Winter will be upon us before you know it, so it pays to know how to prepare your home for heavy snow. That includes that heavy layer of snow you always seem to get on your driveway.
We’ve helped in other posts with choosing the right snowblower, but if you are still finding it back-breaking work and are not really shifting the snow as quickly as you’d like, you may be doing it wrong.
The Best Ways to Clear Snow From Your Driveway
In the following post, we aim to help you clear that snow much quicker, so you can get on with the rest of your day. Ultimately, these hard winter chores are made much easier when you invest in the best snow blowers for your home.
But if you are having trouble using one, or just have a snow shovel at home, these tips and safety advice on the best way to clear snow from your drive will surely help get the job done.
Tips for Shoveling Snow the Right Way
If you don’t fancy getting the snowblower out, you may be considering tackling that snow with a shovel. There are two options you really have when it comes to shoveling snow.
You could do what many proactive and on-the-ball sorts do and remove the snow after a small number of inches fall, particularly if it’s a continuous storm or you could leave it until the storm has properly ended and tackled it in layers.
One of the best ways though is to do it in two parts. Use a pusher-style shovel to first move all the snow from the drive to the sides and then use a garden shovel to get whatever’s still on the ground.
Safety First When Shoveling
Although you may not think it’s really that dangerous, you’d be amazed at just how many snow shoveling accidents happen every year. Despite many seeing it as just another of their everyday household chores, the American Heart Foundation has warned of the health hazards related to snow shoveling.
In addition, between 1990 to 2006, there were on average 11,500 injuries related to snow shoveling treated at ER departments throughout the country. So, we recommend that you take all the safety measures and precautions you can so you can do the job at hand without causing harm to you or anyone else.
Tips for Using Snowblowers the Right Way
Now there are always wrong ways and right ways to do things, especially when using powered tools like snowblowers. One of the things many people get wrong is not acting quickly enough. If you are too slow with blowing snow, you won’t be able to get the distance necessary to clear it.
However, you need to be aware that if you work too quickly, the snow could just start blowing out the sides of your blower. It’s also the case that one technique for blowing snow that’s effective on one property won’t be the right technique for another. You must think about the layout of your property.
The last thing you want, after all, is to blow snow onto the pavement or area you’ve cleared already. The best way to tackle driveways with suitable clearance at either side alongside them is to work down the middle, moving the snow to one side.
Once you’ve worked your way down to the end, make a quick U-turn and work back down, moving snow to the other side this time. Just always alternate the side you shift the snow to and then you won’t need to fiddle to adjust the chute so often and snow that doesn’t get shifted one pass will get picked up on another one.
Typically, though, by doing it this way, you will only need to work your path twice, once each way. If your driveway runs alongside your home, always start on the side next to your home, as this will help you to avoid pushing snow onto the paved area that’s already clear.
Safety When Using a Snow Blower
Although modern snowblowers are designed for just about anyone to use them easily and safely, they can still cause a whole host of injuries. That is if you don’t take the necessary safety precautions and measures when using them.
To ensure you always use a snowblower safely, here are some safety guidelines;
- Wear boots with soles that have traction to prevent slips
- Always stay focused and alert
- Work at a steady, but brisk pace
- Consider using the snowblower a few times during a storm if wet and heavy snow is forecasted to keep on top of it
If your snowblower clogs:
- Switch the machine off and disengage its clutch
- Allow five seconds for the machine to shut down properly and the blades to stop turning
- Never use your hand to clear the auger, instead of using the handle of a broom or a stick
- Never remove the safety shields and components
The above is not supposed to scare you or put you off using a snowblower completely, but just to educate you about how you always stay safe when using one. Always refer to the manufacturer’s handbook for safety advice.