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Snow Removal Tips & Techniques

 

Well, it seems that the winter season is among us. It has been projected that we may see significant snow fall this winter season. With that in mind, On The Level Home Inspections wants to share some basic tips and techniques to help aid you with the snow removal.

Snow blowers

First, let’s think about snow blowers.  If you have a large area to clean, have heart, back, or other medical issues, you may want to consider investing in a snow blower. According to WebMD, there are over 11,0000 trips to the hospital each year, related to snow shoveling. When planning on purchasing your snow blower, 2 features that we feel are must haves are, electric start and self propelled. These features will help to lessen the stress with the snow removal process. Before the first snow fall comes, make sure to check out and prepare your snow blower. If you’re handy, you can tune up your snow blower yourself. Refer to our Mower Maintenance and Mowing Guide(the same principals apply), for basic tune up tips. Be sure to stock up on sheer pins as well.

Shoveling

Firstly, before venturing out to shovel, warm up for 10 minutes or so. Stretching and light exercise will get your body ready. Always pace yourself. Take multiple breaks when you begin feeling fatigued or sore.  When heavy snow accumulation is expected, remember that shoveling smaller amounts of snow over time will be less stressful for you and your body. It is easier to clean 6 inches of snow twice, as opposed to cleaning 12 inches at once. It may mean braving the cold on more frequent occasions, but it will be better for your heart and on your back. Another useful technique is to salt your walkways and driveway before the snow starts to fall. When removing the snow, always try and push the snow. Then dump the snow, as opposed to throwing it. When lifting the shovel full of snow, bend at the knees, keeping your back straight.

Shovels

Remember with snow shovels, bigger isn’t always better. The bigger the scoop, the more snow and more effort will be needed to lift or throw. Generally 18 – 22 inches is a good size for most applications. 3 basic materials are used for the scoops, plastic, aluminum, and steel. Plastic is lightweight and they tend to release the snow better. Plastic shovels are generally the least expensive and durable. If purchasing a plastic shovel, look for a metal strip on the leading edge. This will help remove ice and stubborn snow pack, as well as help to extend the life of the shovel. Aluminum scoops are more durable than plastic and cheaper than steel. However, heavy snow loads can bend and twist the aluminum. Steel shovels are the most durable but also the most expensive. They are also the heaviest to use, needing more energy for snow removal. The majority of injuries related to snow removal can be traced back to the shovel. The design of the snow shovel has not changed very much in the last 100 years. The handles are normally straight and too short for most people.  Those funny looking “Z” shaped shovels are designed to be more ergonomic. They are a little bit more expensive, but probably cheaper than a trip to your chiropractor or masseuse.

We hope that you found this information useful. Please feel free to share with your friends and families. If you have any questions regarding this article, please feel free to email On The Level Home Inspections or call 609-607-0485. If you have any suggestions for future articles, or you would like to comment on this one, please let us know. If you or anyone you know is in need of a home inspection, please keep us in mind.

Thank you.

John Harashinski

On The Level Home Inspections

 609-607-0485

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Last Updated  12.10.2013