If you live in a part of the world where winters are long, cold, and snowy, you know shoveling isn't that much fun!
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Shoveling driveways, patios, or paths around your home is one of the necessary evils of winter – it's almost never fun, but it makes winter life a lot easier for you, your family, and your neighbors. While it is largely inevitable for many of us in colder climates, there are a few ways you can make shoveling snow a little easier this winter. Here is how.
Don't wait until it's too late
If possible, clear your driveway, patio and paths while the snow is still falling or as soon as the last snowflake falls, because then the snow is the easiest to clear. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to remove the snow from the surface – the snow will either become heavier and wetter, or it will turn to ice as the temperature drops. Either way, a job that may have been irritating but is relatively easy becomes irritating and stressful if you don't start right away. If you start shoveling while snow is still falling, you may need to get back out and re-enter the driveway later. This may seem counterproductive, but it's much easier to clear the driveway quickly than evacuating the entire area after waiting too long and the snow conditions worsening.
Push, don't lift
Shoveling the driveway after a heavy snow storm can be a daunting job, especially when dealing with large amounts of snow or wet and heavy snow. If you're not properly prepared or using the right techniques, you run the risk of getting injured.
Most of the injuries that happen while shoveling snow are back injuries – more specifically, the lower back area from lifting snow and ice without using the proper techniques. like lifting your legs, bending your knees instead of your back, and holding the shovel close to your body.
The safest technique, however, is to simply push the snow against the sides of your driveway instead of constantly lifting it. It may not be possible to push all of the snow, but doing so for a significant portion of it could save your back a lot of pain.
Develop the perfect plan
As you prepare to head out into the cold to clear your driveway, come up with a plan to help you get the job done as safely and efficiently as possible. While shoveling at the top of the driveway may seem like a logical place to start, working from the middle of the driveway will mean you're moving less snow with each pass. This will save strength and your back, but remember to clear a path to the center so you don't have to scrape the snow off the driveway. Make sure not only to start in the center, but also to clean all vehicles in the driveway before shoveling and do your best to avoid shoveling the same areas twice. This will also help you avoid scratching a car buried in the snow.
Drop the shovel
As you read this article, you are looking for ways to make one of winter's most tedious chores so much easier. It's also likely that you're fed up with shoveling. If that's the case, maybe it is time you did are considering buying a snow thrower. If you're shoveling a lot of snow off a large enough driveway all winter and looking for a better option, a snow thrower is the right choice.
Yes, a snow thrower is more expensive than a shovel and requires regular maintenance, but there's no denying that it saves time and energy. Regardless of the amount of snowfall in your area or the type of surface you're clearing, there is a snow thrower that will make your winters a lot easier.