Tips for More Efficient and Safer Snow Removal this Winter

Snow Removal Tips for Iowans

The winter months are a time of festivities on one hand. On the other hand, these chilly months bring with them several chores and preparations. Before snowfall begins, you might want to get your vehicles serviced and pack away the t-shirts and shorts. Besides these jobs, one task that’s quite important and should be paid attention to is snow removal.

Although you can hire a reliable company for snow removal service, you might want to handle the chore on your own. In the case of the later, we’re providing you some valuable tips that would help you accomplish the job more efficiently and safely.

Helpful Snow Removal Tips

1. Get a Good Shovel

Investing in a high-quality shovel can help you in a safer, more effective and efficient snow removal. You can find numerous cheap shovels in the market but spending a bit more for a quality shovel can help you a lot in your work.

Choose a shovel that is suitable for your body structure and height as well as is appropriate considering the area of ground to be cleared. There are many sizes and shapes in which shovels are available, so take some time to choose the one that fits your specific needs.

2. Use Sand or Salt for Snow Removal

You can make the process of snow removal much easier by applying sand or salt diligently to your walkways prior to snowfalls. Doing so facilitates melting and prevents hard-pack ice and snow buildup.

The substance allowed to be used for this purpose differs in different neighborhoods and cities, and so, ensure that you check with the local authorities prior to selecting the substance.

3. Shovel Early and Often

Staying ahead of the winter storms is probably the best strategy for DIY snow removal. Choose to shovel throughout the winter storm rather than letting huge amounts of snow gather before you remove it. Doing such would facilitate lighter loads as well as more efficient removal of snow.

4. Mark the Areas to be Cleared Using Snow Stakes

Snow and ice removal are simpler when you mark the outside edges of areas to be cleared. Snow stakes can help street cleaners and commercial plow companies avoid burying your walkways or driveway.

Likewise, if you are clearing your driveways and walkways on your own, the stakes would help you work more efficiently when removing snow as well as avoid tearing up the lawn or the surrounding area unintentionally with the snow blower.

5. Don’t Ignore the Ice

While the buildup of snow leads to inconvenience, the ice beneath is something that can create the real trouble. Icy walkways can be difficult to notice and are slippery. They can create unforeseen hazards for people traveling on them.

So, after you have cleared storm snow, ensure to carefully check that your walkways are free from any ice, which can pose much more danger than a bit of powdery snow.

Prioritize your Safety and Well-Being when Working on Snow Removal

When thinking about removing snow on your own, it’s important to ensure that the job is safe to do for you and does not interfere with your health and well-being.

The activity of shoveling is not safe for all. For some, shoveling snow may serve as a workout, while for others the activity may pose a risk. As per the National Safety Council (NSC), people who are 40 years old or more, as well as people who are not active routinely, should be extra cautious when shoveling.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), shoveling snow may lead to strains and sprains in the shoulders and back for people who don’t usually lift such weight.

It has also been suggested by the NSC that those with heart issues in the past should not shovel without getting an OK from a qualified doctor. According to the American Heart Association, heart attack risk can increase while doing the activity of shoveling as physical labor and cold temperatures can cause the heart to work harder.

The younger, active adults or those without any heart issues are not necessarily free from risk, as they may get hurt, in case, they don’t employ proper techniques for snow shoveling. So, here are some safety tips for snow shoveling to follow when you venture out for snow removal.

Wear the Right Clothing

AAOS recommends wearing layered clothing that resists water, and offers ventilation and insulation. For instance, have a base layer that’s moisture-wicking, then a fleece, and a winter coat finally, as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additionally, wear heavy socks and slip-resistant boots, and keep your hands and head covered.

Warm Up Before Starting to Shovel

AAOS advices people to warm up the body before starting to shovel snow, like you would do before starting a workout at gym. As per the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), march for a couple of minutes in place and stretch the muscles as that would help lower the injury risk.

Shovel at the Right Time

Make the snow removal labor less intensive by being ahead of the snow. Start shoveling shortly after the snow begins to fall rather than waiting for the snowfall to end. The Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA) states that the driveway or sidewalk should be cleared after snow accumulates for one or two inches to prevent the snow from freezing and becoming harder to be scraped from the ground.

Follow the Right Technique of Shoveling

It’s recommended by Consumer Reports to lift with the legs while keeping the back straight. Also, if you keep the hands farther down on the shovel’s handle, the weight you lift will feel lighter. Consumer Reports also suggests pushing the snow simply to avoid the necessity of lifting and throwing it that may put additional stress on the back.

Take Water Breaks Often

With the cold weather outside, you may want to have hot coffee. However, SIMA states that drinking plenty of water is important while shoveling snow. As snow removal is an intense job and may cause you to break a sweat, taking water breaks frequently can keep you hydrated.

Stop and Stretch Frequently

As shoveling snow is a strenuous activity, you should pace yourself as recommended by NATA. To prevent burn out too quickly, NATA advises people to stop to rest and stretch the back and shoulders every 5 or 10 minutes.

As noted by the American Heart Association, pay attention to your body and what it says irrespective of your age and/or physical condition. Stop shoveling in case you have pain in your shoulders, arms or back, or feel short of breath, nauseated or dizzy.

Wrap Up

Doing walkway or driveway snow removal on your own may not be fun always, however, following these tips and techniques for snow removal can help you accomplish the job more safely and efficiently.

If you are looking for a reliable company for snow removal service, we will be happy to help you! All American Turf Beauty is a leading residential snow removal service provider based in Iowa. We have expertise in offering quality snow shoveling services and use the best snow removal equipment. Give us a call at 1-800-365-8873 to avail our snow cleaning service!