Just when you think winter is winding down… Mother Nature sneaks in one or two more winter wallops to remind you who’s really in control. SnOMG! To ensure you don’t end the season with a personal physical injury or damage to your home, here are five snow removal safety tips to keep in mind.
Choose the right snow shovel
The right snow removal shovel can make a big difference to the task. Check out some of the new lightweight ergonomic designs available. Two shovels – a wide one designed for pushing snow and a smaller one for digging out narrow areas will be handy. In general, push the snow shovel rather than lift it. Carry and place the snow instead of throwing it over your shoulder. Change hands if you’re able to be ambidextrous. Bend at the knees and lift with your legs to avoid back strain or over-exertion on your heart.
Keep the snow removal load light
If possible, keep pace with the snowfall, rather than waiting for it to accumulate to a much larger snow removal task. A few efforts of removing snow periodically or every few hours, will make the job less arduous. However, if you’re faced with deep snow, skim off the top few inches and go back and do the lower layer after a rest.
Important snow removal areas
Removing snow from your driveway and walkways is not only necessary for you and your family, but you also have a responsibility to clear public areas of your property so visitors don’t slip and fall.
Also remove snow that accumulates near a dryer vent and other exhaust systems to prevent a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. Remove snow that’s near a fire hydrant and outdoor drains. Make sure your house number is clearly visible for emergency crews. Remove heavy snow from trees and bushes so their branches don’t snap under the weight.
If there’s more than a foot of snow on your roof, it should be removed so it doesn’t damage your roof or pull down your gutter system. This work is best done by a HeyBryan Expert who specializes in roofing and has the right tools such as a long, extendable roof rake. A HeyBryan Expert can also point out whether you have ice dams developing that need to be cleared.
Use ice melting products wisely
Rock salt (sodium chloride) does a great job of melting snow and ice, but it can also damage concrete, asphalt and metal. Magnesium chloride is less corrosive if you’re concerned. If you need basic foot traction somewhere and there’s no ice forming, kitty litter is a good option.
If you have a snowblower, prepare to have enough fuel and only refill when it’s turned off. Start it up outside rather than inside your garage in case of a fire. Wear bright protective clothing and goggles. Move any objects out of the way so they don’t become projectiles. Never put your hand in the auger if there’s a jam. Turn it off and use a shovel, stick or rake to clear a blockage.
If the snowblower is electric, keep the cord away from your project area and only use extension cords designed for outdoor weather.
Book a HeyBryan Expert who specializes in snow removal services since this task is a lot more dangerous to your health and home than it seems. You can feel confident knowing that a HeyBryan Expert has been approved by the HeyBryan team, had a background check done and has the experience, equipment and time to do snow removal safely.