Shoveling snow is a winter chore that many dread. But it doesn’t have to be a difficult task if you know how to do it the right way. In this post, we will share some tips on how to shovel snow effectively so that you can avoid common mistakes and get the job done quickly and easily.
Waking up to find your driveway covered in snow is never a fun start to the day, especially if you can’t leave until it’s cleared. There are two ways to react to the situation, you either 1) give up and allow the snow to prevent you from driving off to work, or 2) you learn how to snow shovel a driveway in quick and easy steps to save yourself from all the hassle. You’ll have to do it eventually, so best to be prepared for the event.
Selecting the Right Equipment
Before you can begin the process of snow shoveling your driveway, there is a need to purchase the right equipment without which the process may not go well. Some of the right items to select include:
Since you will be dealing with snow, there is a need to wear boots that keep your feet warm while also providing excellent traction. A pair of boots with the right sole is what you need to maintain your balance and also avoid the risk of getting injured. While wearing your boots, ensure it’s in combination with a pair of woolly socks to keep your feet as dry and warm as possible.
The right shovel to use is an ergonomic one as these kinds have their handles bent. This helps keep your back straight as you shovel snow thereby minimizing the risk of a back injury.
When selecting a shovel, watch out for the following:
- Select a shovel that is right for your height, with handles long enough to prevent you from excessively bending over while using it.
- There are two types of shovels, the push shovel, and the lift shovel. While snow shoveling, it’s much easier to push rather than lift. Hence, if the snow isn’t too heavy, try pushing rather than lifting.
- Select a shovel that has a small blade as this lightens the load and also reduces the risk of spinal injury.
Select a Shovel with a Non-Sticky Surface
A non-sticky shovel helps the snow slide off easily, thereby making the whole process less stressful. To prevent the surface from being sticky, take the following steps:
- Spray silicon lubricant on n Th the shovel to avoid a sticky surface
- To achieve a non-stick surface at home, coat the blade of the shovel with vegetable oil, that should do the trick.
How to Snow Shovel A Driveway
To snow shovel your driveway, the following steps, and precautionary measures should be taken:
Minimizing Risk of Injury While Snow Shoveling
Often, people get injured while snow shoveling. This can be avoided by being aware of the risks and sensibly choosing the load.
Consider the Health Risks
If you suffer from certain health conditions such as heart conditions or back problems, shoveling may be dangerous for you. Most often, after a snowfall, most hospitals are beseeched with lots of patients suffering from a heart attack and backaches and I bet you don’t want to be one of them. Therefore, if you have a medical condition that prevents you from snow shoveling, it is best to have professional snow and ice removal services do it for you or even borrow snowblower from anyone around.
Dress Right for the Occasion
Since you are going to be snow shoveling, there is a need to wear warm clothes as this prevents you from getting chilled. However, the clothes worn should not be so warm that they have you sweating profusely after a few minutes of shoveling.
Wear clothing that is easy to remove, and that will not restrict your movement. You can also opt for thermal underwear as they are a great option to consider while snow shoveling.
With regards to your outfit, take note of the following:
- If you start getting hot and sweaty, remove your clothes rather than have the sweat dry on your skin (it makes you get colder). Your skin needs to be warm and dry and not hot.
- Put on gloves that prevent blisters, and that also keep your hands dry and warm.
- As an additional precaution, you can also wear hand and foot warmers.
- Put on earmuffs and a hat, as this helps you to retain heat and also keeps your body warm.
- You can also consider wearing a cold-weather face mask; with this, you can breathe through it when it becomes too cold.
When your muscles are warm, the chances of being more efficient and less injured are increased. Therefore, try stretching your arms and legs and also your back too from time to time.
Sprinkle Salt or Sand on Slippery Paths
Before you begin shoveling, sprinkle salt or sand on any slippery part of the ground you notice especially the parts you are to stand while shoveling. This will create foot traction and minimize the risk of tripping, falling or injury.
Maintain a Good Posture
Always remember to keep a good posture and keep the natural arc of your spine while snow shoveling. Always keep your back straight so that when you have to switch between an upright position and squatting it wouldn’t be much of a problem.
Lift the Snow the Right Way
When it’s time to lift the snow, have your feet shoulder-width apart, this ensures balance. After that, bend at your knees rather than having to bend at the back or waist. Rather than extend your arms forward, keep the shovel close to your body, then tighten the muscles of your stomach and then lift the snow-filled shovel with your legs as though you are squatting. Note the following while doing this:
- Ensure you use your shoulders as much as possible
- Only scoop small quantity of snow per time to prevent the shovel from being too heavy
Select the Proper Place to Dump the Snow
It’s not just enough to shovel the snow; you must also find the proper location to dump them. While at it, you also do not want to twist your body as this can make you lose your balance, hurt your back or cause any other type of injury.
Therefore, it is preferable to have a pile of snow facing forward while also maintaining a straight body posture. Ensure you have created a space to dump the snow beforehand, if you have to drop the snow by the side, then move with your feet rather than having to twist your body. Also, note the following:
- Select a location that is close enough to dump the snow, so you don’t have to go too far.
- After clearing a specific part, dump the first pile of snow farthest from you so that you don’t have to go too far in the subsequent ones
- Never throw snow over your shoulder! If you have to lift the snow, then move it forward rather than having to throw it backward
Shovel Deep Snow One at a Time
Do not lift deep snow all at once! Instead, do it in bits (2.5 to 5cm). Not only does it reduce the weight of the load, but it also prevents injury.
Tips to Effectively Snow Shovel Your Driveway
The following tips will help you effectively snow shovel your driveway.
Snow Shovel in the Morning: Fresh snowfalls weigh less than snow that has spent some time on the ground. Hence you should snow shovel in the morning while the snow is yet light and fresh
- Have A Concrete Plan: You don’t just start removing snow without planning where to dump the snow, you may only end up having to remove the piled snow too, and that won’t do. Hence, there is a need to come up with the best snow removal technique unique to your environment. For instance, if you have to clear a rectangle, its best to start from the center out.
- Clear Your Car First: It’s best to remove the snow off your car before you begin clearing around the vehicle to prevent having to do extra work.
- Position Your Hand the Right Way: Have your hands spread wide on the handle, while the other hand should be close to the blade. This way you have more leverage as you lift the snow
- Start Shoveling: If you have to dig to get to your car, do so in a steady, easy motion. If you have to push, then hold your shovel at a slight angle and then start making back and forth width-wide passes in your driveway. You shouldn’t have to move your shovel above waist level.
Yes, snow shoveling is a gruesome task, but not so when you know How to Snow Shovel a Driveway. With the information gained in this article, you can now remove snow from your driveway in quick, easy and safe steps and you definitely won’t break your neck or land in the hospital while at it.