Regardless of where you live – in colder climates or more temperate ones – at some point during winter, you'll undoubtedly have to deal with snow and ice. It can be tough to know what to do, especially if your area periodically gets significant snowfalls. To simplify life, here is a list of 9 helpful tips for getting rid of snow and ice.
Tarps are an inexpensive solution to help protect driveways, decks, patios, and even your car against heavy snow. Spreading the tarp across a walkway or driveway before the storm hits helps to provide traction and prevent any freezing rain from accumulating on top.
If you anticipate snow, you might be inventive and cover your car with a sheet. To ensure it stays in place, tuck the corners under the hood and trunk. When it's time to depart, you open the hood and trunk, remove the tarp, shake off any snow or ice, and place it in the trunk. This will should less than a minute, and you'll be ready to go!
For those who need to shovel snow regularly during the winter, ensuring you have the right tool for the job is essential. Investing in a good-quality snow shovel can make the experience significantly more comfortable and efficient. There are tons of different types of shovels to choose from, but you should really know the four main types:
When it comes to choosing a snow shovel that works well for your use case, you should consider the following factors:
The good thing about a snow shovel is you can also use it year-round. Need to clean up lots of leaves from a brick/concrete patio or driveway? Snow shovel to the rescue! It can scoop better than a rake and will push piles of leaves better than a broom.
Leaf blowers typically move the snow from one place to another. They act like mini-snow blowers and remove the snow easily and quickly for light and fluffy snowfall. The technique works best with up to 3 inches of powdery or freshly fallen snow—anything more than that will clog up your machine.
To blow the snow away, tilt the nozzle of your leaf blower downward and aim it at the path you want to clear—use this gentle push-and-pull method while manipulating what's left behind in the direction you want to go. For continuous snowfall, repeat the process every hour or so.
A bit of an unconventional solution, using PAM cooking spray can help shovel out snow. The oil creates a slippery barrier between the snow and the shovel blade, reducing friction and making it easier to clear an area. Before you begin shoveling, lightly coat your shovel with the spray. Of course, remember to wipe off the cooking spray once finished before storing away your shovel!
When temperatures dip, your interior windows can sometimes form a layer of ice crystals, reducing visibility when driving. The simple solution? Spritz some rubbing alcohol onto the frosty window and wipe away with a microfiber cloth or soft cleaning towel. Since most rubbing alcohol is about 70% isopropyl, it will quickly and safely break down the ice, thus defrosting your window in no time. Don't go overboard – too heavy of an application will create unwanted streaks.
You know the old saying to fight fire with fire? What if we told you that you can fight snow with water? Using a garden hose and hot water is an efficient method for clearing snow without the use of a shovel or blower.
Start by connecting your sprayer hose to an indoor hot water spigot – either kitchen or bathroom – and aim it at any enclosed areas surrounding your driveway or walkway before turning on the hot-water supply. Begin by spraying warm water onto the snow, moving over each section at least once for maximum coverage. Once completed, if the area needs additional traction for safety, sprinkle salt for added protection against freezing. The salt will weaken the ice, making it easier to remove with a snow shovel or scraper.
As cold weather approaches, it's important to remember that you don't need to wait for snowfall to tackle icy patches on your property. Sprinkling salt on any ice-prone areas of your yard, such as steps, sidewalks, and driveways, can help prevent hazardous falls from occurring before the snow even hits the ground.
Salt melts down a layer of snow and helps keep a thin layer of ice from forming when temperatures drop. This is an easy and effective way to ensure no one slips while they walk through your yard or the driveway this winter. Plus, it makes cleaning up easier should you need to shovel light snow. So if you want to stay safe during winter storms and cold snaps, sprinkle salt on those dangerous icy surfaces before it snows.
If you ever find yourself stuck in your driveway or on the side of the road after an icy snowfall, look no further than your nearby cat litter (yes, really). Sprinkling kitty litter on the ground before and in front of your wheels will provide some grip for the wheels to gain enough traction to get you out of a bind, and hopefully save you from a long wait for a tow truck.
Once the cat litter gets you moving again, traditional methods like salt should melt the ice and eliminate what has been causing slick spots in your driveway or parking lot.
During the winter months, rooftops must be regularly cleared of snow. To successfully remove snow from your roof, hire professional snow removal services or use high-powered shovels and other tools specifically designed for this task. During the snowstorm, the inches of snow accumulation can quickly become overwhelming and can put a lot of extra stress on the structure of your roof and multiple layers of shingles.