Battling the Snow

by Ashley Zilka on January 19, 2011 at 6:50 am

The most basic piece of equipment for removing snow from a sidewalk is a snow shovel, but there are also other methods available that are less strenuous.

When the roads are covered with snow and ice so are your sidewalks and driveways.  Plows take care of those roads, but it’s your job to take care of the rest.  Although removing snow can be a pain, it’s important to use the right method.  Sunrise Do it Center Sales Associate Dennis Baldwin says traditional rock salt is cheaper but may not be your best option.

"It tracks. It will track into your house and stuff and it does harm grass and shrubs if you get too close or use too much," said Baldwin.

A more modern way of removing snow is using chemical ice melt products.  These products are more expensive than rock salt, but Baldwin says they are highly efficient. 

"Ice melt. It’s safer for plants, concrete, driveways. It doesn’t track like rock salt does. It works a little bit better in colder temperatures than the rock salt," said Baldwin. 

Unlike snow shoveling, you can use chemical snow removal, before the storm, in order to prevent ice build up.

"And it depends how deep the snow is too, the deeper it is, the more often you have to tend to it or put more down. You can put a little bit down ahead of time and it should melt as it comes down that way," said Baldwin.

You can apply the chemical ice melt in small amounts and wait until it’s dissolved to add more.  Baldwin says the spread of the chemicals can prevent areas from freezing up.  By using ice melt along with a snow shovel, you are able to endure the extreme physical demands of using a traditional snow shovel alone.

"Shoveling, if it gets too deep, you are better off to shovel a little bit and then putting the ice melt down on top of what’s left. It just makes sense to get rid of a little bit of the snow if you can," said Baldwin. 

Baldwin also suggests using snow blowers and spreaders to remove the snow.