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Monday, January 20 2020

5 Snow and ice removal tips to keep your home safe and dry

Dealing with winter weather often leaves us chilly and wet. When the cold months seem to stretch on, warm up with these snow and ice removal tips to manage pesky precipitation. 

The first snowfall of winter is always magical. Suddenly, roads become quiet, streetlights glow amidst the snowflakes and everything green turns white. For some, winter is a time of wonder, fun and joy. On the other hand, others find the coldest months of the year packed with stress.

When the snow begins to fall and ice starts to form, areas around your home can become slippery and dangerous. Ice is great when it’s dropped into a delicious cocktail, but it’s annoying when it keeps you from your daily activities, and dangerous to walk on.  

Have you ever had to cancel an event because the ice on your driveway was so thick that it couldn’t be removed? Or, have you ever been stuck inside because the snow was so high outside your front door that it made leaving your house impossible?

Trusting a professional with your snow and ice removal might seem like an easy way out of salting and shovelling, but it can be costly. Instead, try these snow and ice removal tips to make your property safer this winter.


1. Cooking spray isn’t just for cooking anymore!

Shovelling snow can be both a great workout and a gruelling activity. Make shovelling heavy and wet snow easier by coating your shovel in a layer of cooking spray. The additional non-stick action will make snow slide smoothly off your shovel. 


2. Rubbing alcohol dissolves germs and ice!

Usually meant for disinfecting cuts and scrapes, rubbing alcohol is also useful for removing ice from windows around your home. Simply pour your desired amount of rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle, mist over windows and rub with a soft, old towel until dry. Using rubbing alcohol to deice your windows will also prevent fogging. If you’re fresh out of this popular disinfectant, you can choose any clear alcohol (like vodka, gin or white rum) to remove ice from windows.


3. Not a fan of road salt? A DIY ice melting mixture will do the trick.

You’ve probably heard that road salt is bad for our environment. High concentrations of this popular de-icer are making its way into our aquatic ecosystems near streets and highways, which leaves a negative impact. The Weather Network reports that Canada began using road salt in the 1950s and spreads roughly five million tonnes each year. 

If you’re sick of using salt to melt ice around your house, create a homemade mixture that’s environmentally safe. Reader’s Digest recommends mixing half a gallon of hot water with six drops of dish soap and a quarter cup of rubbing alcohol together in a bucket. Pour your DIY ice melting mixture over your sidewalk or driveway and shovel away any ice that doesn’t dissolve. Since the mixture loosens and melts ice, large pieces will be easier to get rid of after the mixture has time to work.  


4. It’s a big job. Get your kids to help with snow shovelling.

A team effort makes any task go faster. Use snow shovelling as a bonding activity for your family and include your kids in your outdoor winter maintenance. Why not start a snow castle competition using the fluffy white powder on your driveway? Your kids will be pumped to participate and might impress you with their snow construction skills. 


5. Shake it off!

Prevent snow from reaching your vehicle or walkway by covering it with a plastic tarp before going to bed. Once you are ready to leave your home in the morning, lift the tarp and shake off any precipitation that has collected overnight. If a considerable amount of snow and ice has accumulated on the tarp and made it heavy, use extra caution when shaking it off.


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