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.