5 Easy Ways to Clean Up Your Driveway During Winter
As winter approaches and the first snow of the year falls,
22:18 19 November 2019
The entire town turns into a magical white wonderland with the milky and crisp snow spreading all around. But it starts to get frustrating once the snow begins to accumulate in heaps and blocks all the passages and roads. Leaving your house in the morning for work and seeing all the snow choking your car and the entire driveway is definitely the last thing you want in the chilly mornings. It can also be dangerous with the supple snow turning into nasty, slippery ice.
You need to clear up all racked up snow at the earliest, as it will freeze and harden, which will be very difficult to clean later. If you are ready and set to start clearing up that white mess in your driveway, follow these tips to know how to.
Use a Shovel
Using a shovel to clear up the gathered snow is an old-school method but extremely effective. Firstly, you need to inspect your shovel and look for damages in the corners or edges. Damaged or dented shovel heads can cause ruptures and scratches in your driveway, making it an expensive bargain. When you aren’t entirely sure about its condition, buy a new one this year to be guarded.
Shoveling snow can also make up for a great workout during weekends, helping you work those biceps. You can also ask your kids to help, as children seem to love this tiring activity. This could teach them a few ways about being responsible and prepared for their future.
Make sure you are well covered, and use the right posture when clearing up the ice, or you could end up with back pain. Create a plan with a timetable to clear up specific spots within a certain amount of time. This will make it simpler for you to achieve a clear driveway, within no time. Work smarter, not harder.
Use the Right De-icing Agent
You might have heard or probably used rock salt to clear up accumulated ice. Being the least expensive in the range of de-icing items, many prefer to use sodium chloride. However, using it excessively can lead to a melted puddle of salted water, which can seep its way through cracks and crevices, expanding on refreezing and enlarging them. It can damage your pavement and driveway, corrode metal, and damage all plantations, which makes this de-icing agent an unsuitable option to use.
Other chemicals such as calcium chloride and urea do not cause much damage to vegetation as compared to rock salt, but it is better to avoid using them if you own a lawn with grass and multiple shrubs. These also cost five to ten times more than sodium chloride and should be used in small quantities. Using calcium chloride can be dangerous at times as it leaves behind a slippery surface if used in excessive quantities. You can use cat litter, sand or natural sand in place of these chemicals to avoid damages and potential hazards.
Operate a Snow Blower
As autumn ends, you need to put the leaf blower back in the shed whilst pulling out the snow blower with winter just around the corner. Snow blowers are the best equipment to unclog all the mushy and freshly fallen snow off your driveway. But if you are new to using a snow blower, you need to buy one according to the size and area of snow that needs clearing up and the amount of snow your location receives each year.
With the statistics in your hand, you can choose one among a variety of snow blowers available, depending on the engine type, battery, and adjustment controls. But before you get into these options yourself, it is wiser to learn how to operate it and what suitable type to use from a professional. Investing in a snow blower can save you time and help you avoid back pain.
In-ground Heating Mats
Although this is a very expensive option to consider, installing heating mats under your driveway and pavements can automatically melt the gathered snow, saving you from all the hassle and time to clear it manually. These heating mats function using a sensor and controller that quickly reacts to temperature and moisture changes and starts melting the ice.
The affordability of this system is problematic, especially if you belong to an average working class family. Firstly, the system in itself is expensive, and secondly, you would need to dig up your entire driveway in order to install it, which sounds berserk. If you own a company building or a large condominium, getting this system installed would be a wise investment.
Hire Professional Help
If you are too busy to be able to take time out to clear your driveway or unable to withstand the cold and finish this laborious task, you can consider hiring a professional service. These services are usually equipped with huge tools such as a snow plow truck and cleaners with snow blowers and shovels. If the service is not professional enough, they can leave behind a clear but scraped driveway. Also, if the snow plow blades are rusty or damaged, they can add cracks to your concrete or asphalt driveway. Check for the best snow plow service near your area and sleep away the stress of doing the task yourself.
Hiring this service can also save you from hurting yourself, especially if you have never picked a snow clearing tool in your life. If you have kids, you know how impatient they can be, and thus potential slips and losing balance are imminent, so hiring a professional service to do the cleaning job is a better option. Plus, you can get the work done in two hours instead of having to perform a manual two-day task. This can save time for you to spend it with your family over the weekend.
Taking the measure to prevent snow from piling in your driveway is better than panicking to clear it up when it actually does. Whenever you see even a tiny pile sitting on your pavement, clear it up before it becomes huge. Cleaning up ice from your driveway as soon as possible can save you from fines and also inhibit probable slips and falls.