DIY or not to DIY ó thatís the first question to
answer about snow removal. Either way, my team has you
covered with tips from top-rated experts.
you plan to shoulder all or some of this seasonal chore,
take steps to stay healthy:
you donít already have a snowblower, consider getting
one. Otherwise, get a lightweight, plastic snow shovel
with an ergonomic handle to help distribute the load.
Use a shovel with a deep scoop to push snow, not lift
weather restricts blood flow. Before shoveling, warm up
by jogging in place and stretching. Also, avoid a big
meal or smoking just before shoveling, as either will
affect blood flow.
better to repeatedly remove smaller quantities of snow
than it is to move large amounts at once. If snow is
already deep, remove it in layers.
you shovel, keep your back straight, bend at the knees
and use the strength in your hips and thighs to lift or
push snow. Donít twist.
you have health problems, ask someone healthier to do
the job or hire a snow removal service. Many landscaping
companies offer this in the offseason. Donít delay
your search; quality companies often have a long list of
by contacting companies that neighbors recommend and/or
that have good reviews on a trusted online site.
Questions to ask:
much snow will trigger service? This is a good idea
particularly if you only want service when a big storm
strikes. Also, tell the company if you have special
needs that should give you plowing priority. One
top-rated landscaper said 3 inches of snow triggers
service, and that he plows individual driveways only
after heís cleared streets for neighborhood
do you charge? Driveway size and the number of sidewalks
or walkways generally determine cost. Angieís List
members report paying an average of $64 per service or
$424 for an annual contract.
you covered? Confirm that the company is appropriately
licensed for where you live and that itís sufficiently
insured and bonded.
you remove snow yourself or hire someone, keep in mind
that some removal methods can cause damage. Therefore:
use ice picks on driveways or sidewalks.
tall stakes to delineate driveway boundaries ahead of
careful with de-icing products. For instance, sodium
chloride, or rock salt, is typically the cheapest de-icer,
but doesnít do well in temperatures below 25 degrees
and can create a toxic chemical imbalance if it leaches
into soil. Calcium chloride, which can be three times as
costly as rock salt, does well in lower temperatures and
is considered less harmful to vegetation. However, it
can create a residue that may harm shoes, flooring and
pet paws. Calcium magnesium acetate can cost 10 times
more than rock salt, but wonít harm the environment
and is less corrosive to concrete than salt. However,
like rock salt, it doesnít perform as well in lower
you rather just take a detour from the whole
snow-removal business? Consider splurging on a heated
driveway. A system may require a new driveway and can
cost $15,000 or more, but it can melt snow on contact.
One common type features electric current heating a wire
or mat. Another circulates heated liquid through tubing.
If youíre interested, contact a reputable driveway