- Stay on top of the snow – when anticipating a large amount of snowfall, it is best to shovel every 3-5 inches. Don’t wait for the snow to stop falling – keep shoveling every couple of inches, especially when it is a heavy wet snow. You will save yourself time and your back by doing a couple of inches at a time.
- Push, don’t lift, and if you lift, use your legs – this may be seem like traditional advise, however, when it comes to snow removal this is important. When you push the snow to the side, rather than lifting, you exert less energy and place less stress on your body. If there is too much snow and you need to lift onto snow piles, use your legs and not your back. Using your legs will save your back from injury.
- Warm-up – Shoveling snow is exercise. It is important to stretch your arms, legs and back to prevent injury, especially with heavy snow. Be sure to drink lots of water and take breaks when needed. Another tip while shoveling is to switch off between shoveling left-handed and right-handed so that you are working different muscles.
- Avoid ice picks and other tools – Resist the temptation to use ice picks and other tools to remove snow and ice. These tools can easily destroy your driveway and other landscape features such as walkways and plants.
- Prepare before the snowfall – Mark off the driveway, walkways and plant beds with poles, flags, or stakes before the snow storms hits to keep track of your landscape.
- Attack ice with salt, sand or kitty litter – When the shovel just won’t cut through the ice, rock salt can be used to help break it up. Be careful when using rock salt for it can eat away at concrete and damage your driveway. It is also not effective in temperatures under 12 degrees Fahrenheit. Calcium chloride is a super alternative to rock salt. It maintains its ice melting properties in below-zero temperatures. It is also less harmful to the plants in your landscaping and less irritating to pets’ feet. For those areas where the ice or slippery snow just won’t budge, use sand or kitty litter to provide traction.
- Don’t shovel snow out into the street or walkways from your car or driveway – Although you might think the snow plow coming through can handle it or the side walk crew can shovel it, it can actually make the job more difficult and costly when your piled up snow turns to ice. Remove the snow with a shovel and safely place it in grassy areas.
- 8. Pick the right shovel – High strength plastic shovels are strong, light weight and easy to use. They are less prone to freezing and release the snow better than metal shovels,
- Take care of your plants – Make sure you don’t bury your plants in snow. When avoidable, try not to shovel or throw snow on your plants. Each time you go out to shovel, take a tour of your landscape. Use a broom to knock snow or ice off of leaves, needles and branches. If your shrubs and plants get too loaded down with snow, leave them. You’ll do more damage trying to remove the snow than letting them recover on their own. If they are bent over from heavy snow shake the snow off when possible.
- Pay attention to your surroundings – Do not get so focused on the task at hand that you don’t pay attention to your surroundings. When shoveling snow near streets, be mindful of traffic – other cars may not be able to see you over the snow piles and may not have enough traction to stop or maneuver safely.
Hopefully we will not have a repeat of the last storm with three feet plus of snow. However, if we do, Sunrise Landscape and Design is ready to help you with your commercial snow removal. Our snow plow operators are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’ll make sure your street, parking lot, driveway and sidewalks are kept clear of snow and ice.
Sunrise Landscape and Design is Northern Virginia’s premier landscaping company offering a full range of landscaping services. Our landscape and design services include hardscapes, water features, irrigation and landscape lighting. Our property maintenance services will keep your landscape vibrant and healthy year round with mulching, edging, garden cleanups, lawn mowing, tree pruning and mosquito/deer control. Contact us today for all your landscape and lawn care needs!