Wednesday, January 28, 2015

When it comes to snow, there are no shortcuts!

If you’re like me than you haven’t quite lost that childish excitement when the snow begins! I have many fond memories of waking up to see the world covered in a beautiful layer of white and an unexpected day off of school spent playing with my friends. As an adult however, snow has taken on a slightly different meaning. Although I still love the snow it also means that I have the arduous task of “digging out” and trying to make my appointments on time.

Shoveling the snow is hard work but if it is packed it becomes almost impossible to remove, that is why time is of the essence. Once the snow begins to melt it becomes quite heavy and the somewhat simple task of shoveling takes on an entirely new meaning. If you are able to shovel than remember not to pile the snow up next to your house. Melting snow can cause leaky basements and a host of other problems so be sure to make your snow pile away from your home. It also helps to shovel away from your home and sidewalks. You don’t want to move a snow pile twice so “inside out” is the proper method to use.

It’s also important to choose the proper shovel. Very large shovels are also very heavy when filled with snow. A smaller more manageable size might save you a lot of wear and tear on your back! If you have the option, a snow blower is the best choice for all types of snowfall from light to heavy and will save you a lot of time and trouble. Not only does it move the snow in record time but it can even help with wet snow. Of course, this is an expensive proposition if you live in an area that does not experience frequent snowfall during the winter months.

Rock salt is a wonderful tool when it snows but it won’t do much against hardened ice that may form around stairs, downspouts and the like. For this nothing less than an ice chopper will get the job done. Simply applying salt to solid ice will take time and usually won’t melt it completely. Ice requires elbow grease, there are no shortcuts. Make no mistake about it, this is very hard work and depending upon your age and general health it may be a better choice to pay someone else to assist you. Be careful when removing ice. An ice chopper (or pick) is sharp and the ice is very slippery so take care when performing this wintery task!

Rock salt is great for moderate snow and thin sheets of ice but can be hazardous to your pets. You can purchase pet-safe salt but it’s not quite as effective as the standard variety. Either way you will need a ton of salt for heavy snows and thick ice. Salt can save you a lot of effort but more severe snowfalls require good old fashioned physical labor!    

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