Dealing with Ice and Snow
by Lee Wyatt
(last updated November 15, 2021)
Unfortunately, dealing with ice and snow is an unfortunate side affect of living in this world. In fact, if you live anywhere outside of certain tropical regions, you will more than likely have to deal with at some point or another. If you don't take proper care, and use the right tools, you can find yourself in some serious trouble when getting rid of ice and snow. Luckily, it's not that difficult of a task if you are properly prepared and use the right tools. In addition, by dealing with ice and snow quickly and in the proper manner you will be able to not only protect your curb appeal but to also allow you to maintain your sidewalks, driveway, and patio.
- Shovels. When dealing with ice and snow, most people will use only one kind of shovel. While this will work to a certain degree, it is a good idea to actually get several different shovels. Ideally, you will have an ergonomically designed snow shovel to help with the heavy loads and lifting that you can expect. In addition to this, you should also have a flat tipped spade and even a regular shovel on hand. These two other types of shovels will help you break through any hardened ice, and allow you to clear a path much more easily.
- Mechanical tools. For particularly large areas or long walks and driveways, you really need to invest in a mechanical snow blower. The benefit of these tools is that they are able to chew through large amounts of snow and ice, and have relatively little effect on you physically as you are clearing the snow. I say relatively in that, while you will still feel tired after using them, you won't be exerting yourself nearly as much as you would if you used a shovel. If you can afford it, purchase a gas powered model since they are more powerful and have a better range, and you don't run the possibility of running over the power cord as you use the machine.
- Salt or ice melt. A great way to prevent ice from forming and making your terrain particularly difficult to deal with, is by using salt or ice melt. While both work equally well, there are a couple of drawbacks to each. First, if salt is used excessively it can end up damaging the masonry. Secondly, ice melt which has been formulated to not damage masonry is often much more expensive than purchasing salt. When deciding on which kind of material you will use, be sure that you do not make it based off of purely financial considerations.
- Sand. If you don't want to run the risk of using salt, or the expense of purchasing ice melt there is another option. That option is to use sand. While this material will not melt the ice or snow on your walks, driveways, and patios it will provide an additional amount of traction for you to walk upon. Simply sprinkle the sand around on the ground, and watch your step.