November 05, 2019 at 9:19am | Preferred Advisors Team
Shoveling snow doesn't need to be a backbreaking chore. With the right tools, de-icing agents, and techniques, snow shoveling can be a breeze.

Here are some snow shoveling and removal tips to prepare yourself for the task, even before the next cold front hits.

1. Use the right de-icing agent.

The most common de-icing agent people use is rock salt. However, it's not as efficient or environment-friendly as it seems. You can use calcium chloride instead, which melts ice quicker on concrete and asphalt driveways. It's a bit more expensive but more efficient. Other alternatives are calcium magnesium acetate and liquid magnesium chloride. You can go for any of these if your local store runs out of calcium chloride or rock salt.

2. Use the right technique.

There are two ways you can deal with snow. The first way is to remove snow as much as you can from your driveway and pathways. The second method is to wait for the snow to pile up before shoveling.

Pushing away a thin layer of snow a few minutes a day from your home is better than wasting your energy spending hours removing tall layers of wet snow. Once a thin layer of dry, light, fluffy snow builds on your driveway, push it away using a broom or small shovel. Pushing snow also requires lesser effort than shoveling.

Another technique that became popular a few years ago is the snowball technique. Instead of using a broom or shovel, you'll only need your hands and thick gloves. Roll snow into a ball until it gets bigger. The bigger your snowball gets, the more you'll see of your driveway or pathway. 

However, if snow builds up faster, then you'd need to shovel.

3. Keep snow away from the foundation of your home.

Pile snow away from your home as much as possible. When the snow melts and becomes water, which can get through cracks in your house's foundation and damage it. 

4. Choose the right tools. 

You need two shovels to remove snow at home. First is a small shovel that you'll use to deal with thin layers of snow. The second is a slightly larger one that you'll use to shovel away thicker layers of snow. Get tapered shovels that have metal cutting edges. Choose a large shovel that's just enough - not too light or too heavy. Carrying a heavy shovel not only requires more work - it also puts you at risk, too. 

The best shovel would be an ergonomic one. Ask your local store if they have it.

5. Go heavy-duty.

How about buying a snow-blower, or turning your pick-up into a snowplow? Using heavy-duty equipment helps you remove snow faster, especially after a heavy snowfall or a snowstorm.

6. Remove snow in the afternoon.

Remove snow in the afternoon, after warming your body up with other chores and tasks at home. 

7. Have the right posture.

Shoveling snow the wrong way can result in back pain, which requires rest, and in turn, leaves you less time to clear your driveway and pathways. That's why it's important to have the right posture when you're shoveling.

To shovel correctly, bend your knees, keep your back straight, and scoop up only a small amount of snow using the shovel. Avoid twisting your body. Instead, take a step forward and twist the shovel before dumping the snow.

8. Wear the right clothes.

Wear moisture-absorbent clothes when shoveling to keep your body warm.

9. Eat and drink right.

Eat healthily and drink lots of water or an energy drink before going out to shovel. Avoid junk food or caffeinated drinks so you won't feel tired or dehydrated.

Cover image: Pixabay



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