Southwest Virginia experienced its first big snow of the season over the weekend and it was both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, many of us got to spend a couple lazy days indoors, lounging around on our couches and enjoying the beauty of a fresh, unsoiled snowfall. On the other hand, frigid temperatures meant the snow wasn’t going anywhere any time soon, and, now or later, we’d all have to find some way to get it off our cars, driveways, and sidewalks. Shoveling snow has never been my favorite chore, especially in 15 degree weather. It can be backbreaking work, but there’s simply no way around it. As we plunge headfirst into the depths of winter, it’s best to keep these snow removal tips in mind. They’re guaranteed to save you a lot of time and energy that you could otherwise spend relaxing by the fire and drinking hot coco.
Most of us Virginians probably use a shovel to get rid of snow. This is fine for light dustings, but on the rare occasion that Virginia gets a significant amount of snowfall, shoveling all of that slush and ice can be absolutely miserable. It’s best to have a snow removal strategy before snowfall starts. We recommend spacing out snow shoveling so that you’re never shoveling more than a couple inches at a time; this means shoveling in rounds rather than all at once. It may seem like a pain to have to shovel several times during a big snowfall, but your back will thank you. Plus, snow is easier to shovel when it’s fresh.
As far as technique goes, it’s best to push snow to the edges of your drive/walk way and then shovel it from there. This will save both time and energy.
The Right Tools
When it comes to a big snowfall, you don’t want to be stuck shoveling several inches of snow with the wrong kind of shovel. Shovels, like all tools, are crafted with different kinds of purposes is mind. Some shovels, for instance, are made for pushing, while others are made for scooping. You’ll want both kinds to tackle a big snow. Pusher varieties are wide and rectangular shaped with low sides. Scooping varieties are longer, narrower, and have higher sides. There are some shovels that can accomplish both tasks at once. When shopping for a snow shovel, you may choose to buy one that is wide and deep so that it can push and scoop simultaneously.
Eco-Friendly Ice Removal
Snow may be annoying, but ice buildup is the real threat to home and business owners. Unfortunately, many ice removal methods can cause severe damage to grass, plants, soil, and ground water. Thus, it is extremely important to exercise caution when removing ice. Sodium Chloride is a cheap and popular brand of ice melt, but it can leach toxic chemicals into the soil and poison your grass. Urea, another popular version of ice melt, has the same effect. Calcium Chloride and Calcium magnesium acetate are safer (albeit more expensive) ways of tackling ice.