7 Creative Snow Removal Methods for Winter

Snow-covered driveways, walkways, and roads can create transportation problems and safety hazards during winter. Choosing the right snow removal method can make a world of difference. From traditional shovelling to advanced technologies like snow blowers and chemical treatments, each method serves a specific purpose in combating the challenges of winter weather.

Selecting the right snow removal method for you will depend on factors like the area to be cleared, snow depth, personal capabilities, and budget. Each method has advantages and considerations, from traditional shovelling to advanced techniques like heated driveways. A combination of these methods often proves most effective. The end goal is the same, though, to ensure safe and accessible pathways during winter.

Let’s look at different snow removal methods to help you navigate the winter safely.

Method #1: Shoveling

Shovelling is the most traditional method for snow removal. It requires physical effort and proper technique to prevent strain or injury. Using a shovel with an ergonomic handle to reduce strain on your back is essential. Push the snow rather than lifting it and take breaks to avoid overexertion.

Despite the required work, shovelling is a cost-efficient and accessible approach for small to medium snowfalls. While it may be labour-intensive, shovelling provides an excellent workout and an immediate solution for clearing pathways, making it a practical choice for many households and smaller areas.

Method #2: Snow Blowers

Snowblowing is a popular method for clearing snow. It’s efficient and quicker than shovelling. Snow blowers come in various sizes, from small ones for lighter snow to larger models for heavy snowfalls. They’re easy to use but require caution to avoid throwing snow towards people or cars. Choosing a suitable snow blower and knowing how to operate it safely makes snow blowing an effective and time-saving way to clear snow, especially in areas with frequent winter weather.

Snow blowers often have adjustable features which allow the operator to control the direction and distance of snow discharge. It’s a convenient option for larger spaces. It can be an excellent investment for those who regularly deal with substantial snow accumulations, offering a more efficient alternative to manual shovelling.

Method #3: Snow Plow

Snow plowing involves using a specialized vehicle, a plow truck, to clear snow from roads, parking lots, and large areas. Fitted with a blade at the front, the truck pushes snow to the side, creating clear pathways. Plowing is effective for significant snow accumulations and is commonly used by municipalities to keep roads open during winter or by businesses to keep parking lots clear.

It’s quick and efficient but requires skilled operators to navigate safely. Hiring a professional with the right equipment might be necessary if you choose snow plowing as your snow removal method.

Method #4: Salt

Ice melt salt is a standard method for snow removal, used to melt ice and snow on roads, sidewalks, and driveways. When salt is spread, it lowers the freezing point of water, turning ice into slush and making it easier to shovel away. This method helps prevent slips and falls by providing better traction on icy surfaces.

However, excessive use of salt can harm plants, pets, and the environment, so it’s essential to use it sparingly and consider eco-friendly alternatives. Despite its downsides, salt remains a widely used and effective solution for managing icy conditions during winter.

Method #5: Sand

Spread on roads, driveways, or sidewalks, sand provides a gritty texture, providing better grip for vehicles and pedestrians. It’s a cost-effective solution, particularly in areas where snowfall is infrequent. However, unlike salt, sand doesn’t aid in melting snow or ice.

It’s mainly used for traction and because it is environmentally friendly, posing no harm to plants or animals. Sand is a reliable method to prevent slips on icy surfaces, especially in regions where extensive snow removal equipment is not readily available.

Method #6: Magnesium Chloride

Magnesium chloride, a potent de-icing agent, swiftly melts ice by absorbing moisture and generating heat. Its rapid action, effective at sub-zero temperatures, makes it superior to traditional salt. Environmentally friendly, it’s less harmful to vegetation and metal surfaces, leaving minimal residue.

While slightly pricier than salt, magnesium chloride’s reduced environmental impact and faster performance often outweigh the cost. Available in pellets, flakes, or liquid forms, it offers versatility in application and is a popular choice for efficient snow and ice removal, especially in colder climates.

Method #7: Heated Walkways and Driveways

Heated driveways may use radiant heating installed beneath the pavement. These systems often use electric cables or tubes filled with heated water beneath the surface. When activated, they raise surface temperatures, melting snow upon contact and preventing ice formation.

Snow melting mats are another practical solution for hands-free snow and ice removal. Placed on driveways or walkways, these mats use electric or hydronic systems to generate heat, melting snow upon contact. While effective, installing these systems can be costly and typically require professional installation.

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