Joe's Winter Survival Guide: Snow Removal Strategies
The snow and ice is officially here and keeping your driveway, walkways and steps safe is one of the biggest challenges during winter months. Choosing the right tools and using them effectively is the key to avoiding back-breaking work, but many homeowners often complicate the task at hand. Joe is highlighting the 3 most common mistakes when it comes to snow and ice clearing, and what to do instead.
Mistake 1: Using the Wrong Products to Melt Ice
Different deicers have varying degrees of success depending upon outside temperatures. Pure rock salt, also known as sodium chloride, is the cheapest product available and works best around 27 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it can take hours to work when the mercury drops into the teens. And because it lowers the freezing point of water, runoff easily sinks into any cracks or pores, refreezing and expanding which damages surfaces further. Excessive amounts of rock salt can also be devastating to surrounding vegetation and grass.
Nicer deicer. Calcium chloride and magnesium chloride blends, such as those manufactured by Snow Joe, give off heat when they come in contact with ice and snow. These types of melts work well up to -25 degrees Fahrenheit. When used as directed, Snow Joe MELT products will not dry out or irritate the skin and can be safely and easily dispensed without requiring the use of protective clothing. Unlike competitors, MELT will not track onto your home’s floors or carpets, so you can safely tread your footwear onto any treated surface without worry of damage to your shoes or your home. Chloride ice melts can be toxic to pets and children. If this is a concern, opt for Snow Joe’s Environmentally Friendly formula, that provides a greener solution to deicing that is safer for pets, safer for children and safer for the environment.
Mistake 2: Using Only One Shovel
Home owners should be equipped with several types of shovels for clearing different types of snow and ice.
Ergonomic shovel - Time to toss out the old shovels; back-breaking winter weather cleanups are a thing of the past with the Snow Joe SJ-SHLV01 Shovelution Back-Saving Snow Shovel. Snow Joe's backsaving solution greatly reduces the effort, strain and potential injury involved in shoveling, using the powerful muscles of your upper body to do the lifting and throwing, and sending lifting leverage to the lower hand – to reduce back strain by up to 30%. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rH8RzJQALhk Snow pusher - No more spending time lugging out a heavy shovel and ice chopper. This ultimate winter tool does it both! It’s easy to go from shovel to ice chopper by simply sliding out the ice chopper head from the shovel base, no tools required at all. The Snow Joe SJEG24 has a 24 inch poly scoop and D-Grip handle to easily handle all snow types. Ergonomic and lightweight, the Snow Joe Edge makes tough winter chores easy. This model also includes a steel wear strip for extended scoop life. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSCtHCuyiEQ
Mistake 3 : Buying the Wrong Snow Blower
Consider three major factors before you purchase a snowblower: the size and length of your driveway and walkways, the average amount of snowfall your region typically experiences (find out here), and the steepness of the terrain. Electric, Cordless + Hybrid Snow Shovels Compact and lightweight, Snow Joe electric and electric cordless snow shovels are the perfect solution to avoiding a sore back and shoulders. They clear light snow fall quickly from decks and walkways, while efficiently moving up to 400 pounds of snow per minute. Best For:
- Smaller properties to clear sidewalks and decks
- Light, fluffy snowfall 6 inches or under
- Those looking to avoid the tiring job of manual shoveling
Single stage electric, cordless and hybrid snow blowers are endowed with all the advantages offered by a similar gas powered blower, but with none of the drawbacks! Snow Joe blowers are quiet, environmentally friendly, and start reliably every time without having to fuss with fumes, a cold engine or a finicky starter cord.
Single-stage snow blowers’ augers make contact with the ground of which they are clearing, and therefore should not be used on unpaved or gravel driveways, as they will pick up rocks and fling them through the chute – causing damage to the machine and posing a safety hazard to others. If you live in a suburban area with a one or two car paved driveway, walkway and a patio or deck, a single-stage snow blower should fit your needs. Best for:
- Medium-sized paved driveways, walkways, decks and patios
- Smaller models thrive in light to moderate snowfall up to 8 inches deep
- Larger models work better in dry or wet snow up to 12 inches deep
Two-stage / Dual-stage Cordless Snow Blowers Two-stage (also known as dual-stage) snow blowers’ augers do not make contact with the surface from which they are clearing snow, unlike their single-stage counterparts, which means two-stage are preferred for use on driveways and walkways that are unpaved or covered in gravel. They are also the most heavy duty snow throwers available, which support wider augers and a higher intake than others, and handle wetter, heavy snow with ease. Unique to Snow Joe’s latest innovation, the two stage battery powered iON24SB-XR snowblower, is a completely digital drive by wire system, which relies on a digital push button control panel and an built-in computer system to engage the unit and propel it either forward or reverse automatically. Best for:
- Large driveways
- Snowfall in excess of 8 inches deep
- Wetter, heavy snow
- Unpaved and gravel driveways
You can check out a Snow Joe two stage snowblower, the iON24SB, in action here.