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.
How Ice Happens
Ice in winter generally forms from one of two things happening:
Depending on the kind of ice that’s formed and the type of snow blower you have, getting rid of it may be a semi-tough situation or a nearly impossible one.
How Snow Blowers Can Get Rid of Ice
It’s important to understand the basic mechanism of snow blowers. Although each one will vary (either by a bit, if they’re in the same “family”, or by a lot, if you’re crossing categories), each one has paddles (single stage) or augers (dual stage) to clear what’s on the ground beneath it.
Because single stage snow blowers are essentially motorized brooms, we’ll skip over them for now and focus on the more heavy duty machines: dual stage snow blowers. From here, there are two more subdivisions we can make:
Ice Removal Techniques
If you’re facing chunks of ice within snow, you’re very much in luck. This is one of the easiest situations you can encounter because all you have to do is run your gas-powered dual stage snow blower over the ground, and let the augers break up the ice chunks.
The middle scenario is an ice ridge somewhere along your driveway. Depending on how big and tall it is, your snow blower may or may not be able to break it up. If you’re having any difficulties, use a shovel to whack the ice ridge into a couple of large chunks and then run your snow blower over it to break it up.
However, if you’re unlucky enough to be dealing with a sheet of ice — like if you drove a car over an unshoveled drive multiple times — you’re probably not going to be able to get rid of the ice. Think of how layers of ice form over the ground and what your snow blower can do: a snow blower is designed to run over the ground, pick up loose-ish material and blow it away. And if the snow has been tamped down to turn into ice, then your snow blower will have a really tough time in distinguishing between ice and solid ground.