Snow! If you live in St. Louis, MO then you either love it or hate it.
Regardless of where your feelings fall on the pendulum, if snow is covering your driveway, and you’ve got to get out, then you need a plan.
Let’s start with simply shoveling the driveway. This requires the smallest amount of money, but the largest amount of physical work.
The National Safety Council recommends the following tips to shovel snow safely and effectively this winter:
- Do not shovel after eating or while smoking
- Stretch before you begin and take it slow
- Shovel only fresh, powdery snow; it's lighter
- Push the snow rather than lifting it
- If you do lift it, use a small shovel or only partially fill the shovel
- Lift with your legs, not your back
- Do not work to the point of exhaustion
Also, don't pick up that shovel without a doctor's permission if you have a history of heart disease. If you feel tightness in the chest or dizziness, stop immediately. A clear driveway is not worth your life.
For a little bit more money you can save yourself some back pain by purchasing a snow blower.
Stay safe by following these tips from the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons:
- If the blower jams, turn it off
- Keep your hands away from the moving parts
- Do not drink alcohol and use the snow blower
- Be aware of the carbon monoxide risk of running a snow blower in an enclosed space
- Refuel your snow blower when it is off, never when it is running
Besides working safely you also want to work smart and conserve your energy.
Here are 3 residential snow removal efficiency tips:
When shoveling or blowing snow you will want to be as efficient as possible so before you start observe wind direction, slope, and depth variations all of this will influence how you tackle your driveway.
2. Most importantly you do not want to move the same snow twice.
Decide where you're going to move the snow and start by putting the first shovel piles far from you and then the remaining snow closer and closer to where you are, so that in the end your shovel moves the shortest distance. Another hint: Consider that everything from a driveway to a patio to a walkway is really a rectangle and rectangles have a center point. Move the snow from the center of the nearest rectangle to the edge.
3. Do the foreground then the background.
To clear snow from a rectangle, first shovel a strip clear along the perimeter of the rectangle. Then, moving from the center to the edge, push the snow into the cleared area. Next, lift and throw the snow out of the area.
Take the time now to think about your snow removal process. A little bit of planning help you stay safe while you efficiently remove your snow.
Consider Dowco this winter
If you decide that DIY residential snow removal is not for you, then call the experts at Dowco! We have a team of outdoor living professionals who are dedicated to helping you spend your time doing the things you love (like hanging out by the fire with your family) instead of shoveling snow.