The Art of Snow Removal

First and foremost snow removal begins with good equipment. This means having the right type of boots, gloves and shovels. Often people that have been shoveling for a short amount of time will start to get blisters. Boots should go right up to your knees and be waterproof with a good grip.

Shovels come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and are designed specifically for different techniques. Avoid cheap shovels as they will break. Cheap plastics and wood may only be good a few times before they give way. Invest in something that will last a lifetime. Find out which type is good for you. Explore the idea of even getting a ergonomic shovel which is designed to take less stress off your back.

Begin by clearing the walkway or path leading to the door. The idea is that the first line that you shovel across will be the reference line that you always refer back to. This will also keep your feet dry. Pile the snow high across the bank but not in one spot. If you decide to pile the snow in one area you will fatigue quickly from lifting the shovel full of snow to greater heights to reach the top of the pile.

If you come across ice at the bottom of where you are shoveling then use a sharp metal tool such as a spade to break it. If there is a severe buildup then simply shovel over top of it. You can always sprinkle salt to eat away at the ice after you’ve cleared the snow.

There are several patterns that you can do when shoveling snow to effectively remove snow from a surface. If, for instance, you were shoveling snow from a driveway you may wish to try shoveling a line straight down the middle. Then you could remove the snow line by line on one side and the continuing on the other. This will prevent buildup of snow on your shovel as you shovel. If there is a lot of snow you may want to create two lines down the middle of the section thereby creating three sub-sections of snow to be removed.

This will assist in being able to push reasonable amounts of snow into the bank. Another method to avoid spill off from your shovel as you are shoveling to angle your shovel to 45 degrees. Think of the last time you saw a plow going down a road. The idea with the angle is to effectively move the snow forward while prevent spill off. If you we’re shoveling left to right the angle the driveway right to prevent spill off to the left.

When lifting snow make sure to bend your knees. This will take the pressure off your back. You can even kick the base of the shovel before lifting to ensure a full load. Pile many small piles then one large one. When you first start your pile make sure to throw it deep as future additions are likely to fall back down to the area you are trying to keep clean.

Dressing appropriately is also important. Make sure to wear many layers. You will sweat when shoveling snow and be able to peel off layers as necessary. Take frequent breaks and don’t strain yourself. Drink plenty of water. Although something warm such as coffee or tea may be ideal in colder weather it can dehydrate you. Drinking hot chocolate may be a safe alternative.

Clearing sidewalks is a regulation is almost every town. In most towns and cities you are, by law, required to remove snow for public sidewalks. Good citizens often make a point of clearing elderly neighbor’s sidewalks and walkways.