Oh yes – winter is here and it comes with incredibly cold weather – and the snow. However happy the children might be to have the possibilities for sled rides and snowball fights, almost all homeowners look upon the snow as more of a curse than a blessing. Because snow means shovelling, it means keeping pathways and driveways clear, aching backs and a lot of extra work.
Or does it? Nowadays there are a couple of shortcuts that you can take to spare yourself some trouble. If the area in question is large, investing in a snow thrower will save you hours of strenuous work.
With the double-stage machine, impellers pick up the snow and toss it, after the auger does the first lifting. The two-stage snow thrower cuts a wider path and flings the loosened snow further.
However, if your patios, driveways and/or walkways are small it might very well suffice with a good shovel with a long handle, non-stick surface and classic stamina. When shovelling, remember to be careful, as wet, slippery surfaces can be dangerous. Bend from the knees to avoid unnecessary strain to your back.
• Have a plan – decide in advance what areas to attack and where the shovelled snow will end up
• More is less – the more often you grab the shovel and clear away amassed snow, the less heavy the work will be
• Consider health risks – If you are out of shape, have back problems, or heart conditions, it may actually be dangerous for you to shovel snow
• Use steady, easy movements
• Bend from the knees
• If you’re “pushing” (clearing away large amounts from a driveway), hold the shovel at a slight angle and make passes back and forth
• Try not to move the shovel below your waist
• Take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water
Underneath the snow you’ll often find that the ground is icy and slippery. Here a good ice scraper will be of use. After removing the snow and ice from the desired areas, sand or salt with a good spreader. Remember that salt can damage lawns or plants, so think this measure through properly.