Transitioning from summer into fall should have you thinking about spooky festivities, pumpkin picking, holiday lighting, and snow removal. Wait. Snow removal? Yep, you read that correctly. Now is the time to start thinking about snow and ice removal for your home, or, at least, how to make the snow removal process less taxing on yourself.
Because Gettysburg is prone to an average of around 25 inches of snow, it’s always best to prepare for winter as soon as possible. This includes investing in the right tools, keeping an eye on the weather, using household items, and hiring a company to take care of the snow for you.
Let’s talk in-depth, shall we?
1. Invest in the Right Tools
Before we get into the nitty gritty of snow removal techniques, you have to have the right tools for the job. Believe it or not. Any old shovel or ice scraper won’t do. We recommend investing in quality equipment that you can maintain and use for winter weather in the future.
The equipment you’ll need may include:
- Shovel – Sometimes, utilizing a tried-and-true tool is the best way to go. Enter your conventional snow shovel. When removing snow or ice from walkways, you can’t go wrong with a classic shovel. Still, a push shovel or hybrid shovel (both pusher and shoveler) could be the better option for heavier snowfall on your property. One thing to double-check is that your shovel is tall enough (at least elbow height) so you’re not bending over and injuring your back.
- Snowblower – One of the easiest and fastest ways to remove snow from driveways and sidewalks is a snowblower. We love heavy machinery as much as the next person, but the trick with a snowblower is finding the right speed to sufficiently remove the snow. The most important thing to remember with a snowblower is following the instructions to a T to maximize effectiveness.
- Shop-vac – Did you ever think a shop-vac could be an essential tool for removing snow? Surprise! An industrial-grade shop-vac can suck up the snow and be disposed of later. A word of caution: If you’ve used salt or chemicals for removing snow and found them futile, be careful using a shop-vac afterward. You may cause irreparable internal damage to the machine.
2. Watch the Weather Closely
It should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: Check the weather to better prepare for snow clearing. You’ll want to get a head start on the removal process sooner rather than later to avoid such a labor-intensive experience.
3. Utilize Household Items for Snow & Ice Removal
Have you considered ditching the chemical snow and ice removers and looking in your kitchen? Everyday household perishables are the perfect snow and ice removal partners. It’s never too early to make a grocery list of essential snow removal products you can keep in your pantry all season.
Think about using:
- Cooking spray – Cooking spray can be applied to a shovel, making it easier to remove significantly compacted snow and prevent it from sticking to the shovel. Wax works the same way, ensuring snow slides off the shovel for faster removal.
- Beet juice – It’s unlikely that you have beet juice just lying around unless you’re a consummate juicer or own a beet farm (we’re not judging either way). Regardless, beet juice mixed with salt brine is a surefire way to melt ice and snow in your yard.
- Baking soda – We’ve talked about getting rid of snow, but what about ice? Ice can be a major nuisance and tripping hazard. So, if you have some baking soda, keep it handy for winter. Baking soda can be sprinkled on the ice, allowing the sodium to lower the ice’s temperature and melt it.
- Rubbing alcohol and dish soap – Another chemical-free ice-melting alternative involves 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol, at least six drops of dish soap, and a half-gallon of hot water. You’ll want to pour this mixture over sidewalks and driveways for fast-acting ice removal.
4. Secure Your Snow Removal Company Early
Like anything else, preparation is key when searching for a vendor to complete a service at your home. When it comes to getting rid of snow, it’s always best to research companies early and get estimates. This will help you make a more informed decision instead of a rash one amid a snow or ice storm. Trust us; the sooner you hire a snow and ice removal company, the better off your home will be.
Fortunately, The Grounds Guys of Gettysburg is your trusted landscape and snow removal company. We can keep your lawn healthy with customized lawn care plans and effective snow-clearing techniques.Call (717) 798-3597 to request your free estimate today!