Keeping your property clear of snow and ice can be a challenge when the long Ontario winters dump fresh snow every few days or, sometimes, for several days in row. Choosing a good deicer will help, but many times you also have to get out the snow shovel or snow blower and get to work. Here are a few tips for safely keeping your walks and driveway free of ice and snow.
Remove Snow Early and Often
The less snow you have to remove, the easier your work will be. Take a first pass on your sidewalk and drive when the snow is fresh. Once it’s been compacted by foot traffic or car wheels, it’s much harder to remove. If you have ongoing, continuous snow, it will be easier to shovel three or four inches a couple of times than shoveling eight or twelve inches one time.
Use the Right Tool
If you are going to buy a snow shovel, don’t get one that is oversized. A big blade looks like it will make the job go faster, but it is actually easy to overload, and you are more likely to strain your back. The best snow shovels and pushers have S-shaped poles or shafts. You won’t have to bend over as much; your back will thank you.
Dumping hot water on your icy walk may seem like a cheap and easy way to melt ice, but before long it’s going to freeze again. It will be more effective and safer to use treated salt or another premixed deicer. If you have areas that are extra slippery, use treated sand or a product that will give you some traction. In a pinch, regular sand or ashes will do the trick.
Be Systematic, Have a Plan
Piles of snow can build up quickly. Think about where the snow and ice will end up before you start pushing or blowing it around. It’s usually best to clear a central path or aisle first. Then you can clear to either side, minimizing the distance you push the snow. Be sure you don’t make a snow pile where it will block traffic or drainage, and don’t dump it in your neighbor’s yard!
Winter can be particularly tough on the elderly and those with mobility issues. If you have neighbors that could use an extra hand, get out early and shovel their walk so they won’t have to worry about it. Work out a plan with your able bodied neighbors to take turns helping those in need.
Most people don’t look forward to shoveling snow, but the ideas above can make the job easier. Not only that, but it’s worth the effort to make your property safe from snow and ice, lessening the chance of injury for you, your family and friends.