Winter is coming. That means bad weather and potential for snow removal depending on where you live. Unlike in the olden days, snow doesn’t mean life stops. Snow might stop the kids from going to school, but chances are it won’t stop you from having to go to work or deal with life’s other demands. That means you are going to have to travel, and to travel you have to be able to get your car out of the driveway.
Here are five tips for residential snow removal to get your car back on the road.
1. Use some good old-fashioned elbow grease and a shovel.
Of course this is the most accessible way to do it. But sometimes you just don’t have the energy to do this if it snowed overnight and you didn’t wake up early enough to shovel your whole driveway. One tip for doing it the old fashioned way with a shovel is power in numbers! The more people you have helping you shovel your driveway, the faster it will be. If you have kids, this is also a great opportunity to teach them a little work ethic. You can get them out there and have them do it, or if you’re feeling generous enough you can offer them a little money to do it, and a bigger tip for the faster they can get it done.
2. Use a snow blower.
If you don’t have the energy to put in the elbow grease it requires to shovel your driveway, you can also use a snow blower if you have one. They can be a great investment if you live in an area that typically gets a lot of snowfall during winter. There are three basic types of snow blowers that you can get depending on how much snowfall you receive, the type of snowblower and how much you want to spend.
Two stage gas blowers handle heavy snowfalls of more than 8 inches. They are also good for gravel driveways. Single stage blowers are lighter and handle snowfalls of eight inches or less. These are okay for smaller driveways that are paved. Single stage electrics are the same; they just run on electricity instead of gas.
3. Salt and other chemicals.
Salt is a popular way to prevent ice and snow on your driveway. But this method works best when you do it before a snowfall. A lot of times after you remove snow there can be ice leftover underneath the snow. The best way to go about getting rid of this layer is with chemicals.
A de-icer is a chemical agent that goes through the snow to break it up, making it easier to remove. An anti-icer is a chemical that you must preventatively apply before snowfall that prevents ice from forming. Salt is the most common form, but now there are other chemicals as well. Just make sure that you read the directions when using a new chemical because some of them can be very harmful to the environment if used wrong.
4. Heat and new technologies.
Many of these technologies must be installed before paving a driveway, and can get pretty costly. There are different types of electric and hydronic snow melting systems available for installation, but you probably wouldn’t consider getting these unless you live in an area that has snow for a majority of the year.
5. Call a service.
The simplest way to get rid of snow on your driveway is to call a snow removal service to remove the snow for you. Another option is to see if there are any neighborhood kids who are shoveling snow for money who can come clear your driveway.
Clark Jones is the owner of Tree Frog Complete Grounds Maintenance, Columbia, Missouri’s source for professional landscaping and lawn care, as well as snow removal.