Snow season is upon us here in Denver. Snow removal snow can be tedious and even dangerous if not taken care of properly. It’s wise to be prepared, especially since the City of Denver has specific regulations for snow removal. Homeowners have 24 hours after the snow has stopped falling to clear their sidewalks, while businesses only have four.
Regulations or not, there is the common courtesy of making walkways safe for senior citizens, people with disabilities, mail carriers, and the community at large. Follow these tips to help make clearing snow easy and safe this season.Snow and Ice Removal
Shoveling snow is just like mowing the lawn, you have to prepare to operate a tool or machinery and withstand the weather conditions that come along with it. Warm up your muscles to prevent injury and be sure to dress appropriately. Walk in place or bend side to side or, best of all, do dynamic stretching!
Snow can sometime stick to shovels, which can be frustrating. Fortunately, there are several remedies for this problem. You can use a few household items such as car wax, WD40, or cooking oil on the shovel. Be sure to grease your shovel mildly with caution, away from snow shoes and areas that are icy – preferably in a utility sink.
When snow is in the forecast, pre-treat your paved surfaces to make it easier to remove snow and ice. After the surfaces are covered, spread sand or coffee grounds so that you have traction as you shovel. Salt is great and well known for melting ice and snow, but can be harmful to landscaping and the environment.
Two eco-friendly salt alternatives to help melt ice are alfalfa meal and sugar beet juice. Alfalfa meal is exceptionally effective when used in moderation, and it provides traction as well as melt the ice. Sugar beet juice lowers the melting point of ice and snow and can help clear those walkways and driveways in record time.
Go out and take a look around before you start shoveling. Map out the most efficient route, check out which paths need to be left open, and don’t block access to where you’ll need to go later. Before you take the first scoop, decide where you’re going to dump the snow. You don’t want to end up moving snow twice.
You might also find it helpful to put up tall stakes around the driveway and walkways. These will help show you and the snow plow services where to shovel, plow, and melt.
Shoveling is bit more complex than any other outdoor home maintenance task. Unlike a service like lawn mowing – which most Colorado residents get once or twice per month – snow shoveling should occur daily. Can you imagine shoveling your driveway once a month? Things would quickly get out of control, and not to mention dangerous. You want to be on top of it when it comes to shoveling, so, start early.
While it’s still snowing, go out and shovel in increments, you’ll be much happier later. It’s easier to shovel a few inches of fresh snow at a time than a few feet of old snow. Fresh snow is lighter and fluffier, and hasn’t matted to anything yet. While older snow is wet, heavy, and can turn into ice. Then you’ll have an even more strenuous job on your hands!
We are not as likely to feel thirsty out in the cold as we would in the blistering heat of summer, but shoveling is hard physical work and dehydration can set in before we know it. Take breaks and rest as needed. Once you’re finished, treat yourself to a hot shower or bath, and a cup of hot cocoa – you deserve it! Before you know it, it’ll be springtime and the crisp greenery will be popping up once again.