Snow Removal Tips and Tricks: Snow Shoveling Techniques
Snow removal tips mostly deals with choosing the correct snow shovel, dress to stay warm during snow shoveling and periodically change your grip on the shovel bar, It encompasses the best practice of removing or clearing snow off a property – private or public, every time snow falls to create a safe and easy path for travel. This can be done both by individual property owners and by government institutions. If the snow is left uncleared, severe accidents can be caused. Edenapp has a snow removal tutorial that provides a comprehensive guide to snow removal.
One of the methods of removing snow is to shovel it. Shoveling snow is the manual process of removing snow using a specially designed shovel for snow removal. It is an exhausting process that requires a lot of physical energy and can harm one’s health if done incorrectly.
Here are seven tips to make snow shoveling easier, more comfortable and efficient.
Choose The Correct Snow Shovel
Choosing the right shovel is the first step to efficient snow removal. Some factors to consider when choosing a snow shovel are – your build and the material and shape of your blade. If you are slender, then a metal snow shovel will prove cumbersome to use as it is heavier than a plastic shovel. But if you have the strength to use an all-metal shovel, then you should choose that because metal shovels last longer than plastic ones as plastic is more brittle. The length of the handle should be chosen according to your height.
Snow shovel blades come in two types – flat shovels and rounded scoops.
Flat shovels are good for cutting into deep piles of snow, such as mounds of snow cleared by a snowblower. Rounded scoops are good for scooping snow to clear a path. Edenapp suggests having one of each type for all kinds of uses.
Dress To Stay Warm During Snow Shoveling
Dress in layers to stay warm while shoveling snow and maintain body temperature. Your clothes should be appropriately layered to provide the best results. While it might be cold outside when you are shoveling, you still tend to sweat because shoveling is a manual process. Wear a synthetic material near your skin to absorb all the sweat and keep you dry. On top of this, wear a layer of fleece for warmth. Make sure your outermost layer is waterproof.
Additionally, you should wear a pair of warm socks, a pair of gloves and a hat to make sure all your extremities stay warm as well.
Understand When To Pause When Shoveling
Pausing the work and pacing yourself is important when shoveling snow because continuous shoveling can impact your cardiovascular system. Take regular breaks after every twenty or thirty minutes and stay hydrated. Listen to your body and stop the work if you start feeling unwell or experience symptoms like dizziness, breathlessness or arm pain.
Pay Attention To Your Legs And Knees
Pushing the snow away instead of lifting it is better because it puts less strain on your back. However, if there are circumstances where you have to lift the snow, then you should pay close attention to your legs and knees to avoid straining your back. Bend your knees and lift the snow with your legs. Do not twist your upper body to throw the snow but turn your whole body instead to protect your back.
Periodically Change Your Grip On the Shovel Bar
Change your grip on the hand holding the shovel bar periodically to avoid overstraining one arm. For example, if the palm of your right hand was under the bar for the past twenty minutes, shift your grip so that it remains over the bar for the next while the left palm goes under.
Stretch Your Muscles During Snow Shoveling
While we understand the importance of warming up before shoveling snow, it is also essential to stretch during the shoveling process. When you take breaks in between, stretch your muscles to keep the blood flowing. This will prevent you from injuring yourself when you restart shoveling.
Do Not Pile Snow In Front Of Your Yard
When you shovel snow, do not create piles in front of your yard or on the street because you will be fined for not clearing snow off the sidewalk in front of your property in most states. Instead, pile up the snow inside your property in a corner.
The tips mentioned above are general guidelines to make the difficult job of snow shoveling a bit easier, more comfortable and less time-consuming. Further, we will look at some snow removal techniques that are more specific to the location and equipment used.
Main Snow Removal Techniques
Snow removal has specific techniques that should be followed so that the process is safe and efficient. These techniques can be broadly categorized into three types – energy-saving, safety-focused and efficiency-focused snow removal techniques.
1. Energy Saving Snow Removal Techniques
Snow removal requires a lot of physical energy no matter which method we use. Shoveling snow requires energy to push the snow with a shovel or scoop the snow and throw it away. Using a snowblower requires energy to maneuver the equipment in the right way and at the right pace. Energy-saving snow removal techniques focus on reducing the amount of physical effort required to remove snow. Given below is one example of this.
