In many regions, snowfall is simply a part of winter. And whether you get a few inches or a few feet, it’s important to remove snow from your property’s walkways, stairs and paths, as well as occasionally from your roof.
While snow removal may seem simple, done incorrectly, shoveling snow can be linked to injury and even death. At the same time, waiting too long to shovel, or using improper techniques, can mean that your home and property aren’t as easy to navigate or as safe as they should be.
If you avoid these common snow removal mistakes, then you will do this chore correctly every time.
1. Delaying Removing Snow
The biggest mistake most people make in snow removal is simply waiting too long. Of course, this isn’t a problem if you’ve only had a few inches fall, but for several inches — or feet — of snow, you need to begin promptly.
The more snow that accumulates, the heavier and harder it is to remove. By shoveling and removing snow frequently, you make the job easier and are less likely to risk straining yourself. You also prevent the snow from melting and refreezing, which can make it slicker to walk on, and more difficult to remove.
If you choose to contract a snow removal service — which usually costs between $75 and $150 per visit — it’s best to do so before the winter season. Removal services often book up ahead of a storm, so waiting until the last minute may mean having to do the work yourself.
2. Improper Technique
Most people think that the best way to shovel snow is to scoop, lift and toss the snow by the shovelful. Unfortunately, this method is more likely to lead to overexertion and injury and isn’t going to get the snow removed any faster than the correct method.
To shovel properly, make multiple passes at the snow as it falls, trying to keep up with the snowfall so that you are shoveling 2 to 3 inches at a time. Using your shovel, push the snow across the surface you need it removed from. Do not lift or toss.