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Using a snow blower is, by far, the easiest way to clear your drive of snow. All you have to do is either plug it in or yank the cord to start, guide it around, and let the machine do its thing. And in just a short amount of time, your driveway is blissfully clear of snow. But what happens when you don’t have a snow blower on hand? In this post, Snow Blower Source takes a look at some conventional m‐ and not so conventional — ways of getting rid of the white stuff.
Ice is one of the biggest dangers and injury-causers there is during winter. It’s slippery, hidden and discriminates against nobody, and getting rid of it as soon as possible is in everyone’s best interests. But before you go buying a fancy Toro or Ariens snow blower, read this post first to see how you can best tackle the problem.
By now, everyone’s familiar with the term “polar vortex” and the cold weather its brought into the United States. But depending on where you live, a big storm may mean you may have to clear out a lot more snow than you bargained for.
Know Your Limits
If your idea of a workout is to get up from the TV and manually change the channels, it’s a good idea to go at snow clearing easy and slow. Clearing snow, especially when it’s wet, thick, and heavy, can be a trigger for medical emergencies, especially if you have pre-existing conditions like high blood pressure.
Start by clearing a small swath of snow and going at it lighter than you think you need to, even if it’s tempting to best your neighbor. While it may be nice to clear large patches during commercial breaks, it’s even nicer spending the night in your own home and not a hospital.
A huge snowfall makes it really hard to see stray objects on the ground, objects that you can easily run over with your snow blower that can get spit out and cause damage. Push your snow blower slowly but confidently, and be ready to turn it off if you feel anything underfoot that could be dangerous.
But should something get caught in your snow blower and you need to get it out, turn it off and unplug it first. You’d probably be okay if you just unplugged it, but the chances just aren’t worth taking. By removing it from a power source altogether, you can avoid potentially serious and lasting injuries.
Maintain the Machine
A poorly maintained snow blower is one of the main reasons serious accidents happen, so always make sure yours is running smoothly. Make sure oil and gas levels are topped up to where they need to be, there are no loose, stuck, frayed or dry parts, and the engine sounds good. If your gut is telling you that something’s amiss, skip this snow clearing for now and take care of the machine first. The snow will still be there, waiting to be cleared.
It’s only the beginning of November, but snow has already fallen in Spokane, Western Idaho, Edmonton, Pipestone (Minneosta) and Kenora, meaning it’s already time to bring out snow blowers. Along with snow blowers, you can use an assortment of other snow clearing tools to make sure your drive is clear and safe for the upcoming season.
Snow blowers are by far the easiest, cleanest and most efficient tools to use for clearing snow. Their heavy-duty motors do all the hard work for you, staying close to the ground and getting at all the snow no matter how thick or heavy it is. And with a one-time cost (or a bit of ongoing cost for gas snow blowers, like the Toro Power Clear 621), all you have to do is plug in the snow blower and be on your way. Whether you opt to go the solely electric route, like using an Ariens AMP 24, or with a gas-powered Toro, Snow Blower Source has the perfect snow blower designed to suit your needs.
Your basis compound of Sodium Chloride has been used to clear snow for what seems like forever. It works by lowering the freezing point of snow and ice, keeping it at a liquid when it would normally otherwise solidify. If water freezes at 32F, you can use a 10% salt solution to bring down the freezing point to 20F, and a 20% salt solution to get a freezing point of 2F. The ice immediately around the salt starts to melt and because water naturally likes to occupy the lowest space possible, the melting area spreads and clears more ice. The downside, of course, is if the weather outside is colder than what you can manipulate the freezing point to be, salt loses its efficacy and you have to use more.
Although it looks like sand melts snow and ice much the same way that ice does, the process is fairly different. Snow and ice have a hard time retaining light- and heat/energy from the sun’s light- so it tends to reflect most of the heat and energy that hits it. But when you put darker-colored sand on top of snow and ice, it does retain heat and energy, bringing it up to a higher temperature than the snow and ice underneath it. And if you place a warm object on top of a cool object, the heat from it will transfer through until both objects are the same temperature. Because sand gains heat very quickly, placing a layer of it on top of snow is an easy and efficient way of melting it. However, it does leave behind a dirty-looking mess that needs to be cleaned up, but the grittiness of sand-on-snow makes driveways and sidewalks a lot easier to walk on.
This winter, clear your property with one of Snow Blower Source’s Toro or Ariens snow blowers and get the peace of mind you deserve. Not only is shipping insurance included on every product, but the shipping costs itself are free for the lower 48 states.
During these cold winter months, your driveway and walkways can be very icy. To manage the ice and create a safe walking area for your home can be done in many ways. Shoveling and snow blowing can help, but when ice builds up, you may need to use something else to melt the snow. Salt and sand are excellent ways of melting ice and creating traction to prevent slipping. But what method is best for your driveway or walkway?
Pros: As long as the temperature outside is warm enough, salt can help melt ice on your walkways. The salt pellets also provide traction when you walk on them.
Cons: If it is too cold outside, salt will not melt the ice. The salt can also mix with melted water and contaminate the vegetation around your driveway or walkway.
Pros: Sand can be used for traction at any temperature. You can sprinkle it on top of the ice, and it will provide the necessary traction to prevent slips and falls.
Cons: Sand is a natural product, so it doesn’t create ecological problems like sand does. However, sand can clump together and cause issues for roads and drainage ditches. If the sand gets buried by snow or more ice, it will not provide the necessary traction.
Salt and sand are currently the best ways to melt ice and create traction on ice. Both types have pros and cons, but the combination of shoveling, snow blowing and using salt to melt the ice are the best ways to stay safe this winter.
Clear your walkways easily with a snow blower from SnowBlowerSource.com. Keeping your walkways clear will prevent ice and snow from building up and reduce the need for salt and sand. Free shipping on all orders to the lower 48 U.S.