To shovel or not to shovel? How many times have you fought that internal battle of whether to start clearing the walkway now before it gets too covered, or just wait until it’s done snowing and do it all at once? The answer doesn’t seem too hard when you’re snuggled up on the couch next to the fireplace, drinking hot chocolate. Though the experts say it’s better to remove it as it falls, preventing the snow from getting too high or bonded to the ground, many of us decide to forgo the shoveling until the storm is over. If you’re choosing to ride out this storm on the couch with that hot chocolate, don’t fret – we at Absolute have a few snow removal tips to lighten your load.
Protect Your Hardscape
We get it… it’s tough to leave your warm living room to do physical labor in a freezing cold storm. But afterwards, removing snow as soon as possible from your hardscape is important in order to keep erosion to a minimum. Allowing snow to sit and melt on pavement and natural stone can increase the deterioration of materials, leading to cracks, breakage and shifting soil underneath.
Protect Your Body
Shoveling is definitely physically taxing. Each year more than 11,500 people are treated in the ER for snow shoveling injuries. One in three of those injuries are lower-back related. When shoveling, be sure to bend with your knees and lift with your legs. It’s also a good idea to switch between right-handed shoveling and left-handed to avoid muscle fatigue. If there’s more than a few inches of snow on the ground, skim a few inches off the top instead of trying to remove in a single scoop. Pace yourself and stop for frequent water breaks. It may extend your shoveling time, but it will still take less time than an emergency room visit.
Protect Your Home
Many people are focused more on where the snow is being removed from than where it’s going. When you shovel the snow from your walkway or your driveway, avoid throwing your load next to your house. Snow piled up next to your foundation can lead to cracks or frozen pipes, and once it melts you’re potentially facing erosion from running water. Pile it towards the middle of the yard, and never on the neighbor’s property… that can lead to a very awkward neighborhood BBQ months later. In fact, it’s always a good idea to help out your neighbors after a snowstorm. A shoveled walkway can mean a lot to the elderly or those who can’t clear their path themselves.