Windbreaks are barriers used to reduce the speed of wind around a property. These are mostly made of a line of trees in open country to reduce wind damage to the property. In terms of snow removal, windbreaks are created to reduce the amount of snow deposit on a property due to strong winds.
This could be done by creating a solid fence of appropriate height around your property to block the wind and the snow that comes with it. If you have an already existing open fence, you can still create a windbreak by piling snow against it when you clear the snow. This will ensure that you will have less snow to clear the next time.
2. Safety Focused Snow Removal Techniques
Snow removal is a hazardous task that needs to be performed with care. Data shows that snow shoveling causes approximately 11,500 injuries in the U.S. and leads to around 100 deaths every year. These numbers prove a need for safety-focused snow removal tips that prioritize the health and safety of the individual doing the task. Below we will discuss three of these techniques.
Safe Snow Shoveling Techniques
These are the techniques that should be followed for safe snow shoveling:
- Warm up before starting the shoveling process. This will keep your muscles loose and prevent injury.
- Bend your knees and your legs a shoulder-length apart when lifting snow. Lift with your legs instead of your back to avoid strain.
- Keep the blade close to your body when you lift the snow to avoid overstretching.
- Do not wait for the snow to pile up more than 6 inches before shoveling. Shovel as often as you can because shoveling large amounts of snow at once will impact your heart.
Safe Snow Removal Techniques For Cars
The best way to protect your car from snow and ice is to park it in a garage but if that is not possible, here are some safety-focused techniques for snow removal on and around your car:
- First, clear the snow enough to create a safe path to your car. This helps avoid any slip-and-fall accidents due to snow and ice.
- Check if the tailpipe is blocked due to snow because a blocked tailpipe will cause carbon monoxide to build up in the car when you turn it on.
- Once you have made sure the tailpipe is clear, turn on the front and rear defrosters. This will cause the snow on the windshield to melt and reduce your task.
- Remove snow from your car from top to bottom. If you clear the windows before you clear the hood, all the snow from the hood will pile up on the windows again, requiring you to make double the effort.
Safety Tip About Snow Removal From Dryer Vent
When a dryer vent gets blocked by any kind of debris, it becomes a fire hazard. Therefore, to prevent your house from going up in flames, you should keep the following in mind:
- If you live in a region that receives regular snowfall, check your dryer vent every time snow falls to ensure the vent remains open. A blocked vent can overheat very quickly.
- Use a shovel to remove snow from the area where the exhaust fumes come out to make sure the passage is not blocked.
- Create a winter checklist and make sure the task of checking the dryer vent is added to it.
3. Efficiency Focused Snow Removal Techniques
Efficiency refers to how effective an operation is in terms of the factors invested into it – time, money, energy. Therefore, efficiency-focused snow removal techniques are those that give the best results for our time and energy. Given below is one example of this:
Using A Snow Blower
Snowblowers are an efficient method of snow removal as they can clear your snow within a very short time compared to shoveling. They also consume less physical energy. Here are some snow removal tips for snowblowers.
- Start your snow-blowing exercise with fresh fuel. Do not use old fuel as this will make your job harder.
- If you run out of gas when blowing snow, do not refill immediately. Wait for your snowblower to cool down and then fill the gas.
- Throw your snow far when blowing it. This will help prevent the second round of snow blowing where you remove the snow thrown in the first round.
- Ensure your yard does not have any rocks, cables, newspapers, garden hoses, holiday light cords, etc., lying around before snow falls because it will get caught up in your blower.
Alternative Method Of Snow Removal
While using a snow blower is an efficient way to remove snow compared to shoveling, it is not without its drawbacks. Areas that receive regular snowfall will require two-stage or three-stage snow blowers whose average prices are $1000 and $1700. These are big numbers.
Additionally, using a snowblower incorrectly can cause serious harm. For example, if you refill the gas of a snowblower while the engine is hot, you could get severely burned.
Therefore an alternative to snow shoveling that is safe and time and cost-efficient is hiring a snow removal service.
These contractors will arrive at your property whenever snow reaches a certain height and clear it for you. You don’t need to invest your time and energy into it. They will also bring their own high-grade equipment to ensure that your property is completely clear of snow. Contact Edenapp for licensed snow contractors who will remove snow from your property promptly and efficiently.
If ‘By what time will they clear your driveway?’ has been your thought all over the winter, we are here to help you easily drive away.