
When shoveling a roof, work from the outer parts of the roof, moving inwards as you clear. Snow rakes and cutters are available for purchase and can eliminate the need for getting on the roof, which can be very dangerous. Snow removal tools, such as the one featured in the video below, make the job much easier.
Before it snows, mark the beginning of your lawn and shrubs with planters so you know where to stop shoveling. You’ll do more damage to plants trying to remove the snow, so just leave it be.
Be sure you are moving the snow somewhere where it’s out of the way and won’t cause harm, like the edges of your lawn or outermost parts of the driveway. Make sure you’re not throwing it in the neighbor’s yard!
Don’t completely remove the snow from your roof, but lighten the load instead. Shoveling down to the roof can cause damage to your shingles.
It’s best to clear the snow before foot traffic moves through and packs it down. This will create a slippery surface and can lead to injuries that could have been avoided if you had shoveled.
Avoid using ice picks on the driveway or sidewalks because you can cause significant damage. Stick with the shovel or invest in a snow blower instead.
Use a special ice breaking tool to get the job done with less strain on both yourself and your shovel. But remember to avoid using that ice pick in the driveway and sidewalks!
Remove any buildup on wooden or stone walls. You don’t want anything to freeze and cause cracks or other damage.
These don’t do anything to melt the ice but only provide some traction and will make a mess. Use ice melt to remove the danger of slipping on ice, or shovel as much as possible and use a little sand for traction.
Looking for an environmentally friendly ice melt option? Though it’s more expensive, consider Calcium magnesium acetate, or urea, which is biodegradable and free of salt. And, for more on ice melt, check out our post Are You Using the Right Ice Melt at Home (and is it safe)?
Kayleigh is a content writer with a BA in technical writing/literature and an MA in creative writing. When she’s not at work writing, she’s at home writing, reading, or binge-watching television shows… for research, of course. A big do-it-yourselfer and crafter, Kayleigh loves testing out projects and gifting them to friends and family—all in preparation for when she owns her own home one day and decorates with her own personal creations. Her work has appeared on The Writing Cooperative and as an Honorable Mention in East Meets West American Writers Review.