Snow removal is a tricky business. Snow can be heavy, wet and hard to shovel. When it comes to residential properties, the most obvious problem that snow creates is blocking the pathways, sidewalks and driveways. Big piles of snow on the roofs can lead to the collapse of roofs or put too much weight on overhangs.
The first consideration for snow removal equipment is what type of snow to expect. Hard, dry snow is much easier to remove than wet or heavy snow because it doesn’t stick as easily.
Types of shovels
Snow shovelling is the most eco-friendly way to clear the snow. If you are in good shape and have time to do it, snow shovelling is a great way to work out while being outdoors. Shovels come in many different shapes and sizes. There are three main types of shovels.
Scoop shovel is a traditional type of shovel, it is used to scoop and throw the snow. It’s a pretty simple tool but isn’t the best choice if you have back problems. A pusher shovel is a type of shovel with a very wide blade and is used for pushing snow, it works perfectly for shovelling driveways. In terms of material plastic shovels are the most popular choice because of their lightweight. They are made of a very durable type of plastic, so you don’t have to worry about breaking the shovel. Lightweight shovels are good for light and fresh snow of any amount. If you are dealing with wet and slushy snow, an aluminium or steel snow pusher is the best tool to use, as it will cut through that heavy and sticky snow much easier than plastic. Having a couple of different shovels on hand to deal with different types of snow is the best idea.
Other snow removal tools
While snow shovels are useful tools for shovelling your walkway or driveway, there are other tools that may be more effective in some cases. Snowblowers, for example, can handle larger areas and can clear snow away quickly if need be. For people that are older, or have heart or back problems, a snowblower might be the best option. A snowblower is helpful for seniors that manage their household on their own. Some seniors like to stay independent as long as possible and getting the right tools for garden work or snow removal is an important step to help them handle all the household chores.
Snowplows are a larger type of equipment that is usually used for snow removal on the roads or in large public spaces like parking lots. Snowplows are used by large commercial companies or city subcontractors to clear large public areas. They take up more space and require special skills to operate them. Skid steers often have a snow plow attachment and are a smaller version of a snowplow that can still significantly increase the capacity for snow removal work.
A roof rake is a tool that is used to remove the snow off the roof. Its long handle allows for easy clearing of snow from the roof.
What to do about Ice
Ice is a serious problem for both residential and commercial areas. It creates dangerous conditions for pedestrians and needs to be cleared as soon as possible. Ice-melting chemicals help to break down the ice, but they have a serious environmental impact and can be dangerous for pets and wildlife. Some ice melts are corrosive and can damage the pavement. Sodium chloride ice melt is affordable, but it can damage concrete, wood and lawn. Calcium Magnesium is less corrosive, biodegradable and safe for concrete.
Sand or gravel is a more eco-friendly option to deal with ice. They don’t melt the ice, but create the grip and make the paths less dangerous. Many people prefer to use sand rather than salt because it’s safer for children and pets (and doesn’t rust metal surfaces).
Ice chippers or ice scrapers are tools that are used to break the ice manually. Look for an all-steel ice breaker, as it is more durable and does the job better. Manual ice chipping definitely takes a lot of energy compared to salt and ice-melting chemicals application, but it’s more eco-friendly and safe for your pets.
No matter what tools you choose to use, you still need to have time and energy to actually shovel the snow and be outside in the cold weather. If it is something you don’t have time for in your busy schedule, it is best to hire local snow clearing services. Snow shovelling bylaw requires the snow to be cleaned consistently to keep the sidewalks safe for everyone. So, decide which tools are necessary to clear the snow on your property and invest in tools that work best for you.