Winter Equipment

Snow and Ice Removal Hacks: 7 Expert Tips for Clear Driveways and Sidewalks

Snow and Ice Removal Hacks: 7 Expert Tips for Clear Driveways and Sidewalks - Gilford Hardware & Outdoor Power Equipment
New England's Winter weather can be a headache for homeowners, especially when it comes to keeping driveways and sidewalks clear of snow and ice. Even though shoveling and deicing can be boring and take a lot of time, there are a few tricks you can use to make the job easier.

Here are seven professional tips for getting rid of snow and ice that will help you keep your property safe and easy to get to all winter long.

Spread Ice Melt before it snows!

If you are like me and keep a constant track of the New England weather you can be prepared for the ice and snow! Many people don't realize that it's possible to put down ice melt or de-icer BEFORE it snows! Applying ice melt to your driveway and sidewalks before it starts to snow will help prevent ice from forming. This will make snow and ice less likely to adhere to your driveway, patio, walkway or deck. When you are looking for an ice melts, pick one that won't damage the pavement since thats where you are most likely going to spread it before a storm. A great choice for this is Inferno Ice Melt!

Purchase a Honda Snow Blower

No not Ariens, No not Craftsman, A Honda Snow Blower. Why? Because When you purchase a Honda Snow Blower you buy once and cry once. Even though they might cost a premium the durability, ease-of-use, and innovative features will make up for it in the long run. For larger areas or heavy snowfall, a snow blower can be a lifesaver. Honda powerful snow blowers can quickly clear large areas of snow, and throw snow 50+ feet, leaving your driveway and sidewalks clean and safe.

Spread Ice Melt  

Spreading ice melt around the exterior of your home or office will help prevent ice from building up on your driveways, sidewalks, patios, and parking lot. It's a great way to start melting the snow and ice away quickly. 

Which Ice Melt Should I Use?

There are a lot of different types and brands of ice melt out there:

The classic ice melter, Rock Salt also known as sodium chloride or halite.  It's been used world-wide for melting away ice and snow from roads, homes, and businesses. It's main benefit is being economical while still being able to melt ice at temperatures as low as -6F. Rock salt isn't a good idea if you have new concrete or asphalt, and it's not healthy for pets. If you are looking for a cheap and easy solution for ice melt, the classic ice melter.

Calcium Chloride is a great choice for an ice melt because it works quickly, and starts to generate heat on contact.  It's also great if you live in an area (like New England) where it can get COLD. Calcium Chloride is a great choice because its still effective even at temperatures as low as -25 °F.  Which makes it much more efficient than rock salt at lower temperatures.

Potassium chloride: This ice melt isn't a great option for individuals looking for a green alternative or pet owners. This is because it can be harmful and dangerous to the environment and pets in large quantities.It works similarly to rock salt in terms of effectiveness. You probably won't be able to find Potassium chloride ice melt on it's own, it's usually mixed with another one or two of the other ice melts on this list. 

Magnesium chloride: There is a good chance you will find Magnesium chloride in most of the Ice melt mixes which are promoted as "safe for pets."  It's also very gentle on vegetation and concrete.  It's also one of the fastest-acting ice melts is more effective at temperatures as low as -15 °F. It might be more expensive than your typical rock salt, but the benefits make it a great choice especially if you have furry friends. 

Ice Melt Mixes:  Not only will you be able to find most of the ice melters mentioned above but there are also a lot of companies producing Ice Melt mixes which will contain a combination of the ice melters mentioned above. It's always a good idea to look at the ingredients before purchasing if you are worried about environmental factors or if you have pets. 

Purchase a Quality Shovel

Having the proper tools and equipment is the first and most important step in clearing snow and ice. To remove snow from walkways and driveways, a quality shovel is required. Depending on where you are shoveling you will want to find a shovel with a wide, large scoop.

When it comes to clearing snow or ice from different surfaces, it's essential to have the right tool for the job. If you're dealing with a delicate deck or any surface that could be easily scratched, opt for a snow shovel equipped with a plastic edge. This will help protect your surfaces while efficiently removing snow and ice.

On the other hand, when you're facing stubborn and heavy patches of ice, a shovel with a metal edge is the way to go. Its sturdy construction is perfect for scraping away those challenging icy spots.

To tackle substantial amounts of snow quickly and effortlessly, you'll want a snow shovel that's up to the task.

If you're concerned about the strain on your back, consider using a curved-handled shovel. This ergonomic design can help reduce strain on your spine, making your snow-clearing task more comfortable and efficient. Choose the right snow shovel for your specific needs and ensure a hassle-free winter season.

Icy, Need Extra Traction?

 Prevent slip-and-falls and get extra traction for your vehicle by using traction sand, kitty litter, or even ash from your pellet stove. All three of these will offer improved traction, making it safer to walk or drive on ice roads. It's always a good idea to keep a bucket in your car, you know just incase of an emergency. Don't go overboard though - so you have less to clean up later.

 Call the Professionals!

If shoveling and de-icing don't cut it, and you don't want to purchase a Honda Snow Blower, think about getting some help from the professionals. They have the necessary tools and expertise to remove the snow from your driveway and sidewalks quickly, easily and hassle free! You may find a professional landscaper to take care of your snow and ice removal needs by asking around, joining relevant local Facebook groups, browsing local classified ads, checking out local businesses online.

As a conclusion, clearing snow and ice can be a laborious and time-consuming task, but it doesn't have to be if you have the correct equipment and approach. You can keep your driveway and sidewalks clear and safe all winter long if you buy a quality shovel, use a snow blower, apply deicer, use kitty litter or sand for traction, use salt or calcium chloride, and/or hire a professional. If you want to keep your surface in good condition, it's crucial that you use the proper equipment and supplies. The winter season might be less stressful if you follow these professional recommendations.

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The Gilford Hardware and Outdoor Power Equipment blog posts exclusively reflect the views of Gilford Hardware and Outdoor Power Equipment and do not necessarily reflect those of the device manufacturers. Please be aware that product availability, specifications, and suggested uses are subject to change. For the most recent details, always refer to the manufacturer's website and product manual.