Prepare for Snowfall and Simplify Snow Removal

Last year’s winter in Indianapolis was rough for most people.  What will winter be like this year?  The accumulation of snowfall combined with the extreme temperatures can leave many homeowners feeling frustrated when the weather wreaks havoc on sidewalks and driveways.  Here are some tips you can do to make snow removal easier.

Taking preventative action can save you a lot of time and effort later. When ice or snow is expected in the forecast, use a de-icer on your walkways and driveway a few hours before the weather hits. This will quickly melt ice and snow accumulations less than two inches deep, and prevents larger accumulations from adhering to the cement.

Rock salt is a popular de-icer because it is widely available, cheap, and effective in temperatures above 12 degrees. However, it is extremely hard on your lawn, plants, and pavement.  If you have pets, it can also cause irritation to the pads of their feet.  As an alternative consider using calcium or magnesium chloride ice melters. These ice melter products are milder and remain effective at temperatures down to 25 degrees below zero. The tradeoff is that they are a little more expensive, but the results can be worth it.  No matter what kind of de-icer you are spreading, make sure to wear gloves and protective glasses while spreading it.  These chemicals can still cause irritation to skin and eyes. If you need to cover a large area, try using a broadcast spreader that can easily be pushed around.  Also, use caution not to get any in your garden beds as these chemicals can harm plants.

Choosing a right snow shovel can make a big difference between back-breaking labor and quick and easy snow removal.  Ideally, buy one that is light weight and adequate length for your height.  Depending on your needs some other options are a metal or sturdy plastic blade with a no stick coating. The shovel should not have an overly large blade which would make it more difficult to lift and toss snow.   Use a plastic blade to prevent damage when shoveling snow from a wooden surface.  To easily move light dry snow use a c-shaped blade.  Some of these shovel models now feature wheels for easy walk behind use.