Watching the snowfall from inside can be comforting, especially with a nice hot beverage. But not so much if you need to run to the store to restock the pantry or pick up your kids from school.
Getting your errands done quickly is usually the goal (and in some cases is even required by law). Plus, the buildup of snow on your car and in your driveway can add extra time, increasing your chances of getting stuck in traffic or being late.
There is likely nothing more back-breaking than shoveling snow away from your driveway, yard, or sidewalk after heavy snow. However necessary it may be, snow removal is often time-consuming and challenging.
You can try these inventive snow removal tricks that can cut down on time spent shoveling. You might even have a little fun in the process! Who knew snow removal could be so fun?
Turn Your Old Leaf Blower Into a Snow Blower
Not only is getting rid of snow annoying, but it can also be tedious and physically taxing if you’re using a shovel.
Even though Fall is over, your handy leaf blower can help you get rid of light snow stuck to your car or areas near your home.
It’s important to first note that you should use a gas-powered leaf blower instead of an electric-powered one.
Gas-powered leaf blowers tend to be stronger and give off more heat than their electric counterparts. There’s also a decreased risk for an electric shock from electricity mixing with melted snow.
You should note that using a leaf blower is only recommended for snow that’s less than two inches thick. Staying away from wet snow and low temperatures (32 and below) is recommended since these can damage the leaf blower.
And don’t forget about protective gear for your ears and eyes!
Throw a Neighborhood Snowball Fight
Do you miss the sound of children running up and down the street? Social distancing isn’t just about staying indoors. If you live near kids, try to host a socially-distanced snowball fight!
Having a snowball fight is a great way for kids (and even adults!) to get physical activity while connecting with family and the neighbors.
Make sure to set the ground rules during the planning phase so kids and others know what to expect. You can include rules like points for hitting certain body parts or which body parts are off-limits. People will also need to stay away from stones, other non-snow objects, and yellow snow!
Spending extended periods in the cold can take its toll on your body, so make sure to stock up on earmuffs, hats, gloves, and other winter accessories to stay cozy. Try wearing a pair of rubber gloves under your winter gloves to keep your fingers protected and warm!
Make Your Steps Slip-Free With a Snow Melting Mat
If you’re looking to take an electric route to melt snow, look no further! You can run an electric snow melting mat for less than $1 per snow day.
Snow melting mats (like the ones from companies like Heat Trak) are great options for melting the snow on your porch steps, sidewalk, and driveway.
Heat Trak mats are designed to melt 2 inches of snow per hour and are durable enough to be driven on!
Invest in an Electric Snow Shovel
There’s nothing wrong with a little physical labor from time to time, but shoveling snow can be tough on the body. This is especially true if you have an injury or if you’re older.
Electric snow shovels are a great option if you need to get rid of snow and could use some assistance while you’re at it.
Brands like SnowJoe sell several electric snow shovels that range in size and price. Because they run on electricity, you’ll need to have a long extension cord handy. We highly suggest using an extension cord protector for extra safety.
Explore These Green Methods
Using electricity and chemicals to get rid of snow is common. Shoveling or waiting for the sun to melt the snow are a few good ways to stay green but require patience and energy.
If you’re looking to take a break from these methods or try something new, there are many green ways to melt the snow.
- Many people use rock salt to speed up the melting process. However, salt can shift freshwater into saltwater, damage soil, and affect wildlife.
- Try using coffee grounds or wood ash — the nitrogen and potassium in these household items are useful for melting snow and won’t harm plants or other animals.
- If you don’t mind shoveling but want to loosen up the snow, try this unique mixture of warm water, dish soap, and rubbing alcohol to speed things up.
Looking for More To Do Outside?
Snow removal isn’t at the top of most people’s bucket lists. No matter how much this rings true, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun while removing it from your home. As a bonus, the outdoors can help with your mental and physical health.
Even though it’s better to stay inside, you can still socially distance safely outside by keeping your distance, wearing a mask, and following local and federal safety guidelines.
When you keep your sidewalk and driveway clear of snow, you make your home and neighborhood safe for you, your family, and others.