4 Brilliant Hacks to Make Snow Shoveling Less Miserable

If you’re a homeowner in a snowy climate, chances are good you rue the winter.  All that snow has to go somewhere, and it’s not getting there itself.  Cue the snow shovel.  Barring to move to a snow-free state or barricading your family inside all winter, there’s no way to avoid the endless task of shoveling snow.  There are, however, ways to make the process much easier.  Here aree four simple hacks to make the morning after a snowfall much less stressful.

#1 Lay out a tarp before the snow.  If you like shortcuts, this technique is billed as the “laziest way imaginable” to clear snow!  The day before an expected snowfall; lay a tarp on your walkway.  When the snow finishes falling, just pull out the tarp, and voila: an instantly cleared walkway.  (Word to the wise: Make sure pedestrians won’t trip on your tarp.  Include a sign or use this technique in your backyard walkway if you’re concerned).  This technique requires a tarp, firewood, and twine as well as some prep work.  Prestorm, use firewood to weigh down your tarp and tie the twine to both the tarp and to a shovel standing upright in your yard.  You’ll use the shovel to pull out the snow-laden tarp.  Although this method might be faster than shoveling, it does require manpower.  After all, a cubic foot of snow can weigh between seven and 20 pounds.  So, don’t get too ambitious with the size of you tarp or you might not be able to pull it once it’s full of snow.

#2  Spray your shovel with cooking oil.  Snow sticking to your shovel makes an already arduous task evn more obnoxious.  Avoid it with this hack:  Lightly coat your shovel with nonstick cooking oil to make the snow slide right off.  No more time wasted removing snow from your snow remover.

#3  Stir up a homemade de-icing cocktail.  Deicers make snow removal earier by cutting through the tough, icy layers that are a pain to remove with a shovel.  But an easy solution should be easy on your property well.  Many commercial deicers are pretty harsh.  Commercial ice-melting substances – magnesium chloride, calcium chloride, potassium chloride, and sodium chloride (salt) – all damage the environment.  They can also damage concrete sidewalks and driveways, which means hefty repair costs later.  A better solution: Make your own de-icer using rubbing alcohol or vinegar.  You’ll save money, too.  Commercial melters typically cost about $10., plus you’ll avoid the hassle of trekking to the hardware store to stock up.  Use vinegar before a storm to make ice and snow removal easier:  Combine 3 parts vinegar to 1 part water; spray or pour gently (you still want to avoid runoff into your landscape) before a storm.  To keep sidewalks and steps from icing after a storm:  Combine 2 parts rubbing alcohol with 1 part water.  Apply to minimize runoff.

#4  Make your leaf blower do double duty.  Your leaf blower can be a multitasker.  Use it to remove dry, powdery snow that’s no more than 1 inch thick.  A few guidelines to keep in mind:  1) snow should be no heavier than dry leaves;  2) Don’t use electric leaf blowers; stick to models that run on batteries or gas;  3) Keep it quick and make sure air temp is above freezing to avoid possible damage to the blower.

For more information on caring and maintaining your home during the cold winter months, contact Falvey Real Estate Group at 518.452.3912.