Snow removal is an essential part of a Canadian winter, and you may be wondering how you can remove snow around your home more effectively. In this article, we provide some helpful tips to help keep your outdoor space clear and safe this winter.
1. Get some rest before attempting snow removal
If you want to tackle snow removal yourself, it’s important to get some rest before starting. Snow removal, whether you’re shoveling or using a snow blower, is a physically tiring activity. Even doing some simple stretches before starting can go a long way. Once you’re outside, take your time. Set out a couple of hours to really go at your own pace. Take frequent breaks and bring out a water bottle (a reusable one, so it won’t freeze!) If you plan on using a snow blower, try using it on flat surfaces (like a driveway) and avoid using it on steep steps. Be sure not to lift more than you can carry to avoid back strain or injury.
2. Clear all surfaces you use frequently
The second tip (and an important step to successful snow removal) is making sure you clear all the right surfaces! Any outdoor space you frequently use on a regular basis are good places to start. This could include outdoor stairs and doorways, windows, or the area around a propane or natural gas tank. Additionally, your driveway, parking spot or roof should also be on this list. However, removing snow off your roof is a more difficult task. Check out our guide on how to protect your home from snow damage.
3. Don’t wait for snow to pile up
It’s a smart rule of thumb to tackle snow removal around your home before the snow begins to pile up. This will help to reduce time spent outdoors which may deter you from completing the job. It’ll also allow you to remove the snow in stages to help keep walkways and your driveway clear of blockage.
4. Sprinkle salt afterwards
Once you’ve spent all that time and hard working removing snow, make sure your sprinkle ice-melting salt. This will help to avoid any dangerous, icy surfaces if the temperatures drops and the snow freezes over.
5. Hire a professional for snow removal
If all else fails and you don’t want to shovel the snow yourself or simply can’t, look into hiring a professional service. When looking for a company to hire, make sure they’re certified, have liability insurance, and have met all requirements as a registered business. When meeting with a company, ask them specific questions about their business, such as:
- Will they salt walkways along with snow removal?
- How soon after snowfall will they clear the snow?
Finally, it’s important to understand how your insurance can be affected by snow removal. Even if you have liability insurance, any personal injuries should be avoided. Negligence may not be covered.
6. Invest in a good shovel
One of the best ways to ensure your snow removal is successful is to find the right materials. It may be easier to find a cheap shovel, but investing in a good quality one will make your experience more efficient. It’s important to use a shovel that matches your height, along with one that can handle the amount of snow you need to remove. Spend some time looking online or in stores to find your perfect snow removal shovel. It will take more time initially, but you will be able to use your new shovel for years to come.
7. Mark the areas you need to remove snow
A great tip for snow removal is to mark the areas you need to clear. The easiest way to do this is by using snow stakes. Not only will snow stakes help you, but they will also prevent commercial snow removal services from dumping excess snow on your property. You can use snow stakes to split up a larger snow removal job, like after a snowstorm or even for areas with less snow. Staying organized will help you understand how much snow you need to remove, and how much you will have left to clear.
8. Plan ahead of storms
In order to prevent snow accumulation from getting out of hand during snowstorms, it’s important to plan ahead and remove snow efficiently. Make sure to check the weather frequently, so you know if a snowstorm is coming. Being proactive and removing snow ahead of a storm will keep your workload minimal after a large snowfall. If a storm continues for several days, brave the cold and start shovelling, even if it’s just a little bit at a time. Staying on top of excessive snowfall will help keep your snow removal easy and efficient.
9. Don’t forget about ice!
Even if you have salted walkways around your property, ice should still be a priority when completing snow removal. Before you finish removing the snow from your property, and after you’ve put salt on the icy spots, make sure you check one more time. Black ice can be very dangerous and hard to notice, even after salting it. To keep yourself and others safe from slip and falls, putting some extra salt on icy patches will bring peace of mind. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
10. Speak with your isure broker about liability insurance
Finally, it’s important to understand how your insurance can be affected by snow removal. Even if you have liability insurance, any personal injuries on your property should be avoided, or you’ll have a potential claim on your hands. Negligence, in most cases, will not be covered.
We hope this article provides some simple, helpful tips about snow removal! If you have any further questions about how snow or snow removal can affect your home or liability insurance policies, reach out to a member of our isure team today.