You can’t so much as walk to your mailbox without hearing about it: snow is coming! While the winter temperatures have definitely arrived here in Lancaster County the past two weeks, it seems likely we’ll be greeted with our first accumulating snow fall of the season later this week. In light of the impending snow, we’ve put together a list of of 6 things you can do to prepare for handling the snow.
1. Use a snowblower.
OK, so number 1 seems a little obvious, but is still worth mentioning on the list. Snowblowers are the quickest way to remove snow, especially when facing large amounts of snow. They also help avoid injury that can sometimes occur when shoveling.
2. Purchase a shovel or snow pusher.
If you aren’t fortunate enough to have a snowblower, make sure you purchase a shovel or snow pusher. There are many options to choose from such as plastic, aluminum, or steel shovels. While steel may hold up the best, they are often heaviest. While plastic and aluminum may be lighter, but damage more easily. Decide what’s best for you and your needs at your property.
3. Make sure snow and ice removal equipment is at the ready.
Many of us store our shovels, snowblowers, ice melt, and the like away for most of the year. Whether you keep your supplies in the corner of your garage, basement, or shed out back, make sure you move them to a location that is easily accessible from your house. That way, when snow hits, you don’t need to trek through the snow or spend time digging through the house locating the items you need.
4. Mark walkways and driveways.
Place large stakes around walkways and driveways. This will help you know exactly where areas that need shoveled begin, and will help avoid damaging your lawn while shoveling.
5. Don’t procrastinate or pile up.
Most experts recommend removing snow multiple times, instead of waiting for the snowfall to stop. While it can be frustrating to remove snow while it’s still coming down, shoveling 2-3 inches is easier than 6-10. When you begin to shovel, be sure not to pile snow up against foundation walls where it can freeze or leak when melting. Beware of the size and location of the snow piles you’re creating. You want to be sure your home is still safely accessible and that you don’t create any other hazards (blocking drivers line-of-sight, etc.).
6. De-ice and create traction.
Many folks choose to use rock salt or an alternate form of deicer to help melt the ice on walkways, sidewalks, and driveways. Rock salt is inexpensive but can be harsh on plants and eventually begin corroding cement. There are other deicing options as well, that may be safer, but slightly more pricey. Use sand or cat litter to provide traction on areas where people will be walking.