With winter less than a month away, the time for snow removal is upon us. Taking it away quickly and efficiently can help keep your family safe from falls and make your landscape look tidier. There are several different common ways that you can remove snow from your landscape.
Choose Your Snow Removal Method
When I was in college, I was on the landscaping crew. During the winter we would get called in around 3:30 am after a night of snowfall so we could clear the sidewalks before students arrived. We mostly used shovels to push away the snow.
This can be a cheap and effective method indeed. You do want to get a good quality shovel, as it would be frustrating for it to break while you are trying to work. This also takes exertion, of course, which can be great if you are looking for some exercise. Do be careful, though; wear good gripping shoes, lift with bent knees as needed, check with a doctor if you have existing health concerns or are older, and take breaks. The National Safety Council mentions these and other tips in their Snow Shoveling safety sheet.
Another popular method for clearing sidewalks and other areas is through the use of chemicals, many of which are salts. These react with the snow and lower the melting temperature, effectively removing it as the snow and ice melt away and the water dissipates. These can be harsh on the roads, cars, plants and other objects found in the area, so consider that point when deciding.
If you have a large yard, a snowblower may be quite helpful. These pick up the snow and blow it away from the area you are trying to clear. It does not really work on parts that have turned to ice, so you will still You will also need to perform maintenance at least yearly to make sure the engine and other parts stay in good working condition and the machines are not inexpensive. Always follow proper safety protocols!
How do you do snow removal in your landscape?
Image by jmannm8400 under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License