The expression “the right tool for the right job” applies to most home improvement projects and is especially important when it comes to winter snow removal in order to prevent injuries, and make quick work of those heaps of snow.
• Every household needs a basic snow shovel made of solid thick metal with an ergonomic handle that suits the user’s body size. Plastic or thin metal shovels will not stand up to ice and heavy snow and metal handles tend to transfer the cold more quickly so wood is preferable.
• Big scoop shovels are handy for light, fluffy snowfalls but are not particularly helpful when it comes to wet, heavy snow. They can become too heavy or awkward for most people to push comfortably when they are full.
• Having an ice chopper on hand is handy when there is freezing rain, sleet or freezing and thawing action. This is a good alternative to ice melt and is much more effective when there is thicker ice to be broken up and cleared away.
• From time to time you may need to use ice melt or grit on the ice that can’t be easily scraped away. These products are generally not very environmentally friendly (despite packaging claims) and they can damage your garden beds and concrete of not swept off promptly, use carefully.
• Most winters, in most climates, a roof rake is not all that necessary but every few years it may come in handy for removing accumulated snow from the roof without having to climb up. By removing the snow, you lessen the load and stress on your roof and also prevent ice damming during freeze-thaw cycles.
• Snow blowers are a nice alternative to shoveling. You will get the most use out of a snowblower if you live in an area that routinely receives deep snowfall. However, they aren’t very good at clearing packed or heavy snow so you’ll still have to rely on your trusty shovel.
• Snow plowing attachments can be added to your vehicle if you have a very long driveway or large area to clear. These are a fairly substantial investment in both time and money, not a tool that most of us need. A good alternative to purchasing a snow plow is hiring a snow removal contractor who will come clear your snow as needed.
Being prepared and having the right snow removal tools ready to go in your garage or shed before Mother Nature decides to drop the first big snowfall on us is a great way to reduce the stress that can come with the changing seasons.
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