We’ve all heard the expression “the right tool for the right job” used in a multitude of different circumstances and it continues to ring true when it comes to choosing the tools we need for clearing snow, ice and slush around our homes and yards. Now is the time to rearrange your garage our shed and make sure that everything is in order before the first snowfall.
Most households have at least one snow shovel and if you live in a snowy climate, you really can’t do without one for snow removal. Your best bet is to get a shovel that is made of solid, thick metal rather than plastic or flimsy metal since you need it to stand up to ice and heavy snow. Big scoop shovels are handy for light, fluffy snowfalls but aren’t very practical when the snow is wet and heavy since they are too heavy for most people to push comfortably when they are full. Handles are available in various shapes and sizes, try to find one that is ergonomic and fits the size of your body. Metal handles tend to transfer the cold to your hands more quickly than wooden handles do, so wood is generally preferable.
Snow blowers are a nice alternative to shovels since they can cut down the time it takes to clear the snow. They are also beneficial for older people or anyone who physically has a hard time shoveling. Snow blowers are ideal if you live in a region that receives deep snowfall fairly regularly. They aren’t very good at clearing packed or heavy snow and if there is a layer of ice on the driveway or walk, you’ll still need to come behind the snow blower with a shovel to clear the ice by hand. As well, snow blowers are worse for the environment than shoveling by hand since they burn fuel or run on electric power.
If you have a very long driveway or a large area to clear and you live in an area that gets lots of snow, you might want to invest in a snowplow attachment for your vehicle. With a wide blade, heavy snow can be moved quickly and easily but it might take some time to hook up and unhook the blade every time it snows. Alternately, if you live in an area that only receives occasional deep snowfalls, you could hire a snow plowing service who comes and clears your driveway as needed.
A roof rake is handy for removing accumulated snow from the roof without having to climb up. Less snow on the roof through the freeze-thaw cycles can help prevent ice damming.
On occasion, a little ice melt or grit might be needed to help get rid of ice that cannot be easily scraped off. Make sure you promptly sweep it off the concrete and keep it out of your garden beds and away from waterways.
An ice chopper is a good alternative to using ice melt and is much more effective when there is thicker ice to be broken up and cleared away.
No matter how much or what type of snowfall your area receives, it is a good idea to be prepared ahead of time by having the right tools in your garage ready to go when Mother Nature decides that it is time for this year’s snow to make its first appearance